I knew why I had six packs as a kid…I was thin and coughed a lot.
Let me say that again , just for better emphasis.
It transformed my parents into worrywarts, and drove my teachers and classmates nuts.
Here’s an experiment I want you to try right now.
No it does not involve public disrobing or attacking random people with a plastic fork.Trust me.
But it does involve a little bit of social embarrassment,especially if you are in a public setting right now.
Place your hand lightly over your navel.Your hand must be hovering gingerly , not caressing your tummy.
Now gently let out a cough.
and feel your abdominal muscles contract.
If you didn’t feel it, then you have too much belly fat, and you’ll have to press down harder.
If you want better abs, read my latest book ‘Better Abs through Coughing’.
I’ll let you have a sneak peek…
“Imagine that you have inhaled a lungful of second hand smoke from a freshly smuggled cuban cigar.Now with that visualization in mind, cough hard.
If you are a smoker, then imagine the same with a lungful of fresh air.
Five minutes a day.Everyday.
I promise.You’ll have six packs in six weeks or your money back.(Postage and handling -non refundable)”
I used to cough a lot.
Doctors of all disciplines found no definite reason.
Blood work,lung tests,X-rays,psychotherapy -revealed nothing.
Soon came the crackpots, taking potshots at me with their wild theories.
Vitamin deficiency theory.
Vitamin supplements can cure anything from heartbreak to heartburn, a cold sore to a cold shoulder.
And even a cough.
I was on a vitamin pill diet for two years.
If coughing wouldn’t kill me first, over-nutrition definitely would.
The vata pittha kafa theory.
Ayurveda’s basic premise was that all illnesses were caused due to the imbalances in the three humours of the body- the vata, pittha and the kafa or the air , the bile and the phlegm.
According to the theory I had too much of ‘the phlegm’.
Caused by eating bananas and milk together.
But mommy, I never ate that banana split!
The Chicken soup for the soul theory
Basically according to the theory anyone who did not eat meat or poultry was bound to be a weakling who was an easy prey for all kinds of bad germs.
My parents fell prey to this line of thought, and thought they’d test this theory out too.
So at the age of five, I was force fed chicken, and fish.And stinking mussels that looked like elephant snot.
My parents wouldn’t touch meat…so I was force fed by my neighbours.
I believe the neighbours kids laughed their collective asses off when I made weird faces while eating dead boiled carcasses.
Yes.I admit it.I ate dead birds, but not once cried fowl.
(C’mon crown me the ‘King of Bad Jokes’ already!)
It didn’t work.
And I coughed all day, and unfortunately all night.
The coughing was so bad that the kids in the class started complaining that they couldn’t hear their own thoughts.
Some of them could not daydream or sleep during lessons.
They couldn’t even sneak out of the class, now that the teacher herself could not take her daily noon seista.
I had to lie that I had cancer.
Some kids thought it was funny.They demanded blood when I coughed the next time.
They asked me when I was going to die.
Kids can be cruel like that sometimes.
All the tests told the same thing.
Like normal was a bad thing.
And I still coughed.
But one fine day (I imagine it was a fine day, but if pressed will admit that I have no recollection of the day’s forecast or meteorological conditions), the coughing stopped.
It simply stopped.
But my six packs were there to stay.
The best was to strenghten your abs , to make them bulletproof,is to cough a lot.
Sir Coughs’a’lot speaks with experience, dear lad.
The best way is to cough a genuine cough, the kind that makes you lurch forward with a force equivalent to that of a sumo wrestler’s Heimlich manoeuvre, and rattles your bones like maracas in a drunken mardi gras.You might want to take up smoking.Unfiltered cigarettes work the best.Beedis are the cheaper alternatives.They bring out the best coughs.Big fat cigars smuggled up someones rectum from some communist country will do the trick too.
Although there is no real substitute for a good honest cough, if you are worried about the ill effects of smoking or cannot afford ridiculously overpriced nicotine sticks, then you can do the fake coughing drill too.
It just takes longer to get the same results.That’s all.
But simply having strong abs is not everything.You also want to show it off.No matter how strong and ripped your abs are, they’ll never see the light of day until they have layer of blubber from all those late night beers you’ve had.
It is not a well known fact that abdominal muscles will show only when your body fat percentage reaches a certain level.(The level depends from person to person).Usually you’ll get hints of abs showing through once you inch below the 10% body fat mark.At 6% body fat, even your grandma will have abs to show off.(but you are inviting trouble at such low levels of body fat like-decreased lubrication of joints,poor absorption of fat soluble vitamins A,D,E,K ,yada yada yada)
Also, if you think you have too much fat, try boosting your thyroid function.The thyroid gland is like the body’s thermostat.Hormone T3 is an essential fat burning hormone.Try iodine supplements.Also selenium.Try amino acid L-Tyrosine which converts hormone T4 into T3.Of course, it goes without saying- Always check with your doctor.Also check your thyroid function if you are a woman.If you feel slow,sluggish and have gained weight and feel the general lack of energy, your thyroid gland might not be working well.
So here’s the most generic six pack routine that will work on anyone:
And cough some more.
And then reduce overall body fat to levels below 10 % by any means possible, and then keep going until you see results that you want.
(Conversely, when you start seeing abs, you have reached around 10% body fat levels