How to Get 6 Pack Abs & Pecs

Fitness class making sit-ups
Men doing stability ball exercises in gym class (Image: Francesco Ridolfi/iStock/Getty Images)

Achieving a six pack takes work, sacrifice and dedication. Couple this with the fact that you want to build your pecs, and you have to increase your effort even more. This doesn't mean you cannot pull it off. You just have to follow the right game plan. Not only do you have to exercise, but you have to do it the correct way. You also have to make dietary adjustments and become more active.

Step 1

Consume foods that are high in nutrients and low in empty calories. Give up the chocolate chip cookies, bagels with cream cheese, muffins and frozen dinners. Eat nothing but fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, lean meats, low-fat dairy products and beans. Reduce your caloric intake by 250 to 500 calories if you are overweight.

Step 2

Perform cardiovascular exercise to melt away fat on your stomach. Do any type of cardio that you enjoy, such as running, indoor cycling, swimming, elliptical training, step aerobics, power walking or kickboxing. Do not overdo it with cardio, since you want to build your pecs while creating a six pack. Aim for 30 minutes per session, and work out three days a week on alternating days.

Step 3

Lift weights to build your pecs. Target all areas of your chest to ensure you achieve full muscle development. Incline presses, flat bench presses, decline presses and dumbbell flies are a few pectoral-building exercises you can perform. Use the heaviest weights you can handle, and do as many exercises as possible on a stability ball, which requires you to contract your abs to remain stable. Decline presses are the only exercise you cannot do on the ball. Have a spotter on hand to assist you with your lifts. Aim for 10 to 12 reps and four to five sets for each exercise.

Step 4

Execute ab exercises that involve your entire stomach. Do not work just one area of your abdomen. Target your lower abs, upper abs and obliques with exercises to create symmetry and the coveted cut look in your stomach. Perform exercises like leg raises and scissor kicks for your lower abs, Russian twists and bicycle crunches for your obliques, and decline crunches and stability ball situps for your upper abs.

Step 5

Utilize proper form with your pec and ab exercises. Do not use momentum; exercise with a full range of motion and squeeze your muscles forcefully at the midpoint of the movements. When performing strength-training exercises, inhale deeply as you exert energy, and exhale when returning to the starting position of the exercise.

Step 6

Add resistance with your ab exercises to ensure you fully tax your muscles. Wear ankle weights for exercises like leg raises and bicycle crunches and hold resistance against your chest or straight above you when doing exercises like decline crunches and stability ball situps. Dumbbells, medicine balls and weight plates are all forms of added resistance. Choose whatever you feel most comfortable with.

Things You'll Need

  • Dumbbells

  • Stability ball

  • Ankle weights

  • Decline bench

  • Medicine ball

  • Weight plates

Tip

Perform three to four sets of ab exercises, and do them after you work your pecs.

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