Are you envious of the men and women who have rock-hard abs? The chiseled, toned, ripped look is what every person desires, but seldom actually achieve.
There are many reasons for this, but we won’t lie… Getting “six pack” abs requires discipline, precision, hard work and toning the rectus abdominis.
It requires following a strict abs diet, engaging in a regular abs workout and cardiovascular exercise routine, and becoming in tune with your body.
But, before you close out this article and think, “Pfft… I will never be able to do that…”, you CAN. And we are about to show you how…
In this guide, we will show you EXACTLY what you need to do to get six-pack abs in 12 weeks—or less!
YES, it will require some work on your part. YES, it will require a lifestyle change.
NO, it won’t always be easy, but—YES, you CAN do it.
Summer is on Its Way… Is Your Beach Body Ready?
You promise yourself the same thing every year… “THIS is the year I’m going to get in shape.”
However, life often gets in the way, and conquers us before we get the chance conquer our physical fitness goals.
You may have been training for months, have dropped weight, and have increased lean muscle mass, but you still can’t seem to get those six-pack abs or the physique you so badly want.
Although this guide will give you some tips on what you should be doing to get a flat stomach and toned abdominals regardless of your fitness level or weight loss goals, it’s important to remember that what works for one individual may not work for another.
All in all, disciplined practice and eating are a MUST in order to simultaneously burn stubborn body fat and build muscle to allow those toned abdominals and sexy physique to show.
Your ability to achieve a six-pack in 12 weeks also depends on your current physique, fitness levels, and genetics.Remember, often the hardest part of any journey is the first step…So, if you are ready to take it, then read on…
Step-By-Step Instructions To Getting Perfect Six-Pack Abs
If you have never worked out a day in your life, it can be physically and mentally difficult to start. You tell yourself: “I’m going to start working out tomorrow.”
Then, when tomorrow comes, you find excuses to avoid getting to the gym or eating a salad for lunch when you are badly craving pizza.
If you are an avid athlete, and you spend more than half your week at the gym, you think you are eating the right foods and doing the right ab workouts.
However, as time goes on, and you still can’t see your six-pack abs, then you might be feeling frustrated or maybe even angry with yourself. All in all, motivation is dwindling and you need to find another solution.
There is a ton of products, supplements, advice and tips on the web that promise to help individuals get six-pack abs, but few actually deliver. Furthermore, the majority of advice and tips are often flawed or are a matter of opinion rather than based on proven, scientific facts.
So, who and what do you believe?
This is why combined the best tips from some of the biggest names in sports, nutrition, and fitness to develop this comprehensive guide to getting perfect six-pack abs in 12 weeks or less—that actually works.
How to Get Ripped: De-Bunking Ab Myths
If you believe that the key to unlocking abdominal definition that you can see from miles away is all about core and ab workouts, think again…
Yes, core and abs workouts (such as crunches and leg raises) are important, but they aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution that works 100 percent of the time.Some other crucial factors that play a role in burning stubborn fat and building a six-pack, include:
- Proper nutrition
- Nutrient timing
- Core workouts and training
- Full-body training
- Protein supplements
Step 1: Count Calories – If you hate counting calories, don’t fret. The first step in your six-pack ab journey is to take a good, hard look at your calorie intake. What are you eating and how much?
A good rule of thumb is to pay particular attention to the amount of protein, carbs, and healthy fats (fatty acids) you consume on a daily basis.
Follow a high-protein diet, moderate to low-carb diet, and moderate fat diet:
- 40 percent of your calories come from protein
- 40 percent from carbs
- 20 percent from healthy fats (such as fatty acids)
Following this guide will naturally reduce your calorie intake, and build in a low-calorie diet. Most low-calorie diets can range from 300-700 calories, depending on your gender, height, weight and physical activity levels.
When building muscle, burning stubborn fat, and losing weight, the biggest priority is protein intake. The body digests proteins at a much slower rate, which can help you feel full and satisfied over a longer period of time.
This then naturally suppresses appetite and keeps you from snacking throughout the day or in the evening before bed. The body’s metabolism also utilizes protein to supply the body with energy and to build muscle.
Many people who successfully stick with step one will easily shed those extra pounds within the first week or two. This is often due to the loss of water weight, not necessarily stored body fat.
After they shed their extra pounds, they often “plateau”, where they stop losing weight and burning fat—or so it seems. This then decreases motivation to stick with a diet or workout. Then, they eventually fall off the abs diet and exercise plan before they really see desired results…
If this is exactly where you are at, then this could mean that you are still consuming too many calories. This is why it is important to count calories at the beginning of the program.
This will provide you with insights as to what you eating and how much. As a result, you may need to adjust your caloric intake as well as your protein, carb, and fat ratio.
