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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

184

The 10 Other Reasons You Don't Have Abs

(Thanks for nothing, Ask Men)

1. You are a Ribwich.

2. You donated them to Robert Pattinson for New Moon.

3. The villain from Saw imprisoned you in a room made entirely of white carbs.

4. You mistakenly purchased Women's Health instead, which only told you how to "flatten your
belly." Spoiler: it's not anything you're already doing.

5. You need to maintain 30% body fat in order to provide warmth to Cockney matchstick girls.

6. Jillian Michaels stole them in your sleep, and now when you watch The Biggest Loser you hum "Somewhere Out There."

7. Life/love/lasagna/Kony 2012 got in the way.

8. You drank a glass of water this morning.

9. You used to have abs, but you sold them to buy a toe ring for your girlfriend, who sold her feet to buy meth.

10. You're a goddamn cat, and you look incredible.

Bonus: You already have abs, like all mammals who possess internal organs and a musculature to hold them in place, but you may not have visible abs as a result of your genetic background, diet, level of hydration, or just not giving a shit.



184 Comments / Post A Comment

The Lady of Shalott

I cannot BELIEVE that one of the reasons Men's Health gives is "You don't drink enough water." I am dying.

Also I just want to point out that several of the model's in that photo slide look freakish, not sexy. Muscles are great! Nothing BUT muscles and veiny ropy arms and never doing anything but going to the gym and eating your lean-protein-and-whey-drink-diet? That is way lame.

Jenn

@The Lady of Shalott "If you have a high-sodium diet and you're not drinking enough water throughout the day, you can bet your looks will be hindered by what you consume."

CONGRATS ON YOUR THESAURUS, MEN'S HEALTH.

olivebee

@The Lady of Shalott Super ripped/defined muscles (like the kind you described) have always creeped me out. I hate to hate on any body type, but it honestly gives me a visceral reaction (and not a good one) when I see arms the circumference of my head and muscles that looked like they were chiseled out of clay. MMV, of course...some may like that, but I don't dig the 'roid look.

meetapossum

@The Lady of Shalott Whey lame?

Judith Slutler

@Jenn Ugh, my looks are just so hindered today!

Nicole Cliffe

@The Lady of Shalott FOR EVERYONE'S INFORMATION, I had believed AskMen was the web variant of Men's Health, but it's actually an unaffiliated, terrible magazine. Enjoy!

DH@twitter

"9. You used to have abs, but you sold them to buy a toe ring for your girlfriend, who sold her feet to buy meth."

The Internet, it has been won.

meetapossum

@DH@twitter Nicole deserves the O. Henry Award.

Interrobanged

The chain of logic that goes from lack of sleep to cortisol to "increased stomach fat" is simply breathtaking.

SarahP

@Interrobanged I don't know if anyone ever proved that it was cortisol, but there have been a bunch of studies that show lack of sleep increases appetite and calorie consumption, which leads to weight gain. I assume Men's Health just went with the kind of weight gain that ab-article-readers would find scariest...

rayray

@SarahP I think (from the potentially bullshit pseudo-science I have read) that cortisol and/or being male can make you more likely to put on weight around your waist than elsewhere (whereas being a general glutton/being lazy/being a woman can make you put more weight on your ass - this last part I know to be true)

WaityKatie

@rayray And then there are those of us women with massive torsos, who get to put on all our weight around the waist, and then never be able to find any clothes, anywhere, always. Being a statistical freak is just a bonus.

PistolPackinMama

@WaityKatie Ah. I see you and I have waists that went out for coffee and a strategy meeting one time.

sevanetta

@WaityKatie Darling, are you and I actually long lost twins??? I am a small-framed, small-boobed, short little person... with apparently a big fat stomach where my tiny, slender little waist should be. It's not even that big really - just big enough that it's hard to find clothes that fit (I couldn't find work trousers for summer this year, having trouble finding the same for winter and thinking I will just have to wear dresses forever because of this).

KatnotCat

Photo 10: You're not carefully painted with contour make up and Photoshopped into a strangely texture-less and oddly lit mess.

Models 5-3, however: come to my tent.

julia

Clicks are money. No money clicks for you, Men's Health, you repository of garbage.

Anne

@julia It's weird. I like men. I like health. But I hate Men's Health.

anachronistique

@julia I do love the idea of some web monkey looking at the referral stats and going "The Hairpin? What the hell is that?"

Bittersweet

@Anne: Funny you say that, because along similar lines, I like going outside. But I really dislike Outside.

