If you go to any bodybuilding forum, you will see that a large portion of the topics are dedicated to six pack abs. We are essentially in the era of the six pack, as far as human vanity is concerned. Six pack abs are everywhere and just like big arms the abdominal muscles are a symbol of sexiness.
The image of defined abs is being implemented on a daily basis through advertisement, muscle magazines, Hollywood movies and more. There are many people in the industry who speculate and use the six pack epidemic to sell value deprived products. It started decades ago with the useless ab equipment advertised on TV. Today, the same thing continues. We have guys like the scam artist Mike Chang who continue to make millions on the back of ignorant noobs.
Everybody wants a six pack – preferably yesterday. “How long does it take to see my abs?” is a million dollar question. The answer is quite simple, as it always is. It will take as long as it takes.
The reason why you cannot see your abs right now is that they are covered with layers of fat. The body is preprogrammed to survive. That’s why we store calories under the form of body fat and accumulate the majority of it around the belly. On many occasions nature has showed us that balance is achieved no matter what and in all areas. A thing may change its form, but it continues to live in its new body. Nothing in nature can be lost. The calories you intake cannot evaporate into the nothingness. You can cheat in the human world, but you can’t cheat nature. Due to all of the mentioned phenomenons when we get fat, it first shows around the mid-section and your six-pack abs go to hell.
To get your six-pack abs to show you need to lose that body fat. There is no need for specific ab exercises. They can help you build strength and some hypertrophy but muscle definition is 99% dependent on the amount of fat cells around your navel area. The fatter you are, the more time it will take to see your abs. If you are something like 35% body fat, you are looking at a good period of 6-10 months of dieting to get to body levels which allow for some stomach definition. If you are only 15% body fat, you can have visible abs in 2 months. Nobody can calculate that process super precisely. It’s an individual thing and there are many factors to consider.
There are no miracle routines and all they are selling you is based around the same thing – cardio. All six pack abs workouts are basically the same thing under a different name or a brand. There’s nothing new under the sun. You play a video, you jump, sweat and pray for the best. Whether it’s P90X, Insanity or any other commercial and sterile product it doesn’t matter because the principle is always the same.
The secret behind successful discovery of your six pack abs under those layers of fat is called caloric deficit. You consume less food than your body currently needs to maintain your weight. Imagine that your body is a vault and every day you put USD 10 dollars in it and don’t take anything out. Eventually, you will be very rich or fat at it is in our case. However, if you were to put USD 10 in the vault but also spend USD 11 every day, eventually you will lose all of your money. The same applies to losing fat – you burn more calories (money) than you have. You stop when your vault is half-way empty and your abs are visible.
Q: Will I see my six pack abs sooner if I train my abs like Lazar Angelov?
A: No. You cannot spot reduce. See more on why you shouldn’t emulate the workout of Lazar Angelov here: Lazar Angelov – Natty or Not?
Q: Will I see my six pack abs faster if I run every day?
A: Yes and no. If you are not at a caloric deficit at the end of the day, you can run all out want – your abs will remain under cover. However, running will help your burn calories and achieve the needed caloric deficit. I
Q: Do I need to buy the ab machines advertised on TV?
A: Hell no! In fact, break your TV. You don’t need it either.
Q: Do I need to buy secret Chinese recipes?
A: No! All you need is a semi-clean diet, some exercises and some patience.
Q: Will I see my abs faster if I take whey protein and creatine?
A: No. Read the article again. You should also know that whey protein supplements cause the formation of water film all over the body – water retention. This blurs definition. Same goes for creatine.