Step 2: Low-Carbs, High-Cardio – As we mentioned above, most people believe that the way to six-pack abs is to focus on core workouts. Yes, core workouts are important, but they shouldn’t make up 100 percent of your exercise routine.
Although many groan at the thought of doing cardio, it is necessary for burning stored fat in the abdominals in order to begin to see a flat stomach.Start by making a plan for each week. Your plan should include a blend between a low-carb diet and high-cardio workout several days out of each week.
For example, reduce your carbohydrate intake to less than half of your daily calories. The best way to do this is to only consume ONE serving of carbohydrates in ONE meal. So, pick one meal at least two to three days each week and consume ONE carb of your choice. Your options can include potatoes, whole grains, bread or pasta.
Then, focus on upping your protein, such as red meat, beef, chicken or fish for your other meals. You can also swap out carbs for leafy green vegetables, such as lettuce, broccoli, or low-sugar fruits.Here is an example of what a low-carb diet plan may look like:
Breakfast: Cereal, a bagel or toast
Lunch: Leafy green salad
Dinner: Vegetable stir fry with grilled chicken or fish—no pasta!
Breakfast: Hard-boiled egg whites or scrambled eggs
Lunch: A sandwich (wheat or white bread) with lean turkey or chicken
Dinner: Leafy green salad or vegetable stir fry with quinoa
Breakfast: Banana and peanut butter or a fruit smoothie
Lunch: Leafy green salad, raw vegetables with hummus or avocado
Dinner: Sweet potatoes, grilled chicken or beef, or pasta
Some athletes that stick to a low-carb diet and high-protein diet religiously believe that consuming the largest amount of calories for the day in the morning works best, especially if you have planned an afternoon or evening at the gym.
Eating a smaller or lighter meal in the evening can prevent food from not properly digesting during the night, which can help accelerate weight loss and fat burn.
On the other hand, following a low-carb diet can negatively impact your energy levels. So, the amount of carbs as well as the timing in which you consume them can differ from person to person. You may have to figure out when, what, and how much works best for you.
By following this low-carb diet and high-protein diet for at least three days per week for 12 weeks, and bumping up your cardio workouts to at least 30 minutes per day, the combination of your low-carb and lower caloric intake and intense cardio workouts will burn more fat.
Step 3: High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – In addition to adjusting to a low-carb diet, make sure you HIIT the gym—literally. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a proven way to burn more calories and melt away body fat.
HIIT routines combine intense intervals of cardio, steady cardio, and low-intensity cardio, all of which are important for a well-rounded, fat-burning, and ab-boosting cardiovascular workout.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) involve workouts that increase your heart rate in intervals. This means that HIIT workouts involve both high-intensity and lower-intensity workouts.
The high-intensity sessions burn more calories, and then the lower-intensity sessions allow the body to rest for a brief time before the next high-intensity session. The whole point behind HIIT is to burn more calories and in less time. This elevates the metabolism, which accelerates fat burn due to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC).
This means that body gives off more heat than normal, which also helps boost lean muscle mass.So what exactly is considered an HIIT workout? Here are a few common examples below.
- Full body weight training
- Brisk walking and/ or running
- Intense cardiovascular exercise (for longer periods of time)
Here is an example of what a HIIT workout plan looks like:
- Begin with a light warm-up
- Then, do at least one minute of sprinting
- Three minutes of slow jogging
- One minute of sprinting
- Cool down
If one minute is too intense, you can swap out one-minute intervals with 30-second intervals instead. Over time, as your cardiovascular strength and stamina will improve.
Studies have shown that engaging in highly intense exercise on a regular and consistent basis can burn more body fat, and even help reduce blood pressure!
Furthermore, some studies have shown that performing HIIT workouts on an empty stomach be more effective for fat burning purposes.
Step 4: Up Your Protein Sources – We talked a little bit about reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing carbs with protein. Reducing carbs obviously means reducing your overall calorie intake, however, the body still needs energy, especially if you are engaging in cardio and HIIT workouts.
Therefore, substituting carbs with a high-protein diet can help give your body the energy supply that it needs for building muscle and burning fat. The body needs more protein and amino acids when increasing physical activity levels. This is because cells throughout the body die each day. Proteins come to the rescue and help regenerate cells, muscle tissue, and repair muscles after a workout.
Therefore, the body requires a sufficient supply of amino acids to ensure an efficient cell regeneration process.On the other hand, many athletes and aspiring bodybuilders often get frustrated when they don’t see a boost in lean muscle mass even after consuming large amounts of protein.
It’s important to remember that just because you increase your protein intake doesn’t necessarily mean that you will automatically build more muscle. If you are struggling with muscle growth, then you may need to try a high-protein diet rather than eating insane amounts of protein.
What is a High-Protein Diet?
We wish that we could tell you exactly how much protein you should eat to build muscle, burn fat, and get ripped, but this depends on multiple factors as well as each individual. You may have to figure out what protein sources work best for you.
