December 1

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How Long Does It Take To Get Abs?

how long does it take to get abs, how long to get abs, how to get abs

It's everyone's desire to get sculpted six-pack abs, although not everyone knows the time required to fulfill that desire. In addition, is it possible to accelerate the process to get there?

Thanks to the richness of internet, you'll easily find many videos and articles telling people that doing certain things will give them abs in a short time. They even go as far as promising results within a week. Such promises are most likely false, though.

Of course, it won't be that fast. In such a short time, you won't get sculpted abs except in your dream. So we'll have to go back into reality and look for reasonable calculation.

How Long Does It Take To Get Abs

How many days or weeks do you need to get your six-pack? Well, there's actually no exact number in this. What you have are two factors that can affect the progress. They include how well-developed your abdominal muscles are and how much fat your belly has. More fat means longer process to go through.

The Amount of Fat Required to Make Your Abs Pop Out

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Since men and women have different hormones, they require different amount of fat for abs. Testosterone allows men to cut body fat needs and develop extra muscle mass naturally.

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) stated that the percentages of body fat needs for visible abs are 6 - 13% for men and 14 - 20% for women.

It would be amazing for anyone to reach under 10% body fat, even though that's easier said than done. A lot of training and commitment are vital to achieve such a good result.

The following chart from ACE shows various percentages and classifications of body fat needed by men and women to get a six-pack.

Classification 

Men

Women

Essential fat

2% to 5%

10% to 13%

Athletes

6% to 13%

14% to 20%

Fitness

14% to 17%

21% to 24%

Average

18 to 24%

25% to 31%

Obese

25% and above.

32% and above.

The Journey to Gaining Six-Pack Abs is a Pretty Long One

From months to years, everyone needs different amount of time to gain those sculpted abs. It all depends on where you're at the moment.

Obese

Obese men can reshape their body in around 8 months while obese women need more than 1 year.

Increasing muscle definition is so difficult at this level and efforts to do so may put you at the risk of multiple health problems.

If this is where you're right now, getting your desired body shape would take from 1 to 2 years, especially if your body has over 40% of fat.

But if you work hard enough while your fat percentage is between 25 and 30, you may be able to nail your six-pack in 8 to 10 months.

Average

With an average fat percentage in your body, you can probably get abs within 6 months. That being said, if you work even harder, you can reach your target in just about 4 months.

Fitness

Fitness is the level that already puts you close enough to your goal. It requires you to work hard for 2 to 3 months, or a little longer to see results. As a plus, you may also build muscles in your arms, legs, and other body parts in the process.

Athlete

This is the best category you can belong to since you're the nearest to your chiseled six-pack abs at this point. A few weeks of training is usually all it takes to get your desired body shape.

Going beyond this level is not recommended as it may make you lose some essential fat needed for the health of your body. Below is a chart to give you details on each level and its timeline.

Level

Average Time

Obese

1 to 2 years

Average

6 months

Fitness

2 to 3 months

Athlete

Few days to weeks

While the aforementioned time periods can serve as a kind of benchmark, the speed to get the final result is actually more dependent on your hard work. So you may be able to get sculpted abs sooner or later, depending on how much effort you put in.

How to Accelerate the Process?

There's no way you can transform your belly overnight, but there are some ways you can make the process go faster.

Train Properly

Hit each of your abdominal muscle

Building muscle definition in your midsection is about hitting all of your abdominal muscles with an adequate amount of intensity. Sit-ups and crunches alone won't do the trick.

Here's the list of your abdominal muscles:

  1. 1
    Rectus Abdominis: Running vertically on each side of the anterior wall of your abdomen.
  2. 2
    Transverse Abdominis: The lateral muscles located around your waist.
  3. 3
    External Obliques: Running diagonally across the sides of your abdomen.
  4. 4
    Internal Obliques: Running diagonally forward and upward, beneath the external obliques.

It's important to train all these muscles intensely to build a muscular mid-section.

Avoid over training

Overtraining your abs everyday doesn't do any good in speeding up your muscle development. Keep in mind that your abs also needs to have a rest to reach its maximum growth.

Therefore, three or four workouts per week of 15 to 30 minutes should be enough to get your abs toned up.

Do strength workout

Include strength workout in your routine to lose fat faster. This will also enhance your muscle building efforts and metabolism, thus allowing you to cut more calories.

Research found that people who did cardio and weight training three times a week were able to burn more fat than those who only did cardio.

High-Intensity Interval (HIIT)

HIIT is also an effective calorie-cutting training that you can add to your routine. It helps you trim down more fat as well thanks to its metabolic benefits.

Recommended Nutrition

With the right nutrition, your intense training will give you the best results. Follow the eating tips bellow so that you can meet your abs goal sooner than later.

Follow calorie deficit diet

Simply put, calorie deficit means you eat fewer calories than you use up. The goal is to keep your body in a good shape. Usually, reducing 500 calories everyday is enough to slash a pound of fat every week.

This can be done by eating fewer calories while burning more at the same time through exercise.

Reduce sugar

Eat as low sugar as possible or better yet, remove it completely from your diet if you can. In other words, steer clear from chocolate bars, energy drinks, soft drinks, packed juices, sauces, pastries, etc.

Increase your fiber intake

Eating more fiber everyday helps you digest food slowly and properly, thus allowing you to feel full on fewer calories, which in turn also helps you cut daily calorie intake.

Examples of fiber-rich foods you can eat are fruits, beans, legumes, vegetables and whole grains.

Eat protein sufficiently

As an important macronutrient for muscles, protein can't be skipped when it comes to increasing muscle mass while losing fat at the same time.

Try to take keep your protein intake at 0.8 to 1.2 grams per pound of your body weight. It will suppress your appetite and slow down your digestion. As a result, your overall calorie intake will go down as well.

Add complex carbs to your diet

Among the foods that take more time to digest are complex carbohydrates. Examples of these foods are green vegetables, whole grains, brown rice, rolled oats, legumes, etc. These foods also contain more fiber to make you feel fuller.

Final Thoughts

So how long does it take to get abs?  It depends on where your starting point is and if you are willing to put in the work to get there.

The best thing you can do is slowly go in a caloric deficient and start adding weight training/resistance training and cardio.

Too many people go in a massive caloric deficient and stall...

The best results are when you do it slowly and over time because they will last.


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