There is no secret to a six pack

Six packs have come to be the defining trait of someone’s physical peak in today’s world.  A well-defined set of abdominals can draw the most envious of glances. But how, you ask, do I get them?

The answer is simple: Diet. It’s all about what you eat. You can have the most amazing set of abdominals in the world but if your diet isn’t the best, then you’ll have a layer of fat hiding them. Think of it this way: abs is short for absence of fat.

While the concept may be simple, the method is not. The hardest part to getting visible abs is eating clean for long enough to let your exercise regime melt away the fat. 

A caloric deficit is the key to fat loss. Strict portion sizes at exacting times will coach your metabolism into a finely-tuned machine. Calories are important, but it is safer to avoid junk food, such as crisps and chocolates. They are famously high in calories. It’s also best to stay away from foods high in saturated fats like pizzas, burgers, and chips. Alcohol is enormously high in sugar (and thus calories), so avoid that too. A clean diet with plenty of exercise will have those abs peeking out in time for summer.

The next step is to get those abs in good shape, and this step has two possible approaches depending on how you want them to look.

You can do sit ups and leg raises, and any variations of those exercises to get your chocolate bar abs (ironically, chocolate bars won’t achieve this). This is a popular choice to get the typical beach body look.

The other option is to treat your abs like any other muscle group and increase resistance to result in hypertrophy.

Translation: Do all the normal exercises with weights.

Yes. Weights.

Weighted sit ups, weighted leg raises, weighted Russian twists. Anything you can do for your abs, grab a dumbbell and do it again. Compound exercises — done with proper form to engage your core — are also one of the most efficient ways to develop those abs.

There’s nothing quite like the burn from doing Russian twists with a 10kg dumbbell while hanging upside down from a pull-up bar.

You have to ask yourself how badly you want those abs. For most people, a good diet combined with engaging the core with compounds is more than enough. But if you’re not one of them, but you still want those abs, then get to work. I’ll see you on the beach.

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Obaid Haroon

Obaid is a perpetual reader, writer, martial artist, medieval weapon enthusiast, and occasional engineer. He contains multitudes.

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