There’s something about a six-pack that seems so desirable. Man or woman, it doesn’t matter. You want those abs to shine through like the main event. I don’t whether it’s to boost your ego, feel good about yourself or whatever, naturally it’s the first thing the eyes are drawn to.
It doesn’t matter if you’re lacking muscle in other areas of the body, as long as you’ve got abs you’re good to go… or at least that’s what you think.
I remember there’s was always that one kid at school who was blessed with the genetics that God gave him to show-off his six-pack to get all the girls’ attention. He didn’t have to have nice rounded shoulders, huge biceps or a chiselled chest, as long as when he lifted his t-shirt up, there were his six nice little abdominal muscles, with about another six girls surrounding him.
In the summer of 2020, I went through a serious weight lose phase and for the first time in my life I could see my abs. Yeah, it was a great feeling I’m not going to lie. Looking in the mirror just to see them or gladly posing for a picture at the beach with your friends trying to show them off. All those memories of being at school and being jealous of the guys that were lucky enough to have those little gems came rushing back. Ha, I no longer needed to be jealous!
So, just exactly how did I go from a 90kg dude with some average muscle at best, touching on 20% body fat to revealing those puppies.
And here’s what might surprise you.
I didn’t do so many ab crunches that it felt like someone was stabbing my stomach, I didn’t do 30-minute ab sessions at the gym every day and I didn’t have to go through any intense morning fasted cardio sessions day after day to do it.
I created them in the kitchen.
I prepped them up and served them on a plate for the world to see.
You see, before I took my nutrition and fitness seriously, I was a but like a lost kid in a maze. Just wandering around hopelessly, just trying to find the way out to victory but often just ended up circling around like a shark who smells the blood of their prey in the ocean. I wasn’t getting anywhere.
I was still going to the gym and putting the work in whilst I was there, but I wasn’t getting any noticeable results. I know a lot of people have felt this way before too. Then I educated myself and guess what? My life changed. I was getting the results my hard-work deserved.
Right. So, tell me how I get a six-pack!
The amazing news is you already have one! It’s true. It doesn’t matter what gender you are; you have abs ready and waiting for you. Let me explain. Abdominal muscles are a part of our genetic makeup. Just like everyone has biceps, pectoral muscles and calves. We all have them, trust me, they’re there.
All you have to do is REVEAL them.
Sure, if you want to have huge biceps and defined calves you will have to go to the gym or lift weights to stimulate the muscles so that they grow. To ensure they keep getting bigger you will have to apply progressive overload, which in layman’s terms basically means every week or every other week you make it harder for yourself, either by increasing the weight or intensity for example.
You will also need to make sure you’re in a slight calorie surplus which is eating more calories than you burn over a sustained period of time (sometimes referred to as a bulk) and ensure you’re getting enough protein in your diet – roughly 1 gram of protein per lbs of body weight.
Inevitably whilst on a bulk, you will put on some fat as well as muscle. That’s science unfortunately. The good news is you can limit the ratio of fat to muscle you put on by being in a slight caloric surplus, roughly around 200-300 calories above maintenance.
The same applies with your abs.
If you want to get that chiselled, what I like to call ‘cheese grater six-pack’, you’ll have to do ab exercises combine with being in a calorie surplus. However, that alone is definitely not enough to get you a six-pack. In fact, that’s the least of your concerns. 10 minutes every other day or every 3 days is enough time to train your abs. That’s hardly much of an inconvenience out of your day.
Then, after you’ve finished your bulk whilst making sure to train your abs frequently for a number of weeks or months, you then enter a calorie deficit (otherwise known as a ‘cut’) to remove the layer of fat you didn’t ask for and reveal them.
The key is to GET YOUR BODY FAT % LOW ENOUGH SO YOU CAN SEE THEM.
Read that again.
Alternatively, if you’re not worried about having rock-hard defined abs that stick out, skip the bulking phase and just go straight to the cut. You’ll still see them, just not as obviously glaring. It may also mean you have to get your body fat % down even lower.
Now, I can’t provide you with an exact number as to what this body fat % should be for you. There’s no magic number. Everyone is different with completely different genetics. Yes, genetics also do play a slight role in this too. Some people may only be able to see a 4-pack whilst others can actually have a 10-pack. It’s insane, I’ve seen it on people.
What I can do though is provide you with a good benchmark for that number which is around 10% body fat for men and around 20% for women respectively. Again, this should just be used as benchmark. The absolute best way to determine whether or not you have abs, which is a fairly obvious one is to just look in the mirror. You’ll see it when they start to poke out, that’s a sign you’re doing something right.
Body Chart Images Credit : AthleanX (Slide Right For Womans Chart)
So how do you get your body fat % down low enough to make sure their visible? Be in a calorie deficit for a sustained period of time, which is the exact opposite to what I just explained about a calorie surplus. That’s how abs are made in the kitchen.
It’s dictated through your diet and solely through your diet.
There’re many great diets out there which will help you stay in a calorie deficit. I’m a big fan of the Keto diet myself, but that’s a story for another day (www.believeinlean/blog/post/)
I’m going to keep this summary short and sweet for you. Nice and simple, just like it is to see your abdominals.
If you want to rock-hard abs that you can show off on the beach for everyone to touch and boost your ego, then follow these 3 steps.
Step 1 & 2
Be in a calorie surplus and train your abs frequently (3-4 times a week) for a sustained period of time, normally months.
Step 3 – Finish your bulk and start cutting. Make sure you’re in a calorie deficit for a sustained period of time. I would recommend still training your abs whilst cutting.
Alternatively, if you just want to see your abs and aren’t worried about the degree in which they’re defined, just follow this one step.
Make sure you’re in a calorie deficit for a sustained period of time.
If I someone told me I could only use one sentence to describe how to get a six-pack then it would go something like this;
ABS ARE MADE IN THE KITCHEN. YOU MUST MAKE SURE YOU GET YOUR BODY FAT % LOW ENOUGH SO YOU CAN SEE THEM. THE END.
Follow these steps and you will get abs. No question about it. Just be patient though and keep going. Progress takes time, but progress is also inevitable providing you do it correctly.