6 Factors For Ripped Six-Pack ABS

Rock Hard Body

It’s summer time again. Time to get them abs out on the beach, pool party or whatever. Are you ready? Are you confident enough to take off your shirt and reveal them rock hard chiselled abs to the public?

No? Why not?

Oh they aren’t ‘ready’ yet?

Let’s be honest for a moment, they never are ready, you’ve been saying that for years, ‘just another week, that’s all I need’ or ‘I just don’t have good abs’. This may be the case or perhaps you haven’t considered the AB factors. . .

1. The Genetics Factor
Regardless of what you’ve been told or read, genetics is a major factor . . . it’s not a limiting factor in your ability to attain six-pack abdominals, but it’s a key factor none the less. The Shape of your abdominals is decided at birth, deal with it. I know guys that are twelve percent body fat and still have ripped abs and guys at seven percent that are still struggling to reveal the bottom of their abs. You cannot change the ‘shape’ of your abs or make the ‘cuts’ between your abs deeper using abdominal exercises.

I have personally witnessed guys doing crunches with the smallest range of motion conceivable in a vain effort to ‘deepen’ the gaps between their abs. You cannot non-surgically change the shape or orientation of your muscle. Concentration crunches or whatever you call them are futile and a nonsensical way to try to develop a ‘deeper cut. I hate to be the bearer of bad news but the only way you are going to ‘deepen’ them cuts is to fix your diet and lose some bodyfat. Period. Which brings us to the bodyfat factor.

2. The Bodyfat Factor
Next to genetics this is the most important factor of them all. You MUST lower your bodyfat in order for your abs to show up. You can do all the abdominal work in the world, and even the right type and amount of weight training, but if you don’t reduce bodyfat then you’ll never see your abs and your dreams of having a six-pack will have to be put on hold.

Some people will be able to see their abs ‘start’ to appear at around ten to eleven percent bodyfat, whereas most will need to be down around seven or eight percent to see signs of their six-pack coming through. This has a lot to do with genetics and it is out of your control.

To attain a true six-pack, where ones abs are really popping, will require most people to drop down to six percent bodyfat or less and that is going to be achieved by using an effective resistance training program, metabolic type work like intervals and circuit training, and most importantly nutrition. It’s been said before. . . but let’s say it again, your abs are made in the kitchen, so get your kitchen in order and start eating clean to get, and keep, them abs lean! That brings us nicely on to the nutrition factor.

3. The Nutrition Factor
I will reiterate what I said in the bodyfat factor. Your abs, and the rest of your physique development, originates in the kitchen. You cannot out-train poor nutrition and I know you have heard it before, but still you have that cheeseburger and tell yourself you will train it off later in the gym. It doesn’t work like that, trust me. You should not be training to battle poor nutrition, you will be chasing your tail for years. You need to address your current goals; revealing those abdominal muscles, not training hard to stay the same and maintain your current physique. That is essentially what you are doing! It’s the definition of insanity!

‘Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results’ – Albert Einstein

When it comes to nutrition you have got to eat clean, so do it! You know it already but still you have that chocolate bar and your next training session is about compensation and not advancing to the next level of leanness. If you want to get your abs lean and develop a six-pack you can be proud of you need to be strong and resist eating crap!

Supplementing with high quality fish oil has actually been show to assist with bodyfat loss, especially in the abdominal region. This wonderful supplement has shown exciting results that are about as close to non-surgical spot reduction as you are going to get!

Keeping yourself hydrated is essential when you want to show off that chiselled six-pack. I know you think water has nothing to do with your abs. There are a number of reasons I have mentioned water here.

If you are dehydrated your body will retain water, your body stores water in the only available storage space under your skin . . . this stored water will actually look like excess fat . . . no abs for you.

Drinking water will keep you occupied, help you satisfy cravings and actually speed up your metabolic rate slightly. All of these factors are minutiae but they add up and contribute to revealing your abdominal muscles.

4. The Exercise Factor
You may be surprised to see exercise or training so far down the list of AB factors; it’s an obvious factor in your abdominal development but not the biggest. The primary training mistake people make when trying to develop six-pack abs is performing ineffective programs and exercises.

When it comes to exercising or training for the attainment of six-pack abdominals you need to train using big compound lifts, unilateral exercises, bodyweight exercises, sprint training, metabolic type work and incorporate ‘some’ highly effective abdominal exercises.

The focus needs to be on resistance training. . . and it must be resistance training for the entire body, making sure you target the body’s metabolic hot spots (back, chest, lower body). The reason for this is that we are looking to stimulate our metabolism and create an afterburn effect and burn fat ‘after’ the workout as well as during.

5. The Cardio Factor
Cardio is always going to be a key factor in your quest of achieving lean six-pack abdominals. I have a problem here too; too often people engage in the wrong modes of cardio . . . they perform routines that are time consuming, damaging to the metabolism and may burn off precious muscle in the process!

