How to get a six pack going on 40

You never really get used to the nausea. The feeling created by waves of stinging, relentless lactic acid, produced by muscles under severe tension, is just like the sensation of teenage alcoholic overindulgence. It’s deep and unpleasant: you feel too sick to move, and yet you are unable to stop shaking like a dog on bonfire night.
Right at this moment I’m being tortured to the point of said nausea by an intense, fat-stripping legs circuit consisting of squats, deadlifts, Russian step-ups, calf raises; all at maximum weights, 12 to 15 reps, and four sets, with little to no resting time between them. Stripping fat, building muscle. Surely this is no way for a man just shy of his 40th birthday to behave?
Starting At the time of my life I was optimistic and yet also somewhat apprehensive. I considered myself fairly fit: with a youth misspent living the life of an aspiring pop star well behind me, I was now a competitive bike biker, attended Military fitness classes and watched what I was eating. But like the rest of us, I was also partial to a few pints, the odd fat rich Indian takeaway and not unconscious of the fact that my fifth decade was coming close.
On top of all of that, I was born with a condition known as pectus excavatum, which in layman’s terms means I have got a sizeable dent in my breast plate. It’s not too uncommon one in few hundred people develop it and it’s not a disability, but in my formative years it had a great effect on my self-esteem. As a young man I hid my body with baggy clothes, rarely took my shirt off and kept well away from situations where I’d be expected to. Sports and summer were a no go for me, and remained that way for the best part of 30 years. So, for me at least, committing to this wasn’t just a physical challenge, it was a mental one, too. Hopefully, I thought, it would put to bed something that had been bothering me for most of my adult life.
How to get a six pack
Tasks of magnitude often demand drastic measures. I found mine in the form of strength training and conditioning.
My Tools of the trade would be:
Whey protein shakes from any nutrition store, It’s hard to find a supplement that doesn’t engage the gag reflex. The chocolate mint and chocolate orange flavours slip down nicely.
SolgarOmega-3 “700″
Omega-3 fatty acids switch on your lipolytic (fat-burning) gene while turning off the lipogenic (fat-storage) one. It also prevents muscle wastage and allows for positive nutrient partitioning. Put simply: more of what you eat is stored as muscle rather than fat.
Poliquin Performance Fenuplex and Insuiinomics, it Regulates blood sugar and stabilises your body’s production of insulin, helping to prevent carbs from being stored as fat.
We took skin-fold measurements to gauge my body composition and biochemistry. I was shocked and humbled: despite cycling more than 25 miles a day to and from work, my body-fat ratio was about 20%. This had to be addressed: I was told in no uncertain circumstances that I needed to get lean before even thinking about putting on muscle. I’ll never forget my unholy baptism in hardcore circuits. I ached like never before the day after my first fat-torching session; the day after that I could barely walk. This was training like you see in the Rocky films, contorted facial expressions, anguished moans and all.
My trainer was only too happy to push me way beyond the level which I thought myself capable. He’d encourage me when needed, wind me up if necessary and sometimes downright piss me off. But it was required: I was training with weights three days a week, doing a specialised cardio plan for another three and resting only on Sundays. There was no let-up.
How to get a six pack
My diet had always been good, I thought. I got my five a day, ate wholemeal bread and pasta, enjoyed oily fish three times a week-all the classic healthy staples. But according to the facts gleaned from my skin folds, my body produced too much insulin to dispose of the carbs I ate, meaning they ended up being stored as fat. I also had an excess of Cortisol commonly attributed to stress, all of which resulted in 25mm of belly fat, 22mm of love handles and a minor case of excess aromatase – that’s man boobs to you and me.
So, to action: my morning porridge went out the window, to be replaced with a protein shake, lean meat and nuts (yes, that’s meat and nuts, for breakfast). The rest of my meals were composed of lean protein with green vegetables and no carbs: no bread, no pasta, no potatoes, no pulses, and no rice. Protein six times a day became a rhythm. I ate tuna straight from the tin; I poached turkey steaks by the dozen. Broccoli became my best friend. Eventually I stopped craving the toast, hummus and noodles that previously were my favourite foods. A couple of times a week I was granted a carb meal to replenish my glycogen stores, but even that was limited to brown rice, boiled potatoes or fresh pasta. Pizza, like good credit, became something enjoyed by others. Added to that, I was taking so many supplements I swear I’d started to rattle.
How to get a six pack fast at 40
You learn a lot about yourself when you’re training at high intensity. Days, weeks, even months blur as the hours spent before and after training amount to little more than preparation and recovery. I had no sense of myself unless something hurt. When I missed two weeks for jury service, I could feel myself shrinking.
Everything was filtered through my training. Childhood self-doubt, deadlines at work, my hatred of Razor light- it was all fuel for getting me through the endless workouts. And I don’t mind saying that I faltered a couple of times. My age made the gains relatively slow. My wife was happy with the increasing physical change, but also worried as I occasionally became tired and slightly irritable, especially when I was feeling hungry. My social circle shrank, and at first I was spending an inordinate amount of time in front of the mirror.
But it was working. I was getting leaner and harder. I dropped a jean size, my fitted shirts were too small and my T-shirts started creeping up my body as my chest filled out. Despite being tired, I became more productive and focused. I managed to deal with my normal work load and organise a wedding while fitting in my training. And although I had the occasional night out, I found myself thinking twice before accepting invitations for a cheeky half after work or an impromptu gathering. My stag do took place a week before the shoot, and while I was the most sober person there I still had a great night. In short, I felt better equipped to deal with life.
Just before the day of my final photo-shoot, I took my skin-fold measurements for the last time. The flesh around my middle had gone down to 11mm and those unenamoured love handles had shrunk to 9mm. Best of all was my body fat reading, which had now halved to the magical, elusive 10%. Amazingly, I had only lost around 6kg in weight; my body composition had completely changed. I turned 40 in December, made it to the altar on time and got myself a cover-model body. It took me six months. If I can get into the shape of my life, so can you. There are no excuses, only opportunities. Getting a six pack at 40 although difficult really wasn’t as hard as I thought. I stuck to the plan and got into the swing of things. My six pack abs started to show and I was happy with the results I made

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