The Best Sources of Protein
Not all protein sources are created equal—nor do they yield the same results for every person. The biggest differences between each source of protein is digestion and absorption speed and efficiency, how the body utilizes those protein sources, and the different amounts of essential amino acids.Here are some of the most common animal-based protein sources and plant-based protein sources for meat-eaters, vegans, and vegetarians:
- Beef or Red Meat
- Undenatured whey protein
- Egg protein
- Milk or cheese
- Nuts and seeds
- Whole grains (such as quinoa)
- Soy milk
The bottom line is consuming a well-rounded, healthy high-protein diet that is the right blend of meat, dairy, eggs and fish (protein and fatty acids), you will not only lose weight, but also see a reduction in overall body fat percentage, and a noticeable flatter stomach.
What is Undenatured Whey Protein?
It’s no secret that both vegans and vegetarians have it harder when trying to increase their protein intake. This is why many vegans, vegetarians, and even meat eaters will supplement their protein intake with a source of undenatured whey protein supplement.
Undenatured whey protein is minimally processed protein that is processed in a way that preserves the natural nutrients found in natural, pure whey protein. Undenatured whey protein supplements often come in a powder form that is easily mixed with water or a smoothie for a truly nutritional protein shake.
Many undenatured whey protein supplements are animal-based and plant-based for different dietary preferences and allergies.
However, it’s worth mentioning that as you begin to build more lean muscle, keeping up with your protein intake—and your hydration—becomes even more important.
If you begin to build more lean muscle, if you don’t maintain a healthy amount of protein or water, then you can put yourself at risk for developing a protein deficiency or even becoming dehydrated. This means that you could end up losing all the strength, muscle, and the flat abs you worked so hard to achieve.
Remember, a reduction in muscle mass will definitely cause the scale to drop, but it may not be a good thing… This could mean that you are losing your flat abs, too. So, be sure to keep up with a healthy protein intake and stay hydrated!
Step 5: Core and Ab Workouts – Now that we have thoroughly addressed the importance of low-carbs, high protein intake, HIIT training and cardio, and how a combination of all of the above will help reduce your body fat percentage and help you get ripped and flat abs, now we can focus on core workouts. Here are some abdominal exercises you can try to help you get a flat stomach:
- Leg raises (and their variations, such as hanging leg raises or knee raises)
- Bicycle kicks
- Abdominal twists (with medicine ball)
- Exercise ball pikes
No, you don’t have to engage in abdominal exercises or core workouts every day; however, fitting abdominal exercises and core workouts into your workout routine at least two to three times per week will help further build up your abdominal muscles while simultaneously lose fat.
Does Timing Matter?
Now that you have a better understanding of what foods are great sources of protein—and how both cardio and ab workouts are important—does timing matter?
Should you eat protein before or after a workout?
What times are better for working out—in the morning? Afternoon or evening?
Some bodybuilders recommend consuming protein every three hours. Other fitness experts recommend working out first thing in the morning on an empty stomach to burn fat; some recommend in the afternoon to help increase productivity and energy levels to get through the rest of the day; others recommend working out in the evening before bed to allow the body to fully rest and restore.Some believe timing has no effect at all…
Although these studies may be inconclusive, and after reviewing numerous sources, it is likely best to figure out the right amount of protein you should consume each day, and when, and what workout times work best for you and your schedule.
All in all, it really comes down to becoming in tune with your body and determining how you feel and when as well as seeing results.
Conclusion: How to Get Ripped Fast
In summary, if you have been struggling to lose weight, build ab muscles or sticking to an abs diet that actually works, then the first thing to do is plan a combination of a low-carb diet and high-protein diet (that naturally creates a caloric deficit to help you lose weight and burn fat), cardiovascular exercise and HIIT, and add some abs workouts into your exercise regimen.
If you need help increasing your protein intake, then try a whey protein source, such as a undenatured whey protein powder.
You may need to play with what foods to eat, when to workout and what exercises you enjoy and that work best, and also try different whey protein supplements at different times and days to find the plan that truly works for you. It is also helpful to determine the best and safest abs diet and abs workout plan for women’s health and men’s health.
It can definitely involve trial and error, so try keeping a journal, food diary or an app that tracks your what you eat and how much as well as your workouts. Use a calendar to plan your meals and days and times when you plan to hit the gym.
Even though you might look at yourself everyday, you may not notice visual differences right away. Therefore, taking periodic selfies can help you visually track your progress. By sticking to this abs diet and abs workout plan for at least 12 weeks, you will begin to notice a reduction in overall body fat percentage, increased stamina and strength, and ripped abs.
Depending on your physical activity levels and fitness levels, you may even see ripped abs in less time! The key is patience, persistence, and consistency.
Your abs are there, but you just might have to work a little harder to get them to pop!