10 Tips For How To Get Abs Faster

The most common question people ask me in the gym is “How do I get abs?” Usually what the person means is, “What exercises should I do to get abs?”

But, revealing your abs is not the result of some secret combination of abdominal exercises. Instead, it’s a matter of reducing body fat through diet, exercise, and supplements.

In this article, I’ll give you 10 tips spanning each of these areas to help you speed up the process of showing off your abs.

how to get abs

How often do you think I trained abs when this picture was taken? Read on to find out…

How To Get Abs 101

Before we get into my top 10 tips for how to get abs, let’s talk a little bit about the process. It’s important to realize that the only way to get abs is to reduce fat all over your body.

To explain, imagine your body fat as the water in a pond. In the right conditions, the pond can dry up, revealing what’s under the surface.

But it doesn’t happen evenly, the shallow areas always dry before the deep spots. And you have to dry up the whole pond to see the very bottom.

In the same way, your body fat burns off in some areas before others. And your abs are like 6 little stones sitting in the deepest part of the pond.

For the entire pond to dry up, the most important thing is that it stops raining for a while. If that happens, some sunshine and a little wind will help the water evaporate faster.

How To Get Abs Pond Analogy

You see, the sun and wind won’t reveal the stones if it downpours every day. Just like doing crunches and taking supplements won’t reveal your abs if you’re overeating. 

Therefore, the most important thing for getting abs is eating fewer calories than you burn. Once you do that, exercise and supplements will help the process go faster.

How To Get Abs Graph

The relative importance of diet, exercise, and supplements for getting abs.

How To Get Abs: Diet

1. Create a Small Calorie Deficit

Keeping with the pond analogy, when the amount of water going into the pond is less than the amount going out, the level drops. And the same is true when you eat fewer calories than you burn. This is called a calorie deficit.

But you can’t just stop eating and expect the water level to drop faster. Your body has measures in place to prevent you from creating too large of an energy deficit.

Instead, you have to create a small deficit in order to lower the water level gradually but continuously. Usually, you need to consume about 10-20% fewer calories than you burn.

How To Calculate Your Calorie Deficit

2. Eat 90% Healthy Foods

Another important aspect of dieting to get abs is the foods you eat. Even with a proper calorie deficit, you won’t have much success if you’re eating all junk food.

The reason is that you need your body to be in optimal health in order to get your body fat to very low levels. As a general rule, I recommend eating from my healthy grocery list 90% of the time in order to make decent progress towards your goal.

healthy grocery list

3. Mind Your Carbs

When you want to get abs, one of the first thoughts is cutting carbs. While this does help reduce calories and lower a hormone called insulin, it’s not necessary to eliminate all carbs.

In fact, there are times where carbs are beneficial, such as before or after workouts. So the key is to adjust your carb intake to match your activity level. This is called carb cycling.

4. Eat At Strategic Times

The final piece of the nutrition puzzle is meal timing – also called nutrient timing. Although it won’t make or break your diet, it can give you a leg up once you dial in the previous 3 steps.

The reason is that eating, especially carbs, releases key hormones that slow down fat burning. So it’s important to time your meals such that you promote fat burning while building or maintaining your muscles.

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How To Get Abs: Exercise

When it comes to burning fat, exercise is like the sun that turns the water into vapor and dries up the pond. But before you hop on the treadmill, I’ll let you in on a little secret.

5. Resistance Training

The most important form of exercise for burning fat and showing your abs is resistance training. One reason is that it burns a lot of calories.

Another reason is that lifting weights builds muscle, which increases your metabolism and helps you burn more fat. But in order to reap this benefit, you have to train all your muscles – not just abs.

6. Cardio

Of course, cardio exercise has its place when it comes to burning fat as well. That’s because cardio burns more calories from fat compared to resistance training.

And the best part is, you don’t have to slog away on the treadmill for hours. In fact, you can burn a good amount of fat in just 30 minutes.

For optimal fat burning, target a heart rate around 70% of your maximum.

How To Get Abs Cardio

7. Ab Exercises

Next up is the ab exercises themselves. This may seem strange, but doing crunches or scissor kicks isn’t the most important factor for how to get abs.

In fact, I hadn’t done an ab workout for months in the introduction picture. And I still had abs because of my diet.

However, I’m not opposed to training abs. It will strengthen your core and make the muscles stand out a little more.

It’s sort of like making that pile of rocks on the bottom of the pond slightly bigger. You may see them poke through the surface before all the water is gone.

This doesn’t mean you should load up the resistance to get bulging abs, though. As this could thicken your diaphragm and waistline.

Instead, stick with light weight or bodyweight and focus on a good contraction for 15-20 reps

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How To Get Abs: Supplements

Last and close to least is supplements. The reason I say this is because supplements won’t get results on their own.

The wind can blow all it wants in a monsoon, but that pond isn’t going to dry up! That said, when the monsoon ends and the sun is out, a nice breeze will make the pond dry up a tad bit faster.

Likewise, supplements can give you about a 5% boost to reach your goal a little faster. After you check off diet and exercise, of course.

Still, there are many snake oil supplements out there. So I recommend sticking with single ingredients that have been shown to be effective in studies.

8. MCT Oil

MCT stands for medium-chain triglyceride. It’s a type of fat found in foods like coconut oil.

This fast-absorbing substance can increase thermogenesis and decrease appetite. Together, that helps you burn more fat. 

9. CLA

Another acronym, CLA stands for conjugated linoleic acid. That may sound like a chemical, but it’s actually a natural compound found in plants and animals.

More importantly, it’s been shown to increase the rate of fat loss. Basically, it makes big fat cells smaller and keeps small fat cells from getting bigger.

10. Caffeine (or Guarana)

Caffeine can help stimulate the process of lipolysis or fat breakdown. And guarana is a healthy natural source of caffeine.

Moreover, guarana may work together with CLA to enhance fat loss. All while providing a clean boost of energy without the jitters.

How Long Does It Take To Get Abs?

How long it takes you to get abs depends on two things; how much fat you have to lose and how fast you lose it!

In general, you should expect to lose between 0.5 and 1% of your total body weight per week. Any faster than that and you’ll risk losing muscle too.

With that in mind, it’s easy to get a rough estimate of how long it will take to get abs.

how to get abs timeline

For a more accurate estimate, check out my “How long does it take to get abs” calculator.

How to Get Abs: Summary

In summary, there is no shortcut to get abs. Instead, it takes a clean diet, consistent exercise, and a little help from supplements.

Additionally, you won’t see results in a few days. Or even in a few weeks in most cases. So it’s important to stay the course and be persistent.

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By |December 30, 2020|fat loss, members, nutrition, supplements, workouts|Comments Off on 10 Tips For How To Get Abs Faster