The Complete Six Pack Shortcuts Review
Learn all about Mike Chang’s Six Pack Shortcuts Program and whether it’s right for you in this complete, detailed, and most importantly, HONEST product review.
Mike Chang’s Six Pack Shortcuts program is a comprehensive workout program that will help you build lean muscle, burn stubborn fat, and get six pack abs using a variety of strength and conditioning exercises and training protocols along with a collection of other lifestyle habits to help you build an attractive physique you can be proud of.
I’ll say right off the bat that after reviewing the vast majority of the product materials, this is a good (ie not great) program for the right person. And if you’re not the right person, then this will be a very lousy program that isn’t worth your money, and especially your time. So, when it comes down to it, who you are is more important than what Six Pack Shortcuts is.
Try to think of it this way. If Six Pack Shortcuts is right for you and your needs, goals, and circumstances, then I’d probably rate it at 4 out of 5 stars. If Six Pack Shortcuts is not right for you, then it’s probably a 1 out of 5 star product. If that sounds overly-complicated, it’s because it is. Thus, the reason for this extensive product review. Regardless, after reading through this comprehensive Six Pack Shortcuts review, you’ll know for sure whether or not this program is right for you.
**Note to the reader:** Obviously, this is a VERY long product review – and a new record for me – as I wanted to err on the thorough side and give you the whole story. If you’re seriously considering buying the Six Pack Shortcuts program, then I would strongly urge you to spend the next few minutes scanning over my entire review prior to buying – especially before you spend money on something that will take several hours to study and much longer to put into practice. If you’re going to invest not just your money, but also your time, trust, and energy into this program, then you need to be sure of what you’re getting BEFORE you buy Six Pack Shortcuts.
Also, please note that this review mainly focuses on the Six Pack Shortcuts program itself – NOT on all of the additional bonuses and special offers that come with it – though they are briefly covered.
Finally, I wrote this review so that it can be easily scanned for quick reading. The most important points are in bold.
Who Is This Goofy-Looking Guy, John, And Why Would He Spend His Time Writing A Review Of Six Pack Shortcuts?
If you direct your attention to that ugly mug on the right, that’s me. My name is John Sifferman. Yes, that’s my real name and I’m a real person, too – who’d have thunk it? I’ve been a personal trainer and fitness coach since 2006 and I’ve published over 600 articles and videos online since 2008 – mostly on my main website www.PhysicalLiving.com. I’m *almost* embarrassed to say that my work has been featured in many major media outlets – both online and even offline in the “real world.” So, feel free to look me up. It shouldn’t be hard to find me.
Over the years, I’ve reviewed hundreds of fitness products and programs, and have published several dozen of my reviews online. In that time, I’ve developed a reputation for writing insightful, comprehensive product reviews in the fitness and weight loss markets.
And several months ago, it dawned on me that I haven’t yet posted a review of Mike Chang’s Six Pack Shortcuts program, which is arguably one of the best-selling six pack abs workout programs currently available online. So, about six months ago, I decided to go for it. Little did I know that it would quickly turn into a massive, time-consuming project. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
You see, I had gotten a handful of questions about Mike Chang and his Six Pack Shortcuts program from some of my blog readers and Youtube subscribers. Having never seen or used the program myself, I couldn’t really offer any help – apart from telling them that I had seen some of Mike Chang’s Youtube videos and his crazy advertisements practically everywhere. But apart from that, I really didn’t know anything about it.
So, I watched the sales video presentation on SixPackShortcuts.com and decided to get the whole product for myself. And that’s when I realized this wasn’t going to be an easy product to review. Upon entering the Members Area, I quickly discovered that there are hours and hours of videos to work through. Now, this is an unofficial tally based on notes I scribbled on several sheets of paper, but I estimated that Six Pack Shortcuts includes about 14 hours of total video footage to work through. So, needless to say, this product is a BEAST, and there’s a lot of material included with your purchase.
