From the moment I got my first action figure at the age of 5, I knew that having a six pack was cool. I remember admiring my Batman action figure’s six pack thinking to myself how cool it would be to have muscles like him.
A couple years later, I started watching pro wrestling and there was no going back from there. All these dudes were ripped with 6 pack abs. It became very apparent that if I wanted to be a real man and get the girl – I needed to get those abs on point.
As a child my attention span lasted maybe 10 seconds at a time, so this burning desire to get ripped abs disappeared until around the time I hit puberty. When my desire finally resurfaced I knew very little about how to get visible abs, so I started asking around. I was playing football in high school, so who better to ask than my coaches right?
Man did I get the weirdest and least helpful advice. I was told to do a ton of sit ups every day from some coaches, drink powdered milk by others and some just gave me blank stares followed by the usual brush off, “don’t worry about it, Epstein.”
Surprisingly when I went on to play college football and study kinesiology the resources available to me weren’t getting a lot better. My coaches just wanted us to eat everything in sight, so they weren’t a ton of help. In the classroom, I had fat professors teaching me about nutrition and exercise training.
Nonetheless, I would still be that one guy raising my hand asking how alcohol consumption would affect my ability to lose fat. Needless to say I never got my questions sufficiently answered and never really received any sort of step by step guide on how I could eat or train to get a six pack.
I aced my tests on the Kreb’s cycle and the anatomy of the human body and moved on to exploring this whole six pack thing on my own in a more unconventional manner.
At my heaviest I had got up to around 250 pounds, so I had my work cut out for me. I’m not going to take you week by week through my transformation, but long story short I met a bodybuilder who introduced me to proper nutrition, exercise training and self care. That trifecta made the difference that in 16 weeks allowed me to drop down to 198 pounds and get the first six pack of my life.
Now, I’m going to do two things for you..
1. Tell you the most simple and exact way you can replicate my results and get a six pack.
2. Tell you how you can transcend your six pack obsession and get back to living your life.
Shall we begin?
I don’t care how hard you work out. If you do not get this down your goal of getting a six pack is going to be near impossible.
Here are the three steps to take for your nutrition.
Step 1: Eat at a calorie deficit. If you are eating less calories than you are burning, you will most likely burn fat. The easiest way to get this down is by tracking everything you eat. Need some help? MyFitnessPal has your back.
Step 2: Eat the right macronutrient breakdown. I could tell you how to calculate this all, but it would probably overwhelm you, so instead us go to a site like IIFYM.com/calculator.
Step 3: Eat healthy whole foods. That means tons of veggies. Tons of water. Lean protein, good fats and low glycemic carbohydrates.
If you comment below and want me to do a part 2 of this article I can go into greater depth on the above mentioned nutrition strategies.
This is going to be important for accelerating the fat loss process. Yes abs are made in the kitchen, but if you want to speed up the process you can hit your exercise training hard.
Would I did, do and recommend is combining strength training with HIIT workouts.
This can look like doing a 4 day strength training split and then adding in HIIT (high intensity interval training) on your non lifting days. For some ideas of what this could potentially look like check out these workouts.
The most important thing here is that you are training hard and taking yourself to a place where the voice pops up in your head and says “No More!” and you say “Shut up ego, I know what I’m doing here.”
P.S. Please don’t hurt yourself – there is a big difference between training to fatigue and being an idiot. The intensity should be a burning sensation. If you need explanation on what the difference is… comment below.
Again, if you want me to go into greater depths on your program ask for that part 2 below.
The final piece to the puzzle is self care. If your hormones are out of whack you could sabotage your ability to get lean enough to have visible abs. Make sure you are doing at least these three things.
1. Getting sufficient sleep. This is up to your discretion.
2. Meditate for at least 10-15 minutes daily. Try visualizing the ideal physique that you are working towards.
3. Take rest days. At least once a week give it a rest.
There is a lot more you could do, but the end result we’re looking for is a version of you that is not stressed out.
So there you have it. Hit your nutrition, exercise and self care and you’ll have a six pack in no time. The key is building these healthy habits and staying consistent when you get impatient. If you are patient enough you will eventually see a six pack.
Now is the Time I Make the Case For You to Transcend This Obsession
I understand the desire to get a six pack. I’ve been there. If you’re a guy it’s kind of like losing your virginity. You hear how awesome it is to have sex, so you feel like you have to experience it at least once. Until you do, you always have this lurking feeling of inadequacy.
Whether your sex life should make you feel inadequate is a whole different discussion, but I hope you get the metaphor.
So do it! Get a six pack. Experience it, enjoy the heck out of it! I just don’t want you to obsess over it.
After getting my first six pack I went on to a professional fitness modeling career working extensively with companies like Nike and for a while I thought it was something I could never live without. Now that I am getting older and (hopefully wiser) it’s becoming less and less of a non negotiable for my life.
I still have a six pack, but I am no longer obsessed. I don’t make dinner plans based upon if I am going to go over my daily calorie budget. Instead I try to eat healthy as often as I can and when I want to indulge, I do it.
The cool thing about getting a six pack and sustaining it for a while is that your body eventually hits a new level of homeostasis where it gets very comfortable and stable at your body fat percentage. When this happens you can be a little more flexible with your eating, so losing your six pack becomes less of a worry.
Here is my closing advice. Eat, train and think like your body truly is a temple. The more self love you cultivate, the easier it is going to be to maintain whatever body you desire and the more effortless the process will become.