In short, massage is great for muscle recovery. It healps in the healing process from stress or injuries, warm up for physical activity, cool down from physical activity, and general relaxation. Since massage helps with stress and the recovery process it can help get you back to where you want to be faster and with top performance.
On the media— The media can be vary deceiving. When you see a celebrity that is in shape or one that does a quick transformation you have to remember that them being in that physical condition is a part of their job. They have a team of people around them to help make them look the way they do. They have a trainer they work with multiple days a week, a professional chef that cooks proper meals for them or they have a meal planning service that delivers food to them that is based around there goals and they could also be working with a nutritionist. Having proper nutrition is half the battle. Lets not forget they also have the money and time to be able to do it that most of us don’t.
How long until you see change and the process— It can take up to 3 months (the best bet) before seeing a real physical change in yourself if you are new to the fitness world. The first few months are really building up your CNS (central nervous system) by bridging your mind muscle connection. The best way to think of it is as a long game rather than the short game. You can’t cheat biology. A lot of people new to fitness don’t realize this and they can get discouraged because they want to see results fast. Most likely because of all “quick fixes” we get through the media and because they see celebrates with fast transformations (discussed in the Media section). This is a process, this is a journey and it’s different for everyone.
Tech in the fitness industry— Apps and fitness tech is good for tracking your heart rate during cardio but definitely not for when you do any kind of resistance training. They are great for cardio because your heart rate stays at an elevated level for a sustained period of time. Its not until you stop that your heart rate slows back to normal, and that is all that your gadget tracks and its how it tracks the amount of calories burned, if its accurate of course. During resistance training your heart rate goes up during your set but goes down during the rest period between sets, so your fitness tech doesn’t take that into consideration. It doesn’t read the physical exertion you are putting your body through during each rep/set, thereby not accurately reading the amount of calories burned and overall benefits of resistance training. If you are new to exercise this can really mess with your head and lead you to not doing what is necessary and changing your exercise program when you should be sticking with it.
Getting abs and a slick midsection— Everyone wants them. A slick midsection is one of the hardest things to attain, they usually show up last when you are doing a program and they are the first to leave when you stop exercising. Getting solid abs and core show up from exercising your whole body, not from doing a million set ups. You will want to build a nice strong core first then go for the six pack. A strong core is functional, a six pack is the aesthetic part of the front ab wall and its only purpose is to flex the spine forward. A strong core will help with lower back injury prevention and help give you power for the rest of your exercises.
In order to get a slick midsection do a combination of proper nutrition, free weights and body weight training, add kettlebells, medicine balls and battle ropes to keep thing fresh. I also cant recommend deadlifts and squats enough. You can do various squat variations if traditional back squats arent your thing.