Now, I have a full time job, a business of my own, and a wife and kids. Plus, I review a lot of products for my website already. So, needless to say, it’s taken me some time to work through most of the Six Pack Shortcuts material – and I’m now 6 months into that review process. And finally, I’m ready to publish this review for you.
Disclaimer: In all honesty, I have not reviewed every single minute of footage contained in this system, but I have looked through the majority of it and feel that I have a pretty good idea of what this product is all about, who it can help, and who might be most interested in buying a copy. I’m comfortable making some recommendations now, and I hope you’re comfortable with my level of research.
Note: You can learn just an eency-weency bit more about me on the About page.
Why I Wrote This Six Pack Shortcuts Review
Apart from the fact that some of my readers have been asking me about Mike Chang and Six Pack Shortcuts, there’s another reason I wrote this review. You see, there’s a ton of misinformation, myths, and blatant lies being perpetuated in the fitness, weight loss, and abs industries and I want to do my part to get to the bottom of it.
If there’s one thing I know about Mike Chang, it’s that he’s a pretty controversial character in our industry. Some people love him, and others hate him – and there are all sorts of different reasons why. And his program is much the same, in that you’ll probably either love it or hate it.
So, I wanted to get to the bottom of this and publish this Six Pack Shortcuts review because you really need to know the truth. Plus, there are literally thousands of people looking for an honest, and unbiased review of Six Pack Shortcuts and they’re just not getting it – despite how much research they do online.
Just type “Six Pack Shortcuts Review” into Google and you’ll find dozens, if not hundreds, of extremely positive, yet vague product reviews proclaiming the wondrous inner-workings of this controversial system. You’ll probably also notice the large bold buttons and links to BUY SIX PACK SHORTCUTS NOW!!! Obviously, the vast majority of these reviews were written by desperate affiliate marketers who will say and do anything to get you to click through their affiliate links and make a few dollars – and who probably couldn’t care less about providing accurate, helpful information to assist you in your buying decision. And having looked through most of the Six Pack Shortcuts product myself, it’s now apparent to me how many of these affiliates have not even previewed the actual product themselves. So, you see the problem, don’t you? It’s downright hard to find accurate, unbiased information about Six Pack Shortcuts.
Now, don’t get me wrong because I’m not against the affiliate marketing model – so long as it’s used ethically and responsibly. In fact, I’m an affiliate marketer myself, and a strong advocate of this kind of marketing model. That said, it’s beyond obvious that some of these shady marketers are trying to make a bit of cash off of what you probably don’t know about Mike Chang’s Six Pack Shortcuts program. And based on my initial research, it appears that a lot of six pack seekers are being duped by some of these lousy marketing messages – and some of Six Pack Shortcut’s questionable marketing strategies aren’t helping the situation either.
So, my goal in presenting this Six Pack Shortcuts review is to give you the whole story of what this product is all about, who it can and can’t help, and whether or not it’s right for you – your needs, goals, and unique circumstances.
How This Review Of Six Pack Shortcuts Can Help You
Six Pack Shortcuts is reasonably priced, and in terms of its monetary cost, offers a lot of value for the program as a whole. However, Six Pack Shortcuts will cost you a lot more than just some money. You see, the very nature of the Six Pack Shortcuts program is that it will require a lot of time and energy to implement it and see any results. Consequently, you’ll need to place your faith and trust into this system for the long haul (minimum of 12 weeks) for you to really know if it’s worth it or not – if it can really help you.
On top of that, Six Pack Shortcuts is a very specific product and program that is NOT suitable for any and every six pack seeker – regardless of what you may hear from one of these savvy review sites to the contrary. If you fit the mold just right, then this program can definitely help you. And if you don’t, then it’ll just take up space on your hard drive. So, it’s imperative that you research this product for yourself and make up your mind for certain BEFORE you spend your hard-earned cash.
The Six Pack Shortcuts company makes some extremely bold claims concerning their product, system, and methods as a whole – and much of what I hear about it sounds too good to be true (and much of it is). Plus, they walk on some pretty thin ice when it comes to the marketing of their product – and participate in questionable, if not totally unethical – business practices. So, buyer beware!
Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Six Pack Shortcuts is totally bogus – a trick or a sham. It’s just important to know the true pros, cons, and everything in between before you pull out that credit card.
All that said, this Six Pack Shortcuts review, and this whole website, in general, was created to help you in two specific ways:
First, you will learn all about Mike Chang’s Six Pack Shortcuts product itself – what it is, what you get, how it can or can’t help you, and most importantly, what you’ll have to do to use it successfully. And secondly, this website will help you decide if Six Pack Shortcuts is right for you – your needs, goals, unique situation, and circumstances.
You’re about to get an insider view on what Six Pack Shortcuts is REALLY all about. To reiterate, this is a long and thorough product review because it’s important to spend a few minutes doing some research before investing not just your money, but your time and trust into a program that requires considerable lifestyle changes.
So, let’s take a look at Six Pack Shortcuts. But first, an important disclaimer…
Training Philosophy Disclaimer
Mike Chang and I have some distinctly opposing ideological and philosophical opinions and perspectives. Put simply, we look at things very differently when it comes to training, fat loss, body transformation, and getting six pack abs, among other things. For instance, Mike Chang is clearly a muscle-training guy. I’m a movement training guy. Mike prefers training at the gym, and I prefer training at home. Mike uses bodybuilding-style split routines (among other strategies), and I don’t.
So, in an effort to bring you as honest and unbiased of a Six Pack Shortcuts review as possible, I’m going to do my best to set our differences aside when reporting on this product. Truth be told, if I applied my health-first fitness philosophy to this review – among other things – Six Pack Shortcuts wouldn’t score nearly as well. But ratings are always relative, and especially those product ratings that are influenced by strong beliefs. For instance, a Christian might rate the Bible at 5 out of 5 stars because of their beliefs, and an atheist might rate the Bible at 1 out of 5 stars because of their different beliefs. Even though it’s the same book, the ratings are always relative to the perspective of the reader – and Six Pack Shortcuts is no different.
So, in that regard, I’m going to try and suspend some of my beliefs about how fitness should be to bring you this review in as unbiased a manner as possible.
What Do You Get When You Buy Six Pack Shortcuts? And What’s Inside The Six Pack Shortcuts Members Area?
Six Pack Shortcuts is a digital (ie downloadable) program in Video (mp4) and PDF format that you can view on your computer, smart phone, tablet, or any other device that will connect to the Internet or will otherwise display Video and PDF files.
Here’s a screenshot of the members area (ie product download portal):
At it’s very core, Six Pack Shortcuts is a workout program that is meant to help guys and gals lose some bodyfat, build a little bit of lean muscle, and uncover six pack abs. With approximately 14 hours of video footage (by my estimates) and dozens of PDF manuals to help with your workouts, this is a fairly large product to work through.
According to Mike Chang, the basic premise behind Six Pack Shortcuts is that by applying what he calls the Afterburn Effect in your workout program, you’ll discover and experience “the fastest way to get a ripped body and six pack abs.” We’ll see about that. What we do know is that Six Pack Shortcuts involves a special combination of weight training workouts and high-intensity bodyweight-cardio workouts that will supposedly deliver maximum results with minimum time and effort. It’s a nice theory, and you’re about to find out how it stacks up.
It should also be stated that this is a training program first, and a diet/nutrition program second. So, don’t buy this merely for the diet component (ie The Zero Willpower Eating System). On the contrary, I would only recommend you buy Six Pack Shortcuts if you want to follow the training program, first and foremost. Mike even tells you in one of the intro videos that this Six Pack Shortcuts is NOT a diet program, but a workout and lifestyle program.
There are also a bunch of additional bonuses included with purchase of Six Pack Shortcuts, but this review will only touch briefly on each of them a little later.
So, you just decided to buy Six Pack Shortcuts and you finally got login access to the members area. What exactly will you find, and what’s in the actual package?
