How to get a six pack – tried and tested method

Of course it’s possible to get your abs popping but there is a catch: you need to introduce some major changes to your diet and commit to 45 minutes of exercising, six days a week. This article shows you exactly how to get a six pack in six weeks.

“Abs are made in the kitchen.”

As far as abs go, your meal prep and nutrition game are much more important than the number of crunches you can do. Fact. Here’e what you need to do and why.聽

How to get a six pack?

Anyone can get a six pack but there is a catch. You need to lower your body fat percentage below a certain point to reveal your abs. Diet and cardio and key to getting a chiseled stomach. Follow these steps to nail your nutrition first.

  1. Cut out all food that’s refined and/or comes in a packet, including those tasty “healthy and nutritious” treats you keep in the cupboard.
  2. Go back to eating six small meals a day like so:
  3. First two meals: starchy carbs and fruit – oats with blueberries, rye bread with banana etc.
  4. Second two meals: potato, rice, quinoa etc. in addition to your main protein source.
  5. Third two meals: vegetables – broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, peppers or your favourite ones as long as they are not full of carbs.
  6. Don’t forget to pack in enough protein in each one of these meals – lean meat, tofu, fish, eggs, diary etc.
  7. Replace your protein cookies and flapjacks with wholesome snacks like almonds, brazil nuts etc.
  8. Swap the energy drinks for water and drink lots of it.
  9. You are allowed one cheat meal per week or every ten days IF you follow everything else on this list to the letter.
  10. Don’t forget to top up your carbs and protein levels after your workouts.

Related: Protein rich foods

The key to a flat stomach is in your diet

how to get a six pack, abs diet
Your diet is the key to getting six pack abs

Forget about intermittent fasting and any other fads that are doing the rounds at the moment and go back to basics. Introduce these changes to your diet to fire up your metabolism and melt the layer of fat you carry in your mid section.聽

The abs anatomy

Before we get down to the workout, let me remind you about the individual muscle groups that make up the anatomy of your abs.

abs anatomy, abs workout
The anatomy of your abs
  • Rectus Abdominis – the long flat muscle which stretches from your pubic area all the way up to your ribs. It owes its shape to the vertical line which divides it down the middle and the three bands which squeeze it horizontally to give it the six pack look. It helps stabilise your torso when moving and it is activated when you flex your spine and/or do side bending movements.
  • External and Internal Obliques – the muscles which are on either side of the rectus abdominis. Their fibres run diagonally from your ribs to the pelvis and give the desired V shape of your abs. The obliques are involved in the rotation of your torso, flexing of the spine, sideways bending as well as comprising your abdomen.
  • Transversus Abdominis – this is the deepest layer of your abdominal muscles which wraps around the torso from ribs to pelvis, back to front. It stabilises your spine, compresses the internal organs and helps with breading and respiration.
  • The Hip Flexors – they are the muscles which bring your legs and torso together. Although technically not a part of the abdominal muscle group, the hip flexors are involved in some abs exercises, particularly sit ups, leg raises and their variations.

Related: Abdominal muscles location and function

Before we get down to it, let me refresh your memory with a quick anatomy lesson about your abs to help you understand the need and reasoning behind the selected exercises included in this abs workout. FYI the fourth muscle on the list may come as a surprise to you.

how to get a six pack, abs workout, abs diet

The abs workout

This abs workout shows you how to get a six pack in the gym. It includes direct as well as indirect exercises which help to develop your abs and increase their size.

The abs workout to help you get a washboard stomach in six weeks

The exercises are fairly common and self explanatory but the trick of this workout is to stop before your body begins to break down muscle tissue. You need to aim for 45-minute sessions six days a week. Perform three to four sets with 10 to 15 reps each. Rest for 30 seconds between sets and when finished, move to the treadmill for the remainder of the 45 minutes.

Focus on your form rather than the speed at which you perform each exercise. Stop the 45 minutes are up or you run the risk of breaking muscle tissue which your body will use to fuel this abs workout.

abs workout, overhead barbell lunges

Overhead squat

Why do it: It requires a lot of balance and in doing so, the overhead squat works out your deep abdominal muscles.

How to do it: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend your knees and grip the barbell making sure that your hands are wider that shoulder width apart. Snatch the bar to your chest and drive it up until your arms are fully extended and the bar is slightly behind your head. Bend your knees to lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor then drive yourself back up to the starting position.

  • Sets: 3-4
  • Reps: 10-15
  • Rest between sets: 30-45 seconds

Knee to inside elbow plank

Why do it: It stabilises your mid section and works your obliques.

How to do it: Start in a strand art plank position. Bring your right knee underneath your body to your right elbow. Return to starting position and repeat with your left knee.

  • Sets: 3-4
  • Reps: 10-15
  • Rest between sets: 30-40 seconds

Knee to outside elbow plank

Why do it: The added rotation involves your hip flexors and works out your obliques.

How to do it: Start in a standard plank position. Bring your right knee to the outside of your right elbow without turning your head to look at your knee and elbow. Return to starting position and repeat with your left knee.

  • Sets: 3-4
  • Reps: 10-15
  • Rest between sets: 30-40 seconds

Push ups

Why do it: The range of motion involves the abdominal muscles and improves the strength of your mid section.

How to do it: If you are not used to doing push ups, get on your knees to make the exercise easier to perform.

  • Sets: 3-4
  • Reps: 10-15
  • Rest between sets: 30-40 seconds

Swiss ball leg curls

Why do it: The range of motion engages your core and works out your deep abdominal muscles.

How to do it: To start: lay on your back and put your feet on a swiss ball making sure that your ankles are on top of it when your legs are extended. Raise your hips off the ground and pull the ball towards you by flexing your knees. Make sure your weight is on the shoulder blades. Pause and contact your hamstrings then return to the starting position.

  • Sets: 3-4
  • Reps: 10-15
  • Rest between sets: 30-40 seconds

Lunge to overhead press

Why do it: It increases the rate of your metabolism and involves the abdominal muscles as you keep the weight stable above your head.

How to do it: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold a pair of dumbbells above your shoulders with your palms facing up. Put your right foot forward and lower your body until your thigh is parallel to the floor pushing the dumbbells up over your shoulders at the same time. Push back to standing position lowering the dumbbells back to your shoulders. Repeat with the other leg.

  • Sets: 3-4
  • Reps: 10-15
  • Rest between sets: 30-40 seconds


If you still have some time left (and you should), hop on the treadmill, set the incline level to as high as comfortable and walk until the 45 minutes of the abs workout are up.

Getting six pack abs is easy but…

How to get a six pack, abs workout, abs diet
How to get a six pack in six weeks

You need to stick to it. Make sure that you don’t stray from your diet and abs workout schedule. There is no point in doing one without the other as they work together to get you that washboard stomach.

Get into the habit of meal prepping to eliminate temptation and to fit in with your taste and time. Don’t expect to have freshly cooked scrambled eggs with salmon and avocado for lunch if you work full time. If that’s the case, get up half an hour earlier or prepare your lunch in the evening and put in a Tupperware container to take with you.

Stick to 45 minutes for your workouts to prevent your body from breaking muscle tissue to use as fuel. The aim is to burn the fat and reveal the muscles, not melt them away in the process.

1 thought on “How to get a six pack – tried and tested method”

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