Bittersweet

@Nicole Cliffe: I like some of the articles. Not so hot on the very strong vibe that if you don't climb Everest or mountain bike off cliffs (wearing the latest outdoor gear, natch), you're a total loser.

Nicole Cliffe

NO ONE SHOULD CLIMB EVEREST. It's an environmental disaster, it's been done a billion times, it's not a technically challenging climb (compared to other, less sexy summits), and if the weather turns bad you'll have paid six figures to die on a windblown rock and people will have to step over your frozen corpse until climate change melts you out.

(This is a thing for me, can you tell?)

Craftastrophies

@Nicole Cliffe I ALSO HAVE THIS THING. Like, why would you? It's dangerous without actually being groundbreaking. Go... explore the ocean or something. Or climb a challenging mountain that doesn't have FAMOUS CORPSES jeeeeez.

But then, I have described my life's motto as 'consistent moderate achiever', so maybe I'm missing some gene or something.

Faintly Macabre

@Bittersweet Yeah, I've found it pretty hit-or-miss, which is why I love reading it in waiting rooms but wouldn't subscribe. There are some awesome people profiled in there, cool gear, and interesting pieces like the one Nicole linked to or the writer who walked part of the Burma Road. (Which is fascinating and chilling--it's stuck with me for years.) But then there's the propensity to mostly feature female athletes who happen to be beautiful, bikini-clad, windsurfers, and have the "women's" gear list be much more sissified than the "men's" one. I just want to read more pieces about female whitewater-kayakers who push off 40-foot waterfalls, guyyys!

shadowkitty

@julia This is how I feel whenever they link to the Daily Mail.

hotdog

"While you may take some ribbing when you ask for water, you'll render your buddies speechless next time you cross paths with them at the gym."

This is the funniest line on the internet.

wee_ramekin

@hotdog Also, I did not realize that masculinity was defined as...the ability to live without water?

EpWs

@wee_ramekin Dune logic.

Fodforever

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Ahaha! He who controls the spice, controls the universe... which includes his sweet fucking abs.

Nicole Cliffe

I must not eat carbs. Carbs are the mind-killer. Carbs are the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my carbs.
I will permit them to pass over me and NOT through me.
And when they have gone past I will turn the inner eye to see their path.
Where the carbs have gone there will be nothing.
Only my abs will remain.

stonefruit

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I logged in purely to give this a thumbs up.

Killerpants

@Fodforever @The Everpresent Worsnatcher @wee_ramekin - You are killing me! Ha!

Slutface

You're carrying a food baby and don't plan on ever giving birth.

stonefruit

@Slutface Happy Passover to you too. I look like I'm in my second trimester at this point.

Leon Tchotchke

The obsession with visible abdominal muscles in men seems like a really, really recent development. If you go back even like 20 or 30 years, you stop seeing them entirely even in super staged celebrity glamour shots. Most of those dudes had a flat barrel chest, albeit one with little visible fat (ie. the sort of chest a regular dude will wind up with through a reasonable diet and reasonable exercise, as opposed to a psycho who spends 5 hours a day in the gym and drinks protein shakes from a beerhat while reverse-powerlifting hanging upside-down from the ceiling).

applestoapples

@Leon Tchotchke Give me a Yul Brynner over an eight-pack gym rat any day.

whateverlolawants

@applestoapples Yul be rewarded for sharing that excellent pic with the Pinosphere.

JanieS

@Leon Tchotchke So let it be written. So let it be done. Mrrow.

MilesofMountains

@Leon Tchotchke And it's pretty much only men who care. Men seem to be convinced that women want men with a six pack, but I've never heard a woman get all excited about man's abs.

applestoapples

@MilesofMountains Not gonna lie: I do like athletic guys with visible muscle tone, but I think a guy can look that way without pecs on top of pecs and a cheese-grater torso (e.g., Yul Brynner and the hot Hollywood men of yore). Plus, the borderline obsession (or full obsession) needed to look like that at all times is a personality issue I don't want to deal with.

It's really all about the ass, anyway.

EpWs

@applestoapples LIES arms.

applestoapples

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Arms are a close second in Order of Body Parts to Watch and Objectify When He's Walking Away.

KatnotCat

@applestoapples Forearms!

That's literally all I can say once I start thinking about them.

TyrannosaurusWreck

@applestoapples YUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUL

Craftastrophies

@applestoapples Mmmmm gnawable arms.

