Can You Really Achieve Visible Abs in 3 Months? A Personal Trainer Says Yes, IF You Follow This Strategy

David de las Morenas, a Youtuber and personal trainer with a large following, recently released a video stating that you can achieve visible abs in 3 months.

Do I think it can be done? Maybe. Let’s look at his tips and approach first.

Then I’ll tell you what I think:

David’s Journey to Optimal Body Fat

“I think that this is the perfect body fat percentage for men to aim for, right around from 12 to 15% body fat… You already look good at 12%, to get even lower you’re going to have to starve yourself, your hormones are going to suffer, your sex drive is going to suffer, you’re going to lose muscle mass, women are going to find you less attractive, it’s not worth it…”

David de las Morenas

In the quest for the perfect summer body, David de las Morenas voyage sheds light on the pursuit of an ideal body fat percentage.

Hovering around 12-13% body fat and tipping the scales just shy of 83 kilograms (183 pounds), he finds this range to be the sweet spot for men aiming for both aesthetic appeal and functional fitness. 

Debunking the Sub-10% Body Fat Myth

Venturing below 10% body fat has long been glorified in certain fitness circles, but his experiences and research have led him to question this goal.

The allure of razor-sharp abs and vascular arms is undeniable, yet the costs often outweigh the benefits. Achieving and maintaining such low body fat levels can lead to significant health compromises, including hormonal imbalances, decreased muscle mass, and a plummeting sex drive. Moreover, the aesthetic gains don’t always translate to increased attractiveness, challenging the notion that leaner is always better.

The body’s reaction to extreme fat loss measures serves as a stark reminder that our health should not be sacrificed on the altar of appearance (Source).

Fitness should enhance our lives, not detract from it. Through my journey, I’ve learned that striving for a body fat percentage that balances aesthetics with well-being is not only more sustainable but also more rewarding.

Embracing a Healthy Balance

In advocating for a body fat range of 12-15%, he’s not just sharing a personal preference but highlighting a path to sustainable health and attractiveness.

This range allows for flexibility in diet and exercise, enabling you to enjoy life’s pleasures—like the occasional donut—without veering off course.

Recognizing Body Fat Categories

Understanding where you stand on the body fat spectrum is crucial for setting realistic fitness goals, especially when the target is as ambitious as sculpting visible abs by summer.

Body fat percentage is more than just a number—it’s a reflection of your overall health, fitness level, and how your journey to achieving a shredded physique might look.

Here’s a breakdown of the three primary body fat categories, each representing a unique starting point in the quest for abs.

Category 1: The Starting Line

For individuals with over 25% body fat, the journey toward visible abs involves a longer road, characterized by noticeable fat accumulation and a lack of abdominal definition.

This category often includes those who are new to fitness or returning after a significant hiatus. The focus here should be on establishing a consistent exercise routine, improving dietary habits, and gradually increasing physical activity to kickstart fat loss.

Success in this category is measured by incremental improvements, with each percentage point lost being a step closer to the goal.

Category 2: The Intermediate Phase

Those landing between 15-25% body fat find themselves in an intermediate stage. Here, the stomach appears flatter, but the coveted abs remain elusive, hidden beneath a layer that’s yet to disappear.

This category offers a promising outlook, as individuals in this range often see quicker results with the right adjustments to their fitness and nutrition plans.

Tailoring workouts to include a mix of strength training, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and consistent cardiovascular exercises, combined with a protein-rich diet, can effectively chip away at excess fat, inching closer to revealing abdominal muscles.

Category 3: The Final Stretch

Individuals with 15% body fat or less are on the cusp of achieving visible abs, especially under favorable lighting conditions.

This group is already in the realm of high fitness levels, with a solid foundation of muscle that needs fine-tuning to unveil the abs lying just beneath the surface.

For those in this category, the strategy shifts towards precision: optimizing nutrition to cut the remaining fat while preserving lean muscle, incorporating targeted abdominal exercises, and possibly tweaking macronutrient ratios to dial in on that razor-sharp definition.

12% body fat

Strategy for Each Category

Regardless of your starting point, success hinges on a personalized approach.

Those in Category 1 might focus more on broad weight loss strategies and building endurance.

