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Myth or Fact? Can a woman get abs and keep them?

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  • Myth or Fact? Can a woman get abs and keep them?

    First, I've been trying to get my bodyfat percentage down enough to have my abs show through. I have a long ways to go, but in my journey I've done research on women and their abs. A lot of people are saying that once you get your BF down enough for them to show through that you can't maintain it because you've "cut" so much to have them show.

    Now generally in the bodybuilding world I believe cutting is done by cutting carbs, so what about us Primal people? We already don't eat that many carbs, so I would think once we get the bodyfat down we'd have "perpetual abs" so to speak. Any thoughts on this? Any ladies have abs and are maintaining them nicely with no problems? Just curious as to what might be down the road for me. I'm 5'3 and 20.6% BF right now, so still a long ways to go.

    Also, will my weight stabilize eventually even tho I'm still losing bodyfat? Or is it directly proportionate? I'm already 121 lbs, so I'm worried about losing too much weight and not enough bodyfat. Thanks!

  • #2
    I think it also depends on the person. Some people have to get really lean to have visible abs, while others will start to see theirs at a higher level of body fat.
    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

    Owly's Journal

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    • #3
      One of my friends is a successful all natural bodybuilder. She goes through phases of muscle building/overeating and fat burning/leaning out. I would in no way call her dietary habits healthy. When she's putting on weight, she looks sort of puffy. Then she starts to look really strong. When she leans out, she looks incredible. She says that you can't build muscle and be cut at the same time.

      An iron will doesn't even begin to describe her focus.

      Gordo

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      • #4
        Originally posted by gordo View Post
        One of my friends is a successful all natural bodybuilder. She goes through phases of muscle building/overeating and fat burning/leaning out. I would in no way call her dietary habits healthy. When she's putting on weight, she looks sort of puffy. Then she starts to look really strong. When she leans out, she looks incredible. She says that you can't build muscle and be cut at the same time.

        An iron will doesn't even begin to describe her focus.

        Gordo
        Go to leangains.com and look through the success stories. there's one of a female bodybuilder and she looks really REALLY cut, striations everywhere.

        However, her fertility may be at risk, I don't remember if she addresses that, but losing your period sometimes goes along with being really cut, I don't think you'd need to achieve such low levels of BF in order to show abs.

        I'd imagine if you can "plateau" at your desired BF level then there's no reason why you shouldn't stay lean, without any hormonal issues and all that, and the whims of being a woman and all that jazz. Men have an easier time maintaining since our lives are rather predictable from a hormonal standpoint and we don't have monthly visitors that make us want to eat more or be less active or whatever.

        Edit: I quoted the thing above because Gordo is right that actively building muscle while training to cut down is very hard. However, this doesn't mean you can keep increasing your strength. I am way stronger than I was a year ago, and in that year I've lost around 30lbs, so don't worry, as long as you can gauge progress in strength then you can keep dieting down to lower body fat levels. So if last month you could only do 5 push ups but this month you can do 15, or you can raise your legs and do harder push ups then you know you're on the right track even if you're losing weight.
        Last edited by iniQuity; 02-14-2011, 08:35 AM.
        I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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        • #5
          I "had abs" when I was at my thinnest last year (very unhealthily achieved btw). BUT - no boobs. Regained some weight, boobs returned, abs disappeared.

          I am now Primal since last Nov, feeling strong and want the abs back - but don't want to be flat chested again. Didn't like what that looked like.

          what to do, what to do?

          (husband in b/g shouting "keep boobs, sod abs" - but he's biased.

          ?low enough BF% for abs to show again - have boob job? Nah.)

          Its a compromise all the time for us girls I think.

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          • #6
            Individual variation in body fat distribution seems to be important here. For those who are more hour glass shaped naturally, carrying fat above and below but not so much in the middle, can maintain visible six packs pretty easily. My six pack is slightly visible around 23-25% body fat, which in no way implies "cutting". lol

            for some who naturally are inclined to carry more fat in the midsection, it may be harder to get there and stay there.



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            • #7
              keep the boobs. abs are overrated.

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              • #8
                activate the rhythm, the rhythm that has always been within

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Abu Reena View Post
                  keep the boobs. abs are overrated.
                  Word. I prefer a soft belly personally, love handles are cute.
                  I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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                  • #10
                    Mine aren`t there yet but I`m thinking it`s maintainable :-) I don`t know what type of ab work you do but there`s a great dvd called revabs on the following site
                    http://beachbodycoach.com/esuite/home/fatbusters
                    If you do strength training it will change your physique and also put lean muscle on you so while you`re not the same "size" you may be able to maintain your weight. Did that make sense? lol. For instance I stayed the same weight but lost an inch in my waist and half an inch on my hips.
                    "Anxiety is a sign of spiritual insecurity"
                    www.beachbodycoach.com/fatbusters

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
                      Word. I prefer a soft belly personally, love handles are cute.
                      betcha don't want em yourself though??

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by cillakat View Post
                        Individual variation in body fat distribution seems to be important here. For those who are more hour glass shaped naturally, carrying fat above and below but not so much in the middle, can maintain visible six packs pretty easily. My six pack is slightly visible around 23-25% body fat, which in no way implies "cutting". lol

                        for some who naturally are inclined to carry more fat in the midsection, it may be harder to get there and stay there.
                        this made me realise also depends what you mean by "visible abs" Mine are "kind of there", sort of a hint of a 2/4 pack , but not as defined as I would say they would have to be to be called visible.

                        Maybe I don't want really visible - that means "cut" and is too hard and - so what, no one sees them but me and the husband (and the people at the gym I suppose), and he prefers boobs.

                        It's decided. Keeping the boobs

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                        • #13
                          I get a 2 pack at very high body fat personally...I love the cut down the middle, and it usually shows up when I am below 25%, not bloated and working out regularly...I dont ever expect to see 6 as I know that at that level of body fat my face gets really gaunt and I look old. Since my face is showing 99.9% of the time and in Oregon where even in summer we rarely break 75, pretty much nobody except dh sees my abs and as indicated, there are other things he is generally looking at, I think I'll prioritize the face.

                          My boobs on the other hand cant be helped at this point.
                          MTA: because it is rare I dont have more to say

                          "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - my daughter Age 7

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                          • #14
                            Not all men can achieve/maintain a 6 pack. Knowing that women on average carry a higher body fat percentage than men, it follows that fewer women can do the same.

                            It is highly person dependent combined with a rigid diet.
                            If your food is fast, maybe you should fast.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by iniQuity View Post
                              However, her fertility may be at risk
                              Absolutely. I doubt she'll ever have kids.

                              To toss my opinion into the abs vs boobs fight, boobs all the way.

                              Gordo

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