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Where’s My Six-Pack!?

My birthday present to myself this year was to be a set of six-pack abs. After finishing P90X, back in May, I had lost 18 pounds of middle-age padding, and had toned up my muscles to a level they hadn’t been in for many a year. But I still had a layer of padding that hid the muscle tone of my midsection. It wasn’t a pooch or spare tire — my stomach is flat, now — it was just a layer.

I went into maintain-mode with P90X for four weeks. Instead of 6 heavy workouts a week, I dropped to 3-4 a week. During those maintenance weeks, I lost another 5 pounds of padding, (for a total of 23 pounds lost). These numbers astonished me — I would never have thought I had 23 pounds of fat to loose. I didn’t feel really fat. I just felt middle-aged.

But after those 4 weeks of maintenance, I could see a bare hint, a shadow of where my six-pack abs would be. In the right pose, I could imagine those muscles showing through the last little layer of padding. I was so, so close.

I decided to pick up the regular routine of P90X workouts again. I had the proper diet worked out, and had been following it during the maintenance weeks, so surely the last thin layer would burn off quickly with the full-on workouts.

I lost another pound in the first week of the second round, (for a total of 24 pounds), but then for the last three weeks, no weight loss; no visible difference that I can see in my midsection. Frustrating!

Three weeks of working damn hard physically, keeping to a proper diet, (with only very rare misteps), and no fat loss to see. One theory is maybe that my muscle increase and fat loss ratio has reached an equilibrium — I’m gaining muscle weight at the same rate I’m loosing fat weight, so the scale doesn’t change. But if this were the answer, surely my ab muscles would be showing clearly by now?

Is my problem the curse of an over-40 body? What the hell!?


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7 Responses to Where’s My Six-Pack!?

  1. Eearly says:

    No how much you work out an older body will not look like a young body. Sorry.

  2. brogrit says:

    it will take a bit longer for the last little bit to show a loss. and muscle weighs more than fat, so, if you were gaining muscle, you would weigh more. just give it some time…that last little bit of padding will come off….

  3. michelle says:

    its called a plateau…yes the theory behind P90X is muscle confusion, but if you do the same routine of workouts in the same order on the same day every week, you are just creating a repeated pattern. Mix it up, throw other stuff in there…the whole principle behind showing your muscle underneath is to lose the fat layer on top, which is primarily done with cardio…add more of that to your routine
    Or just admit that you (and your brother) are getting old and the fat is settling in

  4. brogrit says:


  5. Morganton says:

    The people in the p90X commercials all get 6pak abs and some of them are older.

  6. grant niemeyer says:

    not true on the older body part know alot of older people that look great hell probly out work me. Take the juice machine guy he still has it. The belly fat will be the last to go that where us guys put our storage fat the girls get it on the butt and legs us the belly. so you will have to be nearly fatless for those six pack abs. me i still prefer the Keg and happy eating lifestyle.

  7. Knowssomegrit says:

    Give me a tasty meal and a place to eat it and I will gain some weight.

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