5 Steps to Get a Six Pack

5 Steps to Get a Six Pack

The six-pack: the most sought after body transformation in training. For some, it is the gratification of a healthy lifestyle, for others, it is a goal, what they show at the beach each year. What does it take to get a six pack? What type of training does it require and do we need to pair it with a specific diet?

Let’s find out!

Abs VS Core

The core refers to a group of muscles in the abdominal area which are responsible for functional strength and stabilization. All these muscles are actively working to protect the spine. They are essential when it comes to movement as they are the foundation of compound movements such as back squats, push presses and bench presses.

Abs are an isolated part of the core. They refer to rectus abdominis (abs) also known as the six pack. In short – if you want to get a six pack then you need to work those abs!

Training to Get a Six Pack

The combination of training and a healthy diet helps to produce defined abs. In order to get a six pack, the training should consist of regular weighted and bodyweight low and high reps, mixed with intensive cardio training to help shed that body fat.


The most efficient method if you want body fat to drop rapidly is to practice HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) rather than pure cardio (45 min at a moderate pace on a treadmill or stationary bike). HIIT alternates intense effort with minimal lower intensity rest periods, pushing the body to the maximum. One of the major benefit of HIIT which benefit, in particular, this scenario is the metabolic rate increase after the workout even at rest.

Pure Abs

Abs are built on low-intensity high reps and weighted low reps ab focused movements. Because they are comprised of slow twitched muscle fibres they react to aerobic high reps. We need to make sure we hit the core in its entirety especially if we want to get a six pack. It doesn’t need to be done all at once but rather spread out during a week of training, while hitting all regions of the core.

Core Training

Although the focus is to reveal the rectus abdominis (abs), we should also work on muscles we cannot see. The benefits include good posture, strength, and longevity. If we spend time at the gym training other body parts such as arms and legs, a core is an injury free arsenal. To do so, we must target transverse abdominal (midline), hip flexors (lower core), erector spinae (lower back), gluteus maximus, and external abdominal oblique.


The secret if you want to get a six pack is not just training, but also diet. Unfortunately, one doesn’t work without the other. That is the reason why some athletes who train multiples times a day but who don’t polish their daily food intakes don’t have an apparent six pack.

  • Calorie Intake – First, each individual must calculate how many calories their bodies operate on and then apply the adequate macronutrients percentages for an efficient body fat loss and muscle gain.
  • Protein – They are the foremost important nutrients to get a six pack. They satiate appetite, regenerate muscle fibres and prevent lean muscle mass loss.
  • Carbs – Carbohydrates are paramount but there is a strategy to it. If they are skipped, we risk an energy level drop and metabolism to plummet. Selecting higher carbs intake during heavier workout days and decreasing gradually during the next couple of days creates a carb and calorie deficit. It plays with body-fat stores and muscle-building. This manipulation should be done under the supervision of a professional coach.
  • Fat – During this process of working toward a six pack, fats are kept to a minimum.

 At the Gym

Here are a few examples of core exercises which can be done mid-training, perhaps in between sprints (HIIT). If the number of reps becomes easier to perform weeks after week, either increase weights or the reps!

5 times not for time:

  • 3 Flutter kicks complex (5 feet barely touching the ground, 10 a little higher, 15 scissor -like)
  • 10 Russian twists weighted
  • 15 V-ups
  • 20 seconds Lsit

3 rounds not for time:

  • 30 sec Hollow body holding a plate with hands and placing a light dumbbell in between feet
  • 45 sec plank weighted
  • 20 sec Hanging knee raise

3 rounds not for time:

  • 10 sit-ups with plate
  • 15 supermans
  • 10 side-V crunch

EMOM 16 minutes

  • 10 reps of each movement
  • Burpees
  • Stability ball push-ups
  • Burpees
  • 30 seconds Starfish plank

Tamara Akcay

Tamara is a journalist based in London. She is a specialist in fitness, writing specifically on the topic of CrossFit.

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