Category 2 individuals could benefit from intensified workouts and refined nutritional plans.

Category 3 might zero in on advanced training techniques and meticulous calorie tracking.

Mastering Diet and Nutrition for Sculpted Abs

Achieving a chiseled set of abs before the summer hits requires more than just relentless crunches and planks; it demands a meticulous approach to diet and nutrition. The foundation of a six-pack is built in the kitchen, with caloric intake and macro tracking serving as the cornerstones of this sculpting process.

Strategizing Caloric Intake

Embarking on your journey towards visible abs begins with a simple yet effective formula: multiply your goal weight by 12 to find your daily calorie target.

This method provides a tailored starting point that reflects your personal weight loss or maintenance goals, ensuring you’re consuming enough to fuel your workouts while still creating the necessary caloric deficit for fat loss.

For instance, if you’re aiming to slim down to 180 pounds, multiplying this by 12 yields a daily intake of 2160 calories.

Adjusting your protein intake is equally critical, as protein plays a pivotal role in muscle repair and growth. Aim for at least 1 gram of protein per pound of your target body weight.

This not only helps preserve muscle mass as you shed fat but also keeps you feeling satiated, reducing the likelihood of veering off track.

The Art of Macro Tracking

Monitoring your intake of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins—collectively known as macronutrients—is vital for revealing those sought-after abs.

Balancing these macros within your caloric limit can significantly impact your body composition outcomes. Apps and tools designed for macro tracking can simplify this process, allowing you to log meals and snacks with precision. 

A Balanced Breakfast Example

Consider starting your day with a nutrient-packed breakfast that aligns with your macros and caloric goals.

A peanut butter fudge pretzel protein shake offers a perfect example of a balanced meal that’s both satisfying and aligned with your objectives. This concoction provides a healthy blend of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, fueling your body for the day ahead while keeping those abs in sight.

Incorporating shakes or meals that are rich in nutrients and aligned with your dietary targets can make the path to a summer-ready body both enjoyable and effective. Opting for meals that are high in protein and fiber can also help manage hunger pangs, making it easier to stick to your diet plan.

Supplements and Strategies to Accelerate Fat Loss

By leveraging the power of caffeine, embracing intermittent fasting, and utilizing prepared meals, individuals can streamline their journey toward sculpted abs. Let’s dive into these methods that promise to speed up fat loss without compromising health or energy levels.

Caffeine: The Natural Metabolism Booster

“It’s the caffeine, bro. Every single fat loss supplement out there, they all have the same single active ingredient: caffeine.”


Caffeine stands out as a pivotal ingredient in the arsenal against stubborn fat. Renowned for its ability to suppress appetite, caffeine also kick-starts metabolism, making it a double-edged sword for fat loss.

Its presence in coffee, green tea, and quality pre-workouts aids in prolonging workout endurance and reducing the desire to overeat. However, it’s essential to consume caffeine responsibly; moderation is key to avoiding jitters or sleep disturbances.

Intermittent Fasting: Simplifying Caloric Deficit

Intermittent fasting has gained traction as a straightforward yet effective way to create a caloric deficit, essential for unveiling those underlying abs. By skipping breakfast and compressing your eating window, you naturally consume fewer calories without painstakingly measuring every bite.

This method not only simplifies the weight loss process but also improves insulin sensitivity, which can enhance fat utilization for energy. 

Prepared Meals: Your Secret Weapon for Nutritional Control

Prepared meal services provide nutrient-dense, calorie-controlled meals that align with your dietary needs, ensuring you stay on track without spending hours in the kitchen.

Whether you’re adhering to a keto, vegan, or high-protein diet, having access to delicious, chef-prepared meals can significantly reduce the temptation to indulge in less nutritious options.

Crafting Your Workout for Defined Abs

Achieving a set of sculpted abs requires more than just wishful thinking; it demands a strategic approach to exercise that incorporates both full-body workouts and targeted ab routines.

By engaging in comprehensive strength training and focusing on exercises that specifically enhance the abdominal muscles, you can fast-track your way to a summer-ready physique.

