Is There a Cheat Code to Get Six-Pack Abs Faster?

The good news is that you have abs. The bad news is that there’s no quick and easy way to unearth them. Exercising your abdominal muscles with targeted exercises will help to strengthen and shape them.

Reduce calories

Cut about 500 calories from your daily diet if you want to lose one pound a week.

If you’re exercising, you may be able cut fewer calories. If you burn 250 calories by working out daily, you may need to only cut calories by 250.

Increase protein intake

When you lose weight, you also lose lean muscle. To help maintain muscle mass, it’s important to consume adequate amounts of protein, the building block of muscle.

Aim for roughly 1 to 1.5 grams for every two pounds you weigh.

One analysis published in Nutrition Reviews noted that while trying to lose weight, those who ate higher-than-average amounts of protein (1.2 to 1.5 grams per 2.2 pounds of body weight) were able to preserve lean muscle mass and improve body composition compared to those who ate average amounts of protein (0.8 grams per 2.2 pounds).

That translates into more than 90 grams of protein — 30 grams per meal, per day for a 150-pound person.

Protein-rich foods include chicken, beef, turkey, legumes, nuts, and certain dairy products like Greek yogurt.

Choose high-intensity intermittent exercise

Examples of high-intensity intermittent exercise include:

  • sprinting for 20 seconds followed by walking for 40, and repeat
  • cycling at an all-out pace for 8 seconds followed by a low-intensity pace for 12 seconds

According to research published in the Journal of Obesity, women who performed that type of cycling exercise for 20 minutes, three times a week, for 15 weeks, lost more body fat than those who performed steady aerobic exercise.

Add resistance training

Cardio plus lifting weights seems to be the magic bullet when it comes to losing fat.

In one study looking at overweight adolescents, those who did cardio work for 30 minutes and strength training for 30 minutes, three times a week for one year, lost more body fat and whittled their waist circumference more than those who just did aerobic exercise.

How Long Does It Take to Get Six-Pack Abs?

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What is it about six pack abs?

Why are so many people so enamored of a rippling stomach?

Why is it the epitome of being fit and sexy?

Well, I’ll leave those questions to the “fitlosophers” of the world, and instead, answer this one for you:

How long does it take to get six pack abs?

And I mean a real six pack, not some hazy lines that are halfway visible in perfect, “half natty” lighting.

You know: lean, tight, and defined core muscles, and maybe…just maybe…some vascularity too, gods willing. 😉

Allow me to demonstrate, if I may:

How long does it take to get abs like that?

Well, you’re going to know by the end of this article.

So, if you’ve been cutting for months now and are frustrated with your lack of results, or if you’re just getting started and want to know when you’ll finally see abs in the mirror, then you’re in the right place.

Let’s get to it.

Would you rather watch a video? Click the play button below!

Want to watch more stuff like this? Check out my YouTube channel!

How To Get a Six Pack

I have good news for you:

Getting abs is a lot easier than you’ve been led to believe.

You don’t need to develop orthorexia, choke down handfuls of fat burners every day, or do hours of core workouts every week.

At bottom, there are just three things you have to do to get the abs you really want:

  1. Lose the belly fat.
  2. Do a lot of heavy compound weightlifting.
  3. Do the right ab and core exercises.

Yup, that’s it.

No “weird tricks,” strange diets, or silly supplements.

The long story short is for your abs to really “pop,” you need to have a low body fat percentage and highly developed core muscles.

Most guys need to get down to around 10% body fat to start seeing their six pack come together, and most gals need to hit 20% or so to achieve the same.

(And in case you’re wondering, I’m about 7% body fat in the picture above, so you have to get a couple points below the 10/20% benchmarks to get that hard “super lean” look.)

Now, if that’s news to you, then I recommend that you pause reading this article and head over here, where I break it all down in detail and explain how to do each of those three things correctly.

If we’re already on the same page there, though, then let’s continue…

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How Long Does It Take to Get Six Pack Abs?

Alright, the moment of truth.

How long will it take you get a six pack?

If you’re worried that the answer is going to be hopelessly long, take heart.