Well, for starters you’ll find links to the various hubs for all of Mike Chang’s products (including those you haven’t purchased yourself, which will mysteriously be “unavailable”). I know. Sneaky.
Now, if you enter the Six Pack Shortcuts section, you’ll find the following…
1) Three Introductory Videos
2) Two PDF Guides
3) Twenty-Six Training and Workout Videos (available in Digital and DVD versions) that walk you through the workouts contained in the 12 week program + PDF’s with workout notes for all of them.
And depending on which options you selected when buying Six Pack Shortcuts, you may or may not also have access to the following…
-25 “Advanced” Fitness Coaching Videos on topics ranging from training strategies to nutrition, to… say wha? Relationship advice? OK, I’ll just roll with it…
-The Muscle Building Vault – 59 Exercise Videos
-The Zero Willpower Eating System – 13 diet/food/nutrition videos
-Insane Home Fat Loss – 9 Day Workout plan with 9 accompanying videos
-Three Bonus Videos by fitness expert, Vince DelMonte*
*I did not watch these, but I’m familiar with Vince’s work and he knows his stuff.
So, as you can tell, there is an absolute ton of information to work through. I did not download the entire product to my local hard drive, but I’d imagine it would take up dozens, if not hundreds of Gigabytes of data.
The Great Six Pack Shortcuts Scam – Is Mike Chang A Fraud?
Many people are wondering if Six Pack Shortcuts is a scam, a hoax, or a gimmick. In fact, Mike Chang has even been labeled a fraud by some people in our industry. Now, I’m not going to draw any absolute conclusions mainly because I think this is a gray area, and I just don’t know the guy. But here’s what I do know.
Mike Chang is running a business, and it is beyond clear to me that his number one business goal is to make as much money as possible (not a bad thing in-and-of-itself, and it makes sense, right?). But here’s the kicker. Based on my analysis of his marketing messages, this company will say and do almost anything to make a sale, and based on anecdotal reports – they’re raking in millions off of the Six Pack Shortcuts brand. And good for them. I can’t complain about that. A good product/service should be rewarded with good profits.
But something you should know about this organization is that they currently (as of March, 2013) have the number one most subscribed fitness channel on Youtube – with over 1.2 million subscribers as of this writing. If that wasn’t interesting enough, YouTube has removed some of the Six Pack Shortcuts videos for “violation of YouTube’s policy against spam, scams, and commercially deceptive content.”
In fact, in the past, Youtube has even gone so far to suspend and even delete the Six Pack Shortcuts Youtube account for the same reasons. Albeit, after a little research, I discovered that the account and all the videos were eventually restored after much protest from Mike Chang, his staff, and his subscribers.
Now, I probably don’t have all the facts straight, but this just goes to show that Six Pack Shortcuts walks the line between ethical and unethical marketing. There are definitely some questionable business practices taking place, and it’s important to get a heads up about these before you buy Six Pack Shortcuts – more on that later.
So, if I had to sum it up, I don’t think Six Pack Shortcuts is an outright scam like some of the stuff you may see on late-night TV, but it is quite gimmicky – and it does smell a lot like a scam when you first see it. Truth be told, when I was initially exposed to Mike Chang’s work, I got a funny feeling about him – as if he wasn’t really sincere in wanting to help me, or anyone else for that matter. But it was just a feeling – so take it or leave it. I’ve been wrong before. And for what it’s worth, I’ve found Mike to come across as much more sincere in his actual Six Pack Shortcuts Product videos – as opposed to his Youtube marketing videos. So, when in doubt, just listen to your own intuition. It will help you better than I ever could.
The good news is that now that I’ve actually conducted a comprehensive review of Six Pack Shortcuts, I know the truth about it, and whether or not it can legitimately help you or not.
