How to Biohack the Perfect 6 Pack Abs in 7 Easy Steps
Ameer Rosic ֬Monday May 12th2014
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Well maybe not “easy” steps, but you can do it!
Want to get those legendary 6 pack abs? Scott has put together a really intense workout routine and nutrition plan that will help achieve that beach body you are looking for. Now I will be the first one to say, that it ain’t easy, but noting in life is easy… Hard work equals fun. :) In today’s Podcast, Scott and I discuss how to biohack the perfect 6 pack abs in 7 easy steps
Transcript (Listen to the Full Podcast Here): Ameer: Hey Scott. Welcome to the Optimal Health Show. How you doing?
Scott: Hey Ameer. I am doing great. Thanks for having me. I am pumped up! Ameer: Awesome. Yeah, it’s been a while. I was on your podcast I think was it like couple of months ago or something? Scott: Yeah, a couple of months ago. It was really popular with my audience, talking about sleep and getting quality sleep, and now you are turning the tables on me, so I am pumped and ready to go. Ameer: That’s right. It’s time to rock and rolla. Now the first question I have is a really deep question and it has to do around with aesthetics. In today’s day and age, so many men and women that is are looking for that perfect chiseled six-pack, and I’m always curious and wondering, why is that? Why do we have such an ambition to look a certain way? Scott: That is a great question. I’m going to do my best to answer it. It’s probably a different answer for the guys versus women, but I work mainly with women so I might be able to give a perspective from both genders. For guys, I think it’s that peak or that ultimate goal, that ultimate fitness goal. You’re not going to have six-pack abs but have like bad arms or bad legs or bad chest. It’s like the last thing that you’re going to achieve when it comes to aesthetics. Now you can have well-defined arms and legs and chest and have a flabby stomach. You and I have probably seen that where we see like this big muscularlooking guy in the gym but when it comes to like maybe revealing his stomach, it’s not that defined. So I think for the guys, I think it’s really more about impressing the ladies of the opposite sex perhaps or just being confident enough to take your shirt off at the beach or at a swimming pool. For me that’s actually what it was, it was confidence. I grew up with a lack of confidence even though I was an athlete and I played sports in high school and intramurals in college. I was never too confident in taking my shirt off just outside even at the pool when everybody else did. For me, it was a matter of getting that look that I wanted to be able to impress the opposite sex, or be confident enough to walk around. For women, probably a little bit of the same thing. I think for women, unfortunately there’s this idea in society that you need to be thin or fit if you look at the cover of all the fitness magazines with these bodies that are beautiful but sometimes unattainable. Women like to compare themselves to other women, and I think that’s why they strive for that well-defined stomach area and also I think women more so than men get self-conscious when their genes don’t fit or they sit down and they have that roll of fat hanging over their stomach and it just doesn’t look very good, and it really lowers their self-esteem quite a bit, and so I think for women, similar to me actually, they want well-defined abs to get a really big boost in their self-esteem. Ameer: Well, let me ask you a question over here. Do you think it’s natural for some women to be walking around in that single digits of body fat for their abs to actually protrude out? Scott: No, I don’t think that’s actually natural. Women naturally carry more fat than men so they’re not going to really achieve that single digit body fat and if they do, I don’t think it’s that healthy or it’s not something that’s going to be sustainable long-term. So I’m a big believer in trying to find that balance, so getting your abs the way you want it to be, well-defined, but not going overboard and comparing yourself to models that are maybe competing on stage or doing this for a living. But I’d also wanted to point out, pretty interesting Ameer, because one time I actually surveyed my audience and I was asking them, “what is your biggest fear with not having a flat belly?” and you know, about 40% to 45% were talking about the aesthetics of it, but actually over half of the respondents were talking about they were fearful of having developing diseases and sickness, so there was also that fear of the health issue and dying at an early age and dying alone and they knew that having excess fat in their stomach was a big
