How Long Does It Take To Get a Six Pack
Let’s do things a little different and answer this question right up front. We can then back into how we got the answer. According to the American Council on Exercise ” If you follow a healthy dietary and exercise routine, you can expect to lose body fat at a healthy 1 percent per month. At this rate, most people may achieve six-pack abs in anywhere from three to 20 months, depending on your current body fat level. ” So now you can answer your question regarding how long does it take to get a six pack. See, that was easy!
If It Was Easy We’d All Do It
Okay, now that we already know how long does it take to get a six pack let’s take a deeper dive. Like many things we all dream of achieving in life it’s fairly simple to get a six pack. I’m not going to go down the path of things like “well I have fibromyalgia and I can’t life any weights”. There’s a thousand ways it’s truly not possible for someone to get a six pack. So instead of dealing with my daughters who give me a bazillion reasons why something can’t be done let’s simply deal with the majority of us. Most of us can do what it takes to get a six pack.
Like I started to say it’s fairly simple to get a six pack. Notice how I didn’t say it was easy because it’s not. I said it was simple. Learning how to perform brain surgery is difficult. Learning how to get a six pack is not. Becoming someone who can fly a shuttle mission to the moon is a long difficult process. Getting a six pack is not. See the difference? It’s a simple process BUT takes lots of hard work to get a six pack. So let’s continue.
What’s Your Baseline
This is going to be the singular most relevant question to assess to determine how long does it take to get a six pack. Let’s look at a few examples to illustrate.
I am 50 + year old man. That doesn’t exactly work in my favor. However, what does work in my favor is the fact that I have worked out since I was 19. To this day I ride a stationary bike 5-6 times a week and lift weights 4-5 times a week. Other than my love of IPA beer and Mexican food overall I eat fairly well. I could probably buckle down and get serious and get a 6 pack by summer. And no, that’s not me in the above picture.
The Younger You Are
So in general it will be easier to attain a six pack the younger you are. Not like an 8 year old you dork but like in your 20’s and 30’s. The older you get the more work it will take. It can still be done but it just takes longer and more work. Which is ironic if you think about it because your energy level typically goes down as you get older. Well that figures.
Current Fitness State
If you are currently in pretty good shape it won’t take you as long to get a six pack. As we all know being in shape usually has exercise and diet going hand in hand. The saying goes abs are made in the kitchen and I have personally found that to be correct. More on that in a few minutes. For right now let’s focus on your current physical state. If your body is used to working out on some level it will be faster to ramp up to getting a six pack. If the last time you did a crunch was in 6th grade and that was 30 years ago, you’ve got a longer run way. There are plenty of people that are in decent shape, workout from time to time, but don’t eat very well. If you stimulate your muscles on a regular basis, you’ve got a leg (and an ab) up.
Your Current Diet
Similar to your current fitness level your starting diet will have an impact as well. The better you eat right now at the beginning will impact how long does it take to get a six pack. If you eat nothing but cookies and chips well…..that’s not good. If you look at your plate now and it’s typically got veggies and protein and limited carbs, you’re in a better starting point. The reason being is you won’t have to start at ground zero to build a better diet. You’ve already got the foundation laid. And that will certainly decrease the amount of time it takes to see those abs popping out.
So Now What
Now let’s look at a few simple steps to help you get a six pack. The length of time it will take will depend on where you are starting from AND how diligent you are at the following:
Eat The Right Foods
It has been said that up to 90% of the success or failure for attaining a six pack (and great musculature in general) is diet. I said it earlier here and many others have said it before – Abs are made in the kitchen. Make sure you eat enough protein. Add veggies and fruit to your diet. Don’t eat refined carbs like bread and pasta. Instead eat whole grains such as brown rice and barley. And for Arnold’s sake – Don’t eat processed food like cookies and chips and other fake foods!
By sticking to a clean eating diet you are doing the number one thing required to get that six pack.
Do Some Cardio
Be sure to include some cardio in your workouts. You can be like me and do it by itself or combine it with other parts of your workout like weights. Try to get 20-30 minutes of cardio in per day when possible. The goal is to aim for 150 – 250 minutes per week. But the caveat here is to not to zombie pedal on a stationary bike for 20 minutes. You have to put some real effort into it and get your heart rate up. Not constantly, it can be off and on but you have to get your heart rate up to some degree.
More Than Cardio
Besides doing cardio you should do some other form of exercising. Weight training is ideal but I don’t want you to think you’ve gotta grunt with the lunkheads in the gym. You don’t. It is very helpful to give your muscles some form of a resistance training workout. Incorporating some weight training is perfect. I fall into the trap of lifting just weights too often. Do some things to mix it up such as playing basketball or tennis or going for a run or whatever. Give your body the gift of mixing your workouts up from time to time to stimulate new muscles.
Water & Sleep
I’m putting these two together because they should be pretty intuitive. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. It doesn’t always have to be water but stay away from soda and juice and that type liquids. Go for the majority of liquid intake to be water. And lots of it.
Same thing with sleep. Make sure you are feeding your body with enough rest to help it recover. I find that if I can get 7 hours of sleep on a regular basis that treats my body and mind right.
As I write this it’s the first week of February. If you are reading it around the time I am publishing it the time to start is now. If you want six packs by the time summer rolls around you better get going NOW. Why? Well because pool season opens up in less than 4 months. Scary right? Well, time has a way of slipping by all of us if we don’t pay attention. Get your booty and abs in gear and start RIGHT NOW. And then commit to your goal. Maybe in 4 months you’ll be answering your buddy that’s still sporting the winter “padding” question of how long does it take to get a six pack with the answer 4 months. Because you will have done it.
How long does it take to get a six pack? Well, we’ve looked at a variety of factors. The short answer is anywhere from 3 months to 20 months with a whole lot of variables. Where you start from, what you choose to do to get there, and how committed you are will be the magic combination to answer the questions. So, what’s your answer going to be?
I’ve put a few resources below that might help you on your path to ripping your shirt off on the day the pool opens.
How to Get Six Pack Abs – by Alex King
Superhero Six Pack – by Markus A. Kassel
21 Ways to Get A Six Pack Abs For Women – by Angelina Jolie
Eat This, Not That! For Abs – by Mark Langowski
Perfect Fitness Crunch – by Perfect Fitness
Total Gym Ab Crunch – by Total Gym
Perfect Fitness Ab Carver Pro Roller For Core Workouts – by Perfect Fitness
Ab Coaster PS500 – by Ab Coaster
In good physical health,