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8 Pack Abs vs. 6 Pack Abs


If you were hoping to find a complete 8 pack abs workout here, you’re going to be disappointed.

That’s because even if you have all the enthusiasm in the world and do all the hard work, an 8 pack may just not be in the cards for you.

This is because whether you can get that 8 pack or not all comes down to genetics.

Even if you have all the enthusiasm in the world and do all the hard work, an 8 pack may just not be in the cards for you.

Unfortunately, that’s not something I or anyone else can help you change.

What I can do is help you determine whether to set your sights on 8 pack abs, 6 pack abs or even 4 pack abs instead, so you can make the best out of whatever Mom and Dad gave you!

First, I’ll show you a quick test you can do to will reveal what your genetic ‘pack potential’ is.

Then we’ll talk about what it takes to realize that potential, both in terms of fat loss as well as the most important things to focus on in your abs workouts.

Before we go there, let’s look at the anatomy of the rectus abdominis to see how it’s possible for 8 pack abs to exist in the first place.


Remember, there really is NO such thing as upper, middle and lower abs since the rectus abdominis is just one muscle that either contracts together as one or doesn’t contract. 

The areas of the ab muscle are divided up by connective tissue that is pulled tighter in some places and not as tight in others. In the areas where it is taut, the bands act as dividers and give the impression of rows of individual muscles.

The only thing that creates that extra mysterious row of 2 that converts the six pack into eightpack abs, is how the connective tissue of the abdominal muscles happens to be organized genetically in each person.

That’s it!

No secret abdominal exercises or workout routines that will suddenly transform your 6 pack into a 6 plus 2 pack!

So, that being said, let me show you a simple test to help you determine how many ‘packs’ your genetics dictate.


First thing is to assess your current level of body fat, to determine if this test is appropriate for you.

If your body fat percentage is high enough that you carry belly fat around the waist that doesn’t allow you to see any ab definition, you may not gain much from this test.

However, if you are under 20-25 percent body fat this test should work for you. Follow the instructions for the test below to see if your genetics allow for six or eightpack abs.


  1. To start, stand up and grab as much of the fat and skin that you can around the area of your belly button with your fingers pointed inward.
  2. Once you’ve grabbed hold of this, pull it outward. Contract your muscles underneath your skin and fat and you will notice that they pull away from this tissue and make it easier for you to distinguish the pure muscle below.
  3. From here, use your pointed fingers to “strum” up and down on the rectus abdominus muscle below your belly button. If you can feel a line at the level of the belly button then you can develop a solid six pack as the connective tissue band that runs from the linea alba is present and dividing your abs in such a way so that you can have six separate areas if the body fat is low enough and you have visible abs.
  4. From here, move your fingers lower and see if you can strum or palpate another horizontal band of connective tissue. If you can, then you have the genetics capable of developing an 8 pack.
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To do the 8 pack abs test, first grab the fat and skin around your belly and then pull it outward, contracting your abs, with fingers pointed inward. If you can feel a ridge at the level of the belly button, you can develop 6 pack abs.
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Then 'strum' your fingers over the area below the belly button to see if you can palpate another ridge below the level of the belly button. If you can, you have the potential for 8 pack abs. If not, you do not.

So what does this all mean?

Honestly, nothing.

As I illustrate here, I personally have a visible six pack.

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However, I do not have and cannot develop 8 pack abs.  I simply do not have the genetics for them despite my very low levels of body fat.  There is no additional ‘ridge’ of muscle below the belly button.

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But guess who does have one?  Jesse!

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Is he some sort of genetic specimen?  No.  But he just happens to have the genetics for an 8 pack.

But let’s talk about some guys that most people would consider genetic specimens… Arnold, Franco Columbu, Frank Zane. None of them had eight packs.

You may find this to be the case for you as well, but so what?  What’s important is that there are so many things you can do to make whatever abs you do have look amazing!


Whatever your genetic ‘pack potential’ is doesn’t matter in the end, because visible abs look great no matter how many packs you’ve got.

I’ve got 4 great workout tips for you to help you strengthen your abs and build abdominal muscle mass to make the most out of your genetics.

  1. FAT LOSS – No matter what, the key to visible abs is losing fat, and the best place to start is your nutrition plan. If your abs are hiding behind belly fat, they’re never going to see the light of day, plain and simple.
  2. DEVELOP YOUR OBLIQUES – This will give you a visually tapered and framed out midsection, making them instantly look better regardless of whether you have a 4 pack, 6 pack or 8 pack abs.
  3. WEIGHTED AB WORK – Add weight to your ab workout programs. As you hypertrophy your abdominal muscles they will stand out more and help to make the cuts become more visibly deep in the process.
  4. TRAIN THE TRANSVERSE – Work on training the transverse abdominis muscle with your ab exercises, which will help to compress the connective tissue of the rectus abdominis, thereby improving the visibility of the abs anatomy that you do have.

Take the 8 pack abs test I’ve shown you above to see what your potential for an 8 pack is, but don’t be hyper-focused on your results. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve got the genetics for an 8 pack or not, if you work on your core strength and work to build muscle and burn fat, you’re going to see the results in a set of ripped, visible abs.

8 Pack Abs vs. 6 Pack Abs

  1. Not everyone can get 8 pack abs, because the number of ‘packs’ each individual can develop is 100% dependent on genetics.
  2. I’ve given you a test you can perform on yourself to determine whether an 8 pack is possible for you. However, if it’s not, don’t obsess over it because you can develop great looking abs with whatever genetics you do have.
  3. Lots of guys with visible well-developed abs don’t have eight packs, including yours truly as well as a lot of professional bodybuilders.
  4. I’ve given you 4 tips to help your abs look great regardless of your genetics. These include working toward fat loss, developing your obliques, adding weights to your ab workouts and training the transverse abdominis.

The bottom line is, we can all improve the look of our abs by training them the right way and by following a nutrition plan that enables you to keep them year-round.  The ATHLEAN-X Training Systems allow you to do just that.  Start training like an athlete and start looking like one without compromising muscle growth or fat loss goals.  You can do both at the same time and I’ll show you how, step by step!

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