But before we get into that let me quickly explain how you actually get a six-pack.
It has nothing to do with long cardio sessions. It also has nothing to do with doing hundreds of sit-ups or crunches.
There are basically 2 steps:
1) Get your body fat percentage under 10% (below 17% for women)
2) Build the abdominal muscles underneath
Abdominal muscle isn’t made up of some sort of weird or different muscle tissue from the rest of the body. Abs are built in the exact same way as all other muscles i.e. you need to use weighted resistance and work to a high intensity. Sit-ups and kneeling cable crunches are great exercises.
By the way, you have to get your TOTAL body fat below 10%. You can’t lose fat in just one area. So you can’t target “belly fat” as the scammers like to say (@$$holes). You have to lose fat all over your body in order to take some off your midsection too.
Now you know what needs to be done, we can look at how long it’s going to take.
How Long To Get A Six-Pack
The following formula is a kind of six-pack calculator. Check it out….
As I said, you will need to break the 10% body fat barrier in order to see a defined six-pack. Women need to get below around 17%.
All you need to know is your current weight and body fat percentage. If you don’t know what your body fat percentage is, plug your stats into my ‘Body Fat Calculator‘ in the sidebar of this site.
How did you do? Probably quicker than you thought I’d guess. Let me qualify your result by saying the following…
- The calculation is based on the new fat-loss formula contained in Total Six-Pack Abs.
- It tells you when you will hit the 10% body fat barrier. And if you want to get even more shredded, you just have to go a little bit longer and stop when you wish.
- There are 2 answers – Best Case & Worst Case. Let me explain this…
The calculation is using the least amount of fat you will lose on the program to calculate the worst case (which is 1.5lbs per week), and the most I expect you can lose per week as the best case.
You might still want to work this out manually. Why? This way you can also see exactly how many pounds of fat stand between you and your six pack! Read on…
For example, let’s take a guy at 18% body fat weighing 170lbs.
The first thing that needs to be ascertained is the actual amount of body fat he is carrying.
* Simply multiply 170 x 0.18 = 30.6lbs of fat.
From this we can determine how much lean mass he is carrying:
170 – 30.6 = 139.4lbs lean mass.
So, what’s the goal here? This guy wants to hit 10% body fat.
* We now take the GOAL body fat percentage from 1 i.e. 1 – 0.10 = 0.90
* Now divide the current lean body mass by this figure:
139.4 / 0.9 = 154.89 (rounded to 2 decimal places)
So, our 170lb man would weigh 154.89lbs at his goal body fat percentage of 10% (assuming no muscle gain which certainly CAN happen).
* Next we subtract the goal weight from the starting weight:
170 – 154.89 = 15.11 lbs, let’s call it 15 pounds of fat loss.
The question now is: How long does it take to lose 15 pounds of fat?
Well, it depends on the program you are using. A lot of programs use 1lb of fat loss per week as the top goal. If this were the case then the BEST you can hope for is 15 weeks or about 3.5 months to reach the goal of a six-pack. However, bear in mind that this best-case scenario rarely happens, most people go some weeks with a half-pound, quarter-pound, or even NO fat loss.
A good fat-loss program should result in what I call ‘meaningful‘ fat loss, which is AT LEAST 1.5 pounds of fat loss per week, and sometimes 2-3 pounds under certain circumstances. Also, this fat loss should be continuous – no stalls. If fat loss dips below 1.5 pounds per week then it’s time to employ another weapon in our arsenal to rev it back up.
So, a really efficient plan should see this 18% body fat guy reach his goal in about 6 weeks (best-case), or around 10-11 weeks at worst.
So you can see that gaining a six-pack isn’t the excruciating process it’s often made out to be.
Yes you will have to experience some hunger along the way but so what, it’s worth it. An overweight person shooting for ‘normal weight’ can get there without much hunger, but a normal person shooting for the ‘very lean’ body type will have to put up with this somewhat. Again, a good program will minimize this feeling but will not completely eradicate it.
But hey, 6 weeks isn’t too much to ask to undo what probably amounts to years of poor eating habits, is it?
Here’s those steps again summarized for you
(1) Work out your body fat percentage
(2) Calculate your fat mass and lean body mass in pounds
(3) Subtract your goal body fat percentage from 1
(4) Now divide your current lean body mass by the result of the calculation in step 3. This gives the goal body weight.
(5) Now take this figure from the starting weight to show the amount of fat loss required to reach goal (in pounds).
…or just use my calculator above and have it all done for you 😉
I hope that was helpful to all you six-pack seekers out there.