Category Archives: Getting A 6-Pack Experiment

Starting Off “The Getting A Six-Pack” Experiment

For the upcoming Six-Pack Experiment I have planned for the whole month of April I’ve got one goal: Get a six-pack in roughly one month.

I’m not fat, but I’m not lean enough for abs to show through.

(I think that’s what a six pack looks like)

There will be three main things I need to do during this experiment on a level I’ve never done before:

  • Go into a calorie deficiency for several weeks to lose weight
  • Do a bunch of ab exercises
  • Consistent cardio exercises

The HARDEST part of this is eating properly, thankfully I’ve been practicing doing that for the last month or two and have been successful at it….in fact preferring it.

I workout all the time and eat (relatively) correctly, but not to the extent I should…and I feel it’s because I’m not sure what to do.

So one thing I wanted for this experiment was PROFESSIONAL ADVICE. Originally I was going to get a personal trainer here in Austin, but that alienates everyone who wants to join me in this experiment (I know a couple of you out there have asked). “Oh, he had a personal trainer…no fair.”

Well I found a workaround. A fellow blogger Adam Gilbert.  That link is his personal blog, but what I’m interested in is the successful business he runs called MyBodyTutor.

Adam runs an online business that’s kind of like a “virtual personal trainer”…..but more than just dishing out some simple advice, he actually keeps you on track to hit your goals.  I signed up for his monthly service roughly a week ago, and told him “My goal is to get an awesome six-pack.”

With that said, he went ahead and gave me certain exercises to do and tips on eating yadda yadda…BUT THE BEST THING is the daily tracking you must do.  I didn’t realize this at first, but they have a whole back end to the website that members sign into daily….THIS is why I signed up…to be held accountable for everything I eat and how much I work out.

I signed up for the service about one week ago, and have eaten the best in my life these past 7 days thanks to Adam.  I’ll explain more about the process later in the experiment.

So in addition to being accountable by posting this experiment on my blog, I’ll be getting professional help, advice and accountability from Adam (thanks man)!

Currently, this is what we’re working with:


So obviously I’m not a big lard here, but if you look closer…you can see the problem:

We’ve got to get rid of that bit of chub.

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Amidst all the semi-lame April Fool’s Jokes other bloggers will be playing on their readers today, I will be starting something that’s less funny, but more useful (To me…but hopefully others too).

This is called the Getting a Six-Pack Experiment, so I want to make it pseudo scientific….and by pseudo I mean “scientific in a sense that even a dumb guy like me can understand”.

The Scientific Method:

  • Define the question - Can I get a six pack in one month?
  • Gather information and resources (observe) - I will be basing this experiment on past experiences with losing weight, what I learned recently about calories and professional advice from MBT.
  • Form hypothesis - I believe by April 31st I will be able to see my abdominal muscles MUCH better, creating a “six-pack” on my stomach WITHOUT starving myself at all.
  • Perform experiment and collect data – Starting today I’ll be documenting everything I eat and do for exercise.
  • Analyze data - Hold on fool…I haven’t started yet!
  • Interpret data and draw conclusions that serve as a starting point for new hypothesis – Hold on…let me start first!
  • Publish results – Wait till after April.

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On that note, I definitely think others out there should TRY THIS EXPERIMENT WITH ME! …and maybe not just trying to get a six pack, but maybe to start eating “just a little” better, or get just a “little” slimmer, or workout more…

It would make it more interesting and motivating to have others follow along to some extent.

LET THE SIX-PACK EXPERIMENT BEGIN!!

The Unbelievably Over-Complicated Subject Of Calories

I’m a really dumb guy.

I need really simple and clear explanations of things or I don’t grasp them.

So in the past I tried to understand why I never lost weight even though I worked out.  The answer was later found when I started losing weight by accident.  At that time I came to the generalized conclusion that:

Bad food = stuff that comes in a box.
Good food = stuff that grows.