Embrace the Power of Full Body Pull Workouts

A cornerstone of any effective fitness regimen is strength training, and a full body pull workout is a perfect example of how to engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously. This type of workout not only builds overall strength but also ensures that you’re efficiently burning calories, which is essential for revealing the abs beneath.

Incorporate exercises such as deadlifts, pull-ups, and rows into your routine. These movements target the back, biceps, and forearms, promoting muscle growth and fat loss across the body.

By focusing on compound exercises, you activate numerous muscles at once, maximizing your workout efficiency and enhancing your metabolic rate.

Targeted Ab Exercises for Maximum Impact

While full-body workouts lay the foundation, targeted ab exercises are crucial for defining those muscles. Two of the most effective exercises for sculpting the abdominal area are hanging leg raises and decline sit-ups.

Hanging Leg Raises: Start by gripping a pull-up bar with your hands shoulder-width apart. With a controlled motion, raise your legs until they form a 90-degree angle with your torso. This exercise intensely targets the lower abs and obliques, contributing to the overall definition and strength of your core.

Decline Sit-Ups: Utilizing a decline bench, secure your legs at the higher end and lie down with your hands behind your head or across your chest. Contract your abs to lift your upper body towards your knees, then slowly lower back down. This variation of sit-ups increases the resistance on your abs, deepening the muscle engagement and fostering growth.

For optimal results, incorporate these exercises into your fitness regimen 2-3 times per week. 

Start with the full body pull workout to engage and strengthen your entire body, paying special attention to form and technique. Follow this with targeted ab exercises, focusing on quality over quantity. 

Accelerating Fat Loss with Consistent Activity and Smart Eating

For those on a mission to unveil their abs by summer, integrating consistent extra activity into daily routines is a game-changer. Coupled with strategic meal planning, these approaches can significantly fast-track fat loss efforts, making your fitness goals more attainable than ever.

Boosting Caloric Burn with Daily Activities

Incorporating additional physical activity is an effective strategy to enhance your caloric deficit, essential for shedding fat.

Aiming to burn an extra 500 calories each day can equate to losing approximately one pound of fat per week, a healthy and sustainable rate. Achieving this doesn’t necessarily require hours in the gym; simple lifestyle adjustments can add up to significant caloric burns.

Walking: Striving for 10,000 steps daily is a practical and accessible way to increase energy expenditure. Whether it’s choosing stairs over elevators, parking further from your destination, or enjoying a brisk walk on your lunch break, these steps accumulate, boosting your metabolism and contributing to fat loss.

Engaging in Sports: Participating in recreational sports not only makes exercise enjoyable but also burns calories efficiently. From basketball to swimming, these activities engage multiple muscle groups, increase heart rate, and enhance overall fitness, supporting your journey towards visible abs.

Strategic Meal Planning for Optimal Fat Loss

Complementing increased activity with smart nutrition choices is crucial. Meals and snacks should align with your caloric goals while satisfying hunger and providing necessary nutrients to fuel workouts and recovery.

Protein-Rich Breakfast: Start your day with a high-protein meal to kickstart your metabolism and keep you satiated. For example, a spinach and feta omelet paired with a side of Greek yogurt provides a perfect balance of protein, fats, and carbs.

Nutrient-Dense Snacks: Opt for snacks that are high in protein and fiber to manage hunger between meals. Almonds, cottage cheese with berries, or a protein shake are excellent choices that contribute to muscle maintenance without excess calories.

Balanced Dinners: Focus on lean proteins, vegetables, and healthy fats for dinner. A grilled chicken breast, steamed broccoli, and quinoa offer a fulfilling meal that supports muscle recovery and fat loss without overloading on calories.

So, Can It Be Done?

In short, yes, I think it can be done, depending on where you are right now. If you’re at 15-18% body fat now, then yes, you could get to 12% in 90 days, if you work your ass off. These tips are classic, but solid.

If you’re 20%+, then I would give myself at least 6 months to achieve 12%. The reason is, you’ll likely need to adjust your lifestyle a lot, so by expanding the timeframe, you won’t get discouraged if you don’t see big results after 3 months.


Rossow, Lindy M. et al. “Natural bodybuilding competition preparation and recovery: a 12-month case study.” International journal of sports physiology and performance 8 5 (2013): 582-92 .


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