The Truth about How to Get Ripped Defined Abs

skinnyfatAs a trainer, one of the common “fitness” goals I hear from clients (especially guys) is to get a six pack. It seems like every guy wants a washboard stomach – a defined midsection that grabs attention when his shirt comes off. It should come as no surprise that research shows that abs are also one of body parts women find most attractive on men.
It’s no wonder there are so many fad diets, “secret” training programs, weight loss pills, and ab training gimmicks promising to get you ripped abs in only a few minutes a week.

Steve and I also receive hundreds of messages on the YGT facebook page asking about how to get six pack abs. So we want to address this very clearly in this article, to end the confusion and explain EXACTLY what you need to do to get those abs to pop! So if you’re sick of being disappointed by fake fitness trends, and you’re tired of keeping your shirt on when you hit the beach because you’re carrying a “little extra” around the waist, check out this article.

First of all, let’s look at the problems with some common 6 pack strategies:

  1. High repetition sit ups and crunches – NotSitups
    The problem with many of the most commonly used ab exercises is that they simply don’t focus enough direct tension on the rectus abdominus muscles to stimulate them to develop significantly. Many people believe that by doing tons of reps with these “easy” core exercises will ‘tone’ or ‘spot-reduce’ your midsection; however, it is not possible to target fat loss in one area of your body by training that area. Fat loss occurs over the entire body when you’re exercising in a caloric deficit. In addition, this type of fast-tempo, high-volume ab training with trunk-flexion exercises like sit ups can lead to back pain in the long run. You need to train with enough intensity to build up the abdominal muscles, using challenging exercises that direct enough targeted tension to those muscles.


  2. “Abs are made in the kitchen” – SkinnyFat_noAbs
    While there is some truth to this statement, simply relying on your diet alone to get abs won’t get you the results you’re after. We all know those “skinny-fat” people who are as thin as a rake but still have no discernible abdominal muscles to show for it. Some of you may have already experienced losing a ton of weight by following a quick fat loss fad diet, only to end up as a smaller, softer version of yourself… still with no visible abs. While it IS imperative to follow a smart nutrition plan in order to lose body fat and reveal your six pack, you also need to make sure you have a set of well-developed abs to show once you get leaner. Compare the photos of two guys, both at 10% body fat… one with muscular development (achieved with diet AND exercise) and one who lost weight using diet alone. Effective core training needs to be part of the equation.


  3. Hours and hours of long slow steady state cardio – tired-runner-cartoon
    This is a popular approach to getting leaner. In my experience most people still believe that the key to losing weight is to do A LOT of cardio. If your nutrition is on point, you will lose weight by doing tons of cardio, simply because you are expending more calories. However, it is NOT the most effective or efficient method for losing fat. First of all, it takes too damn long. Secondly, it can result in loss of lean tissue, repetitive use injuries, and elevated cortisol (stress hormone) levels if used excessively. There are better, faster ways to exercise for fat loss that we’ll get into later in this article.


  4. Magic fat loss pills – FatLossHype
    Some supplements may support fat loss IF you are following an effective training and nutrition plan. However, unless you have your training and diet on track, there is no point in looking to supplements to get results. You don’t need pills and powders to get a six pack. You need to dedicate yourself to a smart nutrition plan, follow an effective program using the best exercises, and be prepared to be disciplined and work hard.

It’s Time End the Confusion about How to Get a Six Pack

To answer this question effectively and address this topic appropriately, Steve and I did some research on what some of the best core exercises were (based on EMG studies) and then we began to exchange training ideas related to the most productive ways to apply these exercises within a program, with the ultimate goal being to get six pack abs, of course. book-cover-3dWe then included a basic, effective fat loss workout and nutrition plan, and tested it on ourselves (with solid results) as well as with our clients.

Once we were satisfied with the final results we packaged it into a straight-forward, no-nonsense program for achieving a 6 pack, and called it 3D Abs – The Six Pack Fast Track. It’s now available to anyone who wants a proven plan for getting ripped abs.

Let’s take a look at the basic principles we based this program on. The main consideration is that you need to combine three main elements of training and nutrition:

  1. Use Proven Ab-Building Exercises – client1b
    Include exercises to develop your rectus abdominus (the 6 pack muscle group) to make them stand out. We found a University EMG study that showed the top 3 ab exercises that had the greatest muscle activation (such as hanging leg raises). Applied optimally using correct form within an effective progressive training program, your abs will be ready to show off once you strip off your extra body fat. In our 3D Abs program we have 3 killer ab workouts: Deadly Drop Sets (which uses Mechanical Advantage Drop-Sets), The Triple Threat (you rotate through the 3 exercises using timed circuits), and the Burning Abs Ladder (a high volume progressive set-rep workout). The effectiveness of these exercises combined with the intensity of these workouts will deliver the ab muscle building results your after. But that’s just part of the solution.


  2. Use Brief, Effective HIIT Fat Loss Workouts
    High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) involves short workouts with alternating brief periods of high intensity “sprint-style” cardio and lower intensity recovery intervals. HIIT cardio has several benefits over Low Intensity Steady State (LISS) cardio. First of all, it takes less time to deliver better results. Secondly, HIIT has a “double-reducing” fat loss effect, due to what’s called the AfterBurn Effect. Basically, because of the intense intervals used in this workout there is an oxygen debt, which results in you not only burning a lot of calories (and fat) during the workout, but your metabolism remains elevated for several hours AFTER the workout as well, resulting in long-term fat loss for the rest of the day. HIIT training has also been shown to increase HGH (human growth hormone) naturally, which leads to more fat loss and aids with tissue repair. In our 3D Abs program we use a program we call a Metabolic Triad, which includes 3 old school “cardio” exercises (burpees, mountain climbers, high knees), requires no equipment, and burns a significant amount of calories and fat within a short workout, while firing up your metabolism.


  3. Follow a Personalized Nutrition Plan –
    To lose fat and build (or at least maintain) lean muscle tissue, you need to follow a nutrition plan with a modest caloric deficit (eat less than you burn off) and the right amount of protein, fat, and carbs (macronutrients) for your individual needs. This will depend on your activity level, body weight, age, gender, etc. The best way to measure this is by using a free nutrition journal app such as MyFitnessPal. The 3D Abs program provides you with simple guidelines to individualize your nutrition plan and figure out your own calorie and macronutrient needs. It also provides you with a Sample Meal Plan to help you make smart food choices so you can feed the muscle while burning your abdominal fat. Check out my video FAT LOSS NUTRITION – SIMPLIFIED: [CLICK HERE to Watch]

If you follow the guidelines explained above you WILL melt off that layer of stomach fat to reveal a set of 6 pack abs that really ‘pop’! We also suggest including a full body strength training program as part of your fitness routine, such as our free BAHT program, to support your metabolism and build an all around aesthetic physique.Bootcamp To find out more about 3D Abs – The Six Pack Fast Track, just CLICK HERE or click on the image below. Wishing you success on your quest for a six pack!

-Josh Hewett 3d-abs-header