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How Long Should You Diet to Get a Six Pack? (Avoid this Mistake)

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So, how long should you diet to get a sick pack? Jeremy Ethier explains.

How Long Should You Diet to Get a Six Pack?

“How long does it take to get six pack abs? This is one of the questions I’ve always wondered when I first started training seriously, because for many of us, getting well-defined six pack abs is the ultimate goal. But the answer to just how long until your abs show is that it depends.”

topless athlete does snatch How to Lose Fat AND Build Muscle at the Same TimeSource: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

“More specifically, your six pack timeline depends on 1) where you’re at right now, 2) how defined and visible you want your six-pack to be, and 3) the process you use to get there. Because let’s face it, some work out for years and can never quite achieve it because they’re using the wrong approach. Which is why in this video, we’ll first calculate how long achieving a six-pack will take for you, and then more importantly, we’ll cover how to best ensure your success (i.e. six pack diet tips).”

How Long Should You Diet to Get a Six Pack – Body Fat

“For men, 12% is when you start to really see some good definition with your six-pack, and at 10% your six-pack is clearly visible and well defined. For women, I wouldn’t recommend a “clearly visible six pack” as being the goal, but some percentage equivalents to what I covered with males would be around 22%, 20%, and 18%. To determine roughly how long you have until your abs show, we can use the following formula: Bodyweight With Goal Six Pack = Lean body weight/(1-desired body fat percentage).”

How Long Should You Diet to Get a Six Pack – Plan

Step 1: First, we’re going to determine your lean body weight, which is simply how much you would weigh if you had absolutely no fat.

Step 2: Next, pick your goal body fat percentage.

Step 3: Once you have this, divide it by 100, and we’ll then plug everything into the formula.

Step 4: Then, simply take that number and subtract it from your current bodyweight. The number you get there represents roughly how much fat you’d have to lose in order to achieve your goal body fat percentage and strip off enough fat for your six pack abs to become visible.

How Long Will It Take?

“Based on this number, we can determine roughly how long it will take you to attain your six pack. But this is also the step where most people screw everything up. Because, chances are they’re going to try to lose that weight as fast as possible in an attempt to attain their six-pack as quickly as possible. But what most people don’t realize is that there’s a limit to how much fat you can lose every day. Exceeding this limit will cause more weight to be lost, but from muscle, not from fat.”

Source: Courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

Diet Tips you Should Follow

“That’s why there are a few six pack diet tips you should follow. First, it’s recommended to set a goal of losing an average of 0.7% of your current body weight per week. Second, you should provide yourself with a few weeks of extra time and expect the process to have its ups and downs. That’s because the estimation you calculated assumes you’re following your program to the tee and remaining consistent day after day and week after week.”

Timeline – How Long Should You Diet to Get a Six Pack

“In addition to this few weeks of added buffer time to your six pack timeline estimation, another thing you may want to consider is taking periodic breaks from your several weeks of dieting. This is because the longer you diet for, the harder it will inevitably become. As you lose more and more weight, it is likely that increased hunger and fatigue will start to set in, making adherence difficult. To counteract this, research shows that taking “diet breaks” can help to fight off these cravings. Do note however that this will extend the time required to reach your goal. But if you’re not in a rush to hit that goal for a big event for example, then it’s something you’ll want to consider particularly towards the end of your diet when you’re much leaner and the diet gets much harder.”

“So, all in all guys, despite everything I went through with regards to the question, “How long does it take to get six pack abs?”, please don’t obsess over the exact time it’s going to take. Although it’s good to have a rough time frame in mind, which is what the formula I went through can help you do, focus on the process and the specific steps that you will take to achieve your goal rather than how long it will take.”

Video – How Long Should You Diet to Get a Six Pack

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Muscles of the Core and Abs

The core is one of the most important areas of your body. It’s made up of multiple muscles, which work together to support your spine and other structures in your torso. If you have a weak core, it can lead to back pain and injuries like pulled muscles or sprains. Strengthening your core with exercises like planks or crunches will help prevent these types of injuries from occurring. In this article, we’ll go over some important muscles that make up the core and abs so you can start building strength today!

Transversus abdominis

The transversus abdominis is a muscle that wraps around the sides of your abdomen. It’s part of the core and helps with breathing, stability, and posture.

Some exercises you can do with this muscle include:

External obliques

External obliques are located on the side of the abdomen. They help to bend the spine and rotate the torso. They are located anterior to the rectus abdominis and posterior to the internal obliques. The external obliques also act as an antagonist muscle when performing abdominal exercises such as sit-ups, crunches, and leg raises.

The external oblique muscle group is involved in breathing, which is why you often use these muscles when doing deep belly breaths or during yoga poses that require flexibility like boat pose (navasana).

Internal obliques

The internal obliques, or the innermost fibers of your rectus abdominis and external obliques, are located on the side of your body. They attach to ribs and pelvis via connective tissue.

Because they’re closer to the spine than their “friends” in the external obliques, these muscles help rotate the trunk as well as flexing it forward at a 90-degree angle.

An example exercise for engaging internal obliques is planks:

Rectus abdominis

The rectus abdominis is the muscle that is most visible when you are looking at a person’s stomach. It can be seen in profile, and it is used to suck in your belly (and not just for weightlifting!). This muscle runs vertically on each side of the body, which means that it also helps with side bends or twists where you reach across your body with one arm while twisting to keep yourself stable—like when trying to do a windmill on the mat!

Erector spinae

The erector spinae are a group of muscles located in the back. These muscles help to support the spine and keep the body from bending forward when we lift weights or push heavy objects. The erector spinae also stabilize your pelvis, which helps you move with more control and balance.

The erector spinae are part of your core, along with other important parts such as:

  • Abdominals
  • Glutes/hamstrings (back of leg)

It’s important to be aware of these muscle groups because they can become tight if you do not stretch them regularly!

These are all muscles in the core and abs.

The core muscles are important for posture, stability and strength. They also help you to gain flexibility, which is important for movement.

The main muscle groups in the core are:

  • transverse abdominis (lower tummy) – runs around your trunk on either side of your spine. It helps keep your back straight by supporting your abdominal pressure against gravity. It also aids breathing by helping to compress the lungs when they expand. This means more oxygen can be taken into the body with each breath taken in through the nose or mouth;
  • internal obliques (ribs 7-12) – these run diagonally down from each side of your lower ribs towards your pelvis;
  • external obliques (ribs 5-8) – these run diagonally down from each side of your lower ribs towards their attachment points on top of each hip bone at one end;


In summary, the muscles of the core and abs are very important for our daily lives. We can use them to help us stand up straight, sit down with good posture, or move around easily when we need to get something off of a high shelf at home.

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