How To Get A 6 Pack – The Optimum Guide
Let me start by saying that this isn’t some clickbait article. This is genuinely the quickest way to get a 6 pack (second to plastic surgery, of course). The upside is, when you fully implement this formula, you’ll be on the fastest track possible to finally getting those abs hiding under the tire around your gut to pop out and say hello. The downside is…most people completely give up after just one month of training due to a lack of consistency and a lack of sticking to their newly installed rituals. The first thing you need to do is actually WANT to do this. There’s no magic pill formula, so if you came here for that overnight success BS then perhaps you need to go elsewhere.
Now, if you’re one of the determined folk who is willing to put in a bit of effort in order to get something they’ve wanted for years, then you’re in the right place.
The most important thing required to get a 6 pack is shrinking your current fat cells. Losing fat all over you body is the only way to do this, so a calorie deficit (expending more energy than you’re consuming) is an absolute necessity. However, remember not to do everything at once! Always leave some ‘ammo in the gun’. This is vital, because when your fat loss stalls (and it will at some stage) you will need to have fat burning bullets ready to go to smash through your plateau – for example, introducing a further calorie drop, more intense training sessions, less rest days, macronutrient manipulation, Low Intensity Steady State (LISS) cardio, High Intenity Interval Training (HIIT), and so on…you get the picture.
So, let’s just skip straight to my 9 Step Guide on how to get a 6 pack the fastest way possible:
#1 Work Out Your Calorie Requirement
If you want to get a 6 pack fast, this is an absolute necessity. You’re going to need to find out exactly what calories you require. Using any calorie/macronutrient calculator website will work perfectly (i.e. iifym.com). If you don’t have a structured calorie/macronutrient nutrition plan in place, you can kiss those abs goodbye. All your training effort will quite literally be thrown out the window if you aren’t eating correctly (and just to make this clear – you may be eating the RIGHT foods and thus think you’re on the right track…but simply not eating enough, or too little of certain macronutrients, or incorrect timing of consumption, can take you off course). Please, for the love of god, when you find your calorie requirement to lose fat – either through a coach or on your own – stick to it!!! Going out drinking and eating garbage on the weekends will hinder any and all progress and you will not get a 6 pack any time soon, if at all.
I’m not saying to be a monk and stay at home all day, I’m just saying to be cautious of what you consume, as overeating will obviously completely eradicate any calorie deficit you had in place. Under eating is just as bad, so the closer you are to your prescribed calories the faster your results will be, and the faster you can get a 6 pack.
For the majority, the weekend is the toughest time during a cutting phase when trying to get a 6 pack, so have a read of my article on how to stay on track from Friday to Sunday if you like:
#2 Don’t Jump On The Bike Just Yet
Don’t do cardio just yet! The calorie deficit is more than enough to start with. A good training program is a great place to begin to build a well rounded physique and get a 6 pack built. Start off your training program with low volume and low frequency. This will allow you to add more sessions/sets/reps, lower rest times and up the intensity once you plateau. If you start a program with high volume, high frequency, low rest times, extreme intensity AND added cardio – where will you go when fat loss stalls? Exactly. Trust the process, take it slow and be smart about it.
#3 “Check-In” With Yourself Every 2 Weeks
This means comparing progress pictures and weight every two weeks. Once your bodyweight has stopped dropping consistently, then it may be time to alter your training a bit – you will only notice a plateau if you are tracking and logging consistently.
The last thing you want to do when you plateau is lower your calories even more. It’ll make the diet a lot harder and you’ll be an asshole. You should be looking at an average of 0.5-1kg drop in bodyweight per week (of course, your drop may be on the lighter side of this figure if you are already quite lean). It is a much better idea to take your weight before you eat anything every single morning and log it, then every two weeks find the average weight of the last fourteen days.
Your weight will fluctuate up and down so don’t freak out if it’s not a constant drop every morning. The app Happy Scales is handy to keep track and find the average of your weight every two weeks. Progress pictures can be even more telling than average weight. Tracking and keeping a vigilant eye on your progress will help hugely in your quest to get a 6 pack.
Sleep needs to be on point if you want to get a 6 pack. I cannot stress this enough. Lack of sleep will lower the quality of your hormone output, resulting in the diet being even harder. It has been proven that a lowered sleep quality will negatively affect your ability to shed fat, so it’s incredibly important to put emphasis on going to bed on time. It is, in my opinion, a necessity to sleep in a pitch-black room and to get to bed early. Your melatonin production (the hormone that, essentially, tells us it’s time to sleep) will be diminished if there is any light source in the room (even an alarm clock light). It is also much more effective for fat loss and overall energy/performance to hit the sack at 10pm as opposed to 12am, even if you’re getting the same hours sleep. If your ultimate goal is to get a 6 pack, your body needs to be able to repair, recover and grow and thus sleep needs, needs, needs to be excellent.
If your sleep isn’t the best at the moment, watch my video on my Top 5 Hacks to get a better, deeper sleep:
#5 Eat Adequate Protein
#6 Don’t Make This Mistake!
I’m talking about the mistake of doing endless sit ups, crunches and twists while ignoring every other aspect of your body. Your abs are, of course, just like any other muscle group and thus need to be trained in order to be developed properly. However, they will not show if there is a thick layer of fat sitting above them. So it’s important to utilise a well-rounded training program that will allow you to lose fat, while incorporating ab-specific exercises as an added bonus.
As I have said before (and I will continue to say it), winging your training, walking into the gym just cherry picking random machines, utilising a generic program from some website or making up your own program will not help you longterm. Unless you know a lot about training and therefore know exactly how to structure your workouts, you should really invest in a coach for a good quality program. Look around, do your research and find a coach you like – it will no doubt be the best investment you can possibly make whether your goal is to get a 6 pack, to add pounds of lean tissue or to just shed stubborn fat.
#7 Learn To Manage Stress Levels
Manage your stress levels the best you can. Having your cortisol constantly spiking will hinder your fat loss – you will end up with the so-called “cortisol belly”….bye bye abs. Try using the app Headspace (yes, I have mentioned this in numerous articles, but it has impacted my own life so positively that it’s hard not to share). Guided meditation with this app takes only 10 minutes a day and is great way to manage your stress. You might think this is all BS and maybe you’re wondering how this will affect your ability to get visible abs at all, but trust me, it will.
Those who meditate regularly have much better hormone profiles than those who don’t. Considering your hormones are so strongly involved in fat loss and gain, you probably see now why I recommend meditation. Plus, when the guy in the BMW in front of you fails to use his indicator and almost causes an accident, or when you realise halfway through your work day that you forgot your lunch, or you’re up all night with a sick child, it really pays off to know how to control any emotions that would otherwise, in those situations, cause a massive stress response.
#8 Don’t Eat Stuff You’re Intolerant To
#9 Be Patient
Lastly, be patient. Building a 6 pack takes time and will not happen over night. Please do not be the kind of person who fails to see progress after a week and just throws in the towel. It could be months before you see any noticeable difference, it could be three days, everyone is different! If you’re a male reading this, the upside is you’ll lose fat around 30% faster than females. Either way, by applying these principals you should be well on your way to success and your goal to get a 6 pack should be much easier!