When you know what you’re doing, getting a shredded stomach doesn’t take nearly as much time or effort as many people think.

The following chart breaks it down.


This chart assumes an average of just one pound of fat loss per week, and it’ll give you an accurate estimate of how long until you can start making your Instagram fam envious. 😉

Here’s how to use it:

  1. Locate the column (vertical division) at the top with your current body fat percentage. (Don’t know your body fat percentage? Check this out.)
  2. If you’re a woman, follow that column down until you hit an orange cell, and if you’re a man, follow it down until you hit a yellow cell.
  3. Trace that row (horizontal division) to the left-hand margin and look at its number, and that’s approximately how many weeks it’ll take you to get six pack abs.

So, for example, let’s say you’re a guy currently sitting at 22% body fat.

First, you find the column for a starting body fat percentage of 22%:

Second, you follow that column down until you hit the yellow cell:

Third, you follow that row left until you hit the numbers along the margin and see what you get:

And voila, you see that it’s going to take you about 25 weeks to get that killer six pack.

Now, the actual amount of time it’s going to take can be slightly more or less depending on how well you stick your diet and training programs, whether you use supplements to speed up the process or not, and how efficiently or inefficiently your body tends to mobilize and burn fat.

You may also find that you don’t quite have the core you envisioned once you reach your target body fat percentage.

For example, you might look something like this guy:

Or this gal:

Not bad looks at all, but just not there yet, either, like these beautiful people:

Well, genetics aside (which they have in spades), what’s really going on here is the former folk don’t have enough core development to have the whole six pack package that we see in the latter.

Fortunately, that’s easy enough to fix (here’s how).

What About “Stubborn Fat”?

The “big secret” to getting six pack abs is getting lean and developing your core muscles.

And that boils down to proper diet and exercise, not special ab exercises or supplements to “spot reduce” the fat around your belly.

That said, if this is your first six pack rodeo, you’re going to notice something:

If you’re a guy, your belly and lower back fat is going to hang on for dear life, and if you’re a girl, your hips and thighs are going to take their sweet time leaning out.

In other words, you’re going to find that some fat stores on your body go quickly while others barely seem to change.

Well, there are simple physiological reasons for this, and equally simple diet and exercise strategies that you can use to lose this “stubborn fat” faster.

Read this article to learn more.

The Bottom Line on How Long it Takes to Get Abs

Getting a six pack takes time. There’s no way around it.

It doesn’t have to take as much time as you might think, though.

As you can see in the chart above, a couple of months of cutting is all most people need to get their body fat percentage into the right range.

Once you’re there, if you have well developed core muscles, voila, you’ll have a six pack.

If getting lean isn’t enough, though, due to inadequate core development (this is the case for most people that haven’t been training seriously for at least a year or two), then you just need to bring up your core development.

Good luck, and let me know how it goes!

What’s your take on how long it takes to get abs? Have anything else you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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How long does it take to get a six-pack if you skinny?!?

It’s very easy to get a six-pac if you’re skinny. The biggest problem with seeing a six-pack is mostly that there’s a layer of fat above the lower abs so you don’t see it too well. But skinny persons don’t have that problem (well, most of em -_- )
I would advise you to just work out your whole body, your abs will start showing even if you don’t do ab exercises. Or like once a week, only one exercise. I’ve never done more than that, and my abs are possibly the ‘most developed’ muscles. Personally I don’t believe that you have to train them almost daily. And you’ll use them enough as stabilizer muscles while training other muscles.
Keep in mind that if you only train your abs, they’ll grow much, much slower than when you train your whole body.
If you do some basic exercises – sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups, dips, and perhaps some squats (you don’t need weights for any of these exercises and you train your whole upper body), you’ll see results after about a month or two of training

Abs. Toned stomach. Flat belly. I’ve been on a quest for the secret weapon to getting six-pack abs since I was a teen. I do everything right—eat healthily, exercise regularly, limit alcohol, even do core-targeting exercises three to seven times a week, and sometimes even twice a day. Yet—even my mother attests—I look like a healthy normal woman. Not a healthy toned, fit woman.

