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The Secret to Ripped Abs

It’s a fact that everyone desires ripped abs. However, even though most people want to have that great 6-pack, they don’t know how to go about in doing so. With all the ab products that are out on the market today, us Americans have been brainwashed to believe that crunches and crazy gadgets or machines are the keys to getting six pack abs. False! You people have to understand that the secret to getting a six pack doesn’t lie in the amount of crunches you do, but rather in the foods that you eat. Let me explain.

Everyone knows that diet and exercise together is a perfect combination for getting into shape. It’s common knowledge. With the obesity trends and the amount of people that are overweight, we have got to do something quickly to not only avoid an economic meltdown because of health care, but also to increase self image and confidence. It seems that more and more people are depressed, and I believe that it has a lot to do with being overweight. In order to change these trends, we need to inform people on the proper way to lose weight and get into shape. It all starts with the proper diet.

Like I mentioned above, most people believe that doing numerous crunches every day will get them that desired 6 pack. This isn’t true. If you watch any infomercial with an ab product, if you look closely you will notice and teeny tiny disclaimer that says something like this, “Results not typical. Results were achieved with this product and a combination of diet and exercise.” Diet is the key word. Most people have six pack abs, but can’t see it because it’s covered by a layer of fat. So what kind of diet should you follow? A diet that consists of a good amount of calories and rather low carbohydrates. For example, with the Fat Shredder plan in the P90X Nutrition Guide, you will follow a fat/carb/protein % of 20/30/50. The carbs are low so that your body will burn fat throughout the day instead of carbs. Also, it’s important that you have a caloric deficit at the end of the day to lose weight/burn fat. I recommend an average deficit of about 400 or 500 calories. For me, as a 5’7″ male, that was about 2,200-2,300 cals per day when I first started P90X.

Now, most people believe for some reason that doing ab exercises every day will help them get better results. Again, this is not true. Why? You should always give each muscle group 48 hours rest, and that includes the abs. Muscles need to be healed before working again, and working them too early isn’t going to benefit you in any way. I do an ab workout like Ab Ripper X every other day with my resistance workouts, which is what the P90X plan recommends. The thing that I like about Ab Ripper X is that it focuses on the entire core, not just the lower or upper abs. Because of P90X, I now have visible obliques, which is something that I’ve never had before. The truth is that you must work the abs just like any other muscle group, but you shouldn’t overwork them!

So in recap, what is the secret to ripped abs? The proper diet and regular exercise, which includes an entire core workout. That is why I believe P90X is the perfect workout program and the one I highly recommend to others. Because of P90X, I have been able to get ripped abs and get into amazing shape!

If you’re interested in P90X, click here!


  1. Josh,

    I had a couple questions regarding ab ripper x.

    1. I’m what you call a “hard gainer,” putting in 3000-3500 calories of good carbs and protein and little to no bad fats. Will the calories make it more difficult getting great abs?

    2. A lot of times I’m too exhausted to do ab ripper x right after the first workout. Is it ok to do ab ripper x later in the day? I feel I am able to to take less breaks if I do it this way.


  2. Wait, the Ab-Rocker isn’t going to get me cut like a diamond! 🙂 You did mention that you do an extra ab exercise in a previous post. Do you still do the custom ab exercise? If so, would you mind sharing the routine? Thanks

  3. Dustin /

    Eating right is defintly the key.
    I started eating right about 5 weeks ago before i started p90x.
    Ive lost 11 pounds since I just started eating right, im really excited to see my results after p90x.

  4. Thanks for the reply and the tip to head over to your website.
    Awesome info here.


  5. To answer your questions..

    (1) The way to lose weight/body fat is to limit the carbs and have a caloric deficit at the end of the day. 3,000-3,500 cals will make it hard to lose fat and see the abs.

    (2) It doesn’t matter when you do ARX, just as long as you complete it.

  6. I have created a custom ab routine, but it’s only available to the people that I coach. Am I your coach? Also, did you get my message the other day about becoming a coach yourself? I’m impressed with your hard work and dedication from what I see from your site.

  7. Awesome man!

  8. You are my coach. Thanks for complement, I picked up a ton from your site here, thank you! I did not get your email.

  9. Thanks for all the info!Your site is really Great!! I’ve done p90x twice and am on my third go around.I am really looking tone everywhere but my lower abs still have some fat that i need to remove. I am 5’9 and only weight 150.I have made some good gains in size but I’m afraid of lowering my calorie intake and going backwards on some of the size I have developed. If I was bigger say 165 I wouldn’t care to go back a little I just don’t want to lose the little mass that I have to get better abs. Any suggestions??

