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Last Updated on January 10, 2018

How To Get A Six-Pack In One Month

How To Get A Six-Pack In One Month

I have a six pack. Ok. Sometimes I have a six pack. Ok, Ok. For like 2 months of the year I have a six-pack. I mean, give me a break. I am not a fitness model or anything. I am just a regular old 37 year old. But, I can whip out a six pack given a month’s notice.

I am not going to sit here and insult everyone’s intelligence and effort by saying everyone is going to be able to pull off a six pack in one month. One month is not long enough for some peoplebecause there are many factors that go into fat loss. Genetics, current weight, current diet, injuries, etc.

But, there is not a doubt in my mind that almost anyone could have a six pack. If you exercise regularly and you eat somewhat healthy, have an injury free body that only carries a small spare tire and can be pushed hard, it is definitely possible for you to make your abs pop with a month’s notice. The way is simple but it requires some discipline and hard work and it goes like this:

Number 1 Six-Pack Rule: Create Calorie Deficits!!!

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    Despite all the diet voodoo you read and hear about, losing fat comes down to one tried and true simple fact. You need to burn more calories than you take in. That is how you get rid of fat sitting on your belly and covering up the abs that are living under there.

    So how do we create calorie deficits?

    1. Cardio AND Weights!

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      There are basically two schools of thought in the fitness world regarding cardio for fat loss. There are the high intensity cardio folks and the steady state cardio folks. High intensity cardio will get you a faster burn quicker, but it is a lot harder. Steady state cardio will take you longer to burn the same calories, but it is more sustainable. Pick whichever one you want and remember that all that matters is the calories you burn.

      Just hitting cardio will do nice things for your body. It will lean you up, but it better be combined with weights, otherwise you will be plenty skinny without an ab in sight. When I want to get my stomach ready for taking off my shirt, I never stop hitting the weight room. I just add my cardio on to the time I train. I may lift lighter than usual with less rest in between sets, in order to balance the stress and strain of the added cardio, but I keep lifting, because the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn, as I said above, we are all about burning those calories!

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      2. Diet

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        I cannot sit here and suggest a specific diet that will work for everyone. Everyone is different and I don’t think diets as a whole work. You have to know your body and know what works for you to lose weight. I personally use intermittent fasting as a means to maintaining a functional eating plan for myself. It has a lot more health benefits than simply weight control.

        If you eat lots of lean protein, about as many grams as you weigh, eat lots of greens, fruits and veggies, and fill the bit that’s left with some healthy carbs and healthy fats, I’m confident to say that you are on the right track for fat loss and a six-pack.

        3. Drink Water!

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          A gallon a day. Drinking water helps you to stave off hunger as well as helps with water retention – a big issue when trying to get that six-pack showing. Get a gallon jug, fill it up in the morning and every time you’re are hungry, jug water before you reach for food. Most of the times we seem hungry it is because we are thirsty, so stay hydrated and you will eat less.

          4. Stop Spot Training

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            I just want to dispel a general myth about weight lifting. You cannot burn fat in particular areas of your body by spot training. More often, you can only build muscle by doing so. Spending 20 minutes a day at the gym doing crunches and planks are not going to burn belly fat. Your time is better spent elsewhere in the gym to maximize results.

            5. Diet Pills and Weight Loss Supplements

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              Most of the diet pills out there are chalked full of ingredients that have never been actually linked to fat loss, or are seriously dangerous when taken in dosages high enough to make a difference. I recommend you skip the diet pills and weight loss magic and just put in the hard work necessary to achieve your six pack goals.

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              Exercises to do for your six-pack

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                We have addressed some of the simple advice for getting your six pack, it’s time to look at some of the exercises you can do to make you’re abs pop. The key here is not to constantly train abs, as we discussed above about the myth of spot training, but you should be throwing in some ab work at the end of your workouts 3-4 times a week in order to bring them out.

                Below I list a few of the best exercises that you can fold into any workout. I suggest you pick two of these exercises and hit about 3 sets of 30 reps for each every other workout.

