How Long Will It Take To Get Six Pack Abs?

Daniel Maman June 14, 2012

Curious how long it will take to get six pack abs?

You came to the right spot!

If you are looking to get a six pack, it can be daunting task that can seem like an insurmountable task.

Thankfully, it’s not, but it does take a lot of hard work. 

In this article, we will explore what it takes to get those washboard abs. 

What factors play in a role getting a six pack?

The top factor here is your body fat percentage.

As a male, your body fat percentage levels need to be below 10%, and ideally at around 6-7%.

how long will it take to get six pack abs

For women, it is a little bit different. Women must bring their body fat percentage to be under around 18-19% to have visible abs.

Take these numbers with a grain of salt because they are not set in stone and vary from person to person.

If you are wondering what the general body fat percentage categories are, according to the American Council on Exercise, general body fat percentage categories are:

Classification

Women (% fat)

Men (% fat)

Essential Fat

10-12%

2-4%

Athletes

14-20%

6-13%

Fitness

21-24%

14-17%

Acceptable

25-31%

18-25%

Obese

32% and over

25% and over

 How Can I Measure My Body Fat Percentage?

There are many expensive techniques out there to measure your body fat percentage, but if you are like me, you’d probably prefer a cheaper way to figure it out.

The cheapest, most effective way to measure body fat percentage is to use skin (or body fat) calipers.

A store like Walmart should have them for around 20 bucks and they will look something like this picture:

skinfold calipers

Once you have the calipers, the next step is to perform what is called a 3-step skinfold test.

The spots taken are different for guys and girls, so I will first start off with the girls.

The 3 skinfold spots for girls are the suprailiac, thigh, and triceps.

The location for your suprailiac measurement is slightly above the hip on the side of your waist.

The location for your triceps measurement is on the back of your upper arm.

Your thigh measurement is on the front of your thigh, midway between your hip and knee.

The 3 skinfold measurements for guys are the chest, abdomen, and thigh.

The measurement for the chest is halfway between the nipple and the top of the armpit.

The location of the abdomen is one inch to the right of the belly button.

The location of the measurement of the thigh is halfway between the knee cap and leg crease.

Directions when using the calipers:

1. Always measure the right side of your body or just the left side. Do not combine or mix right side measurements with left side measurements.
2. Measure on bare skin without any clothes interfering.
3. Females may need someone to assist them when measuring the triceps site.
4. Relax the body part you are measuring to enable you to grab the fat. If you are tense or flexed, the results may be inaccurate.
5. Grab as much fat/skin as you can with your thumb and index finger.
6. Squeeze the fat/skin just shy of pain.
7. Place the caliper ends 1/4 of an inch away from your thumb and index finger.
8. Squeeze the calipers together slowly around the fat for 3 seconds
9. Measure each site several times until you read the same number (in millimeters) at least three times.
10. Input your measurements into the skinfold calculator. (Click here for skinfold calculator).

Write up reasonable goals!

Once you have determined your body fat percentage, you can make a goal for weight loss as you strive to achieve a six pack.

As discussed earlier, as a guy, around 6-7% body fat is the goal body fat percentage if you wish to have visible abs and as a girl, about 18-19% is the goal.

For example, let’s say you are a 200 pound male with 14% body fat.

This means that you have 28 pounds of fat.

In order to reach 7% body fat, you would need to lose about 14 pounds of fat. I recommend losing only 1-2 pounds per week for safety weight loss so it should take you just over 6-12 weeks to have those six pack abs.

Keep working hard and inputting the effort and in due time you will have the results you want!

Daniel Maman

Daniel Maman's two biggest passions in life are health and fitness. He is a certified personal trainer, has a degree in exercise science, and spends his free time keeping up to date with the latest research. In his free time, you can find him playing basketball, bouldering, and spoiling his dog, Luna.

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