risk factor for developing sickness and disease later on in life so let’s not discount the possibility that people want a nice tone and defined look in their stomach not only for the looks and for self-confidence but also to prevent health problems in the future. Ameer: Now do you think if a person does have six-pack, that means they’re healthy? Scott: Well. That’s a great question. It might not be the only factor that they’re healthy. Certainly, if you do have a six-pack, that probably means you are eating healthy because nutrition probably plays a bigger role in getting six pack abs than your workouts. Since nutrition plays a bigger role, they’re most likely eating whole natural foods and working out the right way. Now it doesn’t mean that they couldn’t be overtraining, they couldn’t be possibly lacking in sleep. They could have some stressors in their life that they need to manage a little bit better, so it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have a wellrounded health profile, but it does probably mean that they are working out correctly and eating the right foods. Ameer: Alright. Time to get a little bit juicy of it here. What is Scott’s secret formula for getting a sixpack? Scott: We might have to charge the audience for these secrets. Ameer: Right on. Premium podcast services right here. Scott: Yeah. Well, it really starts with nutrition like I just mentioned. I might not be saying anything that’s new and revolutionary, but you kind of combine all the things that I’m about to say and you’re going to be well on your way to getting six-pack abs or just really a flat stomach. With nutrition, obviously as your audience probably know is you need to eat whole natural foods. I actually gave a talk once and it was a bit of a revolutionary concept. You now have people advocate, people in the food journal, to see exactly that you’re eating, and that was you can see, well, am I eating the right foods or am I not? My philosophy, I took it one step further and I said, “Let’s keep an ingredient journal because a lot of these foods that are marketed these days as healthy like whole wheat or fat-free, if you check out the ingredient list, they’re not really healthy, they’re chockfull of processed ingredients that we shouldn’t be fueling our body with. If you really take a look at the ingredients that you are eating and keep an ingredient log and try to stick to single-ingredient foods, so like the ingredient of eggs is eggs, the ingredient of spinach is just spinach, these single-ingredient foods, versus if you look at like wheat bread and look at the ingredient list or lean cuisine foods and look at the ingredients and it could be like a mile long with junk, you’re going to start to see, “Alright, maybe the foods I thought were healthy aren’t very healthy. So stick to those single-ingredient foods and write down the ingredients for a couple of days’ worth of foods that you’re eating just to keep close eye on it. Once you do that, you are on your way to getting really nice abs. Besides that, I would look at any foods that have wheat in it that I mentioned. A lot of folks are intolerant to wheat and really cause a stomach distress, so I would test out on yourself maybe avoiding wheat for two weeks and see how you do, same thing with dairy, and then we find Ameer that sugar, a lot of people are eating more sugar than they think. Sugar sneaks up on you and foods even that you think are healthy like yogurt. So we actually track our sugars, it’s like we don’t count calories as far as the clients but we do track sugars to make sure that they stay pretty low each and every day.
Ameer: What do you consider low for sugars? Scott: We actually have good luck keeping sugars 20 grams or lower. Ameer: Pretty low carb. Scott: Pretty low carb, yeah. And then the other thing that I do with my client is we take them on a carb rotation or carb cycling. It’s something I learned from Tom Venudo of Burn The Fat and he thought that rotating your carbs, in other words eating a lower carb diet, we do it for three days, and then going high carb for that fourth day gives your body a good balance of not starving, so you don’t want to do low carb throughout which usually means a low calorie because then you might not be feeding your body enough calories for the day and then you’ll end up storing fat and your metabolism will slow down, but if you eat too many carbs each and every day, they usually get stored as excess fat. So with this carb cycling plan, we really do a good job of being able to burn the most amount of fat. And so we do this carb cycling, watching our sugars, counting them each and every day, and single-ingredient foods, and then with the workout, we focus on intensity so not necessarily duration. My favorite type of a workout that I get the best results, if you could just choose one type of workout which you shouldn’t because you need some balance, but let’s say you’re short on time, I like these weighted intervals, so in other words, you’re doing circuits with weights, could be body weight, could be dumbbell, where you’re working major muscle groups, so those big leg muscles, big chest and short arm, back muscles, and you’re doing exercises that are compound in nature, so they’re working more than one muscle group at a time, and you’re taking short rests in between the exercises, so you’re getting a good cardiovascular effect. Ameer: So you’re talking more or less like Tabata training? Scott: Yeah. Tabata training is a style of training we use quite a bit. And then sprint training, so just going outside in a park or a track and doing these short sprints but intense in duration, and even just hundred yards sprint, walking back, doing several rounds of