First off, he echoed something that an old high school football coach of mine used to say; maybe you too had it shouted at you as you did up-downs: Your mind telling you to quit is its own biggest hurdle.
“Exercise is physically and mentally challenging, no question about it,” he said to The Daily Mail Australia. “But you've got to take ownership and quit the excuses—it's you versus you. Be accountable for your own actions. Forget motivation, you need discipline. Without good discipline, you won't stick to anything.”
Also, like a true military man, he thinks it’s essential that you get outside your comfort zone in order to push your body to the brink. “I believe you need to increase your body's ability to withstand pain and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Try lifting and carrying odd objects, complete agility circuits, do whole-body functional exercises and get outside of your comfort zone,” he said.
He later added, “Your body is capable of 20 times more than your mind will let it, you just have to believe. If you want to have a body that performs as well as it looks, you need to build a mind as strong as a Special Forces soldier.”
If you can handle that motivation, then most of the other stuff should come pretty easy. Like, for instance, dieting. After all, if you’re motivated it shouldn’t be too hard to pick tuna or a chicken breast over microwavable mac-and-cheese.
Evennett’s nutritional guidelines are pretty basic. He suggests downing fish, chicken, eggs, peanut butter (the natural kind), leafy greens, avocado, sweet potatoes, coconut oil/protein powders, basmati rice, and (for a boost) bulletproof coffee. When it comes to what foods to avoid, well, they’re pretty much the opposite. He says steer clear of soda, refined sugars, energy drinks, simple carbs, fast food, low fat products, vegetable oils, processed foods and (except for rare occasions), yes, alcohol.
If you do eat well you have a much better shot at seeing your abs pop because, like many other people have stated many times over, abs are made in the kitchen. “You could have the best training program of all time, but if your diet sucks, so will your abs,” Evennett said. Harsh, but almost universally true.
Finally, he added that your body type will dictate the pace at which you can carve up your midsection. “Your shape dictates the pace at which you can develop abs and lose fat accordingly. It is vitally important to gather data from your own body and adapt your diet plan accordingly,” he said.“If you're trying to train for the killer six pack, quit the thousands of ab crunches or fancy ab machines and start incorporating gymnastics/calisthenics, heavy compound, multi-joint total body movements. It's these that will promote more total fat loss and a bigger muscle-building response.”
Best of luck out there, people.
This article originally appeared on Menshealth.com.