How to get a Six Pack

I’m sure I speak for every personal trainer who ever existed when I say that the most frequently asked question as a fitness professional is, “so how do I get a 6 pack then? Is it true they’re made in the kitchen”? And to that question, here’s my answer:

No a 6 pack is not made in the kitchen it's made with hard core commitment and dedication, so it's likely that the reason you don't have one is that you've added a pinch of lazy into the recipe!

Of course my usual answer is much more constructive than that, but with so many crazy theories on how to get the ultimate in abs, here are my top 10 tips to earning a six pack, so you can be better informed.

1. Ditch the after work wine.

Because the body struggles to metabolise alcohol it needs to process it immediately, which means that other metabolic processes suffer, causing your metabolism to slow down, and an overall weight gain to occur.

Instead of convincing yourself that the odd glass won't hinder your results, smarten up and get rid of the after work glass or 2, opting instead to save it for out of house occasions.

2. Increase muscle density for your larger muscle groups.

Guys especially listen up! You will need to increase muscle density in your legs if you want to reduce the spare tyre that hides your 6 pack. Spot reducing isn't the answer, which means that solely doing sit ups and crunches won't work, but increasing muscle density in your larger muscle groups will.

That said a carefully tailored programme which targets quads, hamstrings, chest, back, and midsection will be a faster way to seeing the 6 pack. Bicep curls and crunches might feel like a smart idea, but in the early stages of fat loss your time is better spent on your larger muscle groups.

3. Re-programme your weights workout to avoid sitting around for your rest periods.

You'll need to gain strength and muscle density if you want to strip back fatty layers so working hard at your weight training will help you earn a 6 pack, but instead of sitting around for your rest periods, utilise the time to maximise overall intensity.

A good personal trainer can help you structure your programme to make it more effective, or check out this link for a personalised programme to help you achieve this.

4. Ditch the carbs at stupid times.

It's important to note that I am not suggesting you ditch carbs altogether, I am simply saying choose the right times to have them.

If carbohydrates are one of the primary sources of energy, then it makes little sense to have large carbohydrate portions at dinner time: you don't need a lot of energy to sleep, now do you?

5. Incorporate HIIT in your training week.

At least once a week do a solid high intensity interval training session. Les Mills GRIT is ideal, but if you don't have the option then try:

  • Outdoor hill sprints. 30seconds sprinting uphill (gradually progressing to 3min intervals) with 50% less time for recovery. Repeat 6-10 times.
  • If you have access to a rowing machine then try 200metre sprints x 30sec recovery and repeat for 6-10 intervals.

Your HIIT options are endless, and these are only a few of your choices!

6. Cut out processed foods.

It's tough with so many temptations available, but give it your best shot! Flag grabbing a muffin with your espresso, take dinner left overs for your lunch instead of buying, and plan ahead instead of picking up a snack when you're filling up with petrol.

7. Get off ya butt!

One of the main purposes of your abdominal muscles is to stabilise the body in an upright position when you're standing. That means that when you're standing, walking & jogging, you're abs are contracted, so switch up your routine to have less periods of time in your day where you're sedentary. When you're sedentary, chances are that your abs are too.

8. Stay consistent.

I mean this in more ways than just one! Firstly, creating a 6 pack is much more likely when you adhere to a consistent regime week after week. (3x every week is better than 7 x one week, but 0 the next).

Secondly, maintaining a consistent, healthy exercise regime from your teens right through to your older years will help keep the spare tyre at bay. I see a massive difference in results from personal training clients who participated in sport through their teens, compared to those who weren't active at that age. If it's too late for you to take this second part of advice, at least encourage the younger generation to be active!

9. Every 2 weeks do a long duration run.

I'm cautious to say this one since I can already hear a percentage of readers picking it apart (generally speaking, although running is a great activity for using your abdominals, it's a well-known fact that running is not the way to lean up). However; since endurance running can promote utilising muscle as well as fat for energy (yes that's right, you may well loose muscle with this one!) then including a very small percentage of your training in a long duration run can help lean the physique, and therefore encourage the 6 pack to show through. There are a few conditions with this one though.

  • This will only work if tailored resistance training is the majority of your training
  •  This will only work if you are also including HIIT in your workout week.
  • This will only work if you don't run like a total muppet.

10. Push your boundaries every session.

That's' right, just like an athlete, you'll need to consistently push your body if you want to achieve a 6 pack. Assume you have made gains from every workout, and build on it for your next.

Article by Alex Myall

How to get a six pack men