The Ultimate Guide to Killer 6 Pack Abs After 40

You want your abs to be ripped like the cover of a Muscle and Fitness magazine model. But you don’t believe it can happen after the age of 40. But it is possible to get those great looking six-pack abs after the age of 40. Age is just a number, and while it can affect certain aspects of fitness, it doesn’t have to be a limiting factor in achieving a strong and toned midsection.

I wanted to learn how I can get a six-pack past the age of 50, I do know enough about exercise and working out to know that doing hundreds of crunches and multiple ab exercises were not going to get me the results I want. No matter how many crunches you do, how many sit-ups you do, if you do not approach the process of getting a 6-pack correctly, it will not work for you no matter your age.

In this fitness blog, I will share with you what I have learned that will get you that eye-popping 6-pack after the age of 40.

In this article, you will discover,

  • What are 6 Pack Abs?
  • Losing Weight vs. Losing Fat
  • Body Fat
  • When Will I See My Abs
  • How to Lose Body Fat After 40
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What Are 6 Pack Abs?

Man with 6 pack abs looking up.

So, what is this thing that we want so badly known as the six-pack? When you say, six-pack abs you are referring to the rectus abdominis muscle which is a paired muscle that runs vertically on each side of the anterior wall of your abdomen.

The rectus abdominis has two parallel muscles separated by a midline band of connective tissue called the linea alba. When you have reduced the proper amount of fat, typically, you will not only see your rectus abdominis but your external oblique muscle as well.

But because our bodies are wonderfully made, other muscles contribute to a great looking 6-pack. While having a 6-pack looks killer during swimsuit season, your core has a very important job – it helps with standing, sitting, walking, and so much more.

7-minute meditation

Losing Weight vs. Losing Fat

Man with fat belly measuring his waist. 6 pack abs.

Unfortunately, your six-pack is probably buried underneath your body fat. But trust me, beneath your belly fat are the abs of an Adonis. What you may not know is that losing weight and losing body fat are two different things.

First, for all of us over the age of 40, let’s start with a bit of good news; you already have a 6-pack. Look at that, you are already halfway to your goal.


Weight loss: Weight loss is the loss of overall body weight that includes muscle, fat, and water from the body.

Fat loss: Fat loss is the reduction in body fat.


Just like with weight loss, you can reduce your body fat. Chances are when you speak of losing weight, what you are really talking about is losing body fat.

Body Fat

A man holding his tummy.
Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on

Getting a six-pack is dependent on your abdominal structure and genetics. Many are blessed to come from a great pool of genes and do not carry excess body fat around the midsection. What I have learned is that our bodies have two primary kinds of fats subcutaneous and visceral fat.

Subcutaneous Fat

Subcutaneous fat is the fat that lies under your skin beneath the top layer of skin known as the epidermis and the middle layer known as the dermis. Do you know that beer belly also known as a spare tire? That is subcutaneous fat.

How much subcutaneous fat you develop depends on a few factors such as your genetics and your lifestyle, meaning how active you are along with your diet.

Subcutaneous fat is genetic (you are born with it), but over the years you will create more subcutaneous fat if you eat more calories than you burn, if you are not very physically active, or if you don’t have much muscle mass.

It’s important to point out that subcutaneous fat does serve a real purpose. It helps your body store energy, it serves as a passageway for your nerves and blood vessels between your skin and muscle, it helps to regulate your body temperature, and it protects you when you smash against hard surfaces.

While subcutaneous fat performs important functions and may not be considered as unhealthy as visceral fat, too much subcutaneous fat has some major drawbacks such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, liver disease, and kidney disease.

Visceral Fat

Visceral fat is the fat that surrounds your organs (liver, pancreas, and intestines) and is stored around your abdominal cavity and can sometimes build up in your arteries causing all kinds of health problems – heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer disease.

More research needs to be done to understand why visceral fat is stored by the body, but what is known is that the stress hormone cortisol will boost the storage of this dangerous fat.

More and more men are getting cosmetic surgery that includes weight loss surgery (liposuction). It needs to be pointed out that liposuction will only remove subcutaneous fat and not visceral fat.

