Why can't I lose my belly and get a 6 pack

Im a 37 yr old male, 5.7' 63 kg. I run regular upto 16 milers, bike and swim and do press ups. I'm not fat never have been, but I don't have abs I can see because of the layer of blub covering it. I exercise for at least an hour everyday sometimes more so should I not be toned. My diet is mixed healthy and stodgy, but I'm sure I should be In calorie deficit. I do have a sweet tooth though. I have this week just started a weights session or two into my routine, I hope this helps.
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Comments

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Too much body fat?
  • Eggyh73Eggyh73 ✭✭✭

    Running will never give you a six pack. If you have a belly then you're eating the wrong things, simple as. Reduce the carbs, up the protein and do more weights than running.

  • if you're fit, why do you need the disco muscles? You have to be lucky with genes, and do specific targetted stuff mixed with weights, not to mention quite extreme diet. It  all becomes a bit of a battle for vanity.

    Just be happy you sound quite fit, and healthy as it is.

  • My 6 pack is a no show. I'm taller, and about the same weight as you. I need to lose body fat for the 6 pack to be on show. What was it you said about stodgy meal and a sweet tooth



    Just finished a 3 serving sticky toffee pudding. Uumm. No 6 pack for me
  • Your right it is vanity, and commitment and the need to get to 6% body fat. I guess I should be happy that I'm healthy , but I do want to look good lol.
  • If you have abs they will be visible under 11% body fat, but some is genetics, a lot of people just won't ever have that elusive 6 pack.
  • Eggyh73Eggyh73 ✭✭✭

    In what way can genetics prevent anyone having visible defined abs?

    Personally I couldn't give a monkeys about weights and how I look, but scientifically I believe anyone with the correct diet and workout can achieve a six pack and have seen nothing to say otherwise.

  • 15West15West ✭✭✭

    Eat less and exercise more. Do more sit ups. Those muscles are there somewhere.

  • I always wanted a six pack before I started running but I much prefer to be super fit than be vain image



    I'm 10st 4lb slim build and have a visible muscle definition (from previous work) but its going the more I train!



    Plus your 37 it's that age that if you don't watch the diet it goes on the mid drift area!!



    You can't just lose the body weight and expect to do a few crunches, it takes much more than that. You need to decide what you want-the six pack or the slim runners body.



    Also cut out the stodge..........duh!!!
  • the guys you see on the front of the mens health mags (or whatever other mags feature models with six packs) have been startved for a few days before the photo shoot. in addition to hitting the gym A LOT to develop their abdominal muscles, they need to shift the blubber covering it so you can see it.

    compare how a boxer looks midway during training with how he looks at weigh-in, when he's starved to squeeze into the weight category. They'll then gorge on carbs for the next 24 hours or so to get energy (and a couple pounds in weight) for the fight.

    doesn't matter how developed the muscles are if you've got even a little bit of fat covering it, then it won't look as defined as the models on the mags do. They go through cycles of building and cutting (where they hugely reduce their carb intake). during the cutting they're not particularly strong because they've got no energy, the carb reduction means they lose a load of retained water, and look really trim, but it's not a very functional state to be in.

    as mentioned above, there's also genetics to consider, if the frame you inherited is just not naturally lean it'll be difficult to look cut. You can do it, but you'll be swimming upstream.

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    The models on the mag covers are close to collapsing due to dehydration.

  • RicF wrote (see)

    The models on the mag covers are close to collapsing due to dehydration.

    ++ what he said.

  • AgentGinger: Only dead fish swim downstreamimage

    What they said. I'm about your build but only about 58 kg. Even then I don't quite see a six-pack but I would if I spent a load of training-time specific to that area. I choose not to, since it's easier to keep my shirt on and spend the time running instead image The closest it comes is with running intensively over a long period - strangely enough it's after interval sessions that I feel muscles in this area have been worked out.

  • It could be water retention from not drinking enough while you train.

  • Eggyh73Eggyh73 ✭✭✭

    More likely it's like most runners he eats a fair few carbs, which is the last thing you want to be shoving down your throat if you want to be "buff".

    I'm sure weight lifting forums would be laughing at the runners here suggestions too. They tend to think of us as crazy with our "toxic grain" high carb diets and obsession with endurance. I've seen a few guys get in muscular shape quickly and none of them starve to do it. They went paleo. High protein, full fat and low carb diet. They changed to that way of eating and stuck with it. That along with three/four one hour intensive weight workouts a week and they transformed from skinny with no definition to muscular all over. One lad also went from what must have been close to obese to well defined muscular too. None of them took any longer than three months to see dramatic changes.

    If body shape is your concern. Then running isn't the exercise that is best to it. If your goal is a muscular toned body then you'll need to work a weights regime into your weekly life.

