“Ah Young Grasshopper…When You Can Take the Pebble From My Hand…You Will Have Six Pack Abs!”

March 15, 2010

They don’t make butt kickin’ TV shows like Kung Fu anymore. The cool thing about growing up in the 70’s and 80’s was that everyone watched the same TV shows. Heck, we only had 3 main channels, a public channel, and one or two local channels back then. It sounds strange, but I kind of miss that. When we wasted time, we all wound up watching the same TV shows. The bummer was that most houses only had one TV set. I grew up with two sisters and we made TV show deals. They would let me watch old episodes of “Batman”, “Kung Fu” and “Planet of the Apes” movies, if they could watch “Little House on the Prairie” and “Donnie and Marie” (brutal). My dad liked to watch “Lawrence Welk” (even more brutal). Anyway, this post really isn’t about TV. “It is about patience in getting six pack abs, young grasshopper!”


[If you guys haven’t watched some old Kung Fu episodes, you are missing out. There are some big life lessons to be learned. This is right up there with Yoda’s lesson to Luke Skywalker: “Do or Do Not, There is No Try”.]

“Can You Tell Me How to Get Six Pack Abs?”

So this might be the #1 question I read in the comment sections of fitness blogs. It is a great goal, but it is such a broad question that it makes it tough for someone to answer properly. It is about as broad of a question as “How do I get to California?”. Off the top of my head I can thing of a dozen or so modes of transportation to get to California as well as a few dozen routes. You might be really close to reaching California…or you could be world away and it could take much longer. Getting six pack abs is a lot like going to California…given enough time doing the right things you will get six pack abs. Just like if you traveled in the right direction to California you will get there eventually.

There is a Time Element to Getting Great Six Pack Abs

If you are eating right, losing body fat, and training properly, you will be able to get sharp six pack abs. The key here is that you have to put in enough time doing the proper exercises. Some people naturally have great six pack abs (they already live in California)…or they get them after 3-4 months of training (they live in Oregon or possibly Nevada). Maybe you live in Bulgaria and your workout partner lives in Montana (figuratively)…with the same workout and diet plan, he will get six pack abs much sooner than you.

Sometimes You Wind Up With Just a Hint of a Six Pack

So lets say you do make it to California (get six pack abs), but they are just barely visible. This is like winding up in Redding, California when you really wanted to go to San Diego. They are both in California, but San Diego is nicer by a mile (in my humble opinion). Anyway, sometimes you have to stay in Redding for a few years, before you work your way to San Diego. Possibly you only hang out in Redding for a while and get to go to San Jose, which is still not as nice as San Diego…but close enough to cool places like San Francisco or Santa Cruz. This post is deteriorating quickly. “The Lawrence Welk Show” – to the rescue!

My Dad Liked This?

[You know…it wasn’t like my dad forced us watch “Lawrence Welk”, but with just one TV in our home…I was exposed to this on a regular basis. This is borderline abusive! I ad to share my pain and suffering with you guys. Enjoy 🙂 ]

Some More Thoughts on Six Pack Abs

It is unrealistic and probably unnecessary to be obsessed with having crazy sharp 6 pack abs all of the time. What you see in magazines is largely the effect of losing water and proper lighting. Your abs will look twice as sharp when you are in a dim room with a bright light shining directly above you. The guys shooting photos for the fitness magazines use everything in their favor. I have seen those same people outside of that environment and they have visible definition…but nothing like what the photos display.

Work Your Way Down to Where Fat Isn’t Covering Your Abs

Honestly…my advice is to just reduce your body fat without being obsessed. Once you get your body fat low enough you won’t have a layer of blubber covering your abs. This is a great starting point. Then simply put time in the gym and your abs will gradually improve. Once you get decent abs, they will much look better on some days than others. If you aren’t holding water and the light is beneficial, your abs will look outstanding…on other days you will have just a hint of definition. When you are lean enough, ab sharpness simply comes down to water retention. The best way to minimize this is to increase your intake of water (without overdoing it) and making sure you don’t take in too much salt. I talk about a good strategy in insuring staying sharp on page 56 of my free report: Vacation Body Blueprint.

The Famous Pebble Snatching Scene…

[The pebble snatching “attempt” happens at the 46 second mark. He succeeds at around the 2 minute mark, but then has to get branded by lifting up a molten pot with his bare forearms. I think I would have purposely been a little too slow grabbing that pebble, because the next step is a bit extreme…just saying that they need to lighten up a little!]

