One of the most common questions that fitness trainers get is, “how long will it take before I can achieve six-pack abs?” Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not so straightforward. The answer, of course, depends on the steps you are taking to achieve a six-pack. However, the most important thing to consider is that it is possible for just about anyone to achieve a toned physique that includes six-pack abs. The following tips will help you to develop a six pack as quickly as possible.
Determine Body Fat
Even if you have abdominal muscles, they will not show if they are covered in fat. In order to achieve six pack abs, you’ll need to reduce your body fat so that you have a total of about 7% body fat. This will also depend on how well your ab muscles are developed. The more developed they are the higher the body fat you can have. For arguments sake we can say a rule of thumb will be about 7-8% for men and 10-12% for women. You can measure you current body fat by using a device known as a skinfold caliper. There are also online calculators that help in estimating your total body fat. Allow yourself to gradually lose weight by eating a healthy diet and following a regular exercise routine. Starving yourself will cause you to burn muscle instead of fat, which will slow down your progress toward achieving a six pack.
Follow the Most Effective Fitness Routine
There are many different Beachbody workout routines to choose from these days. If your goal is to develop a six pack, then you will need to achieve the following:
- Consistency with effective abdominal exercises
- Increase in protein intake
- Reduction in carbohydrate intake
- Interval exercise
There are several types of exercises that will work your abdominal muscles. These days, many people are using exercise balls to perform a more effective abdominal workout. In particular, performing crunches on an exercise ball stimulates more of the abdominal muscles. This is something incorporated in the new P90X2 program.
Bicycle exercises are ideal for building up the abdominal muscles. Lay on your back with your hands behind your head. Your hands should not pull your head up at all during this exercise, but should gently rest on the back of your head. As you bring one knee up and above your hips, your opposite arm should extend toward the knee. Bring that leg and arm back down and repeat with your other knee and arm. Repeat performing a total of three sets that include 10-20 repetitions.
“…it’s about engagement…not momentum.” – Tony Horton
Since your goal is to reduce body fat, yet build muscle, you’ll need to begin following a specialized diet. Carbohydrates, especially processed carbohydrates, can pack on the weight. So we need to stick to complex carbs and minimize your consumption of white bread, cereals, and other processed carbohydrates. At the same time, consuming more protein will help you to replace fat with muscle. You may want to start with something similar to the “Free advice” diet designed for the P90X home workout.
Cardio exercise will help you to achieve an ideal body fat percentage. Incorporating 30-60 minutes of cardio exercise into your fitness plan 3-5 times a week will help you to keep the fat off while building up your muscles for toned six pack abs.
How To Calculate
We realize that we can not know exactly how long it will take to get a six-pack, however we can make an educated calculation to give us an idea. To calculate how long it will take we need to know our current body fat percentage. It’s best to use a body fat caliper, but if you don’t have access to one we can use a generic calculator at Team Beachbody to give us an idea. (Pictured Below) Click Here to get your Free Team Beachbody Account.
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Now that we know our current body fat we can use the following formula to give us an idea:
( Your Current Body Fat % – 7 for men (12 for Females ) /(Amount of Body Fat Lost Per Week [Enter 1% for extreme or .5% for a realistic %ed] ) = Weeks it will take to get 6 pack abs
For example if you have a body fat percentage of 20%. Your formula would look this way (20-7)/.5)=26. If you were to burn .5 body fat per week it would take you 26 weeks to get to your idea body fat percentage getting you the six-pack. We can’t measure your personal workout intensity so you may be able to burn 1 % per week cutting the amount of time it takes in half. I feel that .5 % is more realistic.
Calculator formula source – sixpackfactory.com
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