How Long Does It Take To Get A Six pack? A Look At Nutrition And Exercise

How long does it take to get abs?

I hear that question a lot, and to be honest it’s just like asking, how long is a piece of string.

There are too many variables for there to ever be one answer to that question.

As the age-old saying goes, Abs are made in the kitchen.

What you are eating is more important than how many crunches you are doing.

So it’s going to come down to a few key points to answer this question.

How much body fat you have will ultimately decide how long it’s going to take you.

The more you have, the more you have to lose basically.

Also your current diet, and how much you are prepared to take out and add-in.

For some people, it may just be a matter of macronutrient portions.

Macronutrients being Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

A lot of people who are considered ‘skinny fat’ would most likely need to get the balance of macros right and will start to notice the fat melt right away.

But there is a big problem with just burning the fat.

If you don’t build muscle you are going to look very gaunt once said fat is gone.

A typical skinny fat person is happy with the overall size of their body, they just want to tone up and be more defined.

The problem is, skinny fat people, don’t tend to have much muscle under the fat.

The fact that they are ‘skinny’ has likely given them an excuse not to train too hard or at all.

Ideally, you would put the fat loss on hold for a few months, build some muscle, then go back and slowly lose the fat.

The end result, you have the abs you wanted plus you don’t look super skinny.

And if like so many others you are not sure where to start on your exercise journey, then help yourself to my free E-Book ‘Train Wherever the F*ck You Want‘.

It’s my comprehensive guide to exercising wherever you want!

We look at resistance bands and why I truly believe they are a piece of equipment everyone should own.

Can I Get Abs In A Month?

How Long Does It Take To Get A Six pack - man doing standing row with resistance band

Again this is really going to depend on where you are at body fat-wise, but for most people, it’s a no.

We need to start being more realistic about our fitness goals and where we are at.

It’s not easy to get abs, and it’s not any easier to maintain them.

We’ve all been tricked for a long time by the smoke and mirror tactics in advertising.

What used to be just in magazines is now all over our phones on social media.

Not many people realize that the physiques we see on Instagram and more often than not, just for the day.

They cut weight and dehydrate themselves in the build-up to the photoshoot.

And then dehydrate even more on the day of the shoot to get their abs popping out the way they do.

A lot of these bodies we’re all envious of and are chasing are not actually healthy to maintain.

Sure they look great in photos, but when was the last time you saw an ultra shredded guy running around at the beach?

Sure, there’s plenty of super shredded people at the beach, but I’m talking about the bodies we look at online.

It’s very hard to achieve such low body fat and even harder to maintain.

Most of us can’t handle the work and discipline it takes, so let’s rain it back a bit and see if we can find something that still looks good, is healthy, and is maintainable.

An achievable and maintainable body fat percentage would be 10-15% for males and 15-20% for females. 

Flybird Fitness

How Do I Get A Six pack?

Getting the elusive 6 pack takes some discipline, if it were easy, everyone would have one.

But to be fair I think our lack of education about food has set us up to fail here.

As much as exercise is important and we need to burn fat to have our abs showing.

Abs really are made in the kitchen.

Put less food in your belly and the jobs half done.

Getting a decent amount of cardio in a week is going to help burn calories as well.

But to be honest any high-intensity training is also super beneficial for this.

Train hard and eat clean.

It is easier said than done right, sadly we’re not educated about food.

We buy too many products and not enough food.

Like I’ve said in previous articles we need to spend less time in the aisle and more time around the outside at the supermarket.

But the stuff that grows in the ground, not a petri dish.

Eating more whole foods is the best place to start.

The second step is to get on myfitnesspal and start logging what you eat.

I can’t stress that enough, You’re going to get sick of me talking about it.

Myfitnesspal makes it so easy, it works out how much you should be eating, you log what you eat and it tells you when you’ve blown your budget. 

When you want to buy a new car or house you write a budget and you stick to it so you can save.

Food is the same, if you only eat the number of carbs, fats, and proteins your body needs it will look and perform better.

A while back I tried cycling for 30 days to see how well that works.

Carb cycling involves alternating between high carb days and low carb days.

Honestly, it’s not a diet for everyone but has a look at this video to see my results.

Can I train Abs Every Day?

Just like every muscle in your body, your abs need to rest so they can recover and grow back bigger and stronger. 

Overtraining is a pretty common problem especially when you start getting into a good groove.

You’re training a lot, feeling great, seeing results why stop right?

Because you have to, silly.

You are literally tearing your muscles when you exercise.

And a little tear eventually becomes a big tear.

Let yourself rest and recover.

Let your muscle groups get over what you’re putting them through.

I never used to do a lot of core training when I first started out.

I was mainly doing compound lifts, and training for strength, not size.

When you do perform most compound lifts your core is also working.

I would also do a lot of kettlebell movements, which also use a lot of core.

But I would still have rest days.

I would get core in every session, but not every day.

My core training has changed though, I do a lot more bodyweight training and gymnastics movement in my training. And these use your core a lot!

I don’t do many sit-ups and crunches, honestly, they’re overrated.

You should be training your whole core, not just your six-pack.

Yeh abs look cool, but a strong core is going to let you do a whole lot more.

And a great way to build core strength is with functional training and compound movements, and I have just the article for you to move on to next.

What is Functional Strength Training?