Low intensity cardio training has its time and place; go for a stroll or walk the dog. Do not go to a gym to creep your way through a ‘cardio’ session. You’re there to train, so do it. Introduce intervals into your training routine and rev up your metabolism and start burning some real fat.

In order to accelerate fat loss you need to engage in high intensity cardio routines and start thinking ‘intensity’ when it comes to your cardio routines, not duration.

6.The Crunch Factor
The ‘crunch factor’ is listed last for a reason. Simply because crunches and all other ‘direct’ abdominal exercises are the least important piece of the puzzle for achieving a lean set of abs. The biggest mistake most people make when training to achieve ripped abdominals is zoning in on them exclusively.

The crunch itself is an obsolete and useless exercise. On the surface it appears to make sense. Your abs ‘can’ flex your spine so that becomes the primary exercise for developing abs; the ‘crunch’. Your bicep ‘can’ rotate your forearm, that does not mean if you stand there twisting your arms you will develop massive biceps. This is also true for the abdominals.

The primary functions of your abdominals include; stabilization, initiation of rotation and resisting rotation about the spine, not spinal flexion. The lumbar flexion performed in a crunch actually contributes to the degeneration of the vertebrae, elongating lumbar muscles and is the cause of most trainees back pain.

The only crunch anyone should be performing is the serratus crunch. This involves thoracic mobility and uses minimal lumbar flexion, i.e. safer on your back and spine.

The AB factors are an essential blueprint for you to follow if you are serious about revealing your abs once and for all. If you follow the principles outlined above your 6 pack is guaranteed.

Ian Graham, CPT and Bryan Kavanagh, BSc CSCS
Co-Authors of ‘The Athletic Body System’

Copyright 2009. Athletic Body System. All Rights Reserved

Average: 4.8 (8 votes)
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man, this is sorta

alwan's picture

man, this is sorta disheartening
stupid genetics factor! and it's so true too
ive seen people with what i know/can tell that has high body fat, but you can still see their abs, and it frusturates me!
got my body fat % measured by dylan the other day, and im at 11.4% now...and i can just see my abs
i guess i have to go down to a single digit!

Consider yourself lucky,

justin's picture

Consider yourself lucky,

11.4% is pretty good for starting to see your abs.
I have to get bellow 10% before I see anything.

I'm aiming for around 8-9% around july, pretty tough goals. I'm around 12-13% right now, but I was at 16.9% 4 weeks ago, so give it another 4 weeks and I'll see where I'm at Smiling

I agree though, genetics suck. I often wished I could alter mine. I got the "big bones" endomorph build. It's hard to cut, easy to gain.

Im a moderate gainer but im

arm88's picture

Im a moderate gainer but im slow at weight loss as well :S

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marygrace's picture

great.. you know... I have seen that most of the guys right now wanted to have a six pack abs immediately. i don't know why they wanted it so much well in fact I honestly don't like it. linux support

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The genetic thing is so

RaadV's picture

The genetic thing is so true. I've been doing sports like boxing, jiu jitsu (since 15 years old), sprinting, swimming, olimpic weight lifting (since 18). All that's supposed to get you in great shape but im not. lol i mean i look fit but i've never had 6 packs. The streangth i do have though, i can do the human flag for example. That means a really strong core but no ripped abs are seen =(. Also diet it's the most important, i dont follow strictly the "eat 6 times a day" program so that must be it

I know exactly how you feel.

arm88's picture

I know exactly how you feel. I’m almost exactly like you, in that regard. But, as soon as I started eating 6-8 times a day I noticed major differences in my definition. You should try it, at least for 2-3 months; see how it goes for you.

Good luck with everything.

hmm yeah you'r not the first

RaadV's picture

hmm yeah you'r not the first one who tells me that. It's so difficult to follow it because i'm not in my house the major part of the day. E.g: I wake up, go to university then i come home have "half meal" then workout. After that i must go to work (when did i had my second half meal?). After work I eat a oatmeal bar or something like a banana because i must go train MMA and jiu jitsu 7pm-9pm i go back home to have a full meal almost at 10 pm. Cant split it because it's late and i have to sleep lol. Any specific suggestions? about diet please? =)

Lol thats a real busy day!

arm88's picture

Lol thats a real busy day! One thing I use to do, when I had busy days like that is take a gym bag full of food with me. I know that sounds crazy, but sometimes you have to do what ever it takes! It use to take me about 20 minutes to make the food the night before.

Other things you could do, if you dont want to carry a bag of food around with you are take 2-3 protien/health bars with you. There very filling, with about 230-260 calories. Most usually have about 6-10 grams of fat, 12-20 grams of protien, and 30-35 grams of carbs. You seem to be getting a lot of exercise, so this could be a good option.

Either way, you'll defently need food more frequently cause your exercising so often. A busy day like that needs alot of fuel.


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Genetic factor is very

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