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How To Get A Six Pack, Fast

There are few things more impressive than a six pack. Growing, or rather, revealing your abs can be hard work, but nothing is impossible. Here’s everything you need to know.

WHEN DOES A SIX PACK BECOME VISIBLE?
How long does it take to get abs? How many weeks do I have to train to see my six pack? How many sit-ups should I do? This is what everyone wants to know, but the hard truth is that there are no simple answers. The main thing when it comes to getting a six pack is getting a low enough fat percentage. Everyone has abs – they’re just often hidden under a layer of body fat.

Men with a fat percentage of 14-17% are considered fit. Women carry a higher percentage of body fat and are said to be fit at 21-24%. If a six pack is your goal, you need to go lower. In men, the abdominal muscles are pronounced around 12% and you will have a hard six pack at 10% or below. In women, the definition comes through around 18% and the abs get really imposing at 15%.

How long this takes depends on what your starting point is. If you already have a reasonably defined body, you will see results in a few weeks. But don't get discouraged if you are still well above the required fat percentage. Your way to a six pack may take longer, but it will also be more satisfying.

To establish your starting point and track your progress, do a three-point measurement with a  fat percentage meter. Ask someone to help you with this for the best result.

YOUR CORE MUSCLES
Adjusting your diet to get a lower fat percentage will make your abs visible, but to keep them looking impressive you also need to train them. This starts with your core, which is made up of all the muscles around your torso and pelvis, including the buttocks and muscles in your lower back and the abs. In total, there are 29 different muscles, which means there are many ways to train them.

There are exercises specifically aimed at strengthening your core, such as planks and ab wheel roll outs. We will come back to this later. But did you also know that you train your core when you do large compound exercises?

COMPOUND EXERCISES FOR A SIX PACK
Any good training schedule has major compound movements such as the deadlift and the squat. Not only are these great for the overall development of your muscles; when done properly they are also a useful way to work on your core. Compound exercises require you to tighten your core, which is how you work on your six pack. This also works the other way round: if you strengthen your core with exercises such as plants, you’ll see progress in your compound lifts. A solid six pack is not only beautiful, it’s also very useful…

ISOLATION EXERCISE FOR A SIX PACK
In addition to doing the large compound exercises, it is wise to also add a few isolation exercises to your workout that target the abdominal muscles. Your abs are made up of four muscles that work in four different directions. That means you need to train them from different angles, so make sure you have enough variation in your exercises.

For example, do leg raises and crunches to train the lower and upper parts of the vertical muscles in your abdomen, the rectus abdominis. To train the obliques (the muscles on the side of your abdomen), you can do lying twists, twisting crunches and side bends. Finally, planks are a good exercise to train the deepest abdominal muscles.

It's important to stay hydrated when you exercise but just drinking water can get boring. With the Body&Fit Water Infuser you can give your drink a twist.

HOW MANY REPS?
All muscles are made up of three different muscle fibres: Slow Twitch (type 1) and Fast Twitch (types 2A and 2B). Type 1 are mainly addressed with light resistance and high repetitions. However, your muscles in your abdomen mainly consist of type 2B muscle fibres. This type is best trained with low repetitions and high resistance. So although you often hear that you should train your stomach with a high number of repetitions, this isn’t actually true. For the best results, sets of 8-12 reps with a reasonable level of resistance are more effective.

A SIX PACK OR AN EIGHT PACK?
Not everyone can get a six pack… some lucky people can actually get an eight-pack! Your genes determine what kind of abs you have. There may be two, four, six or even eight blocks hidden under your body fat. If you have four blocks but really want a six pack, sadly there are no magic abs exercises that can help you. But that's not to say they aren't impressive.  Arnold Schwarzenegger, for example, had ‘only’ four visible blocks, even at a super low-fat percentage.

15 MINUTE SIX PACK WORKOUT
Start with the basics: a balanced, varied diet that keeps you below your maintenance level in calories. That means eating less than you do to maintain your weight so weight loss can begin.

Adjust your training to make sure you do enough compound exercises like deadlifts and squats. Finally, introduce some abdominal muscle isolation exercises. We've put together a 15-minute routine that you can add onto your normal workout. You can do these five exercises in a circuit at home or in the gym.

You will be performing some of these abdominal exercises on the floor, so make sure you roll out your mat before getting started.

EXERCISE 1: AB WHEEL ROLL OUT (3 MINUTES)
By using a training  wheel, you target almost all your abs and back muscles. Because you can easily adjust the resistance, these exercises are suitable for both beginners and advanced athletes.

How to:  Get on your knees with the training wheel in your hands and let it lean on the floor in front of you. Roll out the wheel in front of you in a controlled way as far as you can. If you can, try to roll it out far enough to almost hit the ground with your nose. Then roll the wheel back by contracting your core. This is one repetition. Make sure to keep your core tight and your back straight throughout.

How Much:  Do 8 to 10 reps per set. Do 3 sets with 30 seconds of rest in between.

EXERCISE 2: CRUNCH (3 MINUTES)
The crunch is one of the most famous abdominal muscle exercises and mainly targets the rectus abdominis muscle. Make sure to do it properly to avoid injury.

How to: Lie on your back with your feet planted on the floor and your knees bent. You can hold your hands against your temple or cross them in front of your chest. Tighten your core muscles to bring your shoulders up off the floor and towards your knees. To avoid injuries, make sure you don't pull your head. If you can't get any further up, drop back to the starting position in a controlled manner. This is one repetition.

How Much:  Do 8 to 10 reps per set. Do 3 sets with 30 seconds of rest in between.

EXERCISE 3: TWISTING CRUNCH (3 MINUTES)
In this variation of the crunch, the oblique abs are the target.

How to: Start just like with the normal crunch. Move your shoulders off the floor, but at the same time, move diagonally toward your knee in a circular motion. Again, make sure you don't pull your head. Touch your left knee with your right elbow (and vice versa) and then slowly move back to the starting position. This is one repetition.

How Much:  Do 8 to 10 reps per set. Do 2 sets per side with 30 seconds rest in between.

EXERCISE 4: Leg raise ( 3 MINUTES)
This exercise is very good for the lower part of your abs. Prepare to feel the burn…

How to: Lie on your back on the floor with your hands under your lower back. This will help you balance during the exercise. Tighten your abs and lift your legs straight off the ground until they are approximately at a 45 degree angle. Hold this position for a second before lowering your legs again. This is one repetition. Do not rest your legs on the floor while doing this exercise so that you keep the tension on your core muscles.

How Much:  Do 8 to 10 reps per set. Do 3 sets with 30 seconds of rest in between.

EXERCISE 5: Plank (4 MINUTES)
As well as stimulating your abs, planks are also great for strengthening your hip mobility.

How: Lean on your elbows and toes, with your body in a straight line. Place your elbows under your shoulders. Try to push your elbows into the ground and your body off the ground. It is very important to tense your core, just like during the ab wheel roll out. If you can easily hold the position for a long time, then you are probably just doing it wrong.

How much: Try to hold the plank for at least 30 seconds. Do 3 sets with 30 seconds of rest in between.

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