There are no shortcuts


Return of Kings recently featured a sponsored post by none other than Mr. Six Pack Shortcuts himself, Mike Chang. It makes for interesting reading, to say the least- though not perhaps in the way you might think at first:
I’ve been a daily reader of Return Of Kings since 2012. Before that, I used to be your average frustrated blue pill chump. I was actually on track to get married and to have kids with the crazy girl I used to date…lol. 
But (thankfully) in 2012 we broke up, and that led me to finally question everything I’d been taught about women, masculinity, and the world. That led to me discovering ROK and finally taking the red pill. 
I’ve personally learned a ton from ROK, and I think it’s safe to say I’ll probably save over a million dollars over my lifetime from learning not to spend ridiculous amounts of money on WOMEN. So I contacted Roosh to see if I could use my expertise to help fellow ROK readers.

Now, you probably already know that most fitness advice out there is uni-sex advice intended to “improve functional fitness” or to “improve general health,” whatever the fuck that means. But my approach to working out is different because my goal with working out is to get myself a body that gets maximum attraction from women and maximum respect from men – with minimum gym time. 
Let’s be honest… You don’t care about being a bodybuilder or Crossfitter. You don’t want to spend your life in the gym. You just want to know how to get a body that will attract women and make guys respect you in the shortest possible amount of time.
So far, so good- although I do think that the use of "jargon" here to identify oneself with the target crowd is a bit much. It's almost like Mike Chang is trying to "tick the boxes" to make himself relatable to the audience that reads RoK- which, incidentally, is pretty much Marketing 101.

But then, if you look more closely at the article, there is quite a bit about it that just doesn't add up with what Mr. Chang wrote initially.

Consider the following advice:
  • Use Fat Gripz or other methods when deadlifting or doing curls to increase bar diameter and therefore increase your grip strength- good, legitimate advice;
  • Use a wider stance when squatting- again, good advice with sound evidence to support it;
  • Work to burn fat using high-intensity, short-burst movements- once more, good advice
So you would conclude, based on the above, that Mike Chang knows what he is talking about, and you would have a reasonable body of evidence from which to draw this conclusion.

Unfortunately, the video evidence that shows Mike Chang putting his ideas into action tells a very different story:

The absolute worst thing about Mr. Chang's post, though, has to be this bit:
If you didn’t know already, the Afterburn Effect is your body’s ability to burn fat for up to 48 hours after your workout is over. And, it’s the most effective way to get six pack abs because you aren’t just burning calories during your workout… but, you are burning calories while you are sleeping, watching television, and even when you’re eating.
Oh dear.

So stupid, it makes polar bears weep
I realise that this might be news to anyone who is under the age of, say, five, but the fact is that simply by virtue of being alive, you burn energy and calories.

It is admittedly slightly unfair to disparage this without first acknowledging one important fact. Mr. Chang is absolutely correct to point out that a hard workout will boost your metabolism for hours and even days afterwards. There is plenty of well-researched scientific evidence to support this.

But it is quite ridiculous to market this as some sort of epic revelation- it's simple biology, and has been known for decades.

The reality is that Mr. Chang isn't selling any kind of magic potion for making you more attractive to women. He's not selling you a way to achieve your fitness goals. He's simply selling you a product that will make him rich- and might help you reach a very specific type of goal, if that is what you want.

Now let's be clear about a few things. I do not hold anything against Return of Kings or its founders for giving Mike Chang a forum in which to air his products. They have advertising targets that they need to reach for that site, and it is entirely up to them how they choose to do it. And I do not particularly begrudge Mike Chang his marketing methods; he has a business to run, and he has a product to sell, and best of luck to him with both.

I simply disagree entirely with the idea that having a six-pack should be your goal in life. And I categorically disagree with the notion that there are "shortcuts" to achieving this goal.

The reality is that achieving a lean, strong, powerful body is a difficult, challenging process that takes many months- even years- to complete. And when it is complete and you have that lean, cut body that you've always wanted, you still have to maintain it.

My personal view on the subject of having a good-looking body is pretty simple. I don't see much point to it. My goal is to be as strong as I can possibly be, naturally, while staying healthy and injury-free. Your goals are probably different than mine, and I do not begrudge you that. The question is, what are you willing to do to achieve that goal? Are you willing to make the sacrifices, put in the work, and commit to the grind that is required in order to get you there?

The answer, for most men, is going to be a most emphatic "no". Which is why a lot of guys then look for "shortcuts", without putting in the damn work. And that is why they turn to something like Six-Pack Shortcuts, without stopping to think about whether they are getting something useful from it that they can use for the rest of their lives.

The reality is that there are no shortcuts to achieving a strong, healthy, fit body. You've GOT to put in the work. I'll never claim that powerlifting is the only way to do this- that would be stupid, and there are several good alternatives that you can pursue. But they all come down to the exact same thing: put in the work, avoid the shortcuts, embrace the grind.


  1. ROK has gone to shit. The only writer they have who is not a hack trying to scam you is Matt Forney.

    1. I don't go so far as that- I have great respect for Quintus Curtius's writing, for instance. Even so, there has definitely been a change in emphasis and tone at RoK in the last year or so, and I'm not fully convinced that it's for the better.


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