A Six Pack For Spring, Courtesy of Time Out New York


Published February 18, 2010

March 15 is going down as a landmark day in my book. No, not because it’s the first day of my junior year spring break. By March 15, I’ll have six-pack abs.

Since mid-November, I’ve been on a journey to attain the coveted sculpted bod. I knew I couldn’t do it alone. So, I asked for help.

In October, I e-mailed Time Out New York, a magazine that has a bi-weekly column about people achieving their fitness goals. The magazine sets up the chosen reader with a trainer and their journey gets published in an article.

I got a call from the senior editor a week after I sent the e-mail. She told me I was going to be in the magazine by Dec.31, the day after my 21st  birthday! The moment I made this connection, I knew that I would realize my dreams of having the body that represented the pinnacle of health and fitness.

As soon as I signed on to be the subject of this article, TONY gave me more help than I could have imagined. They set me up with an all-access membership at Crunch gym, eight sessions with an elite personal trainer and an ExerSpy activity tracker. These packages did not come cheap, and I knew that I could not have afforded them on my own.

Since October, I’ve dropped eight pounds and melted away at least five percent of my body fat. Currently, I am at two (visible) packs and a set of oblique muscles.

Though I’ve stopped working with the personal trainer, I don’t want to give up the huge accountability I had when Time Out New York was more involved with this mission. So, I am reporting to you, my Fordham community, where I am at with my training.

In this series, I will report to you the feats and fails I encounter on my journey to attain six-pack abs. By March 15, you’ll see a picture of me in the Observer with a six pack.

This week, here is what I have encountered:

FEAT: Sufficient Sleep

For the first time in a while, I’ve been getting at least seven hours of sleep nearly every night of the week. This has made a tremendous difference in my workouts. I burn more calories, even when I sleep.

With the ExerSpy, I can track how many calories I burn per workout. I have been consistently burning more calories doing the same activities since I’ve been getting more sleep, especially while running. Usually I’ll burn 200 calories in a Bikram yoga class, whereas I burn 250-275 calories after a night of sufficient sleep. Because I am getting more sleep, my muscles have the time they need to recover from the previous workouts I had done. So, the when I go to work out after a night of sufficient sleep, my muscles are functioning at their optimum level.

This feat kicked my determination into high gear. When I don’t get enough sleep, I tend to get irritated easily and begin to lose hope. With the extra zzz’s, I run longer distances, hold yoga poses for longer and move from place to place with more ease and velocity.

FAIL: Increased Sugar Intake

This fail is one that throws my body into a tailspin. Sugar is the worst if you’re trying to build muscle and burn fat because sugar breaks down so easily in the body. It also makes you hungrier.

This is a two-fold fail. The food I’m eating turns into fat more easily and I eat more food anyway…most of which has been some form of sugar.

The other downside of sugar is the inevitable sugar crash. One day, I had a workout planned and after having too much sugar and my body shut down. I wanted those seven hours of sleep so badly that I skipped my evening workout.

CHALLENGE: What I am taking on for the next two weeks is replacing the serving of refined sugar with a fruit or vegetable. Next week, I’ll be reporting back with “Decreased sugar intake” as a FEAT and eliminate it as a FAIL.