I actually, genuinely just started to drool. What is wrong with me?

anachronistique

On the bus ride home from PassEaster, I sat next to a dude reading FLEX magazine. Every so often I'd glance over and see another shot of a dude with rotisserie-chicken skin and wonder why it wasn't just gay porn instead of bodybuilding.

(Also, the dude was pretty darn skinny. Which worked well for seat-sharing but made me a bit sad in conjunction with his reading material. It's okay, dude! You don't have to be buff!)

boysplz

@anachronistique I've heard that one of the big men's health mags actually uses a lot of amateur gay porn starts as models. I don't know which one or if it's actually true but it's the kind of story that I refuse to research because it's too awesome.

whateverlolawants

@boysplz Around the 1950s, there were "wrestling" and "men's physique" mags that were really just tame gay porn. So I'd believe it.

sox
sox

@boysplz Last year during the Pride parade with all the boys riding on floats flashing their stuff I was physically pained by the attention to detail in their sweet, beautiful chiseledness...and the fact that I would never, ever get to properly enjoy it.

tortietabbie

@anachronistique One of my marketing professors in college told us that marketing to men is basically just homo-eroticism. So there you go.

Nutria

@anachronistique I love this possibly apocryphal tale. I believe this falls under the category "too good to check"!

RocketSurgeon

The embedded ad I see on the Men's Health page is for the Advanced Surgical Bodybuilding Institute of Beverly Hills. Is that supposed to be ironic?

atipofthehat

@RocketSurgeon

I got the ad for WEIGHT GAIN 4000 and now I'm so totally buff.

EpWs

@RocketSurgeon Surgical bodybuilding! For when you just don't have time to do it yourself.

atipofthehat

I have never, ever gone to the gym with abs on my mind.

It would seem to me to be the world's most ridiculous "health" goal.

RocketSurgeon

Abs, on a uber-tan muscle dude, look like a nice challah loaf. Which makes me want some in french toast form. Which is why I don't have abs.

EpWs

@RocketSurgeon I can get down with this.
BTW, did you see the recipe (many moons ago) for creme brulee french toast on Smitten Kitchen? I DIE.

(ps: Yes, that is a crunchy sugar syrup topping on top.)

Es
Es

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I think I love you for that recipe! (I have abs, but don't judge me.)

EpWs

@Es Try the recipe, it'll take care of those abs lickety-split.

Es
Es

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I don't think I am ever going to eat anything else again. Riding horses give you abs, they won't leave despite my diet consisting mainly of sweets and pasta.

RocketSurgeon

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Now that, is some french toast. Being ab-free never tasted so good.

EpWs

@Es Congratulations, how wonderful.

(Girl, get you some sweets. TREAT YO'SELF, etc.)

Es
Es

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I have a Cupboard of Joy in my kitchen that is entirely full of sweets and chocolate. And edible glitter for cakeage. I

mangosara

@RocketSurgeon wait but let's talk about this. is this as delicious as I think it is? I have it bookmarked. and I'm afraid of making it because I feel like I'm not ever going to eat anything else once I taste it.

EpWs

@mangosara I think I am going to make it for myself as a reward if I pass my thesis defense. DESSERT FOR BREAKFAST FOR DINNER.

RocketSurgeon

@mangosara I've not made creme brulee French toast from this recipe, but I've had a similar one before, and it is fantastic.

sarah girl

@mangosara My friend made it once, and it's good but SOOOOOOOOOO sweet! I mean, duh, but it is INCREDIBLY sweet. I could only handle one little (delicious) piece!

EpWs

BRB, changing my "about me" on Fitocracy to "I am a Ribwich."

atipofthehat

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher

GLENDA
"Are you a good witch, or a bad witch?"

DOROTHY
"I...I'm a Ribwich, I guess."

Megasus

I gave my abs to the mayor of Caketown AND I DO NOT REGRET A THING.

olivebee

My cats don't just "not have abs," they have the most rotund, pillow-sized bellies that wobble gloriously as they halfheartedly attempt to catch the red light. One of them has a belly so big it moved to her hips, and now she looks like a feline Joan Holloway.

Note to self: I bring up my cats WAY too often on here. Next stop: Crazy Train to Catladyville.

fondue with cheddar

@olivebee Haha, aww! Don't worry, I'll be joining you on that train.

One of my cats has a tight little belly. The other used to be fat (and perhaps also pregnant) but lost a lot of weight a few years ago, so now she has all this loose skin. It's so much fun to grab a handful and tug on it or slide it between your fingers, and she loves it because OMG YAY YOU'RE PETTING ME.

dale

@olivebee Eh, I'm one of the conductors. Welcome aboard!