  10. Dennis /

    I noticed you recommended drinking the 8 ounces of fruit juice before a workout in another thread about building mass, should I still be doing that if Im trying to lean out and get my abs ripped? Or is that just for mass gain? Im doing p90x for the first time, and am on week 4 currently. Im 6’1″ and about 215. I want to lose the fat, see my abs but also build some lean muscle.

  11. Thanks! You are going to need to focus on a diet that involves something called “carb cycling” since you’re already in good shape and want to lose fat/gain mass. It just means increasing the complex carbs on resistance days and decreasing on cardio days.

  12. That’s only for gaining mass. The less carbs you have before your workout, the quicker you will burn through the fat.

  13. Dennis /

    Thanks Josh, I will still avoid the carbs at this point then. Is it still good to take creatine during this first run of p90x where Im trying to strip off the fat and build lean muscle?

  14. Dennis /

    Thanks Josh! Is there any way you can be my coach too?

  15. Great! I’ll be emailing you in a bit.

  16. I would hold off on the creatine until you reach your target body fat % and are looking to gain mass.

  17. Yeah, just click on this link:

  18. Carlos A. /

    I was wondering if this is only for p90x… Because I’m doing insanity and most if not all of their foods in the nutrition guide have high grams of carbohydrates.. Or is it because in insanity you sweat like crazy? …thanks

  19. I see that you wrote that you have you have created your own custom ab routine and offer it to those that you coach. Since you are my coach I was wondering how do I see it?

  20. Insanity is more intense than P90X, and I recommend following it’s nutrition plan, which does involve a little more carbs.

  21. Send me an email letting me know that I’m your official coach and I will send you the routine.

  22. Hey Josh, I have this really annoying pouche of fat under my belly button, I’ve been doing ab ripper x for 2 weeks and noticed results in my core, but that ppuche just won’t give in yet, how or what can I do to get rid of this?

  23. Getting rid of body fat has everything to do with your diet. I tell all the people that I coach that results come from 80% diet. Are you doing P90X?

  24. Yea I’m on week 2 and am following your diet when you first starting 90x I have lost a lot of weight (6 pounds) for 2 weeks but the pouche of fat under my belly button won’t go away!!!

  25. The portions are off on the diet that I posted when I first began P90X, which won’t have the proper amount of calories, so it’s not a good diet to follow. It’s an example of what to eat, not an actual plan to follow. Also, you have to be patient in losing fat because it takes time.

  26. Oh, ic.. It says that was the diet u had when u started p90x… U know tge pb in the morning cereal no fat milk salad and fish or chicken for dinner. If that’s not the one, is there something similiar to that I can fallow

  27. It is the diet I followed, the again, the portions are off. There is a diet that contains the correct amount of cals and portions in the “Nutrition” section.

  28. Hey Josh! Great site man, really appreciate all the info and your time….I joined BB and selected you as my coach!

    I start P90X 2 weeks ago….so far so good! Im down 4 lbs (to 179) and 1.5% BF (from 24.5), BUT feel like my diet is holding me back. Im trying to follow the “plan” but I just dont have time to prepare meals (3 kids 12 hour works days). Heres a link to my FitDay summary (just signed up yesterday)

    I find its hard to increase calories without increasing carb intake, thats my struggle! Any help would be appreciated!

  29. Hey man! I took a look at your FitDay and you aren’t taking in nearly enough calories. You actually need to increase that to about 2,100 per day. When you take in too low of cals like you are, your body will enter into starvation mode, in which it stores fat and doesn’t let you burn it. To get ideas on foods to eat, look in the “My Diet” section for my complete grocery list.

  30. whats a good sub for cottage cheese? i see you were getting over 300 cals from it a day.

    i work out at 7 till around 8. should i eat before my workout? I dont want to eat at 9 and then hit the sack at 10! I ve been working out on an empty stomach (well, last meal was at 3pm) trying to spur more fat loss….seems its back firing on me…

  31. Any food that is high in protein is a good substitute, like string cheese, egg whites, grilled chicken, some beans, beef jerky, etc. Also, you can eat before your workout, but you have to make sure the food is digested or you might experience cramps. Just make sure that you are taking the proper supplements post workout. I recommend the Recovery Formula.

  32. Bought some greek yogurt today and will incorporate it into my diet. No fat, low carb, high protein. Its expensive though so that bites, but I can’t stand cottage cheese and can’t eat eggs through out the day….that’s just not possible.

