Everyone wants six-pack abs. The problem is, not everyone knows what it really takes to get them.
At Ultimate Performance we help regular, normal clients get six-pack abs on a daily basis, so if there’s anyone who truly knows what it takes, it’s us.
This isn’t an article to sell you on a dream of a supposed ‘secret recipe’ we’ve kept hidden from the rest of the world.
It’s about telling you what no one in the fitness industry is willing to tell you: what it really takes to get lean enough to sport a full set of abs.
From years of doing this, we’ve found that it boils down to five things, all of which are somewhat linked together:
- Work Ethic
- Ability to Suffer
- Knowing your ‘Why’
- Precise Consistency
Before reading, please remember we’re talking about getting into extreme shape, not just a little bit leaner.
This is the number one key to any successful transformation.
Life is all about priorities, and getting a six pack is no different. If this is your goal, you must hold it as one of your top priorities at all times.
If we take a typical client who starts at 20-25% body fat, getting them to 13-14% is no problem.
Most clients can get there through following a good diet, training hard regularly and staying consistent.
Going from 13-14% to 8-9% (which is where most men will need to be to have a good full set of abs) is a little different and requires a much greater investment of time and effort.
As a general rule, the leaner you get, the higher you need to place ‘getting leaner’ on the priorities list if you want to progress further.
2. Work Ethic
Being successful in anything requires a strong work ethic.
When you push from 13-14% body fat down to sub 10%, it requires a lot of work.
Training three days a week won’t cut it any longer.
Skipping your cardio because you don’t feel like it, is off the cards too.
To get sub 10% body fat, expect to be weight training anywhere from four to six times a week, along with two to six cardio sessions (a combination of sprints and fast walking).
As you can imagine, this type of training frequency would require a great deal of time for the average guy, which is why it’s vitally important to first get your priorities in line.
3. Ability to Suffer
Where we see many men fail in their quest for a six pack is their willingness/ability to suffer the symptoms that accompany hard dieting and a rigorous training schedule.
Tiredness, fatigue, hunger and serious cravings are amongst the most common that you’ll need to experience for a period of time to get to the place you want to be.
This is usually the stumbling block, and why so many never really turn their ‘4 pack’ into a ‘6 pack’.
Guys will reach 11-12% body fat, but be unable to withstand the social sacrifice and internal symptoms to push further.
One of the reasons we do so well at keeping our clients on track to push past this boundary is that all our trainers have been through it themselves, so we know exactly how you are feeling.
Here’s UP Trainer Matt Parsons who prior to joining our team, underwent 11 weeks of online training to get into best condition of his life. He now understands more than ever what it really takes to get a six pack, and can use this to empathise with his clients during their own transformations.
4. Knowing Your ‘Why’
If you want to take your physique to the next level, you have to know your ‘why’.
You have to know why it’s worth going out in the cold to do your cardio, as opposed to staying wrapped up in bed.
You have to know why it’s worth going to the gym instead of the bar on a Friday night.
You have to know why it’s worth sticking to your meal plan, as opposed to enjoying the cakes with everyone else at the office your colleague has brought in.
The ‘why’ is critically important.
This will help direct your goals and priorities, and help you decide what you’re willing to do to get the body you have in mind.
5. Precise Consistency
Whether it’s about building muscle or losing fat, the number one rule for extreme results is consistency.
No perfectly-written plan works without precise execution on a consistent basis.
For a six pack, this means there’s no slip for a bad meal, or a missed training session.
When it comes to getting down from 12% to 8% body fat, you’ll need to be weighing your foods out to the gram, preparing all meals ahead of time, and staying meticulous with your macronutrient and calorie intake.
Anyone can do this for a day. It’s when you need to do it for four to six weeks in a row, every single day that it becomes a real test.
Getting a six pack isn’t for everyone. But if you know why you want it, and make it a priority, the hard work and suffering required to push the body fat envelope become much easier.