Are visible abs worth it?

I'm curious on how others feel about wanting visible abs. Is it worth the sacrifice to get there? And is it sustainable, especially for women, and healthy? I go back and forth with if I want to diet down enough for visible abs, most of the time I feel it's not worth it, I like to eat too much.
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Replies

  • StargazerB
    StargazerB Posts: 427 Member
    sardelsa wrote: »
    I guess it depends how defined and low in bodyfat we are talking about here. I have ab definition when I lean out (I don't have a 6-pack or anything though) however I typically don't stay that lean for too long, I will cycle between being very low in bodyfat, then adding a bit of weight back to maintain or bulk. If you wanted more ab definition at higher body weight you can build up the muscles in the abs so they pop more. But a lot of it will come down to genetics and how you store fat.

    Otherwise it depends if you think it's worth it and sustainable. If it's something someone is struggling to achieve, I would imagine it would also be something that would be hard for them to sustain. There is a great infographic "The cost of getting lean" which can give you an idea of the sacrifices required to get and stay lean.
    https://precisionnutrition.com/cost-of-getting-lean


    Thank you. Yes, I've seen this infographic graphic before. I can get the outline of my abs fairly easily but beyond that I'm just not willing to make the sacrifices. I am just curious how others feel.
  • jseams1234
    jseams1234 Posts: 1,202 Member
    Dunno - I get visible abs at a relatively high bf% so it's always been one of those things that I don't pursue as a goal like some other guys. It also means I can maintain them without any real sacrifice. Luck of the draw I guess.
  • rainbow198
    rainbow198 Posts: 2,245 Member
    I don't have a 6 pack, but it's flat and I'm happy with that.

    Like the poster above me I don't have to really work for what I have. I credit my genetics because I don't do targeted ab work and eat everything (no diets or low carbs etc).

    But if I know if I'm going on vacation (boy do I really miss traveling!) or need to fit into a fitted dress I would skip pizza that week.
  • MidlifeCrisisFitness
    MidlifeCrisisFitness Posts: 1,113 Member
    Yep worth it for me.

    But how far is the question. This is a good article on the topic. It is a very personal thing.

    https://athleanx.com/for-women/women-body-fat-percentage-photos
  • Mr_Healthy_Habits
    Mr_Healthy_Habits Posts: 12,587 Member
    I've got some ab definition but a six pack for me is pretty much unattainable because of extra skin from massive weight loss...

    I can fluctuate 20lbs and look more or less the same as far as ab definition... So it's just not worth it for me to go down that low and sacrifice what I'll lose in overall size...
  • MidlifeCrisisFitness
    MidlifeCrisisFitness Posts: 1,113 Member
    sardelsa wrote: »
    I guess it depends how defined and low in bodyfat we are talking about here. I have ab definition when I lean out (I don't have a 6-pack or anything though) however I typically don't stay that lean for too long, I will cycle between being very low in bodyfat, then adding a bit of weight back to maintain or bulk. If you wanted more ab definition at higher body weight you can build up the muscles in the abs so they pop more. But a lot of it will come down to genetics and how you store fat.

    Otherwise it depends if you think it's worth it and sustainable. If it's something someone is struggling to achieve, I would imagine it would also be something that would be hard for them to sustain. There is a great infographic "The cost of getting lean" which can give you an idea of the sacrifices required to get and stay lean.
    https://precisionnutrition.com/cost-of-getting-lean


    Yep that's pretty close!

    Tradeoffs sound so negative though. I really don't consider them negative. I enjoy this healthy lifestyle.
  • MostlyWater
    MostlyWater Posts: 4,294 Member
    No. Not every body is predisposed to them.
  • MidlifeCrisisFitness
    MidlifeCrisisFitness Posts: 1,113 Member
    No. Not every body is predisposed to them.

    True, the question however was, is it worth it? To see if you're predisposed...

    If you can find out by losing 20lbs or less and adding some core activation exercises. I would say yes, find out if you can get them and maintain it.
  • sardelsa
    sardelsa Posts: 9,826 Member
    KHMcG wrote: »
    sardelsa wrote: »
    I guess it depends how defined and low in bodyfat we are talking about here. I have ab definition when I lean out (I don't have a 6-pack or anything though) however I typically don't stay that lean for too long, I will cycle between being very low in bodyfat, then adding a bit of weight back to maintain or bulk. If you wanted more ab definition at higher body weight you can build up the muscles in the abs so they pop more. But a lot of it will come down to genetics and how you store fat.