The #1 Tip for Great Abs?

Answer: Keep doing the right things consistently. It is tough for me to answer when you will reach the level of definition in your abs that you are after. I can tell you what to do, I just can’t tell you how long it will take. For some it will happen quickly and other people will take much longer to reach the same level. I simply don’t know when you will be able to take the pebble from my hand…grasshopper…that is up to you!

Important Message: Although this site has received 25+ million visitors, I am starting from scratch and abandoning it. This site is dated and old school looking, terrible to read on mobile, etc.

It's like a Ford Pinto compared to my new site...which is like a Ferrari. Click the link to head over to my new site.

Starting Over...R.I.P. Fitness Black Book!

Thanks for reading all these years!


----> (New) Facebook Comments..."Cause all the cool kids are doin' it!"

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

The Situation August 13, 2010 at 11:51 pm

Crunches baby, 5000 a day.

Mobility Aids October 29, 2010 at 10:22 am

I’m in my late 30’s and have decided that I would like a superb body just one more time. I’m going for it and from the many comments on here it seems like Rusty’s the man to listen to I’ll give it a go. Cheers

Gary - Simple Exercises November 22, 2010 at 10:24 am

If you get bored trying to build your abs by doing the usual sit-up routines, invest in one of the many ab machines on the market. It might just help you get motivated.

braunability February 7, 2011 at 5:16 pm

These are some fantastic tips you posted! Good to know that there are fantastic ways to get fit. Of course, like most exercises — you have to be so careful about how you handle your body while working out. I’ve known lots of people who have strained and hurt their bodies doing the most simple exercises.
Either way, I’ll certainly take your advice. Thanks! 🙂

Rebecca S.
Parkour n00b

Toni July 10, 2011 at 7:24 pm

Hi Rusty! I love your site, it’s so informative. Anyway, I’m glad you addressed the whole “razor sharp” abs thing. I have gotten down to 17% body fat and my abs are really starting to show quite nicely so you can imagine my surprise when (like you mentioned) some days, they look outstanding and others not so much. I was wondering what I was doing to make them “disappear”. I was starting to get a little obsessed over it, lol. I drink lots of water, religiously and my sodium intake I monitor very carefully as well yet it’s nice to know that the fitness models that I see gracing the covers of magazines have a little “help” and don’t always have that sharp quality to their midsection. I will say that if I lose another 1% or so of body fat that my abs would look even more defined so I’m still a work-in-progress. Although considering that my stomach was stretched quite a bit due to two pregnancies, I’m pretty thrilled with my results thus far. Who knew I’d finally have decent ‘girl abs’ at the age of 39?!?

Toni July 10, 2011 at 7:30 pm

I have to respectfully disagree with you, Marc. I know for me as a 39 year old female, I’ve always had a soft layer of belly fat covering my abdomen. I started to get serious about obtaining a nice midsection about six months ago. I implemented a running/HIIT cardio program along with a clean diet and strength training and the fat just melted off me. Granted, I wasn’t a big person to begin with – 5’6″ tall and 117 lbs. but still I’m living proof that it’s never too late. Also, it took about 3 months for some nice ab definition to come in. It appeared in dribs and drabs, lol. First, the obliques then the top two abs followed by the ‘v’ cuts by my thigh and finally the definitive line down the center of my abdomen. The last four abs are there just not very ‘ripped’ but that’s fine with me. The toned, ‘girl ab’ look was what I was after anyway. I think if you want something bad enough, it will happen IMO.

Sam Childs August 13, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Nice post on abs rusty, its true that men magazines often use tricks to get better abs!

Ahmed-Live, Don't Survive August 18, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Having patience is almost as important as the diet when it comes to abs, you’re right on here Rusty!

Ios On Android Phone January 18, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Even though it’s impossible because no one has perfect conditions in real life, but we keep trying, because that’s what we want no matter what.

Directorio Web June 23, 2012 at 11:45 am

I started to get serious about obtaining a nice midsection about six months ago

growing August 7, 2012 at 7:17 pm

The cool thing about growing up in the 70′s and 80′s was that everyone watched the same TV shows.

M. Stuart June 21, 2013 at 4:55 pm

I had a good belly laugh when you mentioned Lawrence Welk. I had relatives that watched that and I thought it was dorky even then. I guess it belonged to a previous generation.

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