Decent abs in 3 weeks?

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    Jun 11, 2007 2:00 PM GMT
    I'm 5'8, 150 and have 3 weeks to look really good for a cruise. I work out regularly, but not too intensely and I currently have just enough fat covering my muscle to be self consious about it. Basically I need some kind of super-intense diet and work out to get a decent amount of definition on my abs and arms within the next 3 weeks. Is that possible?
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    Jun 11, 2007 3:04 PM GMT
    No. Lose weight too fast and you'll lose as much muscle as fat - and you don't have that much muscle you can spare. The time to think about this was 3 months ago.

    Sorry - but that's the truth.

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    Jun 12, 2007 2:54 AM GMT
    Well, that much I know - at this point I would gladly sacrafice some muscle to gain a little more definition. Poor planning on my part, but I guess I'm more interesting in what I possibly CAN do rather than what I should do.
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    Jun 12, 2007 3:19 AM GMT
    You can lose maybe 4 pounds of fat in 3 weeks if you are really diligent about it.

    I'm no professional, but if I were you, I'd do some really intense cardio intervals. I started swimming recently and it gets my heart going like a freaking jackhammer, so maybe that'd be a good approach. Do as many laps of the crawl as you can manage at a high speed in a local pool, then rest for 3 minutes, then do it again, and repeat for 15 or 20 minutes. Do that 3 times each week.

    Then do some weight work. Eat plenty of protein. Track your calorie intake using a tool like Figure out your resting metabolic rate, somehow (maybe just guesstimate.) To lose 4 pounds of fat in 3 weeks you'd have to eat a daily calorie deficit of 600 calories (i.e. consume 600 fewer calories each day than you burn.) If your RMR is 1900 calories that would mean surviving on 1300 calories a day. That's probably impossible without feeling like you're starving (and feeling hungry often is counterproductive, if you starve yourself your body will try harder not to burn the fat) so you'll need to augment with exercise just about every day in addition to those intervals and weight work. Walk or bike several miles every day to buy yourself another few hundred calories' worth of food so you feel satisfied.

    Eat only whole grains, lean protein sources, and a ton of veggies.

    Like I said, I'm not a professional, but that's what I'd do.

    At 150 lbs, losing 4 lbs of fat could make a pretty serious difference in your body fat percentage. What is your body fat percentage, do you know? I can't guess very well since you don't have a photo up, but from your description, I'm going to guess, uh, let's say 18%, if you have "just enough fat covering your muscle." In that case, you'd be carryinf 27lbs of fat tissue on your frame; losing 4 of those pounds would drop you almost 2.5% in body fat, which will be noticeable.

    Even if you can't achieve the 8% body fact, I'm-smuggling-anacondas-under-my-skin six-pack abs look, losing 3 or 4 pounds of fat in 3 weeks will likely be such a noticeable difference to you personally that it'll be a big self-confidence boost, and nothing's sexier than comfortable self-confidence.

    Good luck, and enjoy that cruise!
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    Jun 12, 2007 4:03 AM GMT
    No advice, but I love that "smuggling anacondas under your skin" sixpack! Don't worry too much about it, and enjoy your cruise. I tell myself "There's always SOMEBODY older, fatter, and dirtier around."
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    Jun 12, 2007 8:40 AM GMT
    Anything worth doing is worth doing well. You can't even upload a picture here, which tells me volumes about you in just that inaction. I also notice that you say you don't workout intensely.

    In a nutshell, definition is how lean / your bodyfat is low. The easiest way to stay lean is by working out intensely and developing lean muscle mass, which burns calories at rest. That aside, without seeing a picture of you, I can't say whether, or not, you could have decent abs in 3 weeks. You prevented me, and others like me from giving you a qualified answer because of your extremely poor and inept preparation to the question. It's like asking me "how much does a website cost?" I suspect this same lack of effort crosses all other areas of your life, as well.

    Keeping insulin levels low by eating moderate to low glycemic index carbs, and by doing cardio at low blood sugar levels, also make it easier to stay lean. Leanness, and weight loss, are NOT one and the same. You can be thin, but have 12%, or higher fat levels. For visible abs, you need to be at 8%, or lower. It's not uncommon for me to drop as low as 4% at show time.

    Very first thing, though is that you need to change your mindset from lazy to achiever. That will positively influence all other areas of your life, as well.
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    Jun 12, 2007 10:38 AM GMT
    Big tick to the hunk of love Chuckystud!
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    Jun 13, 2007 1:21 PM GMT
    Thanks for the info guys! I don't think this ad for "lose 20lbs in 3 weeks" was here before I posted this, but maybe I didn't see it and it's funny that it's on here now. I don't think I'm quite lazy enough to depend on drinking tea to get cut, but I'll let you know how things progess!
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jun 13, 2007 11:10 PM GMT
    3 weeks....
    Get yourself on a good daily full body workout
    3-4 days a week
    the other days you do an hour of cardio to the point where you can carry on a conversation
    but where you'll need a good shower after
    ...and eat low fat...hi protein...mod low carb meals
    ditch the fast foods and alcohol
    will you be a buff model....probably not but the least you'll be is better than where you are now
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    Jun 16, 2007 2:23 AM GMT
    The advice above all seems good to me.

    I'm also 5' 8" and about 150 pounds (152 last time at the gym). I have a medium frame. I've found that my abs show at 145. I can't gain muscle while maintaining that weight, but you might find that you can lose 5 pounds in 3 weeks without too much strain. If you cut 500 calories from your diet, you should lose 1 pound a week, and ride a bike or something at the gym to burn off 250 more, and you can do it. For me, cutting two sweetened drinks from lunch and dinner, and no mochas easily cuts 500 calories. Just drink water.

    That's my advice. If you still aren't happy with your abs at 145, I think I'd work on them long term.