Is that generalized?  YES!  Is it accurate….well…I think yes!  I bet some smarter person could run rings around me proving how XYZ food doesn’t grow, yet it provides ABC benefit because it has Beta Carbonutralized Bioflavayadda yadda yadda…

Well I’m not capable of understanding this smartness.  I’m too dumb……so I’m going to try and simplify the weight loss process so even a dummy like me can understand:

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Here’s a horrible analogy that barely makes sense:

  • The day starts and your car gas tank is half full.
  • You fill up one gallon of gas at the beginning of the day.
  • During the day you only drive a few miles and use maybe a 1/2 gallon of gas.
  • Because you didn’t use up that whole gallon, your car is fatter than before!

However if you drove a lot and used several gallons of gas….
…end of the day your car has “lost weight”.

Damn that was a bad analogy!  ….but does it make sense?

TO LOSE WEIGHT:

CALORIES IN < CALORIES OUT

(For you ultra-dummies that means:  calories you eat are less than calories you use).

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The reason everyone says to cut out sodas and candy etc. for weight loss is this simple fact…THEY HAVE TONS OF CALORIES! Not only do they have lots of calories, they have EMPTY calories….meaning the nutritional value you get is nearly none, but you still get all the calories.

Enough pretending I know what I’m talking about and lets do some visual comparisons.

Let’s take a nice household candy bar such as Snickers (something I used to eat all the time):

Notice it has 220 calories…but there’s TWO “servings per container”.  That means if you eat a full Snickers (who the hell only eats half??) you get a huge 440 calories for something that has virtually zero nutritional value and doesn’t get you full.

Until I took these pictures I never realized exactly how bad these (and other candy bars) are!  Yikes!

Compared to one of my favorite fruits, clementines, the Snickers bar doesn’t really hold up.  If I eat 3 clementines at once, that’s a lot of intake and I feel satisfied…and it’s only about 100 calories (roughly 36 calories per clementine)….plus I get a lot of nutritional value from them.

I can eat TWELVE clementines instead of ONE Snickers bar, get more nutrition and still consume LESS calories!  Good god!

Starting to see why people tell you to cut out the junk?

Instead of eating that one semi-gratifying Snickers that DOES NOT fill you up, you can eat TWO clementines, ONE banana and ONE tomato…they will definitely fill you up, and they look nice too:

Yummm….and the best part is ALL OF THAT together adds up to only 153 calories and has tons of great nutritional value. I can eat that for lunch and get full!!  You can even toss a handful of baby spinach on top and make it a salad.

Also instead of that ONE Snickers bar, you can eat ONE big apple and get:

Total calories: a few more than 65 (that was a big ass apple).

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So all you’ve got to remember is:

  • Don’t eat so many calories.
  • Processed foods usually have A LOT of them.
  • Fresh stuff = Good.

That’s a list even I can remember.

What was learned here will be the basic premise of my Getting A Six-Pack Experiment which I will  be doing all through April.  I’ll replace all the bad stuff I was eating…with good stuff! What a novel concept!!

I’ll be eating very clean in April and will document a lot of stuff…hopefully something will be learned.

Steve Pavlina’s Raw Food Diet Link List

A direct inspiration for the eating portion of the Getting A Six-Pack Experiment is Steve Pavlina’s 30 day raw food diet.

He has one of the largest blogs on the entire interweb, yet for some reason this goofy mofo made it really damn hard to navigate his 30 day trial.  So I’m adding all the posts here (mainly so I can reference things I liked):

Steve Pavlina’s 30 Day Raw Food Diet:

For his 30-day trial he decided to eat raw foods for different reasons than I:

He cares about saving animals /// I don’t really care

He was loading up between 2,000 and 3,000 calories /// I will be staying well under 1,500 almost every day

He did a lot of research /// I’m going with the little I know

He did it to learn to eat better /// I’m doing it to get a raging six-pack

He calls it a “30 Day Trial” /// I can it an “Experiment”

He’s never had alcohol and has a family at home /// I live in America’s Hardest Drinking City: Austin, TX. and go out with friends regularly

He was eating only raw foods /// I can eat whatever I want, so long as in calories < out calories.
Even though our methods will be different, I must fully accredit Steve P. with opening my eyes to the fact YOU CAN EAT A LOT OF FRUIT. I simply didn’t realize that before.

In my weight loss by accident post you can see the exact point where his 30-day experiment influenced me.

