Surprisingly, getting chiselled abs is not rocket science. I’ve taken up a couple of points to analyze here. But overall I’m pretty confident that anyone who puts in the time and effort will achieve great looking 6-packs.
Technically speaking: Although this is “body” effort, the existance of 6-packs does not mean that you’re at peak wellness – just at peak physical fitness. It’s actually more mentally satisfying when you achieve the abs target than physically valuable to you.
Let’s start with some key pointers from our friends at BodyBuilding.com 
Is it a 4-pack or 8-pack or… what do I get for doing all this?
Metabolic abnormalities aside, I believe this to be true, but it requires immense dedication and consistency both inside and outside the gym. Keep in mind, though, that the overall shape of your six-pack is determined by genetics. You may have an 8- or 10-pack—yes, I’ve seen them—or just a four-pack depending on the genetic cards you’ve been dealt.
What exactly do I need to do?
You need to do all of these:
Exercise: Weight training, Cardio. Then give the body time to reconstruct muscle – and go for relaxation & meditation (either heartfullness or tai-chi) to help de-stress the muscles themselves. Don’t over-do.
Diet control: Optimize protein and reduce fat intake. Do not take ‘zero fat’ – its actually bad for you. Have adequate minerals and vitamins so you don’t starve your body of energy. Drink enough water. Chiselled abs need good food too 🙂
Mind training: Be ready for the long haul. This is not a 20-minute brush up job – it can take months to get the right muscles to the right size and then more months to reduce the fat around them. For some people it’s very easy (due to the way their metabolism / genetics works).
Soul training: Some people I know have put months into getting a flat gut – but never get there. Simply put they do not trust themselves to be able to achieve that; and actually give up and start eating unhealthy food within weeks. No can do!
Also remember –
Unlike many other skeletal muscle groups, you need to carry low body fat to reveal your abs, independent of how many exercises you do for them. Reducing your body fat requires you to either burn more calories or consume fewer calories. Genetics also play a role in body-fat levels, making it easier for some people and more difficult for others.
More from our friends at body building:
Eating for your six-pack is an around-the-clock activity, but the training aspect only entails a 15-20-minute workout about every 2-3 days. Train your abs intensely and help them recover with proper rest and nutrition. The only other “secrets” to ab training are consistency and using good form.
You can choose any number of exercises to emphasize (not necessarily isolate) specific areas of your midsection, and most individuals will inevitably gravitate toward a few favorites. Here are a few of mine.
Lower Abs: Target this region by raising your legs with a stable upper body, which shortens the rectus abdominis from the lower end.
Upper Abs: This area is targeted when you stabilize your lower torso and draw your upper body toward it, shortening the distance between the ribcage and pelvis.
Obliques: The obliques run along the sides of your six-pack. I like to train them with higher volume and lighter weights so that the muscles don’t build up considerably over time, which affects the thickness of the midsection.
Major, major tips to keep in mind so you’re not headed for a breakdown:
- Choose three exercises—one from each category—and do 4 sets of each movement for your abdominal workouts.
- Keep rest periods fairly short between sets, about 30-60 seconds.
- For bodyweight exercises, use a controlled movement and go to muscle failure; don’t stop at a predetermined rep target.
- For weighted upper-ab movements like machine or cable crunches, choose a resistance that lets you reach muscle failure at 12-15 reps.
- For weighted oblique movements, keep it light.
- Do Russian twists for time—about 40 seconds.
Do this – and send me a pic with what your chiselled or soon-to-be-chiselled abs look like every month – I’ll put it up here in a gallery with your name on it!