From my personal experience, here’s my complete guide on how to get 6 pack abs at home, from diet to six pack exercise to maintaining it!
Hey gorgeous! Ever since I posted my fitness photo-shoot featuring Nike, you all have been asking me about my fitness regime and how I got my abs to look, well, like this:
I’ve always been naturally slim but the extra long hours of sitting at my desk at the office (ah, perks of being an entrepreneur), plus all the junk food I’d been eating throughout my adult life had been giving me tummy fat, which started to show. Not a major confidence booster, this flab, and that’s what I needed to work on. And so I did, I worked hard for my body and it paid off!
I do my six pack exercise at home, and I run on a nice tree-lined street near a park. I’m just not a gym person these days. So that also means I don’t have a trainer. But on the bright side, I work out when I want to and I enjoy it!
I’d be lying if I said it was easy. But the truth to remember is that you can do it, too.
P.S. Every body is different, what works for mine may not work for you (or work as well). Also: understand your body’s limitations by consulting with your doctor or trainer before taking up the exercises or diet plan mentioned here.
Six Pack Exercise: How to Get 6 Pack Abs at Home
Here are a few things to remember when you’re training for six pack exercise, especially at home:
- You have to motivate yourself. Half of those 6 pack abs come from motivation. You have to tell yourself to continue working out even if you don’t feel like it.
- Set a schedule for your six pack exercise, whether you wanna work out in the morning or evening, after or before office, but just set whatever you can keep up with. You have to find distraction-free time for it, and change into proper fitness gear so you can make the most of that routine.
- Find a reason to get fit, whether it’s your wedding, an upcoming event or whatever. A goal and/or deadline works loads better than having say, a new year resolution!
- If I have to append to my above point, I’ll say that half of 6 pack abs come from motivation, and the other half from diet. You just can’t ignore the power of a healthy diet – it is the first step towards getting that 6 pack. Cut down on all unhealthy food, especially those you’re addicted to – soda, pizza, fries, nachos. cookies, processed cheese. Replace your mid-day snack with fruit and water, replace your sweetened drinks with unsweetened ones, and replace beer with wine.
- Get to know what works for your body, and understand the logic behind the fitness myths. They say small portions of food are better, but filling yourself up at mealtimes with healthy food can help avoid the evening biscuit or cookie cravings.
- Introduce more protein into your diet, you already know that, and it’s really important to add good protein sources to your meals. Being a vegetarian, my favorites are legumes like lentils, kidney beans, sprouts, almonds, unsweetened yogurt and of course, milk.
- Don’t ignore cardio. All of us with sedentary lifestyles tend to get horrible fat around our bellies. It’s just the worst! Cardio helps get rid of that. Otherwise no matter how hard you work out, layers of fat will keep your muscle gains from showing.
Half of 6 pack abs come from motivation, and the other half from diet.
How I Did It: Six Pack Exercise in 6 Weeks
Week 1: Set Goals & Begin
This was the decision and goal-setting week. I made up my mind that my next photo-shoot would be a fitness shoot, and it’ll look silly to pose in a sports bra if I had layers of flab! I started cutting back on my extra carb intake by quitting junk food, and started basic cardio – running 5 kms thrice a week, followed by 6 minutes of the below plank exercises. If you’re running for the first time, you may get cramps, so keep yourself hydrated and don’t quit. If you’re a beginner, start with 3 km running in the first week, and gradually increase to 5 when you can.
Week 2: Diet & Exercise
After my cramps wore down, I felt a bit fitter than before. But I got bored of my food, so I may have cheated once or twice during this week by not resisting the urge to have Coke or cheesy pasta. I continued the 5 km run thrice a week followed by plank exercises. I also added a set of 20 crunches and 20 leg raises to this workout. I also gave this new HIIT core workout routine a try one morning – 1 set of 20 push ups, 20 burpees, 20 squats, 20 seconds of plank position. This 1 set gave me 3 whole days of cramps. Bummer!
Week 3: Push Harder
Disappointed by my less than stellar performance of Week 2, I quit processed food and cut back on unhealthy sugars. My diet got reduced to homemade Indian food – lentils and veggies with rotis (Indian bread) for lunch and dinner; and sprouts or legumes for breakfast with milky latte. Snacktimes consisted of strawberry shake, melons or watermelons. My tummy fat was not yet melting, so I was beginning to wonder what I was doing wrong. It got sad at times. I increased my workouts to 4 times a week.
