Building six pack abs is a rewarding experience.
While it’s not easy, you don’t need to spend years to do it.
A few years ago I decided to build six pack abs. But I didn’t know how.
It didn’t help that nobody around me had six pack abs. So I did my research on the internet.
The information I found on the internet was confusing.
I went through a lot of bullshit and wasted efforts until I found the right way and managed to get my six pack abs.
I don’t want you to make the mistakes I made, so I decided to write this article.
Lies about Six Pack Abs
First, there are all kinds of lies about six pack diet.
There’s no specific food that will build you six pack abs. Ignore all the advice about eating this and eating that. Keep it simple. There is a section about six pack diet below, so read on.
Another lie is that you already have six pack abs under your belly fat so you only need to lose enough belly fat to unveil your six pack abs.
Unless you trained your ab muscles before, you don’t have six pack abs under your belly fat. Your ab muscles are still muscles. You need to build them just as any other muscle in your body.
Look at these skinny men. They don’t have belly fat but they don’t have six pack abs either:
Also, most ab workouts you will find on the internet are unnecessary. I never did crunches, leg raises or any exercise other than burpees and sit-ups for my abs.
The fastest way to get six pack abs is dropping the bullshit and focusing on the essentials.
Get your training and diet right and you will have six pack abs.
Read more: Top 13 Myths About Six Pack Abs
Training for Six Pack Abs
Bodyweight training is the best way to get six pack abs.
You only need do the essential bodyweight exercises. You don’t need any equipment other than a pull-up bar. If you set up a pull-up bar in your home, you don’t even need to leave your house. Yes, you can build six pack abs at home.
I recommend you to train all your muscles because your body is a whole unit. Having six pack abs while you have chicken legs, pencil arms and a sunken chest is not a smart thing to do.
Burpees and sit-ups are the best exercises for your abs.
Add bodyweight squats and lunges for your legs, push-ups for your arms and chest, pull-ups for your arms and back and now you have a full body workout. Since your abs are at the core of your body, you will still train your abs with these exercises.
If you can’t fully perform these exercises yet, that’s OK too. I wasn’t able to do pull-ups when I started. I did reverse pull-ups until I could do a complete pull-up.
Every exercise has an easier version. Do the easier version until you build yourself up to a full version.
These exercises are all you need to build a sexy body with six pack abs.
Applying Progressive Overload Principle to Your Six Pack Abs Training
For your muscles to grow, progressive overload is always the way to go.
Applying progressive overload for bodyweight training is different than weightlifting.
With weightlifting, you increase the weights you lift or you increase the number of reps.
With bodyweight training, you don’t want to increase your body weight for the purposes of progressive overload. Increasing the number of reps doesn’t make sense either. Since you will be training with your body weight, your body will quickly adapt to your training and your reps will increase, increase and increase. Nobody has time to do 1500 push-ups in a training session.
So, you will apply progressive overload by introducing a third variable other than weights or reps: Time.
You will always train with your bodyweight and the same number of reps. Progressive overload will happen when you complete the same number of reps within a shorter time.
Example: Do 200 push-ups today. Have a timer by your side. If you didn’t train for a while, it will take a lot of your time to complete 200 push-ups.
Next time you do push-ups do 200 push-ups again. You will see that you complete 200 push-ups within a shorter time.
As you train, it will take shorter and shorter time to complete your training.
This is the progressive overload you need to apply.
Do the same with other exercises. Mix things up. Do 150 burpees and 200 bodyweight squats on Monday, 200 push-ups, and 150 sit-ups on Wednesday and so on. Pick up 3 exercises a day, do 150-200 reps of each exercise as fast as you can for 3-4 days in a week and that’s your six pack abs training.
The beauty of this approach is, your training time will keep shrinking over time.
The less time it takes doing the same workout, the more progressive overload you will achieve- which means your muscles are growing. If you train enough, you will build big ab muscles along with your other muscles.
This will be an incredibly rewarding experience. Once you get past through the first few weeks, the workouts will be easier to carry through. It will never get too easy but nothing worth achieving is easy.
Once you build your six pack abs, they stay with you for a lifetime. I built my six pack abs a long time ago. Now I do weightlifting and I don’t do any direct training for my abs anymore. But my abs still stay with me because of muscle memory. So, once you build your six pack abs, you can move on. When your training feels difficult, remind yourself that this is temporary. You don’t need to train your abs for a lifetime.
How Long Does It Take to Get Six Pack Abs?
Building six pack abs will take you between 2.5 and 6.5 months depending on your current condition, provided that your training and your diet is on point.
If you are fairly athletic and have a history of sports: You can build six pack abs in 2.5 months.
If you are a complete couch potato with no history of training: Give it at least 6.5 months.
Obese men should first lose weight before they get into this kind of training. If you are obese, bring your body fat down to about 30% levels before you start to train.
Read more: How Long Does It Take to Get Six Pack Abs
Six Pack Diet
Your diet is another crucial component of getting six pack abs.
Don’t think that you don’t need to watch your diet just because you are training hard.
You can’t out-train a bad diet.
If you train hard and diet right, your abs should start to be visible when your body fat percentage is around 15%. If you get to 8-10% body fat, your six pack abs should be fully visible.
Since most men have body fat levels over 10%, you probably need to lose weight.
Find your maintenance calories. If you need to lose fat, eat below your maintenance levels.
First, eat your protein and then your fat.
Eat at least 0.8 gram of protein per pound of your body weight.
Try to get at least 100-grams of carbs a day to avoid ketosis. Eat some of your carbs before your workouts for quick energy.
Is It Possible to Lose Weight and Build Muscle at the Same Time?
If you have body fat levels lower than 10% you can skip this section.
If you have more than 10% body fat, there are two things you should do to get six pack abs:
- Training (to build muscle)
- Dieting (to lose fat)
This implies that you have to build muscle and lose fat at the same time.
There’s too much confusion about building muscle and burning fat at the same time.
We have to make a distinction for the purpose of getting six pack abs.
While you are lifting weights, it makes sense to bulk and cut because you can bulk up to 25-30% body fat levels while you are lifting weights and building your muscles.
Getting six pack abs requires a more efficient strategy.
To get six pack abs, you need to be around 10% body fat. You can’t use bulking approach because either your starting body fat point should be below 10% which is not appropriate for training or you should bulk up when you actually need to get leaner.
So, it’s best to lose fat and build muscle at the same time. This is the most effective way and yes, it’s possible.
Training hard while you are in a caloric deficit will be tough but nobody said building six pack abs is easy.
The Rewards of Building Six Pack Abs Are Huge
You have to understand that nothing worth achieving is easy.
It will be hard but building six pack abs will do wonders for your life.
I was a “3 packs in a day” cigarette smoking and gallons of beer drinking fat couch potato.
My commitment to building six pack abs made me a better man in every imaginable way.
If I could do it you can do it too.
Visualize yourself with the body of your dreams and never give up.
There will be times when your brain will try to trick you into giving up.
Don’t ever give up. Believe me, results are worth your effort.
Remember: When the going gets tough, the tough get going.