4 Pack Abs vs 6 Pack Abs

It’s no secret that a defined set of abs makes you more attractive. But you’ve probably noticed that not all abdomens are the same.

Some people have 6 pack abs, while others have 8 packs. And you may even be among 1 in 10 people who have 4 packs abs.

So I will show you what different sets of abs look like and explain what determines how many abs you have. Plus, you’ll learn how to reveal your best abs.

4 Pack Abs

Abdominal Anatomy

Before we get into 4 pack abs, it’s essential to know a bit of abdominal anatomy. The rectus abdominis muscles are what are commonly known as abs.

The abs are bands of muscle running vertically on either side of the navel from your groin to your sternum. In addition, there are tendonous intersections running horizontally, giving the abdominal muscles their segmented appearance.

Rectus Abdominis

What Are 4 Pack Abs?

4 pack abs are when you have four distinct abdominal muscles visible on your stomach. This abdominal arrangement is the result of having only two tendonous intersections.

Most often, the 4 pack consists of two sets of abs above your belly button, and the muscles tend to look more blocky. However, 4 pack abs are not the most common configuration. Some people have 6 pack, 8 pack, or even 10 pack abs.

4 Pack Abs Square

4 Pack Abs vs 6, 8, 10 Pack Pictures

Below are pictures illustrating what different sets of abs look like in real life. I’ve included pictures of 4 pack, 6 pack, 8 pack, and 10 pack abs.

4 Pack Abs

This image shows what 4 pack abs look like on a lean and muscular individual. As you can see, the 4 pack consists of large and blocky ab muscles.

10 Pack Abs vs 4 Pack Abs Picture

6 Pack Abs

Now we have an image of a well-defined set of 6-pack abs. This more rectangular-shaped configuration of abdominal muscles probably looks most familiar.

6 Pack Abs vs 4 Pack Abs Picture

8 Pack Abs

Next up are the elusive 8 pack abs. In this example, you’ll notice four smaller pairs of abs varying in size and shape.

8 Pack Abs vs 4 Pack Abs

10 Pack Abs

Lastly are the super rare 10 pack abs. In this case, they look like 6 pack abs but with two extra sets below the navel.

10 Pack Abs vs 4 Pack Abs Picture

Keep in mind these pictures are just examples. Every person’s abs are unique, so yours will likely look different.

What Determines 4 Pack Abs vs 6, 8, or 10?

Now that you know what different numbers of abs look like, it’s vital to clear up some misconceptions. The number of abs you have is not determined by the number of crunches you do!

Instead, three primary factors affect how your abdominals look – genetics, development, and body fat percentage.

Rectus Abdominis

Genetics

First and foremost, you must realize that the number of abs you have is 100% dictated by your genetics. The reason is that the tendonous intersections in your abdomen are set at birth and cannot change.

That means you can’t alter the number of abs you have. And you can’t go from a 4 pack to a 6 pack or an 8 pack. All you can do is change how many of your abs are visible.

How Likely Are You to Have 4 Pack Abs?

Multiple studies counted the number of tendonous bands in people’s abdomens. So we know whether they had a 4 pack, 6 pack, etc., based on the number of bands.

Number of Abs % of People*
2 Pack <1%
4 Pack 9%
6 Pack 76%
8 Pack 14%
10 Pack <1%

*Percentages based on combined studies with a sample size of 135 individuals. Adapted from Anita et. al.

Together, these studies looked at 135 individuals1,2. Only about 10% of people had genetics that limited them to 4 pack abs.

By comparison, about 75% of people in the study had abdominal genetics for a 6 pack. So, this is by far the most common number of abs you can have.

The next most common was 8 pack abs at 14% of individuals. And less than 1% of people studied could have 10 pack abs. Apparently, it’s also possible to have 2 pack abs, but that’s just as rare as a 10 pack.

How Common Are 4 Pack Abs

Although the data makes a fairly nice bell curve, this is a relatively small sample size and may not be an accurate representation of the larger population. I suspect that 8 packs are less common than this study suggests. Adapted from Anita et. al.

The chart above shows how likely you are to have each configuration of abdominal muscles. However, this graph doesn’t tell the whole story.

Even though 90% of people can have a 6 pack, the vast majority of people can’t see their abs. And there are multiple reasons for that.

Development

One reason you might not see all your abs is if they are underdeveloped. Your abs need some training to be defined and prominent like any other muscle.