Week 4: Keep Going
I got bored with my food again, but spiced up my meals by introducing some of my old favorites – oven roasted vegetables and stuffed tomatoes with rice pilaf. I reduced the carb intake further by having less roti/ rice and more lentils and veggies, and stopped having processed foods altogether. I added more protein too – kidney beans alternating with sprouts for breakfast, yogurt for evening snack etc. I did my six pack exercise 5 times this week. But now, I reduced my cardio to 3 km running, and followed it by 1 set of HIIT core workout routine – 1 set of 20 push ups, 20 burpees, 20 squats, 20 seconds of plank position, 20 crunches and 20 leg raises. I also introduced weight-training – 25 minutes of standing abs dumbell workout. Within 2 days, I also added a lying down abs dumbbell workout, finishing off with a 2 minute cool down session. Here they are:
Week 5: Almost There
It was crazy and also really motivating to finally be able to see some gains. My abs were finally beginning to show from beneath the fatty layers! Yay!! I kept up with my weight training and increased my workouts to all 7 days this week. This was killing me because I had constant cramps or pain somewhere or the other, but I couldn’t quit now! Plus, I was finding it difficult to resist fried foods. It helps to have encouraging family handy at this time. Also, I barely got any time for anything else because the long workout sessions took up all my evenings after office. Although sleeping became really easy. Although at this point, I could’ve never thought that one day I’ll be writing an article on how to get 6 pack abs!
Don’t say, “I’ll have to work out today.” Say, “I’ll get to work out today.”
Week 6: Fitness is Your Lifestyle
In the beginning of this week, my body showed no further progress, although I was getting used to the constant pain in every other limb or joint! I knew this was my last week of the workout challenge so resisting my favorite junk foods was easy. Although I didn’t really feel like wasting my hard work by having something unhealthy anyway. I did the six pack exercise 6 days this week. The workouts had become a part of my daily routine by now – I didn’t have to motivate myself any longer. In fact, they made me feel confident and happy. I continued with the same routine, but with more energy, jumps, etc., trying to melt any leftover layers of fat.
The day of the shoot arrived, and I usually wake up feeling tired because I’m not a morning person. But on this day, I woke up feeling happy and energetic and positive. And I knew I’d be too tired after the shoot, so guess what – I worked out in the morning. Imagine – me, a person who used to have to resist the urge to eat unhealthy, now can’t resist starting my day with something so healthy! And not just that, but I felt stronger too. The shoot went wonderfully – I felt confident and great about my body.
Maintaining Your 6 Pack Abs at Home
Now, you know how to get six pack abs, but how do you keep them? It’s as difficult to maintain your body as it is to get a great one. People who see you may not notice the amount of hard work that goes into it, and may just think it’s all natural. Or that you’re not eating anything! The only easy part is that after getting fit, you don’t really feel like going back to your unhealthy days. I still find it very very difficult to motivate myself to do the toning exercises, or to resist junk food, but I try!
So these are some of the pictures from the said photo-shoot. If you wanna check out the complete lot, here’s the story of Shilpa Ahuja X Nike Air Max!
So, my gorgeous. I hope you found my experience and my advice on how to get 6 pack abs at home helpful. It make take you longer or shorter depending on your own routine for six pack exercise, diet and body. But just don’t quit! Write about your own experiences here, and share your success story!
Shilpa Ahuja a designer and entrepreneur. She is the editor-in-chief of ShilpaAhuja.com, which she founded with the goal of inspiring confidence in the modern working woman through fashion.
Fashion has traditionally been for the rich, white, thin woman. That’s how it evolved over centuries and that’s how it’s been represented in fashion media. But Shilpa believes that with the changing role of women in the society, fashion has changed, too. She believes that fashion is for everyone, regardless of their age, gender, color, body type and background. So she translates runway fashion into easy style advice that one can incorporate into their daily lives.
Shilpa’s work has been published in the University of Fashion blog and Jet Airways magazine. She is also an artist, illustrator and cartoonist. She is also the creator of Audrey O., a comic series that represents the lifestyle of millennial women. She enjoys creative writing and world travel. Her art has been exhibited at Harvard Graduate School of Design and the Aroma Hotel, Chandigarh and been published in Chandigarh Times.
Originally from Chandigarh, Shilpa also has a professional degree in architecture and has worked in interior project management. She is also the author of the book “Designing a Chinese Cultural Center in India”. Shilpa has a Masters in Design Studies degree from Harvard University. For feedback and questions, please email [email protected]