Yeah… you are probably thinking the same thing I was.. 10 pack abs.. How the heck do those guys that appear to have a 10 pack actually do it?
Washboard abs have remained a major fitness milestone for almost everyone who exercises.
Be it for general fitness or for boasting rights on the gram, people are willing to go to the extra mile to achieve them.
For a long time, 4-pack abdominals were the norm.
Then came the 6-pack.
This was followed by pictures of some guys with freaky genetics who had 8-packs instead of 6 and this soon became the new benchmark for a trimmed waistline.
However, off late, there has been a frenzy over what’s being called the ’10-pack abs’.
A fitness model by the name of Muhammad Ali became an overnight sensation after he revealed his 10-pack abdominal muscles. He’s called ‘Mr. 10-pack’ these days.
The question is, ‘Is this a mere illusion?’
Or are 10-pack abs for real?
Let’s find out.
10 Pack Abs Guide
First you need to understand the abdominal muscles to understand how even getting a 10-pack is a possibility… Or is it not?
Understanding the Abdominal Muscles
There are four muscle groups in your abdomen. And when all four of these are equally developed, it leads to a well-defined abdominal section.
This is the most prominent of the four muscle groups and it is what is universally called the four or the six-pack.
That’s because it consists of two bands of muscles with 4 or 6 muscle heads, that run parallel to each other toward your belly button. Both bands are separated by a fibrous band called the linea alba.
Apart from flaunting on social media, the rectus abdominis helps you maintain an erect posture and it regulates your breathing.
This is a muscle group that’s situated deep inside the abdomen but plays a very important role in helping stabilize your core. It also helps strengthen the back and the pelvic muscles.
The thing is that if you arent working on the Transverse abdominis, you’ll never have a strong and developed Rectus Abdominis.
Working along with other side muscles like the upper and lower lats, the obliques are a very important muscle group that help your core and your back with tasks that involve turning or partially twisting your torso.
There are two muscle heads, the internal and the external obliques.
The external oblique is the visible one that flanks the rectus abdominis on the sides, whereas the internal one is located on the inside of the hip joints.
How to Get 10 Pack Abs
There are only two ways in which you can get a 10-pack.
You must be born with it
All of us are born with a fixed number of muscle bands in the rectus abdominis.
Each one of these bands which contain two muscle heads or packs, runs horizontally with the lenia alba separating them.
If you are born with three such bands stacked one above the other, you have what is commonly called the six-pack.
If you are born with four of them, you have an 8-pack.
And if you are one in 6 million people who are born with five of these bands, you have a 10-pack.
Unfortunately, no amount of ab crunches or water crunches is going to add an extra set of bands to the ones that exist already; 100, 200, or even 500 crunches will not work.
But the good news is that you can create the illusion of having a 10-pack if you work hard enough. This is what most people are doing nowadays and is what is usually the case when you see someone with a 10-pack.
It is more than likely not an actual full 10 pack, it’s just someone who has done the work and sculpted their abs enough to actually appear like they have one.
Cosmetic surgeons have developed surgical procedures that can give you your dream six pack without having to slog for hours in the gym, or cutting out unhealthy foods from your dinner plates.
One of them, called abdominal implants uses silicon inserts that mimic the look of a perfectly-sculpted abdominal section.
Think of it like a boob-job for the abs.
So, if you are born with a six pack, you can add 4 silicone implants to it to make it appear like a 10-pack.
Another simpler procedure just sucks out excess fat from specific areas to sculpt the six-pack.
It’s basically your fat realigned to make it look like ab muscles.
Creating the illusion of 10 pack abs – How to make your abs pop out
Then there’s the secret that nobody’s talking about, creating the illusion of a 10-pack.
If you have well-developed ab muscle groups, then even a six-pack, clubbed with a strong lower belly area can be made to appear like a 10-pack.
All that you need to do is drop your body fat to extremely low levels (sub-10%) and work on those abdominal muscles so that they begin to pop out.
The right angles, perfect lighting, and a good tan, all adds to the illusion.
If you have decided to get real washboard abs, then here are some tips that will help you get there.
Workout & Build Your Ab Muscles
Do ab exercises at least thrice a week. Work on your upper abs, lower abs, and obliques. If you have gained the strength needed to do 25-30 rep sets, then try adding weights to them.
Now, I know how badly you want those muscles to pop, but going in with too much gusto is gonna work against you. Just take it easy at first and then bump up the intensity as you go.
This will help you develop strong ab muscles, which will be visible even if you are at a reasonably low body fat percentage.
Exercises you can do include, double crunches, cable crunches, standing oblique crunches. Again, start with a low number of reps and then increase the number gradually, that’s the correct way to make your abs look more visible.
Related Reading; The Zercher Deadlift
Calories in minus calories out
You have to drop body fat. And the only way to do it is to burn more calories than what you consume.
Start calculating your total calorie intake.
Then calculate your Total Daily Energy Expenditure to know how many calories you need to maintain your current weight.
Then reduce 250 calories from this to start eating in a deficit.
Add cardio to this and you should be able to drop body fat a lot sooner.
You can do the same.
I know, the price tag on most of these machines can be intimidating. Mind you, a simple setup doesn’t have to cost you a fortune; there are lots of affordable, space-saving options out there that no one is talking about.
These three machines deliver one heck of a cardio workout. And for those of you who aim to hit the core area hard and heavy over time, I’d recommend combining rowing and cycling, thank me later.
Whatever you do though, remember that no matter what you hear or read on the internet, there is no spot reduction. You will have to lose fat from everywhere to lose it from your belly.
Calculate a Target Body Fat Percentage
You can use body fat calculators found online to get a ballpark figure of your body fat. But for an accurate measurement, you need body fat calipers, or you need a dexa scan.
Do whatever’s comfortable.
But get an accurate measurement to know how much more fat you need to drop to make those ab muscles visible.
Monitor your water retention
A lot of time, it’s just about dropping excess water to reveal the ab muscles. Many fitness models refrain from drinking a lot of water prior to a photoshoot.
They curb their sodium intake and add potassium to their diets.
However, all this must only be done under the supervision of a fitness trainer.
Is there a 10 Pack Abs Workout?
Yes, there are many people out there showing off their 10 pack ab workouts and claiming that if you their workout that you will end up with a 10 pack…
But the truth is.. you just won’t.
If you were not born with it then the chances of you getting a 10-pack set of abs through working out are simply next to none.
Actually, your chances are none.
I mean, the results from my 200 sit ups daily challenge say it all.
Pull ups work abs quite well, too.
And no, I don’t mean hundreds of them, even with 20, 30, or say 50 pull ups each day, you’re bound to see some results with time.
But hey, it’s all down to what works for you.
Try it out yourself. Watch the video below to see a 10-pack abs workout. Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Our closing thoughts on 10-pack abs
Don’t get hung up over the 10-pack abs or such voguish trends.
Instead, focus on building core strength and on reducing your body fat levels.
The abs will automatically be visible after a while.
Hi there! I'm Ben, main author and chief editor at Fitlifefanatics.com. I have been obsessed with Strength Training and Fitness for 18 years now.
My passion for living a happy fit lifestyle is what made me realize that fitness is what I wanted for my future.
I went on to earn my Masters in Sports Training & Biomechanics.
My passion for Strength training & fitness and my love of helping others is what made me start Fitlifefanatics.
Here, myself, and a team of specialist aim to provide the most accurate, and actionable information possible in hopes to help foster the fitness community forward.
You can learn more about Fitlifefanatics on our About Page