ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Get Six Pack Abs – a Simple 3 Step Formula

Updated on April 3, 2019
dwelburn profile image

David is an army-trained biomedical scientific officer, writer, and lifelong health and fitness enthusiast.

A great six-pack
A great six-pack | Source

How You Can Get Six Pack Abs

It seems that virtually everyone wants six pack abs these days, yet very few people ever achieve them. So if you do manage to get a six pack, it sets you apart from the ‘average Joe’. And although it will take a fair degree of determination, the approach required to do it is actually very simple. So in this article I'll explain exactly how you can get six pack abs - in three simple steps.

First, however, you need to realize that there are no quick fixes. You won't get a six pack by just doing a one minute ab workout every day, or by using the latest piece of equipment you saw on the shopping channel.

To get a six pack, you need to do the following:

1. Build Up the Abdominal Muscles

Contrary to popular belief, the best way to build up your abdominal muscles is NOT to do hundreds of sit-ups or crunches every day. The main role of the abdominals is to brace the body, so doing exercises like deadlifts (especially sumo deadlifts), squats and military presses will build and strengthen the abs better than most things. When you do these exercises, focus your mind on contracting your abs really hard. If you’re not used to doing this you’ll probably find you’ll be quite sore the next day.

It is, however, a good idea to do an isolation exercise or two at the end of your workout once or twice per week in order to bring up your abs even further. Some excellent choices for this include weighted crunches, reverse crunches, cable crunches, hanging leg raises, ab wheel rollouts, planks and side planks. One or two sets of 10 - 20 reps (30 - 60 second holds for planks), after a warm-up set or two, is all you need. If you can do more than that, you'll need to add more resistance, or perform a more difficult version of the exercise.

2. Eat the Right Foods

You could have really well developed abs, but if they are buried beneath a layer of fat no-one will ever see them. So you need to remove the excess fat in order to reveal your six pack. And the most important part of doing that is to eat the right diet.

You need to eat at a calorie deficit, that is you need to consume fewer calories than you expend. But it’s a myth that eating six small meals per day is the best way to burn fat. Three meals per day (and a post workout shake on training days) will work just as well, provided that your total calories and macronutrient proportions are the same. In fact doing some form of intermittent fasting is a simple way to reduce your calorie intake, as well as putting your fat burning mechanisms into overdrive.

What you eat is important, however. You need to eat a good amount of protein, which is best obtained from meat, fish and eggs. And make sure you get some healthy fats each day too. These can be obtained from oily fish, nuts & seeds, avocado’s, olive oil etc. A little saturated fat from meat, eggs and butter (preferably from grass fed cows) is also beneficial. Fats are needed to manufacture the hormones that help you build muscle and burn fat. Fat does not make you fat per se - it's excess calories that make you fat.

You should also eat plenty of vegetables, and some fruit, each day.

Carbohydrates, however, are best kept fairly low, as these tend to raise insulin levels, and you can’t burn fat in the presence of high insulin. So a low carb diet plan is a great way to burn off that stubborn belly fat. But do ensure you have a re-feed day once in a while to keep your metabolism stoked; otherwise your fat loss will soon plateau. Alternatively you could do some form of carb cycling, where you eat more carbs on your workout days than your off days.

By carbs I am referring to starchy carbs such as grains, potatoes and sweet potatoes, as well as refined carbs and sugary products. Sugar is the biggest enemy of a ripped physique and will certainly stop you from getting your six pack abs if you eat too much of it.

3. Do Effective Cardiovascular Training

You also need to do some cardiovascular training in order to further help burn off the excess fat and reveal your six pack.

But it needs to be effective cardio, and going out jogging for an hour every day is not very effective. Long duration, steady state cardio, like jogging, does not burn fat very efficiently, and in fact too much of it will only serve to waste away your muscle tissue, as well as potentially causing damage to your bones and joints over time.

So a much better way to do it is to do some form of high intensity interval training (HIIT). This is where you alternate brief periods of maximum or near maximum effort with periods of active recovery. So you might sprint for 20 – 30 seconds and then jog for 30 - 60 seconds. You can repeat this anything from 3 to 10 times depending on how fit you are. After your HIIT you can then burn some additional fat by doing a short spell of lower intensity steady state cardio, such as jogging. 15 – 20 minutes will suffice.

The big advantage of this type of workout is that it really revs up your metabolism, so you continue to burn fat well after your workout has finished – up to 24 hours after in fact. Sometimes even more. Do this two or three times per week for optimum results. No more though, as it can be difficult to recover from, especially when you are on a calorie deficit.

Apart from that, the only other type of cardio I really recommend is walking. You can walk for 30 - 45 minutes, 5 - 7 days per week if you wish, as it's quite easy to recover from, so it can have a significant impact on your fat loss efforts.

So there you have it. Now you know how to get six pack abs. It’s simple but not easy. As I said, you will need some determination, but if you want it you can most certainly get it. Best of luck.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • dwelburn profile imageAUTHOR


      8 weeks ago from Birmingham, UK

      You are welcome Jeff; glad you liked it.

    • Erudite Scholar profile image

      Jeff Zod 

      2 months ago from Nairobi

      Hi David,

      I really enjoyed reading your article.Thank you so much.

    • dwelburn profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from Birmingham, UK

      You are correct in the first part - doing ab workouts alone will not give you abs, as I did say in the article. You need to eat at a calorie deficit to remove the excess fat. Cardio can be usful for this, especially high intensity cardio. Low carb and/or low fat diets are not essential by any means, but reducing carbs is probably the most sensible way to reduce calories for most people.

    • JvicIndia profile image


      2 years ago from India

      Doing ab workouts alone will not give six abs. Cardio workouts are basic for flattening one's abdomen. One should stick to a strict low-carb low-fat diet regime as well

    • dwelburn profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Birmingham, UK

      Yep that would work fine Frankie. I don't like to do it more than twice per week though or it could interfere with recovery from weights. If you want to do a third cardio day just do 20 - 30 mins. jog at a comfortable pace.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      For cardio in the off days would 15-20 minutes of the interval cardio with 60 seconds jog and 20 seconds sprint be ok?

    • dwelburn profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Birmingham, UK

      I would not recommend doing direct ab work on your off days Frankie, as it will hinder recovery. Best to do a couple of sets at the end of your normal workouts. You can do some cardio on your off days though - but don't overdo it.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Would you recommend doing this in some of the break days from the 3 day full body gym routine? Or will that hurt the recovery process??

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      i tried him see is good l like this

    • dwelburn profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Birmingham, UK

      Yes; HIIT is excellent for a number of things. Glad you liked the article.

    • Pop Culture World profile image

      Pop Culture World 

      7 years ago from United States

      I think the HIIT must also be beneficial because it works your core intermittently from all angles. Wonderful information. I should follow it!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)