The almighty six pack is perhaps the most coveted body part EVER - there are millions of online programs and nutrition plans designed around carving one.
Is it REALLY that tough to get one though? Do these fast track programs we see online actually contain some "secret" series of tips to magically create the abs you've always wanted, or is the truth a little simpler than that?
Read on to find out what you need to do to get the washboard stomach you've always wanted.
Step 1 - Body Fat Percentage
What's your current body fat percentage? If you don't know, then you should consult with a qualified professional to have either a skin fold calliper test performed or simply use a set of high quality electric scales to gauge your current level.
For visible abs, you'll need to be under roughly 17% body fat. To get that "shredded" look, you'll need to be 15% or under.
Step 2 - Maintain A Calorie Deficit
To maintain a low level of body fat, you're going to need to ensure that you eat in accordance with a 250 - 500 calorie per day deficit. This will mean that you're actually using more calories than you're taking in per day, thus ensuring excess fat can't take "hold" of your stomach or thighs.
Head to freedieting.com and use their daily calorie total calculator to find out how many you need per day.
Step 3 - Drink Plenty Of Water
Water is vital for every chemical reaction within the body, meaning that it's vital for making your metabolism work properly and burning fat. It's also vital for flushing water OUT of the system, including from underneath the surface of the skin.
If your body doesn't take in h water, it holds onto what it has. If it's getting enough, it flushes out the excess, thus improving visibility.
Step 4 - Take In The Right Amount Of Protein
Assuming you're trying to emphasise muscular visibility right now (if muscle gain is your goal, then you should forget the six pack for now) then you'll need to eat between 0.8 - 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight to keep your existing frame in place as eat according to the previously outlined calorie deficit.
You can use the free dieting website to calculate your daily nutrient totals based around your calorie deficit number too I you want to make things easier.
Step 5 - Don't Just Train Your Abs...Train ALL Of Them!
Doing crunches alone won't cut it; you need to target your internal and external oblique's as well as your rectus abdominus (central ab muscle) and lower abdominal muscles too. At least twice per week, per area.
A good set of abs might just look like one block of muscle, but in actual fact it consists of all of these areas - train them all for total development.
Step 6 - Cheat Once Per Week
No, not THAT kind of cheating. Make sure you only have one cheat meal per week in order to keep harmful food types (foods high in starch and sugars / trans fats) to an absolute minimum.
This will ensure that your six pack visibility is high at all times.
Life with a six pack isn't easy - you're going to have to make some sacrifices, but it'll be worth it if it means you can stroll through the summer months in confidence and amaze all your friends.
Start making these simple changes today and get beach ready before everyone else.