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Secrets to Six-Pack Abs

Q: I’ve been doing six sets each of five exercises for my waist, six days a week, and I still can’t see my six-pack. What am I doing wrong?

A: No matter how many situps, crunches, twists or whatever else you do for your waist, you’ll not whittle away fat. The body doesn’t work that way. Fat reduction is achieved internally—and only if you expend a sufficiently greater number of calories than you consume for a sufficient period. Only if you force your body to draw on its energy reserves will you reduce your bodyfat.

You can reduce your bodyfat without doing any exercise whatsoever provided you eat fewer calories than you use for long enough, but even if you exercise three hours a day seven days a week, if you start eating more calories than you expend, you’ll gain bodyfat.

The right sort of activity can make a big contribution to your energy expenditure, but whether you lose bodyfat is all about your caloric balance.

Only when your bodyfat percentage is low enough will you be able to see your six-pack and your obliques. How well-developed that musculature appears, though, will depend on how much muscle you’ve developed there, and that will be a reflection of your bodybuilding program.

Editor’s note: Stuart McRobert’s first byline in IRON MAN appeared in 1981. He’s the author of the new 638-page opus on bodybuilding Build Muscle, Lose Fat, Look Great, available from Home Gym Warehouse, (800) 447-0008 or at


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