So You Want a Six-Pack

written by Karen Kondor


Do you understand what you are saying when you say, “I want a 6-pack!”?⁣

Because when you say those words, and declare that goal, what you’re actually saying is:⁣

  • I am willing to, and can, dial in my sleep to 8+ hours each night⁣.
  • I am willing to stop eating out almost completely .
  • I am willing to spend a considerable amount of time (i.e. likely years, not weeks or months) tracking my food.
  • I am willing to spend several months or years with periodized nutrition (i.e. moving back and forth through fat loss phases, and muscle building phases).
  • I am willing to do everything I can to decrease stressors in my life, including looking at relationships and environments that don’t support me and my goals.
  • I am willing to spend 5-6 days per week at the gym, prioritizing weightlifting based exercise, with some cardio mixed in.
  • I am willing to say “no” to alcohol.
  • I am willing to hire a coach, long term, to help guide me through all of the above.

And, even if you are willing to consistently adhere to all of those things, here’s the secret most coaches won’t tell you...⁣ still might not get the 6-pack. ⁣

What you don’t see or know just by clicking on someone’s Instagram photos is that:⁣

  • Sometimes, genetics are on someone’s side. ⁣
  • Sometimes, their diet needs to be ultra-restrictive. ⁣
  • Sometimes, they have to lift heavy for several years to build their core. ⁣
  • Sometimes, they have to take a multitude of supplements.
  • Sometimes, they are photoshopped.
  • Sometimes, they are no happier than they were when they didn’t have a 6-pack.

When I worked with Coach B many years ago, with the goal of competing in a bodybuilding competition, I thought that if I just followed the food plan and restricted food a bit more, I would have the most amazing 6-pack. Come show time, it was apparent that I didn’t have all that much to show. I was literally revealing almost nothing. Sure, there was some definition there, but it was mostly a result of a severe food restriction for several months, and some playing with water intake on the day of the show. 

You know what I actually needed to do? Lift heavier more frequently. Eat more food. Say “f&ck it” to my obsession over being skinny, and work really f&cking hard at adjusting my relationship with food, training, stress, and sleep. ⁣Surround myself with people who supported me, cheered me on, and bolstered my self worth. Turns out, this was (and continues to be!) a lot easier and more enjoyable for me than the experience of contest prep.

The result? Not caring whether I step on stage ever again with a 6-pack…yet still having a 6-pack under my gym clothes on a daily basis. Improved sleep. Well managed stress, anxiety, and depression. Being able to not rely on others to help me lift and move things. More energy and stamina. Fewer headaches. Minimal GI upset. Reduced run-ins with seasonal viruses. Feeling confident, disciplined, resilient, and badass.

If you’re walking around saying you want to be more toned, want a 6-pack, want a booty, want nice shoulders and a trim waistline…here’s your PSA that you don’t need the treadmill. You need weighted exercise, and attention to high quality nutrition that supports your activity levels. And, bonus: you will feel and see the difference in many areas of your life. 


Keep coming forward - Coach K

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