One of my fosters has the cutest little pot belly that wobbles when he runs. Never fails to make me laugh.

fondue with cheddar

@dale I love that!!! Mine wobbled like that when she was fat, but now that she's skinny it's loose skin that swings back and forth at a perpendicular angle, which is hilarious. What makes it even better is that the fur is thin there so it looks pinkish, and she's black and white. So basically she looks like a cow, which is appropriate because her name is Moo (the flab and its resemblance to udders didn't come until after I named her).

Get on, get on, get on, get on, get on our kitty train...

olivebee

@jen325 @dale My people! Fat cat bellies (for former fat cat bellies) are the cutest things.

And Moo with udders is the most perfect thing ever.

dale

@jen325 Heeee! Is she a tuxedo, or more half-and-half like an actual cow?
There was a very sweet cat at the shelter where I volunteer - his name was Sprite, despite being a pudgy little fellow. He stress-ate, so hence the extra weight, and he also stress-groomed, so he basically had a naked (pink) tummy too - as his tummy was all he could really reach. I am hopeful that now, in his new home, he's not stressed & so maybe he's slimmed a bit and has grown some of the fur back.

fondue with cheddar

@dale Aww, poor thing. I'll bet Sprite is doing much better now. Living in a house with people is a big step toward kitty happiness!

Moo used to stress-groom. I think she picked up on the unhappiness in my marriage, because her fur started growing back not long after we split up and she's been doing great ever since.

She's not a straight tuxedo, but not quite half-and-half. The white goes up over her shoulders and she has thin white lines going up her haunches, plus black spots on her front legs and a moustache. :)

dale

@jen325 Moo sounds adorable! I think maybe we need a 'pinner cat picture thread someday.

fondue with cheddar

@dale We do! Is Raincoat Cat yours? That picture is adorable.

lisma

@olivebee I'm coming with.

dale

@jen325 Nope - that's Maru! <3 Maru. I just didn't have a picture of any of mine when I signed up here.

fondue with cheddar

@dale So it is! I didn't even recognize him in that tiny picture. He is my favorite cat I've never met.

plumb-bob

*stands up* Hello, my name is Pixa and I talk about my cat too much in social situations…..I can talk about my cat here, right?

Craftastrophies

@jen325 Just now, my cat turned a corner too quickly, his pendulous belly swung out and hit the corner, and he freaked the fuck out. He's now hiding under the bed. <3 my dumb cat.

fondue with cheddar

@Craftastrophies HA! That is too hilarious for words. :)

Judith Slutler

11. BEER

Brunhilde

@Emmanuelle Cunt Ah, the best reason.

BoozinSusan

@Brunhilde The Raison D'etre, you might say?

TheUnchosenOne

My abs are totes cut, but they get cold, so I keep this layer of fat over them to keep them warm.

EpWs

@TheUnchosenOne So considerate of you!

It's not a beer belly, it's an ab sweater.

Craftastrophies

@TheUnchosenOne I have super amazing abs, you can feel them if you poke around there, my core muscles are RIPPED. I also have the gigantor pot belly, so no one but me can appreciate them. I'm more snuggly this way.

fondue with cheddar

"genetic background, diet, level of hydration, or just not giving a shit" ALL OF THESE ARE ME

olivebee

In middle school, I had to wear a back brace (ugh...torture), but before I realized having a back brace was super uncool and something to be made fun of, I used to tell people I had washboard abs and then tap on my stomach (the brace). I was about 10, so I am not sure how I even knew what washboard abs were...

tofutticutie

Sorry, but is AskMen different from Men's Health? If you want to ruin your day, check out their relationship advice... uggggh.

EpWs

@tofutticutie Oh god, their sex advice is MAYBE JUST THE WORST

Lorelei@twitter

@tofutticutie AskMen IS different from Men's Health. And is SOOO terrible. I get them mixed up, but I'm pretty sure it was AskMen that ran a list of things to do if your girlfriend was starting to get fat and you wanted her to lose weight, which obviously will never be anything but horrible, but one of the suggestions was to SAW PARTWAY THROUGH A CHAIR LEG SO IT WOULD BREAK WHEN SHE SAT ON IT. And then pressure her to lose weight because of it.

I read it years and years ago but still, every time I think of it....flames. flames on the side of my face. heaving breaths!

Megasus

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher What? Links woman, links!