While the prevailing wisdom among fitness trainers is that body transformations are 80% diet and 20% exercise, anyone looking to achieve some idealized notion of six-pack abs will want to add the primary factor into that equation. If you really want eye-popping ab definition, “choose your parents carefully,” Harley Pasternak, celeb trainer and founder of the 5-Factor Diet, joked to Shape. Terms like “upper abs” and “lower abs,” he explains, mislead us to believe that we have six separate pockets of muscle defining our midsection, when it’s actually all one muscle, divided into sections by fibrous bands. “Most people have a genetic predisposition to where those lines are,” Pasternak says.

We can’t change our genetics (at least, not yet), but there are things we can do to improve our body’s response to exercise.

On my first training session with Roydian Chan, a “tier 3+” personal trainer at Equinox in Toronto, he pointed out something no one has ever told me. I wasn’t breathing properly. So, he taught me how to breathe.

That’s right. He taught me how to breathe. Sounds random, I know. But as he was poking my ribs and tummy with his finger as we went through his planned workout, I did feel silly. But the next day, I had something I never had before—delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) in my abs. And with every workout after that. (By the way: This is how you get rid of delayed-onset muscle soreness!)

Here, Chan shares with me (and you, of course) how you can get more from your abs workouts by simply breathing better.

How to Deal With Resistance to Change

Role of the administrator

Now what about the way top executives go about their own jobs as they involve the introduction of change and problems of resistance?

One of the most important things an executive can do, of course, is to deal with staff people in much the same way that the staff members should deal with the operators. An executive must realize that staff people resist social change, too. (This means, among other things, that particular rules should not be prescribed to staff on the basis of this article!)

But most important, I think, is the way the administrators conceive of their job in coordinating the work of the different staff and line groups involved in a change. Does an administrator think of these duties primarily as checking up, delegating and following through, applying pressure when performance fails to measure up? Or does the executive think of them primarily as facilitating communication and understanding between people with different points of view—for example, between a staff engineering group and a production group who do not see eye to eye on a change they are both involved in? An analysis of management’s actual experience—or, at least, that part of it which has been covered by our research—points to the latter as the more effective concept of administration.

I do not mean that executives should spend their time with the different people concerned discussing the human problems of change as such. They should discuss schedules, technical details, work assignments, and so forth. But they should also be watching closely for the messages that are passing back and forth as people discuss these topics. Executives will find that people—themselves as well as others—are always implicitly asking and making answers to questions like: “How will she accept criticism?” “How much can I afford to tell him?” “Does she really get my point?” “Is he playing games?” The answers to such questions determine the degree of candor and the amount of understanding between the people involved.

When administrators concern themselves with these problems and act to facilitate understanding, there will be less logrolling and more sense of common purpose, fewer words and better understanding, less anxiety and more acceptance of criticism, less griping and more attention to specific problems—in short, better performance in putting new ideas for technological change into effect.

1. See Lester Coch and John R.P. French, Jr., “Overcoming Resistance to Change,” Human Relations, Vol. 1, No. 4, 1948, p. 512.

2. For a complete report of the study, see Harriet O. Ronken and Paul R. Lawrence, Administering Changes: A Case Study of Human Relations in a Factory (Boston, Division of Research, Harvard Business School, 1952).

A version of this article appeared in the January 1969 issue of Harvard Business Review.

4 Ways to Get Abs Fast

If you can’t see your abs, don’t assume it’s because you’re missing out on a magical abdominal exercise or secret supplement. Blame your mindset.

You see, losing belly flab is a boring process. It requires time, hard work, and most important, dedication. Take the right steps every single day, and you’ll ultimately carve out your six-pack. But if you stray from your plan even a few times a week—which most people do—you’ll probably never see your abs.

The solution: four simple habits. Think of these habits as daily goals designed to keep you on the fast track to a fit-looking physique. Individually they’re not all that surprising, but together, they become a powerful tool.

The effectiveness of this tool is even supported by science. At the University of Iowa, researchers determined that people are more likely to stick with their fat-loss plans when they concentrate on specific actions instead of the desired result. So rather than focusing on abs that show, follow a daily list of nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle strategies for achieving that rippled midsection.

