If you’re a guy interested in a good ab workout – and maybe even get some of your old swagger back – you may be wondering “are situps and crunches the only ab exercises to get a flatter stomach and six pack abs?”
Absolutely not. Pull up a chair, have a seat, and listen up.
How to Get a Six Pack
Somewhere after 30 years on this planet you start noticing things just don’t work the same anymore. You need more sleep after a night out, the libido isn’t what it once was just a few years ago, and somewhere along the way you picked up a spare tire to cover your once-proud waistline. You’re still a young man with plenty of fuel left in the tank so you’re not ready to throw in the towel and roll with that mediocre “dad-bod” look just yet. So you pick up a fitness magazine or read an article online that tells you to do a hundred situps before bed every night. You try it for a month but come out the other side with little to show for it. But all is not lost. Look- it’s a fine start. You got yourself to do something, which is a big key to success. After all, the best way to get started is… to get started.
As you know, most people have too much body fat to see abs at any point in their life, no less a 6 pack- so getting there is a sweet accomplishment- one that can trigger impulsive desires in women.
So how long does it take to get a leaner stomach and ripped abs? Well, it takes hustle and hard work, but if you’re willing to pay that price you can lose pounds and see your abs peaking out pretty soon.
Six pack abs are the hallmark of a well-conditioned man. They give you an immediate physical presence that people can sense. But I want you to realize that although getting a flatter stomach may seem like a shallow and purely aesthetic endeavor, there are some very real and very important benefits here. All health markers generally get to where they should be. Strong abs also give your entire body stability and and overall foundation of strength. You probably don’t realize it, but your abdominal muscles are involved in almost every movement you make- not to mention the provider of power while playing sports or exercising.
So what’s the difference that makes the difference? Why is it that what you’ve been doing hasn’t worked, and what can you do to get a flatter stomach as soon as possible?
The only way to achieve this is to combine a low abdominal fat percentage and building the muscle fiber of the abdominal wall.
I’m not saying it’s easy. I’m saying that if you carry out your orders like a good soldier, you’ll look good with your shirt off, on the beach, or however you like to spend time naked. Hustle and hard work I can’t give you, and nobody else can for that matter. You need to provide the drive to execute the plan. But if you want to win the battle, you need the right strategy, and that’s what I have for you.
So here they are on a silver platter:
Ab Exercises For Men: 3 Key Strategies for Six Pack Abs AKA Catnip for the Ladies
1) Resistance Training the Abdominal Muscles
Yes, the ab muscles respond to resistance just like your biceps, triceps or any other muscle. The abs can be trained in a way that actually makes them grow more muscle fiber. This does not make your stomach wider as you may think. It actually does the opposite and gives you a more lean visual appearance.
Training the abdominal muscles also makes them prominent when you get your body lean (read as: body fat low) enough. This is what give you ripped abs like my friend Charles Damiano:
I’m doing 3 sets of 100 crunches every day, but I still can’t see my abs. Should I aim for more reps?
As with all muscle, you must apply increasing resistance to make it stronger. The body’s adaptation mechanism will create filament (muscle fibers) to bolster the muscle that is there.
After you stimulate the muscle with resistance, you need to rest the muscle (i.e.; not work them hard every day). At most you’ll need to work the abs is 3 x per week if you’re creating enough intensity to overload them properly.
Doing 100 crunches every day is NOT going to make the abs change. You’ll get better at doing more and more crunches, but that’s not the goal here.
What about spot reduction in the abdominal area?
Spot reduction is not possible. No matter what these “fitness experts” pimping abdominizer gadgets on TV tell you at 3am. Fat loss around the waistline is achieved through a caloric deficit. I’ll get into this more in #3.
2) Cardio Training
Of course you need to burn the fat stored on your stomach and love handles if you’re going to see your abs. Cardio is a great way to burn off extra calories and the fat that blurs the definition that you can achieve in the abdominal region. I’m sure you’ve heard of the 4-pack?
Yup, that’s really a 6-pack that is still slightly covered with fat.
Still some work to do.
A person with a 4-pack can transform it into a 6-pack in about 2 weeks with proper resistance training, cardio and #3.
In performing cardio for fat loss, our goal is calorie expenditure. To achieve this, we’ll want to change variables for each cardio workout.
Key point: The wider variety of routines and variables you have in your repertoire the better.
3) 6 Pack Abs Diet
We want to make that 6-pack shine like a diamond. Although I put diet down at #3, it is by far the most important factor and can make the biggest impact in a short period of time.
Yes, proper diet -even more than cardio and resistance training- will speed your way to great abs.
Lets take a step back… all the way back to physiology 101
Fat loss boils down to calories in vs. calories out. Every day of your life you take in calories through food and drink. Calories come in the form of protein, fat and carbohydrates (and alcohol.. but of course if you’re trying so hard to get go down a belt notch, you wouldn’t be banging down shots of tequila with your friends.. would you?)
Here’s the break down of calories per gram of each of the macronutrients. Kcal is the term we use for calories.
There’s more than meets the eye in terms how these macronutrients interact with the body, but to keep this article simple, we’ll use this chart as the basis. (We’ve covered this and simplified fat loss for you in Man on a Mission)
Calories are being burned 24/7. Everything you do burns calories. Blinking burns calories. Chewing gum burns calories. Lifting weights burns calories.
EVERYTHING you do burns calories. You only stop burning calories when you’re dead. I’ll assume if you’re reading this you’re still alive and in the game.
To illustrate, I’m going to bring this out over 1 day and a 1 week time frame.
The name of the game is to burn more calories than you take in during a 24 hour period. Then we’ll take it out over a week to show you how this all comes together.
Lets say your average 24 hour calories burn (through blinking, chewing gum, exercising, and every day life) is 2,700 Kcal.
And your average 24 hour intake (spread over 5 meals) is 2,200 Kcal
2,700- 2,200= 500 calories
That’s a LOSS of 500 calories.
If you were to keep this pace up for a week, that would be 1 pound lost
500 Kcal * 7 days= 3,500 Kcal (1 pound)
Again, there’s a lot more going on in the body than this, but it’s easy to understand and a simplified primer on how to get abs fast.
You’ve gotten this far. Don’t be shy: