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The Two-Part Plan to Get Ripped Abs in 4 Weeks

You can get a solid six-pack inside of a month if you follow this two-part plan to the letter.

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The Two-Part Plan to Get Ripped Abs in 4 Weeks
milan2099 / Getty
The Two-Part Plan to Get Ripped Abs in 4 Weeks
milan2099 / Getty

Look, getting abs ain’t rocket science, and it’s easier for most guys than getting big or putting pounds on their bench press. You have to eat right, and you have to lift weights. That’s it. Commit to being consistent with the following program—which outlines exactly how to go from “fat gut” to “lookin’ cut”—and you’ll have abs to celebrate before summer comes to a close.

Step 1: Fix Your Diet

No amount of ab training or cardio or fat-burning supplements will reveal your abs if you’re eating too much food or eating the wrong proportions of macro­nutrients. Start by multiplying your body weight in pounds by 12 to find the number of calories you should consume daily. You should take in 1 gram of protein per pound of your body weight, 1 gram of carbohydrates per pound, and 0.4 grams of fat per pound. Follow the guidelines in the Muscle & Fitness Food Pyramid for the particulars on setting up a fat-loss diet, including which foods to eat.

It may be tempting to remove carbohydrates altogether, as much has been written about the effectiveness of low-carb diets. But cutting carbs too much and too soon can send your energy levels into the tank and can cost you the muscle you need to keep your metabolism burning bright. 

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8-Week Abs Diet Plan

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Step 2: Train Like a Bodybuilder

You’ve probably tried a CrossFit class and have been led to believe that your workouts must be “functional.” And you may have no interest in ever competing in a bodybuilding contest. (It’s the skimpy underwear, isn’t it?) But put these hang-ups aside for the next month, and understand that snatches and box jumps won’t give you the beach-ready physique you crave. Moves like the bench press and crunch aren’t flashy, but they will build muscle and give you the shape and definition that make the body impressive—in and out of a shirt. Focus on the basic lifts, body part by body part, and avoid the temptation to break WOD PRs for a bit.

Concentrate on how you perform each rep, too. For maximum muscle gain, slow and steady wins the race. Using a full range of motion for 12 situp reps will produce deeper ab cuts than repping out 50 fast, sloppy ones. Take at least four seconds to perform each rep on your ab exercises. You’ll train abs directly three days per week, followed by interval cardio activity to burn excess fat.

The Fast-Abs Training Plan

Perform each workout (Day 1 through Day 6) once per week. Rest on Day 7. Repeat for 4 weeks.

Routine

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Day 1: Legs, Abs, Cardio

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 0

Front Squat

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
8
Rest
90 sec
Exercise 2 of 0

Romanian Deadlift

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
10
Rest
90 sec
Exercise 3 of 0

Decline Weighted Situp

Equipment
Weight Plates
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
90 sec
Exercise 4 of 0

Rope Crunch

Equipment
Cable Machine, Rope Attachment
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
75 sec
How to
Exercise 5 of 0

Hanging Leg Raise

Equipment
Pullup Bar
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
75 sec
Exercise 6 of 0

Sprint

Equipment
Sets
15
Reps
Sprint 15–20 sec., walk 60–90 sec.
Rest
None

Day 2: Chest

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Equipment
Barbell, Bench
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
90 sec
Exercise 8 of 0

Incline Dumbbell Flye

Equipment
Bench, Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
90 sec
Exercise 9 of 0

Cable Crossover

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine, D-Handle Attachment
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
75 sec
Exercise 11 of 0

Dumbbell Bench Press

Equipment
Bench, Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
75 sec

Day 3: Abs, Cardio

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 12 of 0

Rope Crunch

Equipment
Cable Machine, Rope Attachment
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
75 sec
How to
Exercise 13 of 0

Decline Weighted Situp

Equipment
Weight Plates
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
75 sec
Exercise 14 of 0

V-Up

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
60 sec
Exercise 15 of 0

RKC Plank

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
Hold 60 Sec
Rest
--
Exercise 16 of 0

Bent-Knee Hip Raise

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
12
Rest
60 sec
Exercise 17 of 0

Sprint

Equipment
Sets
--
Reps
Sprint 15-20 sec
Rest
Walk 60-90 sec.
*Perform 20 sets

Day 4: Back

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 18 of 0

Wide-Grip Pullup

Equipment
Pullup Bar
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
90 sec
Exercise 19 of 0

One-arm Dumbbell Row

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
60 sec
Exercise 20 of 0

Reverse-Grip Pulldown

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine, Straight Bar Attachment
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
75 sec
Exercise 21 of 0

Straight-Arm Pulldown

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine, Lat Pulldown Bar, Straight Bar Attachment
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
75 sec
Exercise 22 of 0

Dumbbell Shrug

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
90 sec

Day 5: Abs, Cardio

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 23 of 0

Rope Crunch

Equipment
Cable Machine, Rope Attachment
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
90 sec
How to
Exercise 24 of 0

Decline Weighted Situp

Equipment
Weight Plates
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
75 sec
Exercise 25 of 0

Hanging Leg Raise

Equipment
Pullup Bar
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
75 sec
Exercise 26 of 0

Medicine Ball Rotation Situp

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
60 sec
Exercise 27 of 0

Plank Pikes

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
Hold for 75 sec
Rest
75 sec
Exercise 28 of 0

Sprint

Equipment
Sets
--
Reps
Sprint 15-20 sec.
Rest
Walk 60-90 sec.
Perform 25 sets

Day 6: Arms, Shoulders

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 29 of 0

Triceps Extension

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
75 sec
Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
60 sec
Exercise 32 of 0

Barbell Biceps Curl

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
90 sec
Exercise 33 of 0

Barbell Preacher Curl

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
75 sec
Exercise 34 of 0

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
12
Rest
75 sec
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