Among the multitude of topics that populate the health and fitness world, volumes have been written about one particular subject: the six-pack.
And, as summer quickly approaches, interest in this mythic feature is steadily rising. So, then, how can you actually achieve such a feat? What does it take to get a six-pack? Fortunately, it's actually much more straightforward than you might think.
At it's most basic level, cultivating a six-pack is about reducing your body fat percentage down to a point at which your muscles become visible. For men, this means getting below about 10 percent. Women's abs will generally start to show below 19 percent.
Why does this matter? Because fat rests on top of your muscle, hiding it's shape. And the famous shape of the six-pack is made by the rectus abdominis – a muscle that is split up by a network of tendons. Although, to be fair, many more muscles contribute to a respectable set of abs. But more on that later.
To build six-pack abs, therefore, you need to first have those muscles and then make them visible. And, in order to reach that lofty goal, you have to adjust both your diet and your workouts.
Part One: Diet
Generally speaking, the diet you would adopt in order to drop body fat is roughly the same as any other weight loss approach. Your caloric intake needs to by about 500 calories less than your caloric expenditure each day, forcing your body to burn up fat reserves for fuel.
In order to speed this process and minimize the amount of water weight that you're carrying (which can also hide your muscles), a low-carb, high-protein diet consisting of whole, minimally processed foods is best. Not only will this help you burn fat, but the increased protein intake will also keep you feeling full even though you're eating less food.
Part Two: Workout
Honestly, a proper diet is much more important than your workouts when it comes to sculpting your abs. Unfortunately, even if you lose the weight, you will only have a six-pack if there are actual muscles to show off. Otherwise, you'll just be skinny. Which is totally cool if that's what you're going for. If you want abs, though, some extra work is required.
Of course, you need to build your rectus abdominis. And, despite all of the claims out there, the classic crunch is still one of the best ways to work that particular muscle group. As mentioned, though, other muscles are also involved. Namely, your obliques, transverse abdominis and even your pecs all play a role here. Unfortunately, no one exercise can work all of those different muscles which all move in a variety of directions.
In order to burn enough fat to really show off your abs, though, you have to work your biggest, hungriest muscles. To do that, compound exercises like the squat and deadlift are some of your best choices. Yes, squats give you abs. Think about it. In order to pull off a proper squat, your back, abs, hips and legs are all working. And it takes a lot of calories to fuel all of that movement. When you do a crunch, though, one small muscle group moves.
Bonus Third-Prong: Supplements
While proper a well-designed diet and workout program is absolutely vital to losing fat and revealing your glorious abs, supplements can help support your efforts and give you a powerful boost.
By combining both LeanMode and Trans4orm, you can ensure that your body has all of the necessary micronutrients to support a healthy metabolism. These supplements are also packed with natural ingredients that will increase your energy and improve your mood, allowing you to bring your absolute best effort to the gym.