that. Combine that with these weight-based interval training workouts and you’re really going to see that body and your ab become more defined pretty quickly. Ameer: What’s your take on strength training? Scott: Ah, strength training. I think it’s becoming more accepted. It’s one of those things again, there’s a difference in the philosophies between men and women. A lot of women in the past would avoid strength training. We do strength training from day one with our women clients. It’s so important. There’s a host of benefits from strength training to preventing osteoporosis, of course strengthening your muscles. Ameer: Who doesn’t want to strengthen their muscles? That kind of boggles my mind. I don’t understand that. Scott: Yeah. And actually it’s funny because with our ladies, they love seeing those performance parameters improve. In other words, being able to do more pushups than their husbands, they get such a big kick out of it and so they love being labeled as strong and I think that’s like a new terminology that they’re accepting more and wanting to be known more for. And again, if you strength-train, counterintuitive. Some people think “Alright, I’m going to lift weights and I’m going to gain weight and gain
muscle.” Now, you will gain some lean muscle but the more muscle you have, the more metabolic your tissue will be, your fatty tissue, and you’re actually going to burn it just sitting around. It’s a great, great tool to add to your workout repertoire and strength training. Ameer: Do you add any long distance types of endurance or like jogging or maybe some cycling? Scott: I do actually. So, in our programs, I actually have a program called Fit For Photos. Our goal is take our ladies and get them looking their best for a professional photo shoot in just nine weeks. And so we kind of pull out all the stops and towards the end, we add some long distance training like running. It didn’t have to be running, it could be cycling, but we use that more as like that’s not the primary mechanism that we use to lose fat, but we do cardio training just as like “Alright, we are about to get in front of a camera, we need to pull out all the stops. We’re going to not leave anything to chance, so we’re going to add some cardio training just to burn some few extra calories each and everyday.” However Ameer, you probably know, it’s really cool. We just happen to have a lot of runners in our groups that we work with and even without doing any of those long-distance cardio training, just a short burst, either Tabata intervals or sprint intervals or weight-based interval training, these short burst of intense activities really improve our client’s fitness levels and endurance levels to where they are able to set personal records in their 5Ks or 10-milers or half a marathons without even really focusing on longdistance training. And the other thing about that, about long distance training is we’re in a society in this day and age where people don’t have a whole lot of time to work out or perceived lack of time. I think lack of time is a little bit of an excuse, but for the people that are really busy, I think you’re going to get the more bang for your buck with these weighted intervals. You can knock out cardio and weights in one session. But people enjoy, I’m doing more and more running for myself but I love it for the mental stimulation of just going outside in the fresh air and letting my mind relax or dream while I’m running on a trail here in Colorado, so it’s great. Ameer: Now besides the nutrition and exercise, what else does one have to do to achieve that type of look? Scott: Okay. So those are the tools that will get you the look that you want, but then there are other tools that you need to help you let’s say like your mindset or help you stick to working out and eating healthy. So the tools we like to use, number one, goal-setting, but more than just picking a goal is coming up with a really big reason why you want to achieve a goal. So saying that you want to get sixpack abs is not likely a big enough reason why that’s going to be help you stick to it when your girlfriend is inviting you out to drinks that evening. But if you try to relate your goal to something that you value, maybe you want to be a good role model to your 6-year-old and show him or her what it’s like to be healthy and live healthy. Or possibly, you have a family history of health disease, maybe you had a parent that died at an early age, in their 50s, and maybe an uncle did the same thing, and now you’re susceptible, you’re 50 pounds overweight, you’re susceptible to that same fate, so now you’re big reason why is you don’t want to die early, and so that’s going to be a much more reason why you want to stick to your healthy-eating habits and your workouts than just saying “I want to look good in a swimsuit.” We also like to set deadlines with an incentive, so for us in Fit For Photos, the program is 63 days, so we have that concrete ending date, and then we schedule a photo shoot appointment at the beginning of the 63 days. So that really puts the pressure on you like “Oh geez, that’s like 40 more days to my photoshoot. I have to make sure I’m staying in line sticking in gear with everything.”