                Cable Crunch

                Bicycle Crunch

                Hanging Leg Raise

                Spiderman Plank

                Lower Ab Leg Lift

                Conclusion

                Bringing out your six-pack requires hard work, discipline, structure and some physical and mental pain. If anyone tells you any different, they are lying to you. There is no secret, mystical fast track way to make your abs pop. So put in the work, create caloric deficits, exercise regularly with weights and cardio, eat clean and healthy, stay hydrated and skip all the magical promises that are out there. If you do all this, you can get your six-pack showing in a month and you can keep it for as long as you continue to put in the work!

                Featured photo credit: Jasminko Ibrakovic via shutterstock.com

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                Published on September 21, 2018

                How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle and Increase Fat Loss?

                How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle and Increase Fat Loss?

                “Can I look like you in 3 months?”

                The teenager stared at me, waiting eagerly for a response. It’s a normal day as a certified fitness coach and yet again, I had to grab some flying feet and put them down on the ground of reality again.

                “If I would be able to reach this body in 3 months, you think it would’ve taken me 5 years?” I responded smilingly.

                In the same moment I tapped the teenager on the shoulder and we both went to the training floor together. Fast forward to today, he eventually reached his dream body. But it took him a little bit longer than 3 months.

                In this article, I want to give you a broad overview and answer to the commonly asked question: how long does it take to build muscle and increase fat loss?

                Your biggest enemy for building muscle and fat loss

                I remember when I joined my first gym years back. After two weeks of continuous training, I saw absolutely no difference in the mirror.

                I googled “2 weeks body transformation” and was frustrated by seeing all these pictures by savvy marketers.

                We human beings have evolved to seek instant gratification. We can’t wait for things to happen tomorrow. We want them today or even better, yesterday.

                It doesn’t matter if we talk about business or our fitness results. If we truly want to make a long-lasting change, we have to delay our innate need to crave gratification instantly and focus on the big picture.

                In the book called Grit by Angela Duckworth, a predictor for future success in children was the so called ‘Marshmallow Test’.

                The Marshmallow Test works this way. Children are basically given two options:

                1. Eat the marshmallow in front of them right now.
                2. Wait 10 minutes without eating the first marshmallow and get a second marshmallow to eat on top.

                This is an insane test of willpower and the ability to delay gratification for an even bigger payoff, as a 10-year old school child. If the child already mastered that crucial skill at such a young age, it was a strong predictor for future success.

                We all have to learn how to delay gratification better. Most people overestimate what they can do in one month, but totally underestimate what they can do in 10 years.

                What you really need to build muscle fast

                Your ground zero

                It all matters on which point we start off. Because the reality is:

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                Everyone has to start somewhere.

                A former Olympic athlete will have an easier time building muscles and losing fat than an avid couch potato. There are mainly two reasons for this:

                • The pre-selected genetic blueprint of the athlete.
                • Work ethic of a professional.

                While countless of variables play a role in influencing your success in the gym, it all can be traced back to those crucial points. And the saying still holds merit:

                Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard. — Tim Notke

                A mentor of mine told me years ago that you can succeed in life if you just don’t give up.

                You can have average skills, average genetics and average work ethic. As long as you keep improving on your craft, you will succeed.

                Not immediately – but definitely and finally.

                Setting the right expectations

                I’m great at setting unrealistic goals and having the wrong expectations. I wanted to have 100,000 subscribers on my Youtube Channel and at the end of my first year when I started, back in 2015, I ended up with 30.

                This is an embarrassing story, but I hope it gets one point across:

                Your goals need to be realistic if you can’t deal with the setbacks of not reaching them.

                Ending up with 30 subscribers even after pulling frequent all-nighters to get this endeavor rolling was soul-crushing. I contemplated throwing in the towel.

                With the right support from my network and discipline, I managed to keep going. The channel has now grown 100-fold in those 3 years.

                To find out what is realistic, consider the next timeline.

                The muscle growth timeline

                Here’s what results you can expect if your main goal is building lean tissue mass. Warning: Genuine muscle growth without performance enhancing drugs takes a long time.

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                Of course these time periods can vary individually depending on your genetic blueprint and work-ethic. You might see results sooner, or maybe even later.

                The time frame is set to training 2-3 times per week (continuously!).

                Pro tip: Ask a friend or hire a coach to boost your progress tremendously.

                This is what happens when you decide to join a gym, out of my experience training hundreds of clients:

                Month 1-3

                Eat – Sleep – Gym – Repeat.