The result: automatic abs.

Read the original article on Men’s Health.

1. Wake Up to Water

Imagine not drinking all day at work—no coffee, no water, no diet soda.

At the end of an 8-hour shift, you’d be pretty parched. Which is precisely why you should start rehydrating immediately after a full night’s slumber.

From now on, drink at least 16 ounces of chilled H2O as soon as you rise in the morning. German scientists recently found that doing this boosts metabolism by 24 percent for 90 minutes afterward. (A smaller amount of water had no effect.) What’s more, a previous study determined that muscle cells grow faster when they’re well hydrated.

A general rule of thumb: Guzzle at least a gallon of water over the course of a day.

2. Eat Breakfast Every Day

A University of Massachusetts study showed that men who skip their morning meal are 4 1/2 times more likely to have bulging bellies than those who don’t. So within an hour of waking, have a meal or protein shake with at least 250 calories.

British researchers also found that breakfast size was inversely related to waist size. That is, the larger the morning meal, the leaner the midsection. But keep the meal’s size within reason: A 1,480-calorie smoked-sausage scramble at Denny’s is really two breakfasts, so cap your intake at 500 calories.

For a quick way to fuel up first thing in the morning, try this recipe: Prepare a package of instant oatmeal and mix in a scoop of whey protein powder and 1/2 cup of blueberries.

3. Exercise the Right Way

Everyone has abs, even if people can’t always see them because they’re hidden under a layer of flab.

That means you don’t need to do endless crunches to carve out a six-pack. Instead, you should spend most of your gym time burning off blubber.

The most effective strategy is a one-two approach of weightlifting and high-intensity interval training. According to a recent University of Southern Maine study, half an hour of pumping iron burns as many calories as running at a 6-minute-per-mile pace for the same duration. (And it has the added benefit of helping you build muscle.)

What’s more, unlike aerobic exercise, lifting has been shown to boost metabolism for as long as 39 hours after the last repetition. Similar findings have been noted for intervals, which are short, all-out sprints interspersed with periods of rest.

For the best results, do a total-body weight-training workout three days a week, resting at least a day between sessions. Then do an interval-training session on the days in between. To make it easy on you, follow this ultimate fat-burning plan.

4. Skip the Late Shows

You need sleep to unveil your six-pack. That’s because lack of shut-eye may disrupt the hormones that control your ability to burn fat.

For instance, University of Chicago scientists recently found that just three nights of poor sleep may cause your muscle cells to become resistant to the hormone insulin. Over time, this leads to fat storage around your belly.

To achieve a better night’s sleep, review your goals again 15 minutes before bedtime. And while you’re at it, write down your plans for the next day’s work schedule, as well as any personal chores you need to accomplish. This can help prevent you from lying awake worrying about tomorrow (“I have to remember to e-mail Johnson”), which can cut into quality snooze time.

Stay in shape by signing up for a fitness class or read more fitness articles.

How to get defined abdominal muscles

Building abs will require exercises that target several muscles in the abdomen.

Some tips include:

Work smarter, not harder

A study that the American Council on Exercise funded found that the three most effective exercises to strengthen the rectus abdominis and oblique muscles were the bicycle maneuver, captain’s chair, and exercise ball crunch.

Regularly performing these exercises is an efficient way to build the abs.

Bicycle maneuver

To perform the bicycle maneuver:

  • Lie flat on the floor on the back.
  • Interlace the fingers behind the head and bring the knees toward the chest, pressing the lower back into the floor.
  • Twist the body toward the right side, bringing the left elbow and right knee closer together. Extend the left leg at the same time.
  • Reverse the motion, twisting to the left side while bringing the right elbow and left knee toward each other and extending the right leg.
  • Repeat this exercise 20 times, rest, and then perform two additional sets.

Captain’s chair

People usually perform this exercise on a piece of gym equipment that trainers call a knee raise station.

  • Start by placing the back against the back support on the station.
  • Gently rest the forearms on the armrests and grip the handles. Allow the legs to hang freely from the station.
  • Bend the legs toward the chest.
  • Hold this position for 1–3 seconds, then lower the legs.
  • Repeat 10 to 15 times, rest, and then perform two additional sets.