Another great resource on what’s “Good” for you is this amazing Dr. Klaper speech:
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

So his 30 day trial inspired me, now onwards with the experiment….

Effort

I write this for two reasons:

1.) I am starting that 6-pack experiment in April and have begun preparing for it by eating ultra-clean and ultra-lean. Pretty much all day I’m eating 100% raw foods only…that’s not the plan for the whole month, but it’s been my diet for the last week.  It’s not hard as I expected (because I’ve been eating well for a few months now), but keeping this up for a full month and resisting the urge to pig out at social events gets HARD.

However for the month of April I want to see a dramatic change in the way my stomach looks…and for that I need to be calorie deficient for weeks at a time.  I can easily keep my current physique with the way I’m eating now, but my diet must be extra-ordinarily good to see those extraordinary results.

2.) As you know I own a business called House Of Rave which is all online.  Over the last year I made a lot of small tweaks which cut down on the number of customer support inquires and time spent getting orders out.  At a bare minimum I need to spend less than 30 minutes every weekday administering the site…the rest runs on it’s own.  That alone can pay all my bills and still save money.

Pretty cool eh! 30 minutes of work per day!

Well…I also like the business to GROW….so to maintain AND grow the site takes about 2 hours per day (mainly spent adding product photo/video reviews).

I will admit…over these first few months of 2010 those small required amounts of time have spoiled me. I’ve stopped updating the site as much as I should.  The 1st quarter is never a FANTASTIC time for a business like mine (which sells party supplies) and is also enduring a bad economy, but I think I’ve been slipping quite a bit on my responsibilities to it.

Extraordinary effort doesn’t necessarily mean long hours (although that certainly helps)….because with this business a very consistent tweaking of small things every day can make a HUGE impact.  I’ve proved this many times, including one time I documented 30 small changes I made with very clear results (aka MO MONEY)!

I think what I’ll do in April is one day blog about a small HoR change, then the next day document the diet and steps I’ve taken to get a ripped-ass six pack.

Find merchant supplies and POS terminals at Moneris Solutions.

Upcoming “Getting a 6-Pack” Experiment

Does this blog need more pictures of my half-naked body on it?

YES. Definitely.

Before you stop reading in disgust, I’d like to ask your opinion on an upcoming experiment for the month of April 2010 where I’m attempting to get a REALLY ripped 6-pack stomach.

QUICK EXPLANATION:
Even though I was satisfied the way my body looked in that “How I Lost Weight” Experiment, I still didn’t have a PROPER 6-pack set of abs.

There was still a decent sized layer of fat between my abdominal muscles and the real world.

From everything I’ve learned, this experiment will be primarily about controlling what I eat very carefully.  Before, I didn’t have the self-control to do this, but over the last year I’ve become pretty good about controlling what I eat….so the time has come.


THE EXPERIMENT:

I want to see how hard it is to get a true 6-pack, and if it can be done within about a month (for someone like me who’s already in decent shape and physically active).

…so over the course of the experiment I will be training and eating properly for it….and documenting the steps of course.

Will this 6-Pack be sustainable? I doubt it.
So why try? One of my friends called me out on this and said, “You just want to get a picture of yourself with a 6-pack so you can show off later.”

He was absolutely right.  In case I have the urge to brag to my future kids about “how cool dad was back in the day”…at least I’ll be able to pull up the photo and say, “Check THIS out” as they roll their eyes and accuse me of Photoshopping the picture.


THE CURRENT SITUATION:
Unflexed, my abs look like:

When flexed, my ab region currently looks something like:

It’s not bad….but it’s not lean enough for a true 6-pack either.  If I pinch the fat on my stomach, you can tell there’s a definite barrier between those sweet abs and the adoring world:

By the way…I took that fat-pinch picture while writing this in the library, and one of the librarians saw me lift up my shirt, pinch myself and take several pictures!  She just whispered a comment to the librarian next to her…Hahah, I wonder what they’re thinking!

Anyways, I’m curious if anyone out there has actually done this successfully…and maybe share some of that advice?  I’m not a fitness guru by any means, just some guy who wants to shove it in his future-kids face that dad had a 6-pack!