                Your motivation is at your peak at this point. You will tell your friends and family about your new workout regime. You will notice slight differences in your appearance, which are mainly nonexistent.

                You will experience immense strength gains on your training because your body finally realizes how to use its muscles properly.

                Month 3-6

                This is the time period where most people break. You will be going to the gym consistently, yet the results won’t come just now. It’s the big dip in the whole process.

                Your goal in this phase is to build a habit around your gym visits. You will most likely discontinue to have the all-in mentality as in the first 3 months. You will seek sustainability. Breaking news: It will still be hard.

                But in the end it’s all worth it. Trust me.

                Month 6-12

                “I’ve seen a new vein in my arm!”

                The guy came up to me excited. This is the time where the normal person starts to see considerable results in his training.

                An old friend will talk to him and see a difference in his body shape. Suddenly, his old t-shirt gets too thin. The frequent gym-goer feels amazing.

                Month 12- 24

                Fitness is a trojan horse. While you might think frequent training will only change your body shape, your character will be impacted too.

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                Your friends and family will notice. You’re more confident, assertive and more happy with your self-image. You feel confident and sure in your abilities because you have achieved what you set out to do.

                Breaking news:

                You will still not be satisfied. And that’s a good thing. But don’t forget to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

                They haven’t come easy.

                Month 24+

                “That’s what works for me!”

                If you’ve been going frequently and consistently (twice every week for 2 years), you can pat yourself on the shoulders.

                If you’ve done most things correctly and with a certified coach, you will reach the goal shape at this point. But this is also the point where it can get frustrating.

                Further results will come painstakingly slow at this stage. You increasingly have to work on your weaknesses and constantly alter your training to see further results. Be it applying different repetitions, intensity, workout duration, speed or machines.

                A lot of people will not see results after this stage because the benefits are not worth the work for them. We have to realize that what got us here, will not get us to the next level.

                The fat loss timeline

                If you’re trying to lose fat, I have 2 pieces of news for you:

                1. It will come faster. Fat loss has a shorter timeline.
                2. It will be exactly as hard as building muscles, if not harder.

                Here’s what you can expect if you’re starting to lose weight. Here again: Proper guidance can speed up the process.

                Month 1

                “I’ve lost 10kg in the first week!”

                Your results will come fast. Too fast.

                You will feel exhausted. Most of your weight that you lose will be water. This is the big dip in the whole weight loss process.

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                The shocking news: Most people stop their diet in the first month.

                Month 2-3

                You will reconsider your dieting strategy and opt for more sustainability. You will reintroduce “bad foods” in your diet that you’ve most likely blocked out in the first two weeks or month.

                Because balance (and not quitting your diet) is more important to you at this stage than seeing rapid weight loss. Your life quality will increase at this stage.

                Month 6-12

                At this time frame, you have probably lost more than 10kg. The majority of the people looking to lose weight will be satisfied with their results and shocked by how much of a difference it makes in their appearance.

                You will feel more confident, more energized and more self-assured. You would’ve never guessed that you could make it, that you could finally lose your weight – yet you did!

                And everyone will notice. “What happened to you?!” – your friends will ask you jealously. Old crushes of you will suddenly initiate contact again just to know what you’re “up to this weekend”.

                The fat loss after this stage will come slowly if you haven’t been obese to start with. The goal at this stage is to have created a rock-solid habit out of your gym and eating patterns.

                Then you don’t have to worry about the Yo-Yo effect.

                Conclusion

                “You changed my life!”

                The same teenager took me aside at a Monday evening. He had his first date the weekend prior. Apparently it went well.

                In the whole time frame we worked together, he built up more than 10 kilograms of muscles. It took him more than 2 years. Yet I’m sure if you’d ask him today, he would tell you that it was all worth it.

                Focus on the things that you can control. Losing fat or building muscles might be an overwhelming task to start out with. We have to delay our innate need for instant gratification and focus on the things that we can control.

                Changing our genetic blueprint or the responses our muscles have to the training stimulus is not in our hands. But training at least 2 times per week, eating the right foods and setting the right goals and expectations is.

                Featured photo credit: Arthur Edelman via unsplash.com

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