Six Pack Shortcuts Pros (Things I Like)
If you want to know the honest truth, working on a review of Six Pack Shortcuts has been an exercise in frustration. I’ve gone back and forth on my ratings because there are a lot of things I really like about it, and some I really don’t. One thing is certain: Six Pack Shortcuts has NOT been an easy product to review. I went back and forth several times on whether I should even follow through with my decision to write and publish this. That’s part of the reason it’s taken me six months to get this thing put together.
But I kept coming back to this fact: there are a lot of things that I do like about Mike Chang’s Six Pack Shortcuts program – even if there are some things I can’t stand about it. And more importantly than my personal preferences, YOU are looking for the truth about this program, and that’s what pushed me over the edge to deliver it.
So, here are some of the things I really like about Six Pack Shortcuts (in no particular order).
Mike Chang seems to walk the talk. By most people’s standards, the guy is in great shape. And this is important because there are a lot of so-called fitness professionals who really don’t live by their recommendations. I don’t get that impression from Mike at all. He really, truly believes in this stuff because it’s worked for him. Furthermore, Six Pack Shortcuts was created based on his own experience and the challenges he faced with training and nutrition (as he discusses in the intro videos).
That said, I do consider Mike to be more of a marketing expert first, and a fitness expert second. There have been many times I’ve been scratching my head at some of his training recommendations and a few times where I’ve outright disagreed with some of his advice. But one thing is for sure – Mike is passionate about his trade, and that’s only possible because he lives it.
The program will live up to some of its claims. There are tons of fitness and weight loss programs out there that make outrageous claims. Six Pack Shortcuts is one of them – plain and simple. This program will not deliver on all of them, and I wouldn’t take anything they say about it as gospel, for that matter. But that said, Six Pack Shortcuts is a good program that, if followed with a good effort, will help you to burn fat, build muscle, and yes, even get six pack abs. Whether or not it helps you attract women by the dozen is another story. Get it?
Mike is completely honest about how hard it is to get six pack abs. He doesn’t beat around the bush and tell you it’s going to be easy. Quite the opposite in fact. Everything he seems to have you do is INSANE, CRAZY, KILLER, and EXTREME – if I can borrow some overused words from some of their video titles and headlines. In the SPS intro videos, Mike tells you that you’ll have to work hard to succeed in getting six pack abs. And he’s right. There are no free rides to the land of lean. The amount of effort and hard work you put in will determine what kind of results you receive. Period. And contrary to the title of the product, you won’t find any real shortcuts to six pack abs in this program because they simply don’t exist. But you knew that already, right?
The afterburn effect is real and effective, albeit a bit over-hyped. In the Six Pack Shortcuts sales video, much is said about what Mike calls The Afterburn Effect. In fact, Mike would have you believe that your success is almost exclusively dependent on applying the afterburn effect in your training program, which is apparently how Six Pack Shortcuts was created (though, after a bit of research on the bodybuilding.com forums, there are some conflicting theories on this point). But regardless, the afterburn effect is a very real phenomenon, and is known by a few different names. To be fair, though, it is excessively over-hyped in the Six Pack Shortcuts marketing and sales messages. This single strategy will not really make the difference in your fat loss and muscle building efforts in-and-of-itself. But it’s a great marketing angle and good selling point, which is why it’s featured in Six Pack Shortcuts. Just know that it’s not a magic bullet and won’t deliver the results you’re after all by itself. There’s a bit more than meets the eye going on when you follow Six Pack Shortcuts to the tee.
These are fast, simple, and effective fat loss workouts. And this is essentially what you’re paying for. As mentioned earlier, it fulfills these requirements using a combination of weight training and HIT-cardio to maximize the afterburn effect, which will help you burn fat and build muscle with simple workouts – all of which take less than an hour to complete.
There is decent exercise selection and workout variety for those who prefer a (mostly) traditional workout program in a gym-like setting. As I said before, Mike and I have some very different views when it comes to training based on our general philosophies. But all that aside, there’s a decent exercise selection included in the workout program. Mike is keen to the fact that compound exercises tend to be more effective for body transformation purposes than isolation exercises, and that’s why most of what’s inside SPS involves compound