Fri, Dec. 04

The Fit Life: Fighting the one-pack

A sensible diet and regular exercise is the first step in turning that "one-pack" into a "six pack."

A sensible diet and regular exercise is the first step in turning that "one-pack" into a "six pack."

Fighting the one-pack: The term was invented on a Wednesday morning at 6 a.m. by one of my clients.

It was pitch dark, as the sun was still asleep. My client was pulling a car tire at a very decent speed in front of my Studio. It was a part of his workout that day. (I am still extremely grateful to the Spirits that it was not me, doing the pulling part).

As I was sipping my morning espresso while watching him doing all the work and encouraging him to go even faster, we reflected on all the reasons why he was even doing this, in the first place.

I casually mentioned that the cardio intervals contribute to a flatter tummy and the six pack. Trying to sound more knowledgeable than I am, I said that really, we have an eight-pack, but the lowest two muscles are not visible. So, having a notion of a six-pack should already be a comforting concept to any of us.

My client wittingly commented that by working toward that six- or eight-pack, we are, effectively, fighting the usual … one pack… You know, the hilly mountain, protruding in front of us, just under the navel. The one which makes it hard for us to bend and lace the shoes. (I am sure this is why we don’t bend and lace the shoes to exercise in the first place – because of that blobby obstacle).

In my pursuit to avoid the disappointing and depressing Catch-22 of not lacing because we cannot bend and not bending because the one pack is in the way, I want to share with you how we can, actually, fight the one pack.

In my old times, any kind of crunches was the must to successfully annihilate the bulge. At least we thought so. Thousands of various crunches later (regular crunches, the side ones, the ones with a twist) I still had my own pouch. Obviously, the crunching and dieting approach really did not work much.

In hopes of improving the one pack situation, I experimented with other approaches. What worked the best?

Sensible nutrition, full of proteins and minimal in sugar. Sugar is inflammatory and results in some localized bloating – not to mention the additional pounds, which go “right there” into the one pack.

Short bursts of cardio intervals. Cardio is a relative term and for somebody, it can be walking, for somebody else, it can be sprinting. As long as you manage to get your heart rate up, you would be doing intervals. Sex is a great cardio, too.

Planks, not crunches. Crunches, actually, thicken your abdominal grid. One study participants were subjected to various planks while wearing electrodes on their bellies. Planking activated the abdominal muscles way better than anything else.

You can do static or dynamic planks (where you move your legs to the side, or go from the forearms onto the extended hands and back down, or some side planks).

Another exercise which engages your core (if done correctly and slowly) is the deadlift.

Truly, there is hope. Text me if you need more ideas to get rid of that one pack. I am here for you.

Magdalena is the owner of the Be Fit Fit Personal Training Studio ( Visit her “Be Fit Fit” blog at

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