The MH team put their bellies on the line to find out if a fast-track six-pack is feasible. What did that really feel like? Here are their testimonials:
“Whoever said cheats never, prosper was lying to get ahead. I secretly did everything short of surgery to turn my beer barrel into a six-pack. But, like an STD-free porn star, I can now come clean.
I used to be fairly sporty. Then I joined Men’s Health and quickly published a second edition of my chin. Whoever said there’s no such thing as a free lunch had never seen my social calendar. Or my rapidly expanding gut. Although no gymslip of a lad, I’d sucked myself into believing I was quite trim until I saw the ‘before’ pics. I was even more shocked to see my ridiculous training schedule. I got a good ab workout just laughing at it.
“But I dug deep into my commitment reserves. It was out with lavish lunches and in with the painful crunches. It was a hard, constant battle, but vanity won out over temptation. I had no bad carbs after breakfast, just protein, and fresh fruit and veg. Crucially, I also gave up alcohol almost completely.
“And yes, I had help: six sessions with a brilliant personal trainer called Dave Green (www.aipt.co.uk), a course of 12 very effective `vacunauf sessions (www.hypoxitraining.com), which involved wearing a suit of bubblewrap under vacuum suction while walking on a treadmill and health tips from Nutria.co. The combination saw me lose three inches off my waist. So, if ‘whoever’ says you can’t get a six-pack in six weeks, they’re wrong.”
“Edging towards a mid-thirties paunch and blessed (thanks, Dad) with a face prone to ‘jowling’, recent pictures hadn’t been pleasant viewing. I also had a general feeling of ‘heaviness’… that sensation when your gut spills out over the top of your trousers as you sit down. The time had come to stop putting it off and start sweating it off.
“Buoyed by the challenge, the first week went well. I’d been warned to go easy as I hadn’t been a regular gym-goers for some time… having what my fellow six-packers termed ‘motivation issues’.
“My focus was getting my overall weight and body-fat down, then building abdominal definition through sit-ups, crunches and hyper extensions. And that meant CV work: lots of it. I spent most lunchtimes on the treadmill, using interval training to get my heart rate into the fat-burning zone.
“After three weeks I started to see a difference. Clothes got looser; the CV work got a little easier. There were setbacks: vodka, lime and sodas are the new slimming drink, and I couldn’t resist a curry. I skipped the gym more than once because I was too knackered, but I made sure I was back the next day.
“Six weeks on, I feel so much better. Okay, my abs need more work- I have more of a two-pack than a six-pack. But I have tons more energy, I’ve kicked most of the junk food, and I no longer shudder when I see my mug in photographs.”