If you start your fat loss now, how long will it take for you get abs? What is the best way to get abs as quickly as possible?
I would say, be patient. If you are average now, it will take you 12 to 16 weeks to get abs. If you are overweight or obese, stick to a good plan for 6 months to a year to have visible abs.
Abs (rectus abdominis) are the primary indication of being in good shape. You can build muscle or lose weight, but without getting six-pack abs, you are not in great shape yet. Once you start a program, how long does it take to get abs?
If you are like me, you want to plan everything up front, and planning to get in shape is no different. One of the main factors to be successful is to have a realistic goal. If your goal is to get a sexy midsection, it is worth to know how long it takes to get abs.
Having realistic but challenging expectations is very important when you embark upon your body transformation journey. In this blog post, I will explain exactly how long it will take to get abs. Furthermore, you will get answers to these common questions:
Can everyone get abs?
Why is it so hard to get abs?
How much weight do you need to lose to see your abs?
How long should your transformation take?
What workouts will help you get abs?
How Long Does it Take to Get Abs for an Average Joe?
Abs are sexy. Every guy wants to have abs, but only a select few actually have them. Well, technically, everyone has them, but they are either too weak to be visible or hiding under a layer of fat tissue. For most people, it is both.
Everyone has abdominal muscles. Just like biceps and pectoral muscles, abs need to be strengthened to grow and be visible under the skin.
Doing crunches won’t help unless you lose fat. You might have heard the saying, “abs are made in the kitchen.” It is half true. You need to watch what you eat to get down to low body fat percentages, but if you ignored your abs for so long, they wouldn’t be visible when you get there.
However, no matter how much you work on your abs, you won’t see them until you get rid of the fat tissue covering your abs.
Think about your biceps. They are there, but unless you work them out, they won’t look impressive.
So for everyone, it will take as long as you burn the fat off to get abs
Why Is It So Hard to Get Abs?
In an interview, Chris Pratt said having abs is like “an orchid that blooms and dies on the same day.”
Unless you are a fitness model, an athlete, or a fitness junkie, you won’t have abs all the time. You see the pictures of guys with abs online. Most of those guys don’t look like that 90% of the time. Including me!
It takes a unique process to get ready for the photoshoots. You take the pictures, and you are done.
To have popping abs, you need to get below 10% body fat.
Unless you are a genetic freak, your body does not like to be under 10% body fat. Your body will act just like your mother. It will think you are starving, and it will throw everything it has at you to get some food in your belly. No matter how long it takes to get abs, if you really want to have abs year-round, you are going to have to have real dedication and discipline to keep those abs. At this level, there is no room for error.
How Much Weight Do You Need to Lose for Visible Abs?
To see your abs flexing, in good lighting, you need to be around 12% body fat. To have popping abs that are visible from a distance, you need to be below 10% body fat. If you already know your body fat percentage, use the following calculator to see how much fat you need to lose to get down to 10% body fat.
How Fast Should You Lose Weight?
Now that you know how much fat you need to lose to get abs, how fast should you lose this weight? Should you go as aggressive as possible and get there as quickly as possible? Should you not worry about the numbers and just eat healthily, exercise, and let nature take care of it? I would recommend a diligent and calculated approach to get there.
Weight loss is never linear. If you weigh yourself every day and create a chart, it will be all over the place.
During my weight loss process, there were many weeks that I didn’t lose any weight 10 days in a row, and then I lost 3 pounds overnight. They call this the whoosh effect, and there are some theories out there why this happens. It is beyond the scope of this blog post, so I will write another blog post about this. But you also need to avoid weight loss plateaus. The bottom line is, think long term, and don’t worry about daily weight fluctuations.
My rule is, don’t change anything until you don’t lose weight 2 weeks in a row!
The rate of your weight loss should be a maximum of 1% of your total weight per week. A 25-30% calorie deficit is enough to achieve this. Anything more aggressive than this will give you short term results, but it will negatively affect your metabolism and sabotage your long term goals. Once you go below a certain number of calories, going lower won’t be possible without dangerous health effects.
You should eat the highest number of calories possible that will allow you to lose weight. If you can increase your calories and still lose weight, you should do it every week. Up until the point where you don’t lose weight 2 weeks in a row.
So How Long Does it Take to Get Abs?
So based on everything you just learned, how long will it take YOU to get abs?
Ideally, your transformation would take as long as it takes to reach your goals. However, slow changes may be discouraging, and they will mentally and physically be hard.
Depending on your starting point, it may take anywhere from 12 weeks to a year to reach your goals.
12 weeks is a reasonable time frame to plan your transformation. It is enough time to get significant changes in your body, and it is not too long that will wear you down.
If 12 weeks is not enough to get where you want to be, plan another 12-week time block. You can take a week off and enjoy to get yourself mentally ready for your next transformation. It took me two 12-week cycles to get from 230 lbs to 183 lbs. Between the two periods, I enjoyed a lovely Christmas, where I ate whatever I wanted and barely moved for a week.
What Workouts Can Help You to Get Abs?
Even though abdominal and core workouts are the best way to strengthen and grow your abs, as I mentioned before, you will need to get rid of the fat layer to make your abs visible. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying ignore your ab workouts. You should work out your core at least once a week.
However, heavy, compound workouts are the best bang for your buck. Heavy, compound lifts such as squat and deadlift will help you burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. Furthermore, they will increase your muscle mass, which means you will burn more calories even in your sleep.
Cardio exercises such as running, cycling, and rowing will also help you burn calories during the workout. Cardio exercises are like working a job with an hourly wage, whereas strength training is like having a passive income. At your job, you only make money when you are actually working; but your investments bring you money in your sleep.
How long it will take you to get abs depends on where your starting point is. However, the most important thing is to be smart and consistent. Every day will bring you a day closer to your goals, and you should do your part to reach your goals every day.
- Assess your starting point.
- Set realistic yet aggressive goals.
- Calculate your fat loss target.
- Calculate your calorie needs.
- Create a 25-30% deficit.
- Lose 1% of your weight/week.