EpWs

@Megan Patterson@facebook CAN'T I'M AT WORK! But I will do some research when I get home and try and find the worst of it. Promise.

angelinha

@Lorelei@twitter This is like Roald Dahl's The Twits! Only...non-fiction, and therefore much worse.

EpWs

@Megan Patterson@facebook "Jabba the Butt"

EpWs

@Megan Patterson@facebook "One-night stands don’t require the same sort of sensitivity, so leave that all behind."

Okay, that's all I can handle for now. Knock yourselves out, ladies.

Megasus

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I AM KNOCKING MYSELF OUT RIGHT NOW
Edit: Oh God no! NO WOMEN LIKE SLOPPY KISSES!! NO WOMEN!!

EpWs

@Megan Patterson@facebook I told you, it is TERRIFYING in there. Don't be afraid to retreat back to the 'Pin when needed! (With LINKS, though!)

Craftastrophies

@Lorelei@twitter Yes, it was Ask Men. It wasn't saw through the chair leg, it was loosen the screws of her computer chair, but to the same effect. Also, buying her clothes too small as presents, and then being like 'oh, but I thought you were ALWAYS a size 8?'. Also, eating tiny portions and then binging in secret, to shame her.

Why is this all in my braaaaaainnnnn.

Lorelei@twitter

@Craftastrophies ah! loosening screws is more...logical, and yet no less horrifying. uuuuugggh.

cherrispryte

You know, I probably ought to write a bitchy comment about how its unacceptable to insult anyone's body for any reason, and how if it's okay for us to snark on super-muscular ab-obsessed men then its okay to ....
FUCK IT. Fuck "Men's Health" and fuck these overly photoshopped near freaks of nature that drive otherwise normal people to hate themselves. FUCK'EM.

EpWs

@cherrispryte <3 u

olivebee

@cherrispryte You know, I agree about snarking on/insulting others' body types, which is why I feel sort of bad about my comment upthread saying that body-builder-ish muscles make me feel kind of uncomfortable, but I don't know if, for me at least, that it's the muscles/body itself so much as what those muscles imply about the personality of the person who has them. It reminds me of an old episode of True Life where people got plastic surgery, and this guy got calf implants to impress women, and he was the biggest a-hole ever.

Plus, I hate hearing men I care about lamenting their lack of bulbous muscles because 1. no one needs bulbous muscles and 2. those men are perfect the way they are.

treeskier170

@olivebee I love the second comment you make btw. But just throwing this out there. Not all guys who are toned and/or ripped are meatheads who spend all their time at the gym. Rock climbers and dudes who do yoga, and those that do both, are pretty damn ripped and aren't meatheads. We just climb rocks and get that way. And we hate the meatheads too. Although our goal isn't to get ripped, it just happens because climbing rocks is hard.

Bittersweet

@treeskier170: Dancers and soccer players, treeskier. Dancers and soccer players.

Nicole Cliffe

The visible abs in my marriage are from Brazilian jiu-jtsu, and are not mine. However, Brazilian jiu-jitsu is also responsible for a torn pectoral muscle and a decimated knee, so...it's a wash?

treeskier170

@Bittersweet Forgot about them, but yes, very much so.

frigwiggin

@olivebee I don't think you need to feel bad! A former employer of mine used to (maybe still does? not sure) enter professional bodybuilding competitions, and he was also not a great person to be around, and I will confess that when a coworker forwarded me a picture from one of the competitions, I cringed and shuddered. Partially because of the muscles, partially because of the little Speedo, partially because he was wearing so much fake tanner that it looked like blackface. =/

Lorelei@twitter

@cherrispryte @olivebee I am also on team anti-body-hate, and obviously some people will have more visibly defined muscles than others as the result of natural variation, but in my (admittedly non-expert) understanding of strength training and muscle development, the bodybuilder super-defined and bulky look is almost exclusively the result of training to get that look. Bodybuilders exercise specifically to build muscle size at expense of overall strength and efficiency, and work to make their muscles contracted and tense at rest so they look even bigger, which restricts your range of motion and increases the risk of injury. Also, what everyone else said about dehydration making them look more prominent. And steroid use!

So the whole look comes at the expense of making your muscles less functional and increasing your risk for all kinds of injuries and health problems. And on the one hand, it's your body and your right to decide what caring for it means to you, but on the other hand, men! masculine-identified people! everyone else who wants to look ripped! it's ok not to have that look! it's so very, very ok not to have that look. Loving the power and strength of your body is a great thing, but actually being strong is mainly unrelated to looking like a bodybuilder.

olivebee

@treeskier170 Yeah, I understand. I think I may have been too loose with my definition of ripped, because there is ripped-but-still-at-a-normal-body-size, which is what I assume you rock climbers/yoga buffs/etc. are. What I am picturing is more like The Thing from Fantastic Four, but if those cracked plates were round muscles.