Doing exercises like crunches and sit-ups won’t significantly change the shape of your abs. But core workouts will help your abs stick out more.

Some of the best exercises for abs include rope crunches and decline crunches.

Rope Crunch

A rope crunch is an abdominal exercise that uses a rope attachment on a cable machine. Unlike regular crunches, you perform this exercise while kneeling and pull down against the weighted cable for resistance.

While this exercise may appear straightforward, it’s easy to screw up. So check out the video below to make sure you do it right.

My YouTube channel has dozens of videos showing you how to do a variety of bodybuilding exercises. You’ll learn how to target and build specific muscle groups in 90 seconds or less. Click HERE to subscribe or click on the button below!

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Decline Crunch

Decline crunches are an ab exercise performed on a decline bench, putting your body in a downward angle where your head is below your legs.

Compared to traditional floor crunches and sit-ups, the decline position forces you to work more against gravity. In other words, the steeper the angle, the more of your bodyweight you must lift.

Remember, no amount of ab exercise will make your abs show if you have too much body fat!

Body Fat Percentage

Another reason why you may not see your abs is the amount of body fat you have stored on top of them. You need to be relatively lean to see any abs, and you must be shredded to see all your abs.

In addition, belly fat doesn’t burn off evenly. Typically, you lose stomach fat from top to bottom. Meaning your upper abs will show before your lower abs.

So even if you have the genetics for a 6 pack, you could have 4 pack abs simply because you’re not lean enough to see your lower abs!

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Abs Body Fat Percentages for Men & Women

It’s critical to realize that you can’t spot-reduce belly fat. In other words, you need to reduce your overall body fat percentage before you see a 4 pack or 6 pack.

While men and women have the same abdominal muscle anatomy, they need different body fat levels to see their abs. To see how much body fat you have, use this simple Body Fat Percentage Calculator.

Men

Most men need to get below 18% to start seeing the top one or two sets of abs. At that point, even a 6 pack would appear as a 2 pack or 4 pack.

However, men generally need to get down to 10% body fat or less to see all the separations between their abs. So for most guys, this is when you will see your 6 pack (or more).

Women

Females tend to store more of their fat around the hips and thighs. Therefore, women don’t need to get as lean to see abdominal definition.

Specifically, some women can start seeing abs once they get below 25% body fat. However, since women’s ab muscles aren’t as bulky, you may need to get down 18% or less to see all your abs.

4 Pack Abs vs 6 Pack Abs Body Fat Percentage

How Long to Get 4 Pack Abs & 6 Pack Abs?

Most people can expect to see visible abs after just a couple of months of diet and exercise. However, chiseled abs could take four months or more.

To get a more specific timeline, you need to know two things; how much fat you must lose and how fast you can lose it.

First, the amount of fat you need to lose is your goal weight subtracted from your starting weight. Of course, you’ll want to lose fat and not muscle.

Therefore, the second point is losing weight reasonable rate. Studies suggest that losing 0.5 to 1% of your body weight per week results in fat loss with maximum muscle retention3.

For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, your average rate of fat loss should be 1.5 pounds per week (200*(0.75/100)). With that in mind, it’s easy to get a rough estimate of how long it will take you to get abs.

How Long To Get 4 Pack Abs

The images above give you a general idea of how long it should take you to get 4 pack abs and 6 pack abs. But it’s still possible to get a more accurate timeline of when you’ll reach your goal.

I created a simple abs calculator where you can enter your current body composition and your ab definition goal. Then you’ll see your target weight, how much you have to lose, and how long it will take you to see your abs.

Calculate How Long It Will Take You To Get Abs

How to Get Abs Faster

Revealing your abs as fast as possible is a matter of reducing overall body fat through diet, exercise, and proven supplements. However, it’s not as simple as cutting carbs, doing crunches, and popping pills.

Instead, you need a proper calorie deficit along with adequate protein intake. And you should include whole-body resistance training with a bit of cardio.

Lastly, no magic fat-burning pill melts away belly fat and gives you abs. But there are a few supplements proven by studies to provide a slight edge when used with diet and exercise.

Click here to learn 7 secrets fitness pros use to get shredded.

How To Get Shredded

With this information, you’re well on your way to getting 4 pack abs, 6 pack abs, or maybe even an 8 or 10 pack. And if you found this article helpful, be sure to check out some of my other great content below.

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