12% Body Fat ≠ 6 Pack Abs MYTH
This is a video that I wanted to do for a while because this 12% myth has spread all over the internet and now you have a bunch of people that might have never even been under 12% body fat claiming that you need to get under 12% to see your abs. The YouTube Community especially, seems to be convinced that 12% is the number to beat to see a six-pack. I’m here today to tell you that this is completely untrue and it’s a total myth. I’m not sure why or when 12% was picked as the definitive number to seeing a six pack, but I do know that associating six pack abs with a certain percentage of body fat is totally flawed. One reason why we can’t say that a certain percentage is going to equal abs is that the way that your body distributes its body fat varies dramatically from person to person. One person can store most of their body fat in their thighs and hips while another person can store the majority of their body fat over their abdomen. I’ve personally trained thousands of people with all different body fat percentages. And a lot of my clients that were actually really lean still could not see their abs. In fact, even my business partner dropped his body fat to 8 percent after dieting for 16 weeks and still could not see six pack abs. Meanwhile, I’ve done bulking phases where I was eating an insane amount of calories and I was weighing in at like 230lbs, yet I could still see visible AB definition on top of my stomach that would be full of food. That’s because I hold a lot of my fat in my lower body. My fat is mostly Stored in my hips love handles and upper thighs. Meanwhile, his fat is predominately stored in his belly so even when he dropped down to 8% he still couldn’t see his abs. And I know for a fact that I’ve had points where I’ve been well above 14% And still have had great ab definition. Again this all has to do with fat distribution and not with the number that you get from mostly inaccurate body fat devices. So that’s actually another thing. Most body fat testing methods are totally flawed. Even the DEXA scan which is supposed to be one of the most accurate ways to scan your body fat can be completely off and I’ve demonstrated this in another video. If you’re using calipers, or formulas based on measurements, or bioelectrical impedance forget about it, there’s so much room for error, you’re going to be at least three to four percent off. Due to inaccurate measurements alone…you can’t count on your body fat percentage to tell you when you’re going to see those abs. The good news is that as long as you use the same body fat device the change over time should be pretty accurate. So if you’re using, for example, a scale to determine your body fat, the initial reading probably will be inaccurate and so will the final reading but the change over time should be pretty accurate. However again this does not help you identify a definitive body fat percentage that will lead to visible abs.
The last thing that this 12% body fat myth completely ignores is that to see your abs you have to build up the muscle…Abs……. are muscles. There’s not just a magic six-pack sitting under everyone’s belly fat. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. First of all everyone’s abs are shaped differently due to different genetics. So one guy might burn away the belly fat from his abs and find very defined symmetrical six-pack looking ab muscles while another guy might burn off the same fat but because his abs are shaped differently they’re not going to look as defined and symmetrical. Like I said ABS are muscles. So if you have one guy that has worked his abs very well with Progressive resistance training workouts and you have another guy that does a couple crunches here and there the guy that worked on his abs with weights is going to have a lot more blocky visible abs than the other guy as long as his genetics aren’t horrible. Which is actually totally a real possibility. There are some people that don’t work out at all and have ripped six packs only because of good muscle building genetics and a good distribution of body fat. Now you have to understand that this is the truth because for me as a trainer it does me no good to tell people that ABS isn’t as easy to acquire for some as they are for others.
My passion for fitness began when I was 14 years old. I naturally fell in love with training and haven’t stopped since. At 18 years I acquired my first personal training certification from ACE after which I opened my first gym in 2011, Gravity Training Zone. I'm now in the process of opening up my third location! I love to share my knowledge through personal training, my online courses, and youtube channel now with almost 1,000,000 subscribers! I'm always here for my customers so if you need help don't hesitate to send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org