PistolPackinMama

@cherrispryte I would like it if people stopped using mental health problem having/psyschotic/crazy as an insult, if it's all the same to everyone else.

Three mental health drugs a day and counting, here, and not a particularly terrible person as far as I can tell. Although who knows, since I am pretty crazy, so what do I know.

cherrispryte

@PistolPackinMama I'm really sorry - I try very hard to not use "crazy" "psycho" and similar terms as insults, but I fuck up sometimes. I'm not sure what exactly I said was offensive in that respect, would you mind letting me know?

(and since I am so frequently sarcastic here, and tone is hard to convey online, it's necessary to point out that I am being completely sincere in the above statement and question)

treeskier170

@olivebee I'm right there with ya that the Thing in human form kind of makes me throw up in my mouth.

PistolPackinMama

@cherrispryte I am sorry! That criticism wasn't directed at you. I wasn't being clear. I was just saying... Everyohne on the Hairpin, be upset with Men's Health for photoshopping and endorsing unhealthy body practice in pursuit of an impossible idea, if that's a thing that upsets you. But upthread there is some relating this practice to craziness, and craziness is bad discourse going on. And I would like that to stop. So I was following on your comment, not yelling at you for it.

(And just to add to the maelstrom of what is going on here... I am currently finding out for the first time that ADHD drugs + use as necessary anti-anxiety/can't sleep drugs? Makes me barely coherent. I feel like I am high today and probably shouldn't be talking to anyone, except I have to work so I have to talk to people. I hate this so much I can't even. And now I am going to stop typing.)

EpWs

@PistolPackinMama HONEY. Hugs. Please talk to your doctor soon?

PistolPackinMama

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher worry not. I may be unable to type (what aven is that with the above comment?) but I am good at talking to my pros. It's tinkering, you know. Getting all the stuff adjustsed.

cherrispryte

@PistolPackinMama I thought there was a chance that it wasn't directed at me, but I wanted to make sure, as I have been known to fuck up on that front before (which is supremely ironic, considering my own ish.)

You're right, we really do need to take "crazy" and all of its synonyms out of the lexicon of acceptable insults.

I'm sorry you feel so out of it. I've had that "should NOT be interacting with people today" medicated feeling more times than I care to admit, and it's certainly no fun. Hope the rest of your day is easier. Hugs.

EpWs

@PistolPackinMama Good. Good good good. /Abed.

I hope you get everything adjusted to happy levels soon!

fondue with cheddar

@treeskier170 Huge, lumpy bodybuilder type bodies are that way on purpose, but you're right that big muscles aren't necessarily the result of lots of working out. My boyfriend hasn't been to the gym or gotten regular exercise in the nine months that I've known him, but he's still got huge thigh and calf muscles. He built them up years ago when he rode bikes all the time, and he never lost them because of good genetics. He comes from a family of mesomorphs; he and his sister have great physiques without even trying.

Craftastrophies

@jen325 I think the line for me is when it's appearance over function. Like... fine, if that makes you feel good, but SIDE EYE. SERIOUS SIDE EYE.

@Pistolpackin'mama Big mental health hugs/props. We've got your back.

TheMongreloid

Nicole, your preponderance of posts lately is making me really happy. Can you read Carole King's memoir and give us a review? How could I read something you don't recommend??

QuiteAmiable

Is a Ribwich like a McRib?

zdravo

LOL "you drank a glass of water this morning."

i know a lot of pretty serious athletes and when we can see their abs, they're usually dehydrated and hungry as shit, trying to make weight to compete. no fun.

sovereignann@twitter

You know, when I dreamed of the day that men and women would be equally judged on their body types, this is not what I had in mind. I was hoping we could maybe all reach that place where everyone was comfortable in their own skin, no matter how much of it there might be. Or at least we could all be as comfortable as the extra large guy in a Speedo at the beach, but then where would the diet and fitness industry be?

sox
sox

So...I can't see the actual top ten list on the link for whatever reason (firewall at work maybe?) but um, what is UP with that sponsor: Advanced Surgical Bodybuilding Center? EW.

wee_ramekin

"Abdominal control doesn't end when you finish a workout. If you train your abs hard in the gym but then let them relax the rest of the day, you're making a critical error. Instead, focus on keeping them tight and pulled in at all times. Eventually it will become a habit and you'll immediately look leaner."

