What Does it Really take to get 6-pack abs?

Getting ‘6-pack abs’ is a much larger undertaking than most people realize. There’s much more involved with chiseling out a ‘6-pack’ physique versus building a strong core. Although there are positives to getting this lean, there are some major trade-offs too. Get ready to spend more time sweating in your gym, and say almost a complete goodbye to alcohol, processed foods and sugary sweets if your goal is a washboard stomach. Patio catch-ups, BBQs, parties and cottage vacations can become more difficult occasions for you to enjoy.

If you’re really set on getting a 6-pack in the healthiest way possible, try following these 6 tips now:

1. Exercise at a high intensity 4-5 times for ~1 hour weekly. In these workouts the sweat should be pouring and you should be feeling it in a good way the next day; my clients are quite familiar with this style of workout!
Healthy Eating2. Eat lean protein and 2-3 servings of vegetables at all meals. Like Kathy Smart says “Eat veggies like it’s your job!” They’ll provide you with the nutrients you need and will keep you feeling full.
3. Include healthy fats in most eating occasions (ie. nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut oil). They’ll help keep your body and mind energized.
4. Limit your carbs to small amounts only following your workouts. Our bodies can metabolize carbs better after exercise.
5. Minimize the times you eat out in restaurants. Rarely are even the ‘light’ and ‘healthy’ options at a restaurant as nutritious as the food you prepare at home from scratch.
6. Get at least 8 hours of sleep nightly. We all need our sleep, it helps regulate hormones to control the appetite, can speed up the thyroid and helps us make healthier food choices throughout the day.

What’s Next?

I’m sure you agree these steps above, aren’t easy to follow. It takes a real commitment to apply to such a regime to Boat Pose - Core Exerciseyour lifestyle almost 100% of the time. Figure out your goals and priorities; decide what you are and what you are not willing to commit to right now to meet these goals and priorities. Only you can answer if you want a 6-pack badly enough, or if you’re more like me – you’re comfortable being moderately lean, healthy and strong without giving up some of the other things life has to offer.

If you have any questions, or if you’re still trying to figure out if you’re prepared to do what it takes to develop a washboard stomach, please reach out to me. Although I’ve decided I’m not willing to give up what’s required to get a 6-pack, I can still help you achieve your health and fitness goals, whatever they may be.

Author: Lindsay Atkinson

Precision Nutrition, The Cost of Getting Lean, Ryan Andrews & Brian St. Pierre