Fitness advertising and diet culture have lied to us for decades. We’ve been sold that the image of health is a narrow waist and “chiseled 6-pack abs.” This is problematic as it perpetuates two strongly-held fitness myths:
- Six pack abs equal a strong, healthy body therefore making one “worthy.”
- If your abs aren’t visible, you’re not strong, healthy or fit.
Let’s set the record straight, here. Having a 6-pack simply means that your abdominals are visible due to a low body fat percentage (typically single digit). Everyone has abs, your body wouldn’t function properly without them! While aesthetically most people strive for a 6-pack, this is a surface-level goal. It is devoid of substance or context. Just because someone has visible abs, they don’t necessarily have a strong core. I know plenty of strong, badass lifters in many shapes and sizes.
Every time I’ve dropped to single digit body fat, I’ve had to sacrifice some of my top-end strength. I’ll be honest with you. Having visible abs is fun and all, but it does nothing to change your life. You don’t magically become a new person or find lasting happiness.
I find that when I train and eat solely for performance, my relationship with food is healthier and I crush my workouts. It’s time to let go of the idea that “fitness” is as simple as looking a certain way.
Train your body. Feed your mind.