So, Men's Health, what you're saying is that at ALL TIMES, I should be devoting my mental energy to crunching my abs. You are actually saying this. This is ridiculous.

SarahP

@wee_ramekin Isn't that sort of pilates?

ImASadGiraffe

@wee_ramekin Even when you're sleeping. CRITICAL ERROR.

frigwiggin

@wee_ramekin I'd rather devote my mental energy to doing kegels at all times.

Barry Grant

@SarahP "Isn't that sort of pilates?"

Dudekegels.

steve

@wee_ramekin
Translates to "suck in that gut".

Craftastrophies

@frigwiggin To be fair, that motion is basically the reaction I have to AskMen - CLENCH. PROTECTIVE CLENCH.

In semi-related news, I discovered that I can twitch my pecs, this morning, which makes my boobs wobble. For some reason my boyfriend does not find this as hilarious as I do?

Ellie

I used to have nice abs and this guy in my dorm had somehow become aware of this and he would come up and pat my stomach or punch me in them or have me lift up my shirt to demonstrate them all the time. He was kind of weird but I liked him a lot. He alternately claimed that he was going to buy a motorcycle or move to a different dorm closer to the library so he could study more. He was a pretty dedicated Muslim but would tell stories about smoking in the bathroom at home so that his mom wouldn't smell the smoke (I doubt this worked). He wanted to start a girls' school in Afghanistan, and at the time I thought I was going to work for the foreign service and he used to say he would run into me in Central Asia someday when we grew up and we'd pretend not to know each other. Then he abruptly moved to a different dorm toward the end of sophomore year, but told us all he was joining the military and that that's why he wasn't around anymore.

frigwiggin

@Ellie "Now where were we? Oh, yeah: the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn't have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones..."

Ellie

@frigwiggin Thanks.

Princess Slayer

Gosh, this pizza sure is delicious.

Alixana

How is this a whole thread about men's abs without pictures of Joe Manganiello? Seriously, people. Get thee to a Google image search.

EpWs

GUYS, true story: I thought I was getting some upper-ab definition (finally!) but it turns out that's just the inside ends of my lower ribs. Augh.

MY SHORT-TORSO'D LADIES. WHERE ARE YOU?

fondue with cheddar

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher PRESENT.

How can we ever have a waist when there's no space between ribcage and pelvis?

PistolPackinMama

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher You rang?

EpWs

@jen325 @PPM MY PEOPLE.
Gotta confess that it was kind of freeing once I realized that I had a short torso and could therefore never look like a supermodel because I just don't have the abdominal real estate. Took a lot of the pressure off.

Mingus_Thurber

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Dollface, my last pair of floating ribs sits INSIDE my pelvic girdle. I am the definition of no-definition. Despite that, I do 300 reps of whatever evil ab things my trainer devises for me three times a week, and my back and belly are strong.

Those long-waisted, gazelle-like types can chase down the antelope and spear it. I'll pick it up and carry it back to the campfire.

PistolPackinMama

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I will never have a George Balanchine dancer, and that made me sad for a while. I am more hobbit-like.

EpWs

@PistolPackinMama I remember being distinctly sad in middle school when I wanted to be elflike SO BAD but I am not twelve feet tall and lithe. I am a hobbit as well. It's okay. Hobbits eat better and are, by all accounts, happier.

stonefruit

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher HERE I BE. Fun times!

fondue with cheddar

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Hobbits ARE happier! It's not so bad having a sturdy, compact frame. I'll bet we'll be glad for it when we get old.

EpWs

@jen325 I'm half Italian. We are a short, sturdy people and we live for fucking ever. I think you're on to something.

fondue with cheddar

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I think we're less prone to osteoporosis, aren't we?

The Lady of Shalott

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I HAVE A QUESTION FOR YOU GUYS. I have a very, very long torso and supershort legs. And I have always lamented my short, stubby legs and I will never have long, lithe, ballet-dancer legs! So do you guys find that having a short waist means you have comparatively longer legs? Or do you find it easier to find one-piece bathing suits that fit? Or shirts that don't hover an inch above your pants? I've always been jealous!!!!

fondue with cheddar

@The Lady of Shalott I have a pretty average torso-to-leg ratio (my legs are very short, too), but I think it varies quite a bit from person to person. I've known women with proportions like yours, but I've also known a few with a short torso and very long legs.

