How To Get A Six Pack

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You turn on the television and you want to believe him. The well sculpted models using some new fangled invention that they swear will get your midsection tight within a matter of weeks. Summer is coming and you want to look good for the beach so you buy the machine, you use it faithfully just as they did on the infomercials and yet nothing happens. Your belly is still just that- a belly. It isnít a chiseled work of art and you canít understand why.

So you go to the gym. You just want to get your abdominals looking sharp for the short sleeve and swimsuit season  and all the advertisements about the gyms show these beautifully built people with the stomachs of a Greek god so you are certain that you will soon look like them. You do thousands upon thousands of sit ups, crunches, and at first you fell that you are making progress. You feel the burn and you know that the six pack of your dreams are on there way.

The weeks turn into months and the months turn into years, and still those blocks in your stomach remain elusive. So you decide to do more. You train longer and you do more exercises for your abdominal muscles, training them every day. Maybe even twice a day, yet your midsection still doesnít look any thing like the people on the magazine covers. What could be the problem? Why is it that you are not able to get the definition that you seek? Why is there still a layer of fat where rippling muscles should be as a result of all of your hard work? The answer may surprise you.

It is important to note where your information comes from and for the most part it comes from television, books and magazines, but before taking the information to heart it is imperative that you reflect on what these sources have to gain by your heeding their advice. You see the eye catching before and after pictures from the various exercise programs and miracle machines and there is one motivation behind it all. Profit.

There is a Latin phrase, ĎCui bono?í which   translates as Ďwho stands to gain? And this is precisely the question you should be asking. They are    constantly coming out with new and improved machines and exercise programs, hawked by well muscled trainers and athletes simply because they know that they donít work and they need to keep you thinking that there is something out there that will.

It all comes down to the way we as a society expect results. I call it the microwave mentality. You want something and you want it now- and you are willing to pay for it, a weakness that manufacturers and media use to their advantage. You will always buy that health magazine because you are certain that if you follow the special exercises that the bodybuilders/athletes/models are doing you will look like them, and in so doing you continue to make the dishonest scoundrels rich.

You will always tune in to that special report on the nightly news about the new way to lose inches off of your midsection and keep the shows ratings and the advertisers that fund it very happy. In short it is all a rip off. A rip off that appeals to the need for instant gratification, the unfortunate truth is that you canít make money off of the right way to get your abdominals looking like that of a Greek god. Not one cent. You can do it without magazines, supplements, special exercise programs and most importantly, without spending the better part of your life doing abdominal exercises.

So how do you get your abdominal muscles? Well, for starters you already have them. Every human being has four main abdominal muscles. The transversus abdominus - the deepest muscle layer which stabilizes the trunk and maintains internal abdominal pressure. The rectus abdominus - slung between the ribs and the pubic bone at the front of the pelvis. This muscle has the characteristic bumps or bulges, when contracting, that are commonly called 'the six pack'. The external oblique muscles flanking the rectus abdominus that allow the trunk to twist and the internal oblique muscles which flank the rectus abdominus, and are located just inside the hip-bones. They operate in the opposite way to the external oblique muscles.

Most men have a body fat percentage of around 15%  to 17% and most women have an average body fat level of between 18% to 22%. Now at even at these levels (which by the way is quite low for most of the population) most people would have a layer of fat that would hide the abdominal muscles. The muscles are always there, what you really want to do it not make them come out from under the fat, which is impossible, but rather to reduce your bodyfat to level where you can see them.

How do you do that you ask, simple: PROPER DIET AND TIME. No magic machine, no magic pill no special workout. All such ideas are simply rubbish!

 I can say so because for the past 17 years of being a bodybuilder I only started training my abdominals     regularly over the past year. I have won several shows without doing more than two or three direct abdominal exercises in over a decade! That is right, in over a decade! Now that may not be what the health and fitness companies want you to hear, but it is the truth. How did I get my abdominals looking the way that they do? Simple, proper diet and patience.

Take a look at my  abdominals in the pictures. They have always looked like this, and quite possibly yours might not look too different, if only you could remove the layer of fat over it. In my DVD, ĎNaturally Intenseí there are no shots of me training my  abdominals, because that would be misleading- people would think that if they trained their abs the way I trained mine they would get similar results and that is simply not so. It is all about diet and proper nutrition, not any wonder exercise.

Now paying attention to your diet over a long period of time in combination with a sensible exercise regiment isnít going to give you the instant feeling of really doing something that following some new routine in a magazine will, nor will it make you feel good about spending money on a machine that you believe will work for you. Attention to diet is a lifetime of consideration, patience and discipline, traits that few really want to hear about, but if it took you years to put on that layer of fat that obscures your stomach, you should not expect it to go away in weeks.

There are legitimate reasons to work your abdominal muscles directly, and that is to strengthen the muscles that support the trunk and allow for movement. These muscles also help support your lower back, so training them is not a cosmetic undertaking. Now what about the people in the gym that say that you have to do this and do that to get your abdominals in good shape? Well, think about it. Whose advice are you going to take, mine or the guy that trains six days a week but still has a beer belly? The choice is yours.

Information contained in this article is not meant to treat, diagnose illness, nor substitute for medical counsel and is intended for purposes of information and education only. Consult your physician before modifying your diet or starting any exercise program.

Kevin Richardson
copyright 2006

About The Author:  Featured on ESPN Radio and Fox 5 News, Good Day New York, Kevin Richardson, is one of America's most prolific personal fitness training gurus and the founder of the Naturally Intense System. You can get his new EBook for free here and you can read more of his articles as well as learn more about the Naturally Intense Lifestyle at

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