Ameer: Do you use accountability within your program? Scott: Yes. That was actually what I was about to say next. Accountability and support are probably the two best tools that we have in getting such a high success rate with our programs. So by accountability, what we do is we have everybody log their foods and their workout each and everyday, and then either myself or my nutrition coach checks these logs to make sure that they’re doing everything correctly. So we just actually use Google Drives and share our folders back and forth with each other so I can see everything that they’re doing. We also take progress pictures each week. I’m not a big fan of the scale because that fluctuate with water and other things. We actually take progress pictures each week and put them side by side so we can keep seeing the progress that we’re making each and every week, and then a support group. I’m a huge believer in a support group. It’s what has gotten a lot of your ladies through our programs, and so we just simply use a private Facebook group, a personal problem, like some people have some pretty deep personal issues come up during the 63 days, maybe a relative has cancer or they’re sick or something like that. They really open up and every other person in the group really supports them and gets them through those tough times. And a cool website actually if you don’t have really a group that you’re working with is called Stickk.com and Stickk.com is where you can write down a goal, it’s like a commitment contract, and then what you do is you put money on the line, so you can say like “Hey, if I don’t commit to these four weeks, so if I don’t do my three days of exercise weekly for four weeks, I’m going to pay up $100” or whatever amount of money you decide on, and you can have that money go to like a charity or a charity that you don’t believe in that you don’t want to get your money. Ameer: Yeah. That’s anti-charity. Tim Ferriss told us about stickK about like two years ago. I’ve been using it in my coaching programs. It’s amazing, amazing thing. I absolutely love it. Scott: Yeah. It really works well, and then you can pick a referee who’s going to make sure you’re sticking to it and be accountable, so that’s a really good tool to use. Ameer: I really found though that picture tool is very powerful. I use that as well with my highperforming clients like entrepreneurs, athletes. It’s like literally you take a picture of yourself every week. It doesn’t have necessarily have to be picture per say as in how I’m aesthetically looking which does help, it just also see the energy and how you look from week to week, and you can see it in real time, and you can see it in real time, and your body does really change in a matter of four weeks if you’re looking at week 1 to week 4. Scott: Yeah I agree. And another thing Ameer is we found with our clients that sometimes they are taking the pictures and they’re putting them side by side like they’re before picture, and then three or four weeks later, and they don’t see the changes and they get frustrated. It’s really weird because we’re our own worst critics. Our minds play tricks on us. Then they’ll pose their pictures in our support group and there’ll be obvious changes and the ladies will jump in and like “Oh, you’re doing so great. Your stomach looks more toned. Your arms are defined,” and so the ladies will express their feelings about the results and that will make the person who’s pictures they are who didn’t see the changes in their mind, they’re like “Oh, thank you,” and they’re so happy. So that’s another way the support group can play a really positive role.