  • Eggyh73 wrote (see)

    More likely it's like most runners he eats a fair few carbs, which is the last thing you want to be shoving down your throat if you want to be "buff".

    I'm sure weight lifting forums would be laughing at the runners here suggestions too. They tend to think of us as crazy with our "toxic grain" high carb diets and obsession with endurance. I've seen a few guys get in muscular shape quickly and none of them starve to do it. They went paleo. High protein, full fat and low carb diet. They changed to that way of eating and stuck with it. That along with three/four one hour intensive weight workouts a week and they transformed from skinny with no definition to muscular all over. One lad also went from what must have been close to obese to well defined muscular too. None of them took any longer than three months to see dramatic changes.

    If body shape is your concern. Then running isn't the exercise that is best to it. If your goal is a muscular toned body then you'll need to work a weights regime into your weekly life.

    All well and good but could they run the length of themselves?

  • my husband went paleo for about 4 weeks - which in combination with his ironman training meant practically instant 6 -pack. No weight lifting required, just very low body fat %age.

     

    But he is a genetic rfreak has looked like a body builder throughout all his sloth-like wage-slave years. I seriously doubt many folks could get his muscle definition without a heck of a lot of weights.

     

    He has now been back on semi-normal food for several months and fabulously the 6-pack has remained.  I am very jealous.

     

    Still a very high amount of veg and lean protein in his diet though and much lower %age of carbs than the average endurance athlete.

     

  • ah  I see the usual wrong advise is being thrown about here again...

    Its total rubbish that doing more exercise and doing 2000 situps, ab exercises and weight lifting will give you a 6 pack.

    Facts:

    Everyone has one, its just most are covered in excess fat..

    To make it show you will need to cut all sugar from your diet.

    You need to start eating more meat, fish, cheese etc

    No milk, choc, pasta, potatoes, no junk or processed food, ( if your in doubt of what to eat look at the back of the packet and if its got too many ingredients to remember then dont eat it), no bread etc. oh and no fruit.. its full of sugar and there are more vitamins in a piece of meat than a piece of fruit anyways...

    All your meals need to be meat based- meat cotains no carbs at all. You can eat as many eggs as you like too.

    Veg are ok (they contain such a small amount of carbs it wont effect you)

    So now you arent eating sugars/carbs your body will have no immediate sugars to use up for energy and now you will start buring off stored fat... eventually your 6 pack will show...

    Still want a 6 pack???image

     

  • Avit, your advice sounds more for the weight lifter/body builder types.

    Top runners and footballers have quality six packs. Are you telling me they all cut out carbs? Are you crazy?

    You also massively underplay the role genes play. I've known lazy slackers who booze and smoke, do no exercise and eat what they want yet have six packs....

     

  • Thanks for all the advice, but reading all your replys and knowing what I have to do to achieve this then no. I will continue with my endurance training and will do the weights. But I will not cut out chocolate and ice cream life's to short. I guess I'm not dedicated enough , that's why I don't have a 6 pack.
  • Stevie G . wrote (see)

    Avit, your advice sounds more for the weight lifter/body builder types.

    Top runners and footballers have quality six packs. Are you telling me they all cut out carbs? Are you crazy?

    You also massively underplay the role genes play. I've known lazy slackers who booze and smoke, do no exercise and eat what they want yet have six packs....

     

    no im 100% correct, this shows you have a very limited understanding of the way a body works. Pro atheletes have totally different dietary requirements than the average to above average runner which Im sure the OP is (no offense intented)

    professonal atheletes will use the same understanding and knowldege I have and use carbs to their advantage but never in order to store them as fat, therefore they will always moslty have a 6 pack. Genes has something to do with it but only a small percentage, we all have abdominals... for example a footballer could eat half a loaf of bread a couple of hours before a big game and use this as they're energy for the match, burning it off and not storing it as fat. If however they go and eat half a loaf of bread then 8 slices of bacon they will store the fat contained within the bacon because they will use up the sugars in the bread but wont get round to using the energy provided by the bacon....

    note the thing that fattens you here is not the bacon, its actually the bread. You can eat as much bacon as you like on its own and never put a pound on. Start eating bacon sandwiches and it will be a different story.

    An average runner could do better by eating more meat as it contains 100% more vitamins and minerals, proteins for repairs and cholesterol for repair and homonoe control than carbs which are essentially all sugar. Sugar has zero nutritional value whatsoever.

  • so in reponse to 'Am I crazy?!'

    my answer would be no I am not Im very well informed whereas you do not seem to be and you like to further complicate the matter by throwing in unproven aspects which hardly anyone knows the answer to, never mind you, ie genes.

    tut tut image

  • Avit - if you read the replies on page one - most folks are telling the OP that it is having too much body fat that is preventing his 6-pack and a couple mention curbing the usual 'carb' habit that runners and endurance athletes have.  You are not telling us anything we don't know here.

