Is it possible to build six-pack abs in 30 days?

The workout apps promising to give you defined abs in 30 days on social media don't reflect reality, according to experts. Having visible abs depends on many factors such as body fat percentage. Experts have explained the necessary time to build abs.
Is it possible to build six-pack abs in 30 days

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With the approach of summer, many people eager to have a fit body are flocking to the gym. Building abs starts with proper nutrition and regularly doing core-strengthening exercises. Dr. Shelby Johnson, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist, says there are multiple exercises to improve core and abdominal conditioning. These include plank, half crunches, reverse crunches, full crunches, hanging knee raises, mountain climbers, scissor kicks, and bicycle crunches. Johnson adds, ‘Even squats, lunges, and standing arm exercises can target the core and are good for stabilization.’

The abdominal muscles consist of five main muscles: external obliques, internal obliques, transversus abdominis, rectus abdominis, and pyramidalis. Psychotherapist Austin ‘Ozzie’ Gontang, speaking to USA Today, says these are muscles almost everyone anatomically possesses, so the idea of building abs is somewhat misunderstood. However, Gontang notes that the key to having defined muscles is to develop and reveal existing muscles. Doing this is not just about gaining confidence or appearing more attractive to others.

Gontang explains, ‘The abdominal muscles play a role in the overall function and balance of the human body.’ Additionally, the abdominal muscles are part of the core muscle group and assist in balancing and moving the spine and pelvis. In this way, the abdominal muscles help strengthen other muscle groups in the body and may reduce the likelihood of injury for individuals.

Can you build abs in 30 days?

While having visibly defined abs may be a desire for many, it’s not a goal that can be achieved in a short period of time. Despite the numerous workout apps proliferating on social media claiming that you can build abs in as little as 30 days, experts think differently. According to experts, this timeframe may be achievable for individuals who are already close to having abs. This is because having visible abs can be challenging as long as the abdominal muscles are covered with excess body fat.

Dr. Michael Fredericson, Director of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Stanford Medicine, says, ‘Depending on your current body weight, genetics, diet, and exercise approaches, even with a strict diet and exercise routine, burning excess fats alone can take 6 months or more, or even 1-2 years.’ Therefore, the first step towards measuring the time required to achieve visible abs is to determine a healthy body composition for your body type and then reduce excess fats accordingly.

How long does it take to build abs?

Gontang says that typically, men need to reach a body fat percentage below 10-15%, while women need to reach below 15-20% to make their abdominal muscles visible. Once you have accurately determined your current body fat percentage, you can start dieting and exercising to lose weight. Fredericson states that a safe rate of body fat loss is about 1% per month.

At the same time, you can start developing your abdominal muscles by regularly performing any of the core-strengthening exercises mentioned above, so that once the excess fats are lost, these muscles will become more defined.

It can take 3 to 6 months or longer.

Consistent adherence to both healthy eating and core-strengthening exercises over time can help you achieve your goal of having defined abs. Gontang stated, ‘Starting with an average body fat percentage, adhering to a disciplined diet and exercise plan may lead to noticeable changes in the abdominal area within 3 to 6 months. However, if you start with a higher body fat percentage, it will take longer to melt away the fats until the abdominal muscles become visible.’

Beyond diet and exercise, other lifestyle factors also play a role in obtaining visible abs. Johnson says, ‘These include stress, sleep quality, and genetics.’ Due to all these factors, improving your core strength and developing more defined abs can be a slow process that requires patience.

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