A simple 3-step guide to building your six-pack abs.
Have you given up on your six-pack abs and think they are only for movie stars or Instagram fitness models? Not so, a set of six-pack abs are readily available in a store near you, called “Your Body.” It’s surprisingly easy to purchase a set, once you set your mind to it. The only thing you must do is not follow general advice!
The best part? Heard of the saying, “the best things in life are free?” It’s true. You don’t need an expensive gym membership or costly in-home equipment; instead, all you need is a healthy dose of self-control and determination.
You may be thinking, what’s this guy talking about, I’ll never get rid of my belly fat and get a six-pack. Hold that thought; I’ll let you in on the dirty little secret to building a beautiful set of abs. Even if you are currently 30, 50, or even 80lbs overweight, it’s possible; it just takes more time.
The problem is, people who have six-pack abs want you to think it took a fantastic feat to build those abs — like spending day and night at the gym. The reason you are not told the truth or how to make it easy is to motivate you to go to their gym and spend your money.
Let’s talk truth.
Time to get down to work and how to get those abs to shine. As a (former) Olympic Ski Racer, Health Coach, and Writer, being transparent, honest, and upfront with my clients and readers are very important to me. Unfortunately, not everyone upholds those values, and I’m sure you’ve been misinformed or misled along the way, resulting in frustration or you even giving up.
As always, there’s good and bad news. The good news is; it’s much easier to build your six-pack with these three steps. The bad news is; you must commit, be determined, accountable, and truthful to yourself.
If you dislike exercising, well, it’s crunch time, you have to
Walking must become your primary exercise, a habit that you should commit to daily. Smartwatches are a great motivator, and I highly recommend buying one. Set your watch to 8000 or even 10000 steps per day, and walk away. First thing in the morning, get out and walk, walk during your lunch break and walk in the evening before or after your dinner.
The rule of thumb is three walks a day will keep the fat away! Aim to walk 2-miles per session, and do your best to walk to as many places as possible during your day. Be that the coffee shop, grocery store, or even walk up and down your stairs at home.
Daily walking will burn a lot of calories, and it’s not exactly a strenuous form of exercise, to the contrary, it’s a pleasure and will make you feel great. Walking will not only help you burn calories, but it will build strong leg muscles, organ, and above all, heart strength, all of which supports a longer life.
2. Sugar & Carbs
Yes, and I’m sorry, folks, but these guys are a problem. I’m not going to lie, so if you aren’t willing to cut back on your consumption of sugar and carbs, you won’t see that six-pack.
Sugar is nasty, highly addictive, more so than cocaine and heroin. Think about that for a moment. Being a sensible and mature adult, would you take cocaine or heroin with your food and drink every day, if it were legal? I’m guessing you wouldn’t. But sugar is legal, of course, and most people consume it every day; morning, noon and night, and in between for snacks and treats. Sugar is a killer people; there are no two ways about it.
Carbohydrates aren’t much better than sugar, once ingested carbs turn into glucose in the bloodstream, which is sugar. Most people don’t burn off the excess glucose, which then winds up as triglycerides in your fat cells. Consuming carbohydrate-rich foods leads to insidious weight gain and no way for you to lose weight or ever see that six-pack!
Even though I recommend dropping sugar and carbs and going keto, you don’t have to go full-blown keto to achieve the desired result. You do have to be willing to cut back dramatically. There’s no denying it; sugar and carbs make you fat.
If you don’t want to go full-on keto, I recommend my 80 / 20 carb rule. Cut back your carb consumption by 80% and make sure you adjust your daily carb intake to a maximum of 20% of what it used to be. You’ll have to do some carb counting for this method, but it works.
Plank, plank, and plank again. Yes, folks, I’m sorry, you have to do something to stimulate and shape those abs. The good news is the plank is all you have to do: no sit-ups, no crunches, and no machines at the gym. Planking is a fantastic exercise that stimulates almost all of your muscle groups, and it’s all you need to build solid abs and a six-pack.
