So you want to get a six-pack? I did too, before I had one. In fact, it was somewhat of an obsession of mine, and I wasted a ton of time doing the wrong things at first.
Most guys want to have a six-pack, but few actually have one. The most common excuse is: “I don’t have the time”, but that’s bullshit. Let me tell you why.
If you focus on the few most important things, and stay consistent, you can get a six-pack quite easily, granted that you’re not someone with completely messed up genetics or massively overweight. If that’s the case, it’s going to take a long time, or might not be possible at all. But that’s rare.
Note: Getting a six-pack is very, very simple in theory. It’s just that the most people overcomplicate it — and fail to realize that they’re overcomplicating it.
Why do they do this!?
–Because they’re not consistent enough and because they don’t do enough self-experimentation to know if something is working for them or not. Since they lack knowledge they are uncertain, and so they go from one method to the next without producing real results.
How many times have you not heard people say: “I tried diet XYZ and it didn’t work!”
These are usually the people who will never get a six-pack, because they’re inconsistent dabblers.
These people are brainwashed by instant gratification and think they aren’t getting anywhere with their current strategies (lifting/diet/fasting), when nothing happens in 1-2 weeks. So they try a new thing, for another 1-2 weeks. They try too many things too quickly. This prevents real gym-confidence from growing, and so they always feel compelled to copy other people — even if it doesn’t make any sense.
They start finding any number of potential reasons why they don’t (or can’t) have a six-pack:
- Something is wrong with their hormonal levels…
- They must eat trendier health foods and supplements…
- They’re not wearing the right gym clothes…
These people completely lose sight of the essentials. Because in all likelihood, the real reason for their lack of results stems from inconsistency in proper dieting and exercise. They aren’t abiding by the major principles behind building muscle and getting ripped.
What You Don’t Need to Do to Get a Six-Pack
Most people go about their workouts in a very haphazard way. They don’t pay enough attention to the essential 80/20 activities, the most important things that will yield the most results per time invested.
Before I tell you about these activities, let me first tell you about some of the things you don’t need to do…
You don’t need to:
- Do cardio.
- Do isolation exercises.
- Eat food that supposedly “spikes metabolism”.
- Purchase a bunch of overpriced supplements. (Most supplements have no scientific basis for working — except for bogus research funded by the supplement companies selling the products.)
- Read 30 different books on bodybuilding or nutrition before you start lifting.
Note on fitness books: I’ve done my fair share of reading on exercise, nutrition, and health. 90 % of the information in those books is either speculation or unnecessary knowledge. I do find that stuff interesting — but, most of it is a waste of time. The remaining 10 % is useful and applicable information.
There are a few things that work really well and everything else simply isn’t worth focusing on. The problem is that most people are uneducated and have no idea about what works and what doesn’t. As a result of the very inexact sciences of exercise, nutrition, and health, we have a ton of bogus theories, bullshit products, and pseudo-knowledge. And if you’re not a consistent self-experimenter, you’re likely to buy into that bullshit.
What You Need to Do To Get a Six-Pack
Guess what? You probably already have abs. But you need to get rid of the excess fat in the way.
You do need to reduce body fat.
The easiest and most time-efficient way of doing this is by increasing your daily metabolic rate — the amount of energy (calories) that your body automatically uses each day without any effort on your part. And you do this by:
By having a lot of muscle and fasting you increase your metabolic rate and can:
- Eat more food if you’d like without gaining fat.
- Eat the same amount of food as before and lose fat.
Compound exercises are the ones that build the most muscle and burn the most calories. Therefore you should do the following ones:
- Deadlifts and stifflegged deadlifts.
- Squats, front squats, and lunges.
- Clean and jerks (or just cleans if you’d like)
- Pullups and chins – preferrably weighted
- Dips – preferrably weighted
- Variations of benchpress
And when you do these exercises, be sure to always flex your core (stomach & back) as hard as you can.
If you want to be time-efficient you shouldn’t do much more than these few exercises in the gym, but you should do them a lot.
You will do these compound exercises and you will do many sets of them (5-10+).
You will lift heavy and you will not go above 12 repetitions, preferrably less. (I usually go for 3-8).
These numbers are not set in stone, but they are good guidelines. This is based off of GVT (German Volume Training).
You also need to eat well: Stick to eating a lot of protein. Protein is important for two reasons:
- It is required to build muscle.
- Protein-rich food takes longer to digest and makes you feel full much longer than, for example, eating carbs do.
The most important foods you will eat include: eggs, fish, meat, broccoli, and spinach. Reduce sugar and sweet things as much as you can because sugar raises your insulin levels, and this has two negative effects for you when it comes to getting a six-pack:
- It makes you feel hungry.
- It makes it very hard for your body to burn fat.
Also, eat less carbs in general unless it’s from vegetables. Fruits can be healthy, but they are not necessary. Remember, fruit contain a bunch of sugar, though in the form of fructose. If you’re really serious about getting a six-pack you should avoid all sugar.
Avoid stimulants at night, don’t sit in front of the computer right before bed, sleep in a pitch black room, go to bed and rise in the morning at regular times.
Not 80/20 Activities, but Useful to the Overachiever
- Using stimulants. You can drink coffee in the morning.
- Taking cold showers. You don’t need that warm shower do you? Warm showers are for weaklings.
- Flexing your body as much as you can throughout the day. You can do this in front of the computer.
These three things help you spend more energy (burn more calories). They help, but are not essential.
- Doing various ab exercises.
You don’t need to do ab exercises, because if you do all the compound exercises while flexing your core they are more than enough. But if you have extra time to spare, or really like doing them, then why not?
The most important ab exercises in my opinion are:
- Different variations of weighted leg raises.
- Oblique exercise. This is challenging to do properly and takes some time learning. It’s very easy to cheat doing it – meaning that you’re not using your obliques and core muscles to pull yourself up.
Not Recommended: Waste of Time
- Doing cardio. Cardio is a complete waste of time if your goal is to get a six-pack. You can run, ski, swim, or ride a bike for the sake of enjoying it or because you need to practice aerobically, but doing it to build muscle or to lose fat is a big time-waster. You don’t need to warm up with cardio either, you can do 1-3 light sets instead.
- Isolation exercises. It’s simply inferior to compound exercises because it builds less muscle and burns less calories. Therefore it’s a waste of time if you’re interested in getting a six-pack as fast as possible.
- Stretching. Stretching is a waste of time, an inefficient warm-up, and it doesn’t help you get your six-pack. I haven’t been doing it regularly for years, and I can still touch the ground with my palms on a good day.
Will You Cheat?
I’ve never heard anyone say that they don’t want to have a six-pack. Except people who were lying through their teeth, that is. Everyone wants to have rock-solid abs. And why shouldn’t they? It’s universally attractive.
But most people do not want to put in the time lifting heavy weights and do the dieting required to get it. Guess what? I have great news to those people… They can eat their cake, and still get a six-pack. All it takes is a bit of surgery:
No one can lift that the iron for you. You can’t buy your way to getting a six-pack, unless you want to look as stupid as this guy. A six-pack is earned by being consistent and disciplined, which is why it’s rare and valuable.
While it is possible that you are special — and that you need to do things differently to get a six-pack, it’s not very likely.
And don’t forget the deadlifts: it’s impossible to do compound exercises with heavy weight without developing a strong core. Once you can do that, just shed the excess weight by eating less, fasting, and taking stimulants — without messing up your sleep. Then voila, you’ll have yourself a rock-solid six-pack of abs. And you earned it.
I’m curious. What are some of the crazy rumors that you have heard/read about the things you “must do” to get a six-pack?