Having a six pack these days is one way of showing off a high level of fitness. James Bradford discusses this type of popular physique and the ways it can be gained.
How to get a six pack - the background
Despite the muscles in question being completely covered up most of the time, “how to get a six pack” is one of the most commonly queried search terms on the internet today. Many also ask why one would want to work so hard on muscles that on first glance have no direct function beyond aesthetics - they don’t lift heavy weights like your arms nor do they support large compound movements like your leg muscles do. So why the interest in how to get a six pack?
The importance of a six pack
A six pack refers to your abdominal muscles, specifically the rectus abdominis, which when at or beneath a certain level of body fat percentage, become visible. Due to only being prominent on individuals who not only possess a low body fat percentage but have also trained the muscles to grow in size, they are considered an easy way to demonstrate one’s physical level of fitness to the world.
Not just for appearance sake, the purpose of the rectus abdominis is to help your spine bend when you lean forward - see, not just for show!
Building a six pack
Developing abs is like developing any other muscle in the body in that it takes hard work, consistency and time. However, for abs to become visible on either a man or woman this requires low amounts of body fat. For that reason, your diet is crucial more than ever if you are to achieve the results you wish.
The food you need to be eating consistently throughout the day should be high in protein to help your muscles to repair and grow, and ideally also low in carbs to reduce the likelihood that the food will be kept as fat storage. Fat storage is bad for abs as fat will build up between your skin and the muscles, consequently lowering the visibility of your hard earned larger abs.
For building the muscles, you can target them directly with a number of key exercises. Planks, where you hold your core in one position for a period of time is a great way to hit all of your ab muscles. Furthermore, you cannot go wrong with the classic crunch exercise. If you’re finding the traditional crunch too easy, make your abs work harder by restraining your feet to the floor or lifting a weight up as you do each crunch.
If your workout space has the facilities, a difficult but highly effective exercise is hanging leg raises. Make sure you also hit muscles in the region like your obliques via side raises to ensure you are fully working the muscles in this area to give a nice defined appearance.
As discussed, you can have the largest and most sculpted abs there have ever been, but if your body fat percentage is too high then they won’t be visible when you step onto the beach! To support fat loss, a regular plan of High Intensity Interval Training alongside a clean food diet will soon help reveal the fruits of your labour.
Supplements to help you build a six pack
Supplements can play a big part in answering the “how to get a six pack?” question. As with food, you want to be consuming as few carbs as possible to get the most lean look possible. To do this we would recommend an isolate whey protein like Whey Protein Isolate 90
as this premium whey is slightly lower in carbs than its whey concentrate counterpart, Whey Protein 80.
To help achieve your fat loss goals we would recommend a thermogenic fat burner like BurnMax
as this will help your body achieve fat loss and ultimately contribute to more visible ab muscles. Both supplements should be taken in line with their suggested use but can be modified to suit.