Ameer: You hit on something really important here about the support group. For example say a husband or say a wife or even, whatever, fiancé, girlfriend, boyfriend, or even someone who is single, it’s really tough doing it by yourself right, to kind of put yourself, to hold yourself accountable, and for example if you’re in a marriage, it’s not just you doing it. You have to convince your partner to go in it together or if your boyfriend or if you’re just by yourself, maybe find yourself a gym buddy that you guys go every other day to the gym and you support each other. Scott: Yeah. You really hit on that Ameer. It’s funny because it seems like about half of our clients have a supportive spouse who is like really on-board, encouraging, taking care of the kids while they do the workouts, and then we have, I don’t know if it’s 50-50, but we have another group of people whose spouses aren’t that supportive, so they really have to lean on the private group with all the other ladies in there, they really have to lean on them for support. And then me personally, like to do my best, I hire a coach or a trainer myself so I can get pushed and remain accountable to somebody else. You really have to have that supportive component. Ameer: Coaches even need coaches. Like I mentioned, I coach entrepreneurs, athletes, top-performing people. Personally myself, I have coaches. Not just one coach, multiple coaches. Scott: Yup. I do as well. I have a personal trainer and then I have a business coach and I’m part of a couple mastermind groups of like-minded people who are all helping us grow their own business, so yes, you definitely need other people. Ameer: Now, say if someone doesn’t want to go with the program, meaning like they’re kind of resistant or hesitant to go in. Have you found any certain mind hacks that you can actually destroy that resistance or break apart that resistance because I find that to be a very common case in a lot of people is they have the initial fear hesitance to go into something. Scott: Yeah. That is a great question. There are. I’ll give you an example. We also run fitness adventures and we sometimes do things like white water rafting or ziplining, and I’ve got women who though sign up for it, but then before the adventure trip is about to start, they’ll get really scared and they’ll be like “Gosh, I’ll go in the adventure but I’m not going to go white water rafting because I am fearful. I am fearful of the unknown.” For that, I really draw upon stories, so I will tell stories of another, maybe another woman that had that same exact fear that this person had, and I’ll say “Here’s what happened when she tried it, and she had the best time of her life, and now she’s taking her life to a new level.” So that’s what I try to do, I try to be very compassionate but I try to help them get over their fear with stories and so like for this one example, we had a lady terrified of white water rafting. When she got to the raft, was hyperventilating, almost in tears, I was in the raft with her. By the time the trip was done, she wanted to go again, she had such a great time and when she got back home, she signed up for swimming lessons of all things. She had a complete 180 of her fear of water. And so, I think if you can tell stories, examples of people who have overcome these fears, like “I worked with somebody exactly like you, here’s what happened,” and just get them to trust you. But you’re right, there’s this fear of the unknown and it’s holding a lot of people back. It’s unfortunate because it’s holding a lot of people back in advancing their careers, starting their business, writing a book, advancing their relationships or their health. Hopefully people get over those fears by just doing it. It’s one of those things where I saw quote once that said, I forgot what it said. It said something like basically, if you have a fear of something, just do it and your fear disappear and that’s basically the perfect way to say it. You do something and the fear of it is going to disappear.
Ameer: Have you had any really, really tough cases that maybe you can kind of give us a case study and walk us through it? Scott: Great question. Well, I worked with so many people, let’s see if I can give you a good one. I’ll give you an example, well that white water rafting one was good because something like that has happened a couple of times. There was another woman, Melina. She signed up for my Fit For Photos program and her goals was always more the aesthetics, like she was really into her weight and like she had to get under 130 pounds. She’s a woman in her 50s but would have trouble sticking with the program and has actually signed up for several of my programs and not finish them, and I was like “Melina, we got to figure out your why, we got to figure out your big reason why you’re doing this because you’re not doing it to hit 130 pounds, because you’ve proven that that hasn’t worked, so we need to come up with your big why, and she struggled with that. I made her sit down one night and write down in a journal her big goal and her big reason why. And she related her big reason why to something that I mentioned earlier. Her mother-in-law was very ill and probably I think had cancer, and only had a few months to live, and she really had to be strong for her husband because it was her husband’s mom. So she was like “Alright, my big reason why is so I can be strong for my husband and be there when he needs me, when the rests of the family needs me, when my kids need me, and to take care of my mother-in-law when other people can’t, other people may be at work.” So once she finally grasped that, not only was she able to complete the program and had great results, and she didn’t focus on the scale anymore, but eventually when her mother-in-law did pass away, she emailed me, and she said “Now, I see what you mean. My mother-in-law passed away, my husband is heartbroken. I’m strong now. I’m strong enough emotionally and physically to take care of him, to take care of my family’s