  33. You can find my complete grocery list in the “My Diet” section.

  34. gettourgoal /

    dude ur my idol !
    1 question if i want to gain all i need to do is add extra cals rather than less.
    is p90x gd for me iam 5f 11inches 140 pounds ?

  35. Yeah, you will need to increase the calories and carbs, as well as take the proper supplements. You can find more information in the post called “Gain Mass With P90X” in the “Workouts” section. Also, if you have trouble creating meal plans, the Club Membership will do that for you.

  36. Patrick /

    Hey, I’m on my third week of p90x with my borther, i have two questions, ones a bit off topic

    1. I’m trying to burn some fat around my abs mostly, is it good if i take a protein shake afterwards? Or should i just stick to no protein shake for now? I’m not overweight, but i do have soem fat around there, mostly covering lower abs

    2. My brother and i are worried that we arent getting enough of a chest or back excersize, the only one muscle that i feel being sore from those is my lower back, otherwise it doesnt feel like its being used too much while working out, is it supposed to feel liek that or am i doing somethign wrong?

  37. Josh /

    Whey protein is the most important supplement that you can take, and you need to take it after each workout. Also, your back shouldn’t be the only area that’s sore, and since it is, that’s telling me you’re not using proper form. Really pay attention to the form that Tony uses in the videos.

  38. Mike Price /

    Hey man I just signed you up to be my coach!

    Anyways, I’ve been doing the fat shredder diet for about a month now, since i started it two weeks into phase 1 workouts, and I’m on my second week into Phase 2, anyways I was wondering since i didn’t have much fat to begin with in the beginning, now that I’m slimmer and i can clearly see my abs from an angle to the side, Should I stay on the same fat shredder diet? or change to one of the other ones, and What would you recommend doing to burn off that last extra layer, it’s what I’ve had the biggest problem trying to get rid of and It’s very frustrating :/

  39. If you feel that you’re getting too skinny, then move to the Phase 2 diet, which incorporates more carbs. However, I stayed on the Fat Shredder diet my entire first round to burn the fat so I could focus on only gaining mass for round 2.

  40. Mike Price /

    My whole goal right now is to get my abs ripped haha.. I can see the outlines of them when turned to the side, but from a straight forward front view i can’t really tell, and its that little pouch on the lower abs, I’m trying to get rid of those, and i’m not sure what else that i can do , other than what i’ve been doing, I’ve been trying to get the 2000 calories into my diet, portion approach my food.. I’m guessing I might have to go into cardio, but i don’t have time to do that when i first wake up in the morning.. what time would you suggest that i could do that?

  41. Gaige /

    Hey man just a quick question!!! When I do Ab ripper nowadays, the burn I get from each set can get real intense, but my abs aren’t sore the next day.. Does this mean my abs have plateaued and I need to make cahnges to my routine or am I good?
    If you have a tip for what you did to get past that, it’d be great!

  42. This happens fairly quickly into the program with ARX. What you need to do is really focus on proper form, and even could use hand weights to create more resistance. I use a medicine ball for most of my ab exercises now for added resistance!

  43. Just follow the program how it’s set up and you will get results!

  44. Hector /

    Hi Josh, thanks for the great site. I am still learning this stuff at 37 years old.
    Im 5’9″ and weight 235. I had PX90 for over a year now but I can’t seem to do the workouts everyday. I also don’t eat right. I saw your grocery list and I’m going to follow it. I have seen some results on my arms and chest but my abs are the problem. For someone one size should I be taking whey protein after workouts?
    Any advice will help.
    Thank you.


  45. Hey Hector! Glad you enjoy the site! Understand that if you want excellent results like I got, then you need to commit yourself 100% to both the diet and workouts. Also, whey protein is a supplement I highly recommend for everyone, even if you’re looking to lose weight. You can learn why whey is important in the “Supplements” section of this site. Have you made me your coach yet? If not you can do so by clicking on this link:

  46. Hector /

    Thanks Josh, I will.

  47. Logan /

    I’m 17 years old My weight is 221 and my body fat is 39% I dont do p90x now but have tired it for a week with my uncle. I’m looking for ways to get ripped and lose body fat % can you help me please

  48. @Logan. I recommend getting the program and committing yourself to both the diet and workouts. A buddy of mine was 295 when he started 80 days ago and has lost 70 lbs! You can purchase the program from this site if you’re interested.

  49. Logan /

    Well my uncle let me try it but he wanted it back. I am really fit for my weight I can see my abs a little but I still want to get that beast body lol if you see where I’m coming from.

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