Getting ripped!

2014February26_MensFitness_ANothing says ‘manly’ like a ripped six-pack. Fashions come and go but looking buff with killer abs is a timeless sign of masculinity. Those rippling muscles and washboard stomach show that a  man really cares about his physique, is active and tries to eat the right foods. No wonder nicely sculpted abs get lusty glances from the ladies and jealous comments from the men -it’s the ultimate sign of manliness. Of course, it takes time. A six-pack can’t be built overnight. But there are steps you can take to ensure you get the ripped look, so you’ll be “shirts off for summer! ”

Just like women, men come in all shapes and sizes. We should embrace our differences rather than strive for photoshopped ideals – this is a much healthier approach to life after all. But, there’s nothing wrong with wanting a body and physique that reflects how you feel and how you live, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with wanting an attractive physique – it’s only shallow if that’s your only goal in life. And lets face it, most of us have a lot more going on than our gym sessions. And the six-pack does not have to be a goal in itself. If you pursue a vigorous fitness program for its own sake, the six-pack is a bonus -it’s health and strength are the real rewards.

What is the 6-pack?

You’ve probably seen guys at the gym, on the beach, and by the pool displaying their hard muscles and countable abs like a fleshy egg box. Let’s face it, if you have a six-pack you’re not going to hide it. You’ll use any excuse to bare your bod at every available opportunity. This can be taken a little too far of course. Doing the weekly grocery shop “sans shirt” marks you down as a bit of a fool.

Rectus abdominis

We say six-pack like it’s a singular thing.  But actually, the six-pack consists of various muscles working together. First off there are those distinctive six muscles which stand out. These are the rectus abdominis and they are important for posture and help bring the rib cage toward the pelvis and flexes the spine during movements like crunches. Developing these muscles is important in terms of aiding respiration during exercise and helps create the right internal pressure during exercise and protecting the organs.

Transverse abdominis

The transverse abdominis is a flat muscle layer to the sides of the abdominal area that wraps round, almost acting as a deep core corset. As you strengthen up this can really help you achieve that trim, pulled in toned look, so it’s vital that if you want the overall sharp chest definition with protruding abs that you work on this muscle too.  It’s function is to provide stability and this is crucial for core strength and functional movement. If you want to exercise the body effectively, especially with weight-training and you need to look after your abs. It really isn’t all about looking good on the beach. Good abs mean you’ve got good all-round fitness.


Men who have sensational six-packs often have that classic V shape running down from the sides of their abs to their pelvic area. If you put your hands in your pocket then you can feel, your external obliques. You also have internal obliques, and together these muscles run down the side of your body diagonally. Together they support the core, help with flexibility during movement and also exercise. They create stability and flexibility with heavy exercises too, helping to increase intra-abdominal pressure and helping breathing by reducing the chest cavity during exhalation and allowing for greater inhalation volume. These muscles also help the torso rotate and bend.

Now you know what the abs are, you can appreciate that a six-pack is actually a vital sign of strength, stability and support and the muscles can help with breathing, flexibility and movement. So now you know the benefits of getting ripped, aside from just looking great, you know want to know how to achieve killer abs? Find out in Getting ripped! Part 2! and if you can’t wait till then get in touch and we’ll help you achieve perfect abs.

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