The problem is, though, that regardless of whether you are being sold a fancy ab machine for $19.99 a month, or your friend is standing over you with a stopwatch while you do intricate, acrobatic lunges and backflips to music, it really all boils down to just that: Hype.
No matter how much you lift weights or exercise your abs, none of it alone will give you a six pack. There has always been and will always be only one way to get a six pack...
Step 1: Cardio!
That's it. That's the whole secret. To get six pack abs, you have to do lots and lots and lots of cardiovascular exercise. Run, skip rope, swim, whatever.
What most people don't realize is that unless you have been bedridden for the last ten years, every single one of use already HAS a six pack in us. If you didn't have a six pack, you wouldn't be able to walk or stand up without flopping over backwards and crushing your organs.
The problem is simply that for most people, their muscles are hidden by layers of fat. Thus, your real enemy in your quest to get washboard abs is not your abs; it's your fat. And you get rid of fat with a treadmill, not an ab flex 3000 that you work out on for 5 minutes a day, burning a whopping 30 calories in the process.
Of course, once you've gotten rid of that fat (or if you don't care about looks and just want strong abs), you can make your muscles bigger and more powerful by lifting weights, doing crunches, etc. But none of that has anything to do with whether you or your friends can visibly see any of it, which is what most people are interested in. They are separate issues.
Step 2: Don't Believe Me?
But don't sit here reading what I have to say and taking my word for it. The proof is in the pudding. Here is a photograph of a professional Sumo wrestler (below)
What do you notice about this man's overall muscles? If you answered, "They're FRICKIN HUGE!" then you are correct. Give yourself a pat on the back.
Now, what do you notice about this man's abs? If you answered, "I don't know. I would need a scalpel to tell you that," then you are 2 for 2. Congratulations.
He has absolutely no visible abs to speak of, despite being a professional wrestler, who spends all of his time and energy day in and out lifting weights and making his body into a physical powerhouse. That's NOT because he has no abs. He could probably do crunches with a pickup trunk strapped to his chest. It's because you just can't SEE the abs underneath all that fat.
If, after all of that, you still don't buy it, then here's a little challenge for you. Go to google, and type in any search terms you want. Your goal is to find a picture of a person who simultaneously has a six pack and a chubby physique. My sumo wrestler here obviously has built forearms and shoulders, and is fat, but I defy you to come up with a similar picture for ab muscles. It just doesn't happen, and if you spend 10 minutes failling to turn anything up, it should do wonders to help convince you that this is true.
So if you want abs to die for, then hit that treadmill, guys! Your job offering at Abercrombie will be just around the corner.