Want to know the only thing you need to get a six pack fast? It is not a special gym equipment or a new-and-improved fitness supplement. The main thing you will need to have abs that actually show is persistence.
Nothing beats rigorous training and a having a healthy diet. Putting the effort in will make you a leaner, stronger person soon enough but saying this, there are a few things that can speed up the process.
We collected five tips that will skyrocket your efforts in making those abdominal muscle humps visible to everyone. Surprisingly enough, most of the list consists of non-exercise related tips, because as they say, abs are made in the gym and revealed in the kitchen.
T3's top five tips to get a six pack fast
No matter what everyone is saying, building muscles is not rocket science. You only need to adhere to a few rules and you don't necessarily need loads of equipment either.
This is especially true for abs. You can use dumbbells, kettlebells or resistance bands to provide extra resistance during your abs workouts, but most of the best abs workout routines recommend bodyweight only exercises.
However, one thing that can assist you in your pursuit to better understand your fitness needs is a fitness watch. These wearable devices provide continuous heart rate tracking so you can keep your heart rate in the correct zone during your workouts.
The accompanying apps will help you analyse your performance even further and more importantly, keep a log of your previous workouts so you can have a sense of progression.
Without further ado, let's get right into it.
1. do some abs exercises (almost) every day
Goes without saying, the best way to get a six pack is to actually work your abs. Let it be the hardest abs exercise or the most fun core exercise, as long as you spend some time chiselling your abs almost every day, you'll see results soon enough.
Abs are high load-bearing muscles, much like calves, so the usual hypertrophy levels don't apply here. With abs, instead of going for the 8-12 reps, aim for 15-20 reps in each set.
As well as doing higher reps, another way to ensure your abs are growing is to work all areas of it. This means working the upper abs with crunches, the lower abs with flutter kicks and the obliques with Russian twists.
You'll see results ridiculously soon doing two exercises only: ab rollouts and mountain climbers (the latter being mentioned on our best bodyweight exercises list). Both work a range of muscles but mainly target your abs and your core. Ab rollers are dirt cheap and they are one of the most underrated fitness equipment, ever.
2. consume under maintenance calories
The way to find out your maintenance calorie level is to measure your intake by logging what you eat using a calorie counting app like myfitnesspal and keeping track of your weight. Maintenance calorie is the amount that keeps your weight at a steady level.
Now, even if you aren't overweight, you will need to go under your maintenance calories in order to show your abs. Reason being, for abs to really pop, you will need to have seriously low body fat percentage. For women, we are talking about 16-17%. For men, sub-10%.
Even if you go down to that level during the summer months, where your abs can actually be on display, it is recommended not to keep fat levels too low for a long period of time if you aren't a top athlete.
3. Cut back on added sugar/salt
You should cut back on added sugary stuff anyway, even if you aren't trying to get them abs out. Consuming food with high added sugar content can cause a range of illnesses even short term, let alone on the long run.
Not only that, but excess sugar (and carbs) get stored away in your body, hiding your abs behind layers of soft visceral fat. Men are especially susceptible to gaining weight around the hip area first, so gents, say goodbye to all those Mars bars if you want to have a six pack!
Another item on the bad food ingredients list you should avoid is too much sodium. Eating too much of it will not only result in high blood pressure levels but it also makes your body retain more water. If you don't want to look like a walking marshmallow, stop sprinkling half a kilo of salt on every dish you have.
4. swap out processed carbs and avoid bad fats
I personally know people who refused to eat at a restaurant because they said they can't serve fries that evening (the fryer being broken). Not only it is very said that fried white potatoes need to be eaten with everything but they are also high in both bad carbs and vegetable fat.
Not saying everyone should transition from eating fries to gobbling up raw broccoli overnight. Even just swapping half the fries to something more healthy can help you effectively cut back on calories, effortlessly.
Let's say you have 100 grams of fries as a side. Instead of that, have 50 grams and have another 50 grams of vegetables. You are still eating 100 grams of food, but you are also cutting back on all bad things without eating less.
Not to mention, swapping fries to even just baked potatoes or even better, baked sweet potatoes, can make a huge difference too. Gradually, you can swap your 100 grams of fries to 100 grams of quinoa; not only the latter is a million times healthier but whilst the former is 300 calories, the latter is only 100. All this while you eat the same amount of food.
5. add more protein to your diet
Adding more protein to your diet can help you build muscles faster and it can also help you lose weight more efficiently.
Some easy swaps can make the transition to a more protein rich diet easier. It's all about planning your snacking right. Instead of having a chocolate bar, have a protein shake or a protein bar. Again, you aren't eating less, you are eating better.
By eating better, you are fuelling your body with nutrients it needs, so it won't have to struggle with breaking down all the excess carb and fats. This will leave your body in a state when it can tend to building and repairing muscles.