Endomorphs have a hard time when it comes to physique development and more specifically getting or maintaining a lean physique with visible 6 pack abs.
This is of course a training and dieting goal for many people in the quest to get a decent beach body and unfortunately the genetic makeup for endomorphs makes it very uncommon to see them have a decent 6 pack without rigorous training and dieting.
What often confuses me however, is that many don’t actually think that endomorphs can get a decent set of abs and even more surprisingly many believe that they can’t do it themselves. This is very similar to the skinny kid who doesn’t think they can build muscle because their “metabolism is too fast”.
Can endomorphs get a six pack? Endomorphs can get a 6 pack however, they will need to diet down to a low body fat level of 10% and under in order to reveal their abs. A 6 pack is also determined by genetic factors and not everyone will have 6 pack abs but a low body fat percentage will reveal your ab structure.
When it comes to building a physique everyone will have specific challenges but there are very straightforward approaches that can help you overcome them. Two of the key factors that influence this are of course knowledge and commitment/application.
Therefore if you are an endomorph and wondering whether or not you can get a 6 pack then the answer is you definitely can and in this article I’ll lay out a simple blueprint that you can follow to get these results.
Can Endomorphs Get a Six Pack
As mentioned earlier, it baffles me some of the limitations that people will put on themselves. As human beings we have a remarkable ability for growth and problem solving and yet some people will put mental barriers and restrictions in place to prevent their own growth.
Being an endomorph is an easy way to characterise yourself as someone who both gains body fat very easily and also struggles to lose stubborn body fat as a result. If this is you then I’d check out this article here whereby I laid out a simple process that anyone can use to lose love handles and belly fat.
I’m not denying that this is an issue, because it is, endomorphs do have a tendency to gain body fat at a quick rate and likewise can find it difficult to burn body fat so I’m not dismissing this as an issue. What I am going to say is that it’s not really that big of an issue because there are simple steps you can take to lose body fat.
These are notably through being in a calorie deficit and increasing your energy expenditure so I’ll get onto that a bit later on.
The question of whether or not an endomorph can get a 6 pack is that of course they can. Holding more body fat does not influence your muscle structure, it just covers. It’s worth noting however that not everyone has the genetic makeup for 6 pack abs.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have abs but rather not everyone will have 6 nicely symmetrical sets of abs once the fat is no longer covering them. Just to demonstrate this, when I personally bulk and cut you can see that my abs structure is more of a 4 or 5 pack.
It’s not a case of doing new exercises to develop a 6 pack, you either have it genetically or you don’t and this is something that many people are not aware of. Therefore you should stop focusing on revealing your “6 pack” for a start and instead shift your mentality to revealing your abs.
It’s a small mindset shift but we don’t want you facing disappointment just because you might only have 4 abs visible and feel as though you’ve not achieved your goal.
How to Get 6 Pack Abs as an Endomorph
For those endomorphs that are chasing a 6 pack the goal is going to be a crystal clear target not necessarily for a body weight target but rather a body fat percentage target.
Everyone will hold body fat differently and some will have visible abs at different body fat percentage levels but for the vast majority of people your abs will be visible at 10% body fat. This isn’t a grueling level to get and it is something that is maintainable year round once you are familiar with training and calories in/out.
To get to 10% body fat you will need to be in a caloric deficit (the number 1 priority) and also helping to move the needle through weight training and cardio to increase energy expenditure.
The reason for this if you are not familiar with weight loss or weight gain is that you need to shift the following equation regarding energy balance:
Calories consumed <|> energy expenditure = weight loss | weight gain
This means if you consume more calories than you expend in energy then you will gain weight and if you consume less calories than you expend in energy then you will lose weight.
This can also be flipped so if you expend more energy than you consume in calories then you will lose weight and if you expend less energy than you consume in calories then you will gain weight.
Therefore what we are looking to do to reveal your abs is consume a calorie deficit and increase energy expenditure. This is why you will also hear the phrase that abs are made in the kitchen (though a more specific phrase would be abs are revealed in the kitchen).
For a cutting diet you will want to check out my full guide here which will run you through your starting calorie requirements. It’s worth noting that in the article you will obviously want to avoid the bulking information but instead get your maintenance calorie requirements and then come back here.
Once you’ve got your maintenance calorie requirements then you are going to consume a daily deficit of 300kcals based on your maintenance. Therefore if your maintenance calorie requirements are 3,000kcals then you will consume 2,700kcals daily.
I’ve also got a cutting timeline here to give you a realistic view on how long this could take to reach your end goal.
It’s going to be as simple as testing your rate of weight loss (1lb – 2lb per week) and if you don’t lose any weight for two consecutive weeks then increase the deficit by a further 200kcals.
How to Lose Belly Fat
By following the process above and consistently keeping in a caloric deficit while adjusting your calorie intake over time then you should see a steady rate of fat loss. Something you might be trying to do however is lose more belly fat through endless sets of ab crunches.
Unfortunately studies have shown (source 1)(source 2) that spot reduction for fat loss is not actually possible and therefore your aim needs to be overall fat loss in order to reveal your abs which is why you need to get down to a total body fat percentage of 10% and under.
It would be great if we could all target a specific body part in order to lose body fat from that area however it makes no sense from an evolutionary standpoint and also from the fact that you’d just look very odd if you could do that!
What is true however is that if you lose weight at a sustained pace through a caloric deficit then you will naturally lose belly fat in the process. This is especially true due to the fact that unfortunately most males then store a significant amount of body fat in the mid section.
You’ll also want to include some cardio into your routine. There is a limit to how low you can drop your calories and therefore you want this fat loss phase to be something that is sustainable. Therefore instead of frequently dropping calories like I mentioned earlier you should also increase energy expenditure and take turns between the two methods.
My personal favourite approach to start with is a daily step target starting at 7,000 steps per day. Once you get to a sticking point in your fat loss you add 2,500 steps per day and with this you can go as high as 20,000 steps per day to promote fat loss.
The reason I like this method is because it’s something you can easily track and quantify whereas a cardio session can be more subjective depending on the level of intensity and a range of other factors.
Therefore look to start with a step target and increase it over time to further promote fat loss, outside of that you can add 2-3 HIIT cardio sessions per week or 4-6 LISS cardio sessions. Despite the debates neither one has been proven to be better than the other so do whichever works best for you.
Do Endomorphs Lose Weight Fast
I keep mentioning that you should monitor weight loss but I’ve not actually covered any general guidelines that you should keep in mind besides a brief one earlier.
It’s quite simply the case that the higher your body fat percentage and ultimately the more body fat you have to lose the quicker your weight loss will be in the early stages. Therefore it’s not uncommon to lose 2lb-3lb per week at higher body fat levels but then this will come right down to as low as 1lb every two weeks the leaner you get.
If you are trying to lose body fat at too quick a rate then it’s likely you will start eating into muscle tissue to use as fuel and will find that when you get down to a low body fat level you won’t actually look that good because you’ll also have a low level of muscle mass.
Therefore I’d be very conservative and patient on a cut (that’s a lot easier to say in practise) and focusing on losing a maximum of 1lb-2lb per week. You should also weigh yourself daily but take an average over the course of a week to compare against.
This is because your weight can fluctuate daily from day to day due to water retention (or dehydration), muscle glycogen stores and even bowel movements. Therefore it’s not uncommon to see your weight go up from day to day which can be seriously de-motivating but it’s important to know that this is to be expected.
A weekly average will therefore give a much more accurate picture and if you have gained weight over the course of the week then you have either not hit your calorie or workout targets. That’s not an excuse to give up though, simply get back into the deficit (or increase the deficit) and the progress will come.
Hopefully I’ve made it clear that despite being an endomorph the process is very simple (in theory and on paper) for how you can reveal your abs, it will of course take dedication and application of the above points which is going to be the hard part but the process absolutely does work.
You might have noticed that at no point do I lay out “the ultimate abs workout routine” and this is because getting to that low body fat percentage is absolutely the key thing that you need to be doing to reveal your abs.
Ab training though won’t hurt and I’ve even produced this article for Bulk Powders that will run you through the best ab exercises you can include in your routine and even the tactics to train your abs everyday if you want to ‘feel’ as though you are putting in the work.
I say that because step targets and counting calories are boring and you don’t feel the immediate gratification that you do with training so that article will come in handy if you want to cover that aspect of ab development.