So, You Want To Know How To Get Six Pack Abs?
Roughly 1 in 100 gym-goers have defined abdominals – it seems as if over time having abs has become the means of determining whether someone is ‘fit’ and ‘in-shape’. This is without a doubt a terrible means of telling whether someone is actually fit or not, however general fitness is a topic we’ll discuss another time.
Personal trainers, supplement company executives and so called industry professionals will all tell you what you should be doing to get six pack abs… however their information is often flawed for a few reasons including...
The truth about how to get six pack abs won’t put money in their pockets
To get six pack abs you don’t need to buy an ab swing pro or swallow multiple fat burner pills 3 times a day. You don’t need a specific supplement or piece of workout equipment to get abs, you don’t need to undergo a 12 week transformation package with a personal trainer to ‘shock’ your abdominal muscles with a variety of different exercises to get them to appear.
The truth is you really don’t need to spend a cent. That’s not what they want you to believe though.
They aren’t qualified to discuss something they haven’t achieved
As I mentioned in the intro, roughly 1 in 100 gym-goers have a decent set of six pack abs, no a couple of faint lines on the upper abdominals don’t count.
Why take advice from someone who hasn’t achieved the damn thing?
I love learning and expanding my arsenal of skills… however I only recommend learning from someone who has achieved what they’re teaching. If I didn’t have six pack abs I wouldn’t be writing this post. As a personal trainer your body is quite literally your resume – if you’re being instructed or told how to get six pack abs the teacher better have them themselves (there is literally no excuse for this one. Period).
Here’s The 3 Things You Need In Order To Get Six Pack abs
A calorie deficit
The old saying ‘abs are made in the kitchen’ is very true. You can do as many crunches and hours of cardio as you want however unless you’re in a calorie deficit (this is assuming you’re not in the single digit body fat range) you’re never going to see your abdominal muscles.
Conventional ab exercises build the strength of the abdominal muscles, they don’t spot reduce fat. Fat cannot be spot reduced – it is burned at an event rate across the entire body (albeit, some individuals will hold fat in certain areas for longer than others due to genetics).
A calorie deficit is the act of consuming FEWER calories than your body requires to maintain its current condition. Not sure how to calculate your calories or enter a calorie deficit? Check out my guide here.
Strong self discipline
Maintaining a calorie deficit and entering the single digit body fat range to reveal those shredded six pack abs is in my eyes, one of the ultimate tests of patience. You can’t cheat the system – you can’t go to Walmart and buy a pair of six pack abs, that’s what makes them so desirable – they’re rare because today everyone is after the quick fix, the instant gratification. Unfortunately getting abs takes time, I can’t give you an exact timeframe as this depends on your body type, your current body fat level and the size of the caloric deficit you place your body in.
"It takes as long as it takes" - Victor Pride
And it sure as hell is worth it.
Hanging leg raises
Hanging leg raises are the best bang for your buck abdominal exercise out there, here’s why:
They work the entire abdominal region unlike exercises such as sit-ups which have a limited range of motion.
They allow your body to ‘decompress’ when you’ve advanced to the hanging variation.
Speaking of variations, the hanging leg raise can be scaled to suit your current level of conditioning and abdominal strength.
Hanging leg raises are entirely functional, you’ll quickly notice an increase in your core strength and posterior chain stability which will bleed over into better results in your major compound lifts such as the squat and deadlift (I can personally vouch for this as I used to find myself encountering issues with an extremely shaky, unstable core when I was squatting heavy, since throwing in several sets of leg raises twice a week this is no longer an issue).
Hanging leg raises overload your abdominal region more than any sit-ups or floor based core exercise can, resulting in a ‘ripped up’ abdominal region. Body fat determine whether your abs are visible, however hanging leg raises will increase the development of your abs themselves – resulting in deeper cuts and more definition at low body fat.
That’s it. Those are the 3 keys, and the only 3 things you need to know when chasing those six pack abs. The self discipline to see through a calorie deficit until you’re in that single digit body fat is the key, the hanging leg raises will take your core to the next level when you’re there. No money spent, no supplements required.
Now go out there and get your six pack. It’s waiting for you.