By Gigi Amurao
Many people strive to have six-pack abs, tight glutes, and a lean, flawless physique, but what are the costs? As a competitor, I know all too well the trade-offs. For those who don’t, let me enlighten you. It will, I hope, help you decide if you really want to go that route in your day-to-day life, or if you’d rather keep things simple and still get the body you want while living a life you enjoy.
Many people think that with just a few small, easy changes to their diet and exercise program they can get a body like the models they see in fitness magazines. The reality is that the method that helped you lose the first 10 pounds isn’t the same as the one that’ll help you lose the last 10. In fact, it takes a lot more work as you get leaner. Achieving that look comes at a price, and most people aren’t willing to pay it. Furthermore, don’t let those magazine pics fool you. As lean as those models look, their images may be PhotoShopped, and in any event, bodybuilders don’t walk around looking that good every day.
So, if you’re okay not being on the cover of Muscle & Fitness and you don’t aspire to be super lean, then those small adjustments will over time add up to big progress, leaving you with a fit, healthy body—looking and feeling fabulous.
But, if you really want to go for the tight glutes and six-pack abs, let me break it down for you.
The Benefits of Being Super Lean
- The obvious—you will be extremely lean and fit.
- You will most likely have a six-pack.
- Your overall health will be optimal due to a carefully balanced and minimally processed diet.
- You will experience fewer cravings and be proud that you have reached your goal, and you will look better than ever.
- You will have more energy.
The Tradeoffs for Getting and Staying Super Lean
- You will have trouble socializing in typical situations where food is involved.
- You will need to spend more time in the gym, which affects the time you have for everything else.
- You may need to give up other hobbies due to the time dent focusing on your diet and in the gym.
- You will lose out on fun events with family and friends.
- You will become laser focused on your diet and exercise regimen, which can cause you to develop eating disorders or an antisocial attitude.
- You will need to make more changes to your behavior. The leaner you want to be, the more of your behaviors you’ll have to change.
Why Being Super Lean Takes So Much Time
Pro bodybuilders getting ready for a competition as well as fitness models getting ready for a photo shoot are in a constant slow-starvation process. They follow an extremely strict program of diet and training, as it’s the only way they can drop body fat to extremely low levels.
The process is exhausting and intense. It requires you to exercise when exhausted, ignore your cravings for food, and maintain an extreme focus on your goals. Think of all the tedious day-to-day things that are involved in strict dieting and training, like the following:
- You have to make your own food, measure every morsel down to the last gram, and carry it with you everywhere you go so you can eat at an exact time.
- Your food is prepared plain, and it’s usually the same things everyday.
- You can’t eat at restaurants.
- You have to follow a detailed workout and cardio plan daily
- There are no sick days and no slacking or days off from the gym unless its your designated off day.
- There’s no partying or staying up late.
- You can’t think straight because you’re always hungry and tired.
- Your whole life revolves around making food, eating food, training, and sleeping so your muscles can grow.
- Basically, you can forget having a social life.
Getting lean takes hard work and a serious commitment, one that for me, unless I’m getting ready to hit the stage, isn’t worth the trouble on an everyday basis. That’s just me.
Whether you decide to go for it is up to you. The key is that you know what’s important and that you understand what it actually takes to get there. Even if you think you want that six-pack enough, it may turn out, as you go through the process of getting lean, that you decide you may want something else a little bit more.
Want more from Gigi? Visit her blog here at DigitalMuscle.com!
As an IFBB bikini pro, a certified personal trainer, nutritionist, online coach, fitness model and TV host, Gigi Amurao blasted onto the competitive bikini scene in 2012. A lifelong athlete who excelled in collegiate lacrosse and gymnastics, she earned an MBA in marketing and an advanced certificate in sports and entertainment management and enjoyed a career in network advertising before finding her passion in helping others achieve their fitness goals. As a model, she’s appeared in Muscle & Fitness Hers, Inside Fitness, and Flex Magazine. DigitalMuscle.com is proud to feature Gigi here in her own featured blog!