I remember that one client approaching me in the gym, where I work as a trainer.
He told me that he’s been training for so long to get a six pack, but still hasn’t seen results yet. He asked me how to get a six pack and if I can recommend him some ‘stuff’ to get the six pack faster. He was referring to steroids.
Instead of answering his question, I asked him how long he was training so far. He told me that he’s been training for years. This sparked my curiosity, as I only see him in the gym a few times a year. I asked if he’s training at home in the meantime. He told me that he takes a break every 3 months, because he’s not seeing results.
This habit of regularly taking breaks prevents that person from chiseling his midsection. Getting a six pack takes more time than you think.
Three Common Six Pack Myths
“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.” – Richard Feynman
Where the person taking multiple breaks failed is consistency. You can do hundreds of core exercises one day, but if you don’t do it on a continuous basis, you’re doomed to fail.
I have to be honest here: real results usually only start coming after three months to a year. There is no shortcut. Most people start in May to get their six pack for summer. That’s about one month. That’s too short of a time period and you will be frustrated if your six pack has not arrived yet. Your goal should be able to motivate you, but it should also be fairly realistic.
Most people fail in getting a six pack because they’re bound to some stubborn six pack myths. Some beliefs that the media, your friends or unscientific newspapers has engrained in you. Let me tell you the three biggest myths so they won’t stop you in achieving your goals.
#1 No Carbohydrates In The Evening Or Other Diet Fads
I was following a No-Carb Diet once. I’m ashamed to tell you this, but it’s true. I’ve done this diet fad for two weeks. The result? I had no energy in the gym and was angry all the time. I lost some pounds – which I gained all back immediately after stopping the diet.
You don’t need to follow the latest top-notch diet trend that you’ve read about in a fitness magazine. Stick to the basics. Carbohydrates will not make you fat. Carbohydrates are fuel for your body and brain. Neither will intermittent fasting surely lead to weight loss. Long-term habit change is king. Simply start eating better today than you did yesterday.
You have to realize that six packs are made in the kitchen. You can’t put out a fire while pouring oil on it. Pay attention to your nutrition. Eat whole, un-processed plant foods. Plants are lower on calories overall than meat and contain more fiber, which means they will make you feel full faster and with less calories.
#2 Follow A Rigorous Workout Schedule
I remember trying out high intensity interval training. HIIT is a high performance training made for athletes. I decided to start my workout routine at 5AM in the morning. I stuck to this workout schedule for two days.
My workout schedule was too rigorous. 100 sit-ups a day won’t bring you a six pack. Working out two hours for 7 days won’t get you closer to that chiseled midsection either. What matters, like in all aspects of life, is consistency and a long-term view. Ask yourself: Is the current workout schedule that you’re following sustainable and focused on your goals?
The best workout for a six pack is, based on my experience, a whole body workout. With a focus on compound exercises. Compound exercises are for example: the squats, deadlifts, pull ups and bench press. Basically movements where a lot of muscle groups are trained simultaneously. This will burn more calories and increase your testosterone levels. Supplement this workout schedule with two times low-intensity, long-duration cardio per week. Endurance training for 30 minutes minimum.
If that’s too hard, no problem. Start with 5 minutes and then slowly amp up.
#3 Six Packs Are Purely Genetical
I was not blessed with a six pack from birth. Most people that you see walking around with a chiseled midsection aren’t. To some people it comes easier, other people have to work really hard for it.
The tendons are genetic, though. Genetics play a role in determining whether or not you will have four, six or eight packs.
Genetics will not determine, whether you’re willing to work hard enough to lose that excess fat around your belly or strengthen your core muscles. Everyone is able to lose fat and everyone is able to build muscles. What truly matters is how important it is for you to reach your goal.
Where Most People Fail
My little brother used to tell me of his first attempt to get a six pack. He went jogging, approximately for 10 minutes, to the next supermarket and bought himself an energy drink. He then returned home.
Little did he know that this ‘exercise-routine’ actually lead him worse off in the long-term. The energy drink contained more calories than his jogging exercise would burn.
Most people fail to see the big picture. I certainly did. My sixpack took years to be revealed. It could’ve taken me less time if I could’ve fixed my mindset earlier.
Your nutrition may be top-notch but you may be drinking and partying every weekend, which drastically blunts your exercise results. Or your exercise routine may be great, but you’re never sleeping more than 4 hours a night and are constantly stressed out.
You have to look at the big picture. How good is your workout routine? Is your diet in check? If not, what could you do to make it better?
The Proven Way to a Six Pack
Get Your Mindset Right
You’ve heard me talking about your mindset in my latest posts. Because it’s such a crucial factor. Your mindset is one of the biggest parts that you would need to change and it’s also the hardest one.
Ask yourself: how bad do you want it? What is my motivation? Even with all the tips in check, it usually takes years of training until the six pack slowly fades in. Everyone that is telling you that they got a six pack by doing that magic exercise or swallowing that magic pill, is just, sorry to tell you that, lying in your face.
Use a Shopping List
Clean up your diet. Once I’ve stopped living with my mother, following a healthy diet turned out to be much easier. Not because my mother is a bad cook or forces us to eat McDonalds – no. But because she often bought chocolate and cookies for special occasions. These special occasions turned out to be nearly every evening when I came home after work.
You can’t eat buckets of ice cream at 1 AM in the morning when you’re not buying the buckets of ice cream. It can be that easy. Start using a shopping list and buy healthier foods.
Hire a Personal Trainer
If you’re still searching for more accountability: hire a personal or an online trainer. The latter often being a little bit less expensive. A trainer can be the person that fully understands your health goals and that guides you to a healthier you with a chiseled midsection.
Reading such articles is a great start, but studying a couple of articles won’t replace a couple years of experience of a professional.
If you want to know more about how I get a six pack, watch this animated video: Six Pack – How To Really Get One