One-piece bathing suits are sometimes hard because the straps tend to fall off my shoulders. I have the same problem with bras! I adjust them as tight as they can go when they're brand new, but then there's nowhere to go when they stretch out so my straps are perpetually falling down (or the weight of my boobs pulls the band down). There's just not that much space between my shoulders and boobs!

So basically, it's hard not to be average no matter which way you go!

EpWs

@The Lady of Shalott I have the legs of someone a good three inches taller than me. It is damn near impossible to find tailored dresses that fit and don't have sleeves that hover two inches above my shoulders.

fondue with cheddar

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Wouldn't be great if it were still affordable to have all our clothes custom-tailored?

EpWs

@jen325 Yesssssss.
Also, to make things more difficult in the "buying a tailored dress" front, I am a bit busty? So I have to find something that has (a) a long enough skirt that I don't flash everyone, (b) a top that hits my waist at my waist and my shoulders at my shoulders, and (c) allows room for my boobs. GYAH.

lue
lue

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher
Ooohh! Me too! Do you all get that thing where if you sit slouchy for a while your ribs start to ache because they're smashing into your pelvis? I didn't realize that this was a short torso thing! Other people have more room for ribs?

fondue with cheddar

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher AAHH! You're just like me except you have freakishly long legs instead of freakishly short ones! The boobs combined with short waist is tricky, isn't it? Skirts are always too long for me, but at least I sometimes have the option to get them tailored (which I never do, but still...I can).

PistolPackinMama

@The Lady of Shalott I have a short waist- there is about a handslength between my bra band and where my waist curve starts. I also carry my weight in my tummy, and I am busty. Alsom I haven't got much of a waist curve. Essentially, I am door-wedge/ triangle shaped.

So I find that waist bands on jeans are usually too tight, because the waist comes up to the widest part of my torso, and even when it's narrow, it's still pretty wide for my height.

If I do pull jeans up to my waist, I end up with major camel toe because my waist starts below my bust, practically. Or, the waist rides really low because it is always slipping because I am a column and there is nowhere for it to stop.

Add to that, shoulder straps on anything are always too long, and necklines are inevitably too gappy, and if a fitted dress sits at my waist it's going to have shoulders two inches above where my shoulders are.

The swimsuit/bra problem is familiar.

Answer? Halter neck or two piece suits.

EpWs

@lue Worst is when I'm on my side and it feels like my ribcage is smushing into my pelvis. Ow.

Also I haven't bought a one-piece swimsuit in years because it's just easier to find bikinis that fit.

TheDragon

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher
I went to a yoga class and my rib cage hits my pelvis in a side bend. I'd love to be flexible, my body just doesn't allow it!

Saskquatch

@The Lady of Shalott I have no answers for your questions, only long torsoed solidarity. *grim nod in ill fitting one piece*

wee_ramekin

Nicole, did you reference the cold little Cockney matchstick girl in #5 specifically to make your husband cry?

meaux

I had (visible) abs for a month or two after childbirth. It was like they just collapsed up against my skin, panting and going "WTF was that all about?" After awhile, they stood up, brushed themselves off, and retreated to their normal (invisible) positions.

EpWs

@meaux Whoa! That's kind of cool.

angelinha

I did a strength training class yesterday and toward the end we were "doing abs and core work" and during these obnoxious stability ball roll-out-on-your-hands things, the instructor yelled over her microphone that it doesn't matter how much you strengthen your abs, if you have a layer of fat over them, you will never be able to see them! And even if you get rid of the fat sometimes your belly will still stick out! I mean, true, but so not motivating during an ab workout.

redheaded&crazy

wait you mean to tell me that y'all don't have abs?!?! and i've been associating with you this WHOLE TIME?!?!?!

pshaw what am i even doing hanging around such a decrepit ol bunch.

peace y'all i'm outie to do an eccentric badass marathon with people who REALLY get me

EpWs

@redheaded&crazie Don't forget the license plate!

redheaded&crazy

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher o shit do i have to be american?! i'm stealing your license plate great thanks love ya!

EpWs

FINE I'll do some goddamn crunches.

lethaltuesday

the first time i heard the expression "six pack" i was in seventh grade and i thought it meant beer belly. you know, like, you look like you just drank a six pack. the girl i sat next to in history was all "oh i just love guys with six packs" and in my head i was like, ew why? but it also sort of made sense to me because she was pretty trashy and seemed like the kind of girl who was going to end up with a guy with a giant beer belly.

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