    Otherwise it depends if you think it's worth it and sustainable. If it's something someone is struggling to achieve, I would imagine it would also be something that would be hard for them to sustain. There is a great infographic "The cost of getting lean" which can give you an idea of the sacrifices required to get and stay lean.
    https://precisionnutrition.com/cost-of-getting-lean


    Yep that's pretty close!

    Tradeoffs sound so negative though. I really don't consider them negative. I enjoy this healthy lifestyle.

    Yea I think for some people the tradeoffs may be part of their life and not something they see as negative, others may be genetically predisposed and not have any tradeoffs. Personally I've never been so lean that I've experienced any issues or things I had to really give up. I think if I had to give up nice dinners, dessert and wine to look a certain way that would be a no-go for me.
  • StargazerB
    StargazerB Posts: 427 Member
    KHMcG wrote: »
    No. Not every body is predisposed to them.

    True, the question however was, is it worth it? To see if you're predisposed...

    If you can find out by losing 20lbs or less and adding some core activation exercises. I would say yes, find out if you can get them and maintain it.

    I've cut down to a BMI of 19 and only had the outline of abs and I was miserable trying to lose more. So for me not worth it. But for other people it might be.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,084 Member
    edited April 2020
    For me, wouldn't be worth it. I'm going on 46 years old so 1) not really of importance to me; 2) it would just be extremely difficult, especially working a desk job.

    I had them in my teens and into about my mid 20s...they weren't anything I particularly strived for, I just had them. I was a competitive athlete growing up and then went onto the military after high school in a physically demanding position so it was pretty easy to have and maintain them. I would have to have a ridiculously strict diet and fitness regimen at this point to achieve that. I'm fine being a healthy lean and fit.

    I know a couple of bikini competitors who have visible abs, but they don't maintain them year around. They're also very active as they are personal trainers, so they're either working out or working someone else out all of the time.
  • MidlifeCrisisFitness
    MidlifeCrisisFitness Posts: 1,113 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    For me, wouldn't be worth it. I'm going on 46 years old so 1) not really of importance to me; 2) it would just be extremely difficult, especially working a desk job.

    I had them in my teens and into about my mid 20s...they weren't anything I particularly strived for, I just had them. I was a competitive athlete growing up and then went onto the military after high school in a physically demanding so it was pretty easy to have and maintain them. I would have to have a ridiculously strict diet and fitness regimen at this point to achieve that. I'm fine being a healthy lean and fit.

    I know a couple of bikini competitors who have visible abs, but they don't maintain them year around. They're also very active as they are personal trainers, so they're either working out or working someone else out all of the time.

    I'm 48. Started being responsible with my eating and added strength training each day. And pop, abs. I wasn't expecting it. Some of it is genetics however I'm not too strict. Just consistent.

    I still enjoy, Friday pizza cheat days, weekend recovery and drinks with friends.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,084 Member
    KHMcG wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    For me, wouldn't be worth it. I'm going on 46 years old so 1) not really of importance to me; 2) it would just be extremely difficult, especially working a desk job.

    I had them in my teens and into about my mid 20s...they weren't anything I particularly strived for, I just had them. I was a competitive athlete growing up and then went onto the military after high school in a physically demanding so it was pretty easy to have and maintain them. I would have to have a ridiculously strict diet and fitness regimen at this point to achieve that. I'm fine being a healthy lean and fit.

    I know a couple of bikini competitors who have visible abs, but they don't maintain them year around. They're also very active as they are personal trainers, so they're either working out or working someone else out all of the time.

    I'm 48. Started being responsible with my eating and added strength training each day. And pop, abs. I wasn't expecting it. Some of it is genetics however I'm not too strict. Just consistent.

    I still enjoy, Friday pizza cheat days, weekend recovery and drinks with friends.

    My overall diet is pretty good, and I strength train...but I would either have to get a lot more strict with my diet or figure out how to make my desk job more active. I am often chained to my desk...like today, I have all of 2,300 steps and it's just a bit after noon. I do cardio as well most days, but it's just not enough physical activity to make up for sitting at my desk all the time without really dialing in the diet.

    I had them briefly in summer 2016, and it was a ton of work and dietary dedication. I was also racing bikes at the time, so I spent an extensive amount of time in the saddle which I don't have the luxury of at this point with my kids being the ages they are and school, homework, soccer practice, games, etc.

    At anyrate, it's just not something that is important to me.
  • MidlifeCrisisFitness
    MidlifeCrisisFitness Posts: 1,113 Member
    I'm an Engineer chained to my desk. I have 4 kids at home. I get it. If you're curious let me know...

    Otherwise, Np it was cool chatting with you.