Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The Elusive Six-Pack
It's usually about this time of year, when the weather cools down and it gets dark a little earlier that I start really working on strengthening my core. During the summer months warm weather and long days lure me outside for my workouts and I'd rather ride my bike downhill at 40 miles per hour than swelter in my living room doing push-ups, planks and crunches.
But now that fall is here the lure of the outdoors has weakened and I find myself at least once a week in my living room doing core and upper-body exercises.
And as I spend more time doing push-ups, pull-ups, planks and bicep curls I feel the burn in those less-worked muscles and notice some tone in areas other than my legs I start thinking "I could totally get six-pack abs."
That is because I am deluded. I am not going to get six-pack abs. Why? Because I'm not going to be able to commit myself to eating 10 vegetables a day, skipping deserts and hold off from that fourth slice of pizza. I'm also not going to be able to do three different ab routines four times a week and maintain a regular strength training regimine.
Regimines are just not my style. I use an "intuitive" style of endurance training that keeps my heart, lungs and legs fit because what I enjoy doing involves my heart, lungs and legs. Oh sure, Runner's World might insist that core strengthening will help me run further and faster and Bicycling magazine says that strong abs will give me that extra three miles-per-hour I need to catch up with the pack, but let's face it: strength training is boring.
For me, three hours running through the woods is way more enjoyable than thirty minutes of strength work. So, given the option, that's what I choose. I'm not saying that I won't be working my core this winter, I just won't emerge this spring with a body ready for swimsuit season.