When Will I See My Abs?

grayscale photo of a shirtless man
Photo by behrouz sasani on

To see your abs pop through your skin, you must first get leaner and drop your body fat. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), people who lose ~1 lb. to 2 lbs. a week (4 lbs. – 8 lbs. a month) tend to keep it off.

Low Body Fat Percentage

Body fat percentage is a measurement of the amount of fat in the body compared to the total body weight. It is an important indicator of overall health and fitness, as higher levels of body fat are associated with an increased risk of various health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

As a guideline, men with approximately 14% body fat will begin to see the makings of a 6-pack; but at 10% or less, you may begin to start thinking of a career as an underwear model. Again, this is just a guideline.

It works a bit differently for women as they store more body fat than men. Women will begin to see their 6-pack around the 20% mark and more pronounced at 16%. Again, this is just a guideline.

How to Measure Body Fat

There are several methods available to measure body fat, and the accuracy of each method can vary.

It’s best to consult with a healthcare professional or fitness expert to determine the best method for measuring body fat based on individual goals and needs.

Some common methods to measure body fat are,

      1. Skinfold calipers: This method involves using calipers to measure the thickness of a fold of skin at various points on the body, and then using a formula to estimate body fat percentage.
      2. Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA): This method involves passing a small electrical current through the body and measuring the resistance to the current. This measurement is then used to estimate body fat percentage.
      3. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA): This method uses X-rays to measure body fat, muscle, and bone density.
      4. Hydrostatic weighing: This method involves submerging the body in water and measuring the displacement of water to estimate body fat percentage.
      5. Bod Pod: This method uses air displacement to measure body volume and calculate body fat percentage.

    How to Lose Body Fat After 40

    Strong black man wiping forehead with towel in gym.
    Photo by Julia Larson on

    1. Commitment and Dedication

    To be successful at reducing your body fat and flattening your stomach, to get that seemingly elusive 6-pack after 40 takes a certain level of commitment and dedication. You must make up your mind that this is what you want and that you will work hard to achieve your goal.

    2. Nutrition

    Before you take a step into the gym to begin a grueling ab exercise routine, it is important to know that a true 6-pack is not built in the gym but the kitchen with a 6-pack ab diet. What you eat is the most important building block when it comes to a stunning 6-pack. For so many, just losing body fat especially around the belly will yield enormous results. Remember, you technically already have a 6-pack. Check out my blog on Superfoods.

    But just as important to know what to eat, is knowing what not to eat; this is crucial to building a jaw-dropping 6-pack after 40. Here is a list of foods to stay away from.

    • Sugar-sweetened drinks
    • Fried foods
    • Alcohol
    • Sugary snacks

      3. Exercise

      In conjunction with the right mindset and eating right, you will need to incorporate aerobic activities to help burn calories. 

      Some aerobic activities that will help burn calories include:

          • Running

          • Swimming

          • Cycling

          • Jumping rope

          • Weight training
        Weight training contributes to weight loss. Lifting weights will increase lean muscle and boost your metabolism helping to burn calories.

        Your overall exercise routine should include total-body exercises that involve your core such as squats, deadlifts, and standing shoulder presses.

        Once you are a lean, mean fighting machine by losing body fat and not just losing weight, it is time to hit the abs with specific exercises. As your body gets lean you will begin to see your 6-pack live and in 3D. To help make them more pronounced,

        1. Train your core 2 to 3 times a week. You do not have to do ab exercises every day. Just like other body parts your abs need time to recover.
        2. Perform your ab exercises post-workout and be sure to incorporate a variety of core exercises such as planks, bicycle crunches, and leg raises just to name a few.

        Key Takeaways

        1. It is possible to get great looking six-pack abs after the age of 40.
        2. You must lose the body fat which consists of both subcutaneous fat and visceral fat.
        3. Focus on healthy eating and exercise to burn fat.
        4. It is important to stay mentally strong and focused on your goal of reducing body fat. 

        Go to the comment section and let us know your thoughts.

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