needs, so I now know what you meant by finding that big reason why.” That’s just kind of one example where it really came to play that it’s not about the scale, it’s not about your looks, there’s a lot more than that to it. Ameer: That kind of rings a chord with me. I finished two books not too long ago. The first book was Simon Sinek’s Start With Why, and the second book was Gary Keller, The One Thing. Simon talks about people are always looking for that what. “Oh, I want to have a six-pack” or “I want to be a topperforming person” or “I want to lose some weight” but that’s just the outside image you want to be protrude to people. There has to be an underlining reason of why you actually want to do that. Why is it that you want to have a six-pack, what’s the true reason behind it? Why is it that you want to become strong? So once you identified those why’s and then you apply what Gary talks about in his book The One Thing, do that one thing every single day that can change your life. That’s like the win-win formula. You hit on something really, really important and that’s about writing down your thoughts and actually mind-dumping everything that’s happening in your brain on to a piece of paper. Scott: Yeah, you’re right and I actually have another great story. Do we have time for that? Ameer: Of course! Scott: So, we actually have another one my Fit For Photos clients who experienced a horrible tragedy. Her daughter actually passed away during the program, and the client’s name was Jennifer and Jennifer was also scheduled to come on one of our adventure trips after the Fit For Photos program ended. We kind of go to Keystone Colorado and do a bunch of adventure activities. After taking about a week to herself, she decided to continue the program because her daughter was so encouraging to her during the program. She knew that her daughter wouldn’t want her to give up but even taking things to a whole new level. She came to our adventure trip in Keystone Colorado and one of our activities was to
hike a 14,000-foot mountain which is pretty tough to do especially when you’re coming from sea level. I live here in Colorado so I’m more used to the altitude but Jennifer and all the other members were coming from sea level. But one of the special things that she did, she brought her daughter’s ashes and she was going to spread her daughter’s ashes at the top of this mountain. Jennifer, and then a couple of the other ladies too, we had a lady named Helen who was in a really bad car accident was a couple years ago and was constantly in pain, and then another woman was in some pain as well, but one of the focuses was we have to get to the top as a team to help Jennifer spread her daughter’s ashes at the top, so that was that big reason why they weren’t going to stop halfway through and come down the mountain. They were pulling together as a team and had that singular focus of getting there for Jennifer and Jennifer’s daughter and that’s how they finished the grueling hike up that 14,000-foot mountain. Ameer: That’s an impressive story. Come together as a tribe, as a family, one unit. I really like that story and it resonates with me because in today’s day and age, so many people trying to become independent and we are truly losing the essence of tribalism and family ties, especially in the west. It’s frightening and I’m quite scared to see where our society is heading in the next 50 years based on what’s happening today. Scott: Yeah. I think you hit it right. And just like the technology and people constantly buried in their cellphones and their computers just we got to get back to connecting in person and talking to people, not typing to people, and building relationships in community and hopefully we can get back into that a little bit more. Ameer: We will. Okay, what would you say is your number one optimal health tip if you had to give it to somebody like split-second, and you have literally one minute to give it all you got. Scott: Oh my gosh. One minute, alright, c’mon. I would say find things that make you happy and do more of that. I know it sounds simple but too many people are in relationships that don’t make them happy or in jobs that don’t make them happy, are in a body that don’t make them happy, have things going on in their head that don’t make them happy. Stop that and find things that make you happy. Surround yourself with people that are already happy so you get more joy out of life. Do more of what you love to do. Get outside more. Turn off that TV. Meditate. Dream big. Write down your goals. Write down your visions. Give back. Help others. If this fulfills you, this makes you happy, do as much of this stuff as you can. Ameer: Boom! That was awesome. Well Scott, where can people find more information about you? Scott: Well, actually, I am launching a brand new website so I’ll go ahead and give that because it will be probably ready when it releases, but www.ScottColby.com is a brand new web thing that I do on there, my blog and my podcast. And then on Facebook is the social media outlet that I use the most, so Facebook.com/theabsexpert is where you can find me on social media. Ameer: Right on brother. Well, thank you so much for coming on the Optimal Health Show, until we meet again, have a great day. Scott: Thanks Ameer, you too.
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Ameer Rosic is obsessed with health. A Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Functional Diagnostic Practitioner and Functional Medicine Practitioner, Ameer has spent years empowering himself with knowledge about optimal health, and now his passion is to share that with you! From interviews with top health experts to fitness and nutritional advice and more, Ameer Rosic can help you live a life of optimal health!
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Published on May 16, 2014
Published on May 16, 2014
Have you always wanted that perfect rack of 6 pack abs, but they've been out of your reach? If so, you're not alone! But personal trainer Sc...