Let’s take a quick peak at what else planking can do for you besides strengthening your core and building that six-pack.
- Improves Metabolism.
- Reduces back pain.
- Improves posture.
- Improves balance.
- Supports bone and joint health.
- Boosts mood and reduces stress.
I think you will agree, making planks a habit is worth it, and not just for your six-pack abs, but your overall health and wellbeing.
We’ve already established that some fitness work and dietary adjustments are needed. I haven’t asked you to do anything objectionable. Dragging your butt outside and making yourself walk isn’t exactly horrible, nor is making changes to your diet, which will help you live longer. Would you agree?
The only thing I ask you to do, which is a bit of a challenge, is to start planking. The plan consists of walking, eating no sugar and fewer carbohydrates, and planking your way to your six-pack abs.
Let’s get going! You need to plank for six days a week. There are only two routines to practice for the first month. Starting in month two, we will add the third routine.
- Routine 1: Sets and Time.
- Routine 2: Time
Routine 1: Monday – Wednesday – Friday
- Plank for the maximum time possible – aim for at least 15 to 30 seconds.
- Repeat 3 sets.
- Rest for 1-minute in between sets.
- Record your time for each set and aim to beat it by 10 seconds next time.
Routine 2: Tuesday – Thursday – Saturday
Next, the one set plank workout. Easy, right? Hold on, not quite.
- Plank for your absolute maximum time.
- You must feel pain and keep holding through the pain.
- Release only once you absolutely cannot hold it anymore.
Being honest and pushing your limits are what’s going to make this work!
Say you manage to hold the plank for 30 seconds; that’s fine, but you need to aim for 40 seconds next time, and so on. Every day you practice this routine, you have to set out to beat your last time by at least 5, 10 or more seconds. It would be best if you aimed to eventually plank for at least 2 to 3 minutes in one go. My current record is 6-minutes; my goal is to reach 10-minutes in the next 3 months.
Routine 3: Wednesdays only (replacing Routine 1 on Wednesdays)
- Classic Plank for 30 seconds
- Sideways Elbows Plank for 30 seconds
- Sideways Handstand Plank for 30 seconds
Repeat for a total fo 2 sets, switching sides on the two side planks. The 30 seconds is benchmark suggestion. If you can hold longer, you should. The same concept applies to this routine. Every time you perform it, you should aim to increase your previous time on each set.
Be sure to make notes of every single session so that you can record your progress week by week. It’s highly motivating (and amusing) to look back to where you started and how far you have come along!
The first question is always, “but how long will this take?”
The need for instant gratification, where everything is wanted today, is a big problem, and it may be part of the reason you are carrying around that spare tire. Patience is a virtue! That’s a beautiful saying, and it always rings true.
The answer to the question is, it’s different for everyone. It depends on several factors: your starting point, discipline, determination, and accountability. Three months is the minimum requirement if you are around 20lbs overweight. Six to twelve months is a more realistic number if you are in a higher weight bracket.
If you think twelve months is a long time, take a minute and think about how long it took you to gain the excess pounds in the first place. If you are fair to yourself, losing weight should take as long as it took to gain. So, don’t worry, be happy, you now have a plan to shed your weight much sooner, and it works.
Be honest with yourself and work hard; it will pay off.
After reading this article, you may be thinking that this isn’t as easy and simple as I made it sound in the beginning. Well, what’s the saying? Everything has a price. It may not be monetary in this case. The price you need to pay is about 1 hour a day, for six to twelve months. That’s 6 hours a week, 24 hours a month, and 288 a year, compared to the 8760 hours you have available every year.
In the big picture, the time and effort required to achieve your six-pack abs aren’t that much. The benefits to your overall health by doing so can be substantial, though. Everyone needs to make up their mind, is it worth it for me and my health?
Thanks for reading.
Former Olympic Ski Racer, Health Coach & Writer
“It is my mission to educate people on how to lose weight, how to build a healthy, strong heart, body, and mind, supporting a longer life.”
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