     

    However - an endurance athlete can 'get away' with a lot more junk(i.e crap carbs and sugar) in their diet than the average bod.  If you know how the body works - then you should know why this is. 

    If the OP wants a six pack it is more than likely he will need to cut down his carbs.... I think he got that message.

     

    In response to the footballer having half a loaf before a match -!!!  If they do need to practice calorie/carb restriciton (which I doubt) it is more likely they carb cycle and have it afterwards as the resultant energy slump from the insulin reponse to the bread pre-match would not be ideal although perhaps a few hours would be long enough - certainly doesn't sound like the kind of things a sports nutritionist would recommend - especially one with a primal/paleo ideaology.

  • Avit, reading your other threads, you need to find a way to take some of this knowledge to aid your running, as seems you're struggling a bit on that score.

  • Avit your diet sounds crazy!! Doesn't sound like a diet for a runner at all!



    How much knowledge in this field do you have??



    Cutting out sugars is practically impossible, and a meat only diet..... Come on!!



    You make out like every food is bad apart from meat. Sounds about like a weightlifter friend I have!!!
  • I thought fruit was good for you, and has for suger I run upto 2 hrs at a time don't I need suger just for energy.
  • Stevie G . wrote (see)

    Avit, reading your other threads, you need to find a way to take some of this knowledge to aid your running, as seems you're struggling a bit on that score.

    Lol ok big man, sorry didnt realise you need a fancy RW profile pic, entry reviews and 10k posts to provide great advice on diet, perhaps you should get off your backside and run more instead of posting 10k times on here....

    Jason Wintin wrote (see)
    Avit your diet sounds crazy!! Doesn't sound like a diet for a runner at all!

    How much knowledge in this field do you have??

    Cutting out sugars is practically impossible, and a meat only diet..... Come on!!

    You make out like every food is bad apart from meat. Sounds about like a weightlifter friend I have!!!

    It is a drastic measure and I have to admit I eat sugars but that would be the answer to the OP's question. If you eating food provided by nature you wont go far wrong, however alot of people underestimate the value of meat. Im not a chicken leg captain upperbody weight lifter at all but I do advise you eat more meat than you are doing. Carbs are not as neccesary as you think for the average runner. Try it for a month and you will see.

    GymAddict wrote (see)

    Avit - if you read the replies on page one - most folks are telling the OP that it is having too much body fat that is preventing his 6-pack and a couple mention curbing the usual 'carb' habit that runners and endurance athletes have.  You are not telling us anything we don't know here.

     

    However - an endurance athlete can 'get away' with a lot more junk(i.e crap carbs and sugar) in their diet than the average bod.  If you know how the body works - then you should know why this is. 

    If the OP wants a six pack it is more than likely he will need to cut down his carbs.... I think he got that message.

     

    In response to the footballer having half a loaf before a match -!!!  If they do need to practice calorie/carb restriciton (which I doubt) it is more likely they carb cycle and have it afterwards as the resultant energy slump from the insulin reponse to the bread pre-match would not be ideal although perhaps a few hours would be long enough - certainly doesn't sound like the kind of things a sports nutritionist would recommend - especially one with a primal/paleo ideaology.

    Not quite sure what your point is in the first few paragraphs as you're just reiterating my points. However the in reference to the last paragraph. The footballer as an example, would burn off the sugars in the bread throughout the match. He wouldnt have an insulin slump at all. He would if he ate a carb then didnt burn it off, such as like what you said about eating carbs after an event..

    I havent mentioned anything about deliberate calorie restriction, if you need energy then eat carbs... simple. As for eating just before the match its a myth, it wouldnt matter too much, why do tennis players eat bannanas during a match???image

    Think you need to do a bit more homework before talking about stuff you dont understand. By all means if you disagree, write a brief understanding of how you think the body deals with food and I wil

  • Fruit is good for you, but not nearly as much at the Uk govt would make out. Meat, fish and eggs outstrip fruit in terms of overall nutritional value without going into specifics. Fruit is very high in sugar and will make you put on weight if yu eat lots of it and arent active enough to burn off the sugars within your blood.Any that isnt used up will be stored as fat.

    If you eat meat fish or eggs as a snack instead for example( this is only for explanation purposes I dont expect you to do this everyday!) you will use the fat in them as energy but rarely will you eat so much of these foods that you would put weight on from eating these foods alone. they do not contain enough fat in order for you to store it due to you not exercising enough.

    smoke free lee wrote (see)
    I thought fruit was good for you, and has for suger I run upto 2 hrs at a time don't I need suger just for energy.

     

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