Bruce Lee Ab Challenge: Brown Belt Abs in 6 Weeks
Enter the Abs
July 20th, 2013
September 3rd, 2013
Six Week Bruce Lee Ab Challenge…comes to a close!
So about six weeks ago my buddies and I made “The Bet,” in all places by a Las Vegas pool. And shortly after that I sent an embarrassing photo of myself looking unfit (inside and out) to friends and loved ones. I was accused more than once of sending NSFW selfies…again I apologize for the abundance of skin then and now.
What started as a bet, turned into a physical challenge, that turned into a broader motivational learning lesson, which will now become a personal lifestyle. My goal here was never to show off nor to embarrass myself, but rather to inspire others to make changes in their health, habits, and body perceptions. My premise was and still is, that anyone can do this, because so much of this journey is mental and of self-control, rather than brute physical power (still there’s lot of sweating and pain involved!).
And what Thoughtware.com post would be complete without some lessons to live by:
5 Lessons Learned from Bruce Lee Ab Challenge
Thank you Linda Kim for the early,…er, inspiration: Bruce Quon
1. Set an Audacious Goal: Now, I’m just guessing, but I’m sure it took Bruce Lee more than 6 weeks to become, well, Bruce Lee…nunchucks, abs, and all. I’m not excusing the fact that I was not able to get quite as ripped as Bruce, but I knew that even if I were to come-up short, I had set the bar high enough that mere failure would yield results I could still be proud of. My Painted Picture vision of Bruce Lee’s physique and mental toughness definitely carried me through those excruciating last set of crunches or exhausting workouts. Stretch goals in business work the same way and one should always have stretch goals in everything you set your mind to personally or professionally.
2. Social Pressure Works: Making a public declaration was a surefire motivator. The $200 I had riding on the bet was chump change compared to public humiliation of not pulling through. I had many friends at parties ask me how my abs were doing or poking my stomach in public to see if I had six pack yet. It was particularly frustrating in the early weeks, because I was trying harder than ever, but the definition was slow to develop. My only recourse was to keep at it so as not to be the butt of any ab jokes. We are so wired to fear failure that public declarations can work…the important thing is once you do so, have a concrete plan, support mechanisms, and a mental attitude to feed off of that social pressure rather than let it get you down. So ready to make those posts on social media now?
3. You Are What You Eat: So much of what my friends said early on was spot on; like 70% of the challenge being diet. So this is really something anyone CAN do, but more importantly, something one has to really WANT to do. At the start of this challenge I vowed to not drink alcohol, eliminated refined sugar, drastically reduced carb consumption (complex carbs are okay), and focused on eating lean proteins and vegetables, and I snacked primarily on just nuts, fruit, and turkey jerky. Sure, I had some off meals, but hardly splurges (I even kept my discipline at buffets, i.e. lots of chicken). I had to tell my wife (very understanding) and friends when I went out to dinner that I was not eating certain things. I got the questionable looks indeed, like “…you’re doing what? And that’s why you’re not eating this?” But the truth is you have to bring awareness to what you eat and exert control—or have someone to remind you—because you may only be working-out once a day, but you eat 3-6 times a day (snacking included).
Thank you Jason Estrada, Gerry Morton, Jon Ho, Joe Chang, John Koudsi, Kevin Conlon, Andy Ford, and others!
4. Seek Help and Advice: I could not have made it through this challenge without asking friends and even getting some help from a trainer. While there are a plethora of apps with different workouts and tons of Youtube videos for advice, it makes a difference to ask questions and get feedback from friends who have been there and done that. Simply asking a lot of questions to my friends helped me get the answers I personally needed to make better choices. I asked a trainer about the abdominal muscle groups, why I couldn’t see definition, what I can do while on a long plane ride, how much water to drink, etc. Most importantly, he gave me vital data to help me calibrate my goal; what my body fat % was. While I was able to get my body fat to 8%, my abdomen was still 15%, meaning to really see definition I would need to lose an additional 7% body fat. That information and the advice from him that followed has helped me to frame my future diet and exercise plans.
5. Don’t Give Up: For anyone looking to lose weight, become healthier, or get six pack abs, I can only remind you of the simple fact none of this is easy, which is why when you fall off the wagon or fail to get a work-out in, don’t quit…do the opposite: Don’t Give Up. We can all conjure a million excuses in life why not to do something, but it only takes one reason to keep going: Don’t Give Up. We live in a society that wants quick results and instant gratification, but results take time and gratification is in the process, just hang-in long enough to savor the outcome: Don’t Give Up!