Another variation is to raise straight legs until they are parallel with the ground.

This exercise requires an exercise or Swiss ball.

  • Start in a seated position on top of the ball, then slowly step the feet out and slide the body down slightly until the lower back is against the ball.
  • Place the hands behind the head, keeping the feet flat on the floor.
  • Engage the abdominal muscles and lift the shoulders and chest to “crunch” the stomach muscles.
  • Lower to the starting position and repeat 15 to 20 times.
  • Rest before performing two additional sets.

Perform basic abdominal exercises on an exercise ball

A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research suggests that exercising on an unstable surface activates the abs more than exercising on a stable one.

As a result, performing exercises such as crunches on an exercise ball is a good way to target the abs.

Fat burning exercises

It is essential to burn enough body fat for the abs to become visible.

Cardiovascular, or cardio, exercises are excellent for burning fat. Cardio exercises include a range of activities and sports, such as running, cycling, and aerobics classes.

The 3 most effective ab workouts, according to experts

  • According to a study done by the American Council on Exercise, there are three abdominal workouts that are most effective in achieving a strong core and washboard stomach muscles.
  • Bicycle crunches use all of the abdominal muscles, including the rectus abdominis — the front ab muscles that make up the visible six-pack.
  • The captain’s chair stimulates both the abdominals and the obliques that line the sides of your abs.
  • Finally, crunches done on a medicine or balance ball will engage the rectus abdominis and, due to the balance they require, will engages smaller ab muscles, giving a well-rounded burn.

Six-pack abs are impressive to look at, and often conjure up images of hours spent in the gym — however, obtaining a strong core is surprisingly easy, if you know how.

Visible abs are actually made in the kitchen — a diet leading to a low body fat percentage is the most important things — but there are various workouts that will successfully harden and transform your abdominals.

According to a study done by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), there are three abdominal workouts that are most effective in achieving a strong core and washboard stomach muscles.

The bicycle manoeuvre, or bicycle crunches

According to the ACE study, this is the most effective ab workout.

Daniel Boczarski / Stringer / Getty Images

For this position, you lie on your back on a yoga mat with your legs in the air and knees pulled towards your chest. Fingertips should be placed behind your ears.

To engage your core, contract your shoulder blades as you lift each side off the floor while straightening one leg and rotating your body. With each rotation, your elbow should reach towards your opposite leg.

The exercise uses all of the abdominal muscles, including the rectus abdominis – the front ab muscles that make up the six-pack.

Captain’s chair

For this workout, some gym equipment is required — a captain’s chair or a seat-less chair with back and armrests.

To use the captain’s chair, let your legs dangle straight down before raising your knees towards your chest.

Engage your ab muscles by pulling them towards your spine, and then slowly lower your legs. Repeat.

This exercise stimulates both the abdominals and the obliques.

Crunch on exercise ball

The third most-effective abdominal workout, crunches are often the first exercise people think of when they are targeting their abs.

However, crunches done on a medicine or balance ball will engage the core even more than a regular crunch.

To do this exercise, lie on a ball with your hands behind your head and carry out a typical crunch exercise of leaning back and using your core muscles to then bring you forward.

According to the researchers, although the exercise generated less activity in the obliques and abdominals, it targeted the location more precisely.

This exercise is especially effective because it also requires balance, which engages smaller ab muscles.

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The study, led by Phd Peter Francis at the Biomechanics Lab at San Diego State University, compared 13 popular abdominal exercises, some involving equipment, and ranked them from most to least effective.

The exercises were ranked by muscle stimulation in the rectus abdominis, the front ab muscles, and the obliques, the muscles extending from the sides of the abdominal wall.

In addition to making you appear “in shape,” abs are also important – as a strong abdominal wall is necessary to protect the spine and keep posture upright and straight.

If you have set out to achieve a six-pack, it will likely take you anywhere from three to 20 months, according to ACE.

However, make sure your diet is on par with your goals, as hours of hard work can be sabotaged by what you eat.

ABS before and after

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