Ever since I was in middle school I have been obsessed with having ripped abs. It seemed like all the guys the girls drooled over in middle school and high school had ripped abs –and to this day it is commonly accepted as the most attractive muscle group to women.
One of the reasons ripped abs are probably so attractive is because so few guys actually possess them.
There are 3 things that pretty much 99.9 percent of people who don’t have six pack abs are doing wrong…
Where Are Your Abs? Your 3 Biggest Problems:
#1: Macronutrient Timing
One of the biggest mistakes guys make who don’t have six pack abs, is they mess up their macronutrient timing. In my opinion taking into consideration the hormonal consequences of eating certain things and certain times is far more important than counting every calorie you eat and just going by “if it fits your macros.”
Carbohydrate timing becomes especially important when it comes to sculpting six pack abs. Carbs get a bad reputation when it comes to abs but they are actually not the bad guys!
It is the timing of your carbohydrates that will make or break your ability to build lean muscle mass and burn body fat.
#2: Poor Abdominal Training Habits
When it comes down to it, most guys do not know how to train their abs. Your abs are a muscle group just like your pecs, biceps and triceps. If you want a muscle to grow you need to train it with resistance and some weights.
Most guys just stick with bodyweight ab exercises. If you want those visually stunning, 3D-looking abs that pop out at you – you better start training your abs with resistance!
#3: Your Cardio Sucks
There are many different types of theories on what type of cardio is best for sculpting six pack abs.
Many guys are simply performing the most inefficient type of cardio for six pack abs sculpting. Instead of running on a treadmill for 30 minutes every evening, you should switch up your cardio routine to the two that I mention in Part 4 of the six pack abs blueprint.
Not only will you work out for far less time – but also you will have much faster results.
The Six Pack Abs Blueprint
If you follow this 5-part blueprint for long enough, I can promise that you will have six pack abs eventually. Even if you are at 20 percent body fat – following this blue print for an extended period of time will turn you into a fat burning machine.
Part One: Macronutrient Timing
While I can’t give you an EXACT amount of calories that you will need to eat per day to burn body fat quickly (up to 1 lb of pure fat per week) – while keeping all of your muscle mass, I will give you the amount that works for me.
Keep in mind this is the amount of calories that I will consume to burn about 1 lb of body fat per week and still build muscle (or at least not lose any muscle mass) while I diet down.
It is important that you do not lose muscle mass while you are focusing on your fat loss. Lean muscle mass is great for a speedy metabolism and will give you a much better looking physique in the long run. Remember that your abs are a muscle and you need to build the ab muscles to have great looking abs!
With that being said, I stick to the following macronutrient totals:
Protein: 1.25 grams per lb of bodyweight
Carbohydrates: 1.35 grams per lb of bodyweight
Fat: 0.2 grams per lb of bodyweight
Now – lets talk about the most important aspect of this all – your macronutrient timing!
The most important aspect to this diet is that I will consume about 80 percent of my daily carbohydrates in the 3-hour window following my workout. I will actually consume a good majority of these carbohydrates in the form of “high glycemic” rapid digesting carbohydrates.
The reason is quite simple. Insulin is the most anabolic hormone in your body following a workout. It also helps to shuttle all of the amino acids from the protein into your cells. By consuming all of my carbohydrates for the day post workout, I enter an anabolic muscle-building phase. The muscle that I build will help to increase my metabolism and “burn the fat” so to speak.
The best combination is interspersing periods of low insulin and high insulin. Low insulin levels relate to maximum fat burning, and high insulin levels relate to maximum muscle building post workout. This is why 80 percent of your daily carbohydrates should be in the form of rapid digesting carbohydrates post workout.
The other 20 percent can be consumed in the form of vegetables throughout the day and/or at breakfast.
Now – since the goal of this article is to get six pack abs, you have to follow the rules of low insulin at all other times of the day. To keep this simple – have a diet consisting of lean proteins and healthy fats at all other times of the day, except your 3-hour post workout anabolic window.
This will ensure that you have long periods of low insulin, which are ideal for fat burning.
It is crucial that you do not consume bad carbohydrates late at night. Insulin and HGH can’t co exist simultaneously and if you spike your insulin before going to bed you will mess up your hormone production.
Human Growth hormone is one of the most important fat burning hormones in your body and is secreted when you go to sleep. For maximum HGH production make sure to have a diet that consists solely of lean proteins and healthy fats within the 2 hour window of going to bed.
My personal favorites are grass fed beef, mixed nuts and whole eggs.
Part Two: Abdominal Resistance
If you want those visually stunning six pack abs, you have to place a huge emphasis on actually building the abdominal muscles. This is achieved with exercises that create healthy micro tears and place overload on different parts of your abdominals and obliques.
So many guys perform countless bodyweight ab exercises at the end of their workout when they have low energy levels.
I recommend that you train your abs with weight AT THE START of your workout at least 2 times a week. You’re actually going to be training your abs 4 times per week in this blue print (the other 2 times are coming up in the next section.)
Make sure to perform exercises such as the weighted Russian twist, abdominal crunch machine, DD side bends, and rope crunches to place maximum resistance and overload on your abs.
I recommend at least 2 total weighted exercises and 4 sets of each before starting your workout. Do this 2 times per week and you will have 8 sets of weighted abdominal work under your belt per week which will give you some impressive looking abs!
Part Three: Pre Fatigue Compound
My favorite time to train my abs is before I perform compound lifts that engage my core. Many common compound exercises such as the bench press, squat and dead lift actually engage your core throughout the movement.
To take your abdominal training to the next level, try and work your core with a bodyweight abdominal exercise BEFORE doing a compound lift such as the dead lift or squat. This will force you to contract and train your abs throughout the entire movement after they are already tired.
Part Four: Cardio
There are 2 types of cardio that I recommend for ridiculously ripped abs. I highly suggest at the bare minimum you perform them both at least once.
The first is fasted low intensity cardio. I suggest that you perform fasted cardio for 20 minutes at least once per week when you get up.
This means that right when you get up you put on your headphones, listen to some music, podcast, audio book, etc and get in cardio. This allows your body to enter pure fat burning mode first thing in the morning before you consume any food.
The more fasted cardio you perform, the more fat you are going to burn. If you can muster up the energy to perform fasted cardio even 3 times per week, this will play huge dividends to your fat burning.
The second type of cardio you should perform is HIIT – which is most easily performed with sprint intervals or maximum intensity pedaling on a stationary bike.
HIIT is known as maximum anaerobic threshold cardio – which has been scientifically proven to increase your metabolism for up to 24 hours and maximize several key fat burning and muscle building hormones.
This type of cardio is extremely effective for building lean muscle and turning you into a fat burning machine and I recommend it to just about everyone I train.
The key is you want to perform this cardio with some food in your system so you don’t burn through muscle mass.
Try sprinting for 12 seconds at maximum speed and resting 40 seconds between sprint intervals. Perform 8-12 total sprint intervals for an incredible fat burning workout!
Part Five: Compound Exercises
Compound exercises are so effective for six pack abs because they burn a ton of total calories, engage your body’s largest and strongest muscle groups, allow you to build lean muscle mass and increase your muscle building hormones (which is great for burning fat.)
Most people assume that running on a treadmill is going to give them abs. Its not! Compound exercises are the best bang for your buck when it comes to getting a six pack and sculpting your physique.
At the bare minimum you should perform 5 sets of at least 5 repetitions of the following compound exercises each week:
- Bench Press
- Dead Lift
- Pull Ups
- Barbell Row
If you follow the other 4 rules to this blueprint and place a huge emphasis on maximum intensity compound exercises, you will have incredible results in mind-blowing time.
Hardly anybody follows these principles, and you can accomplish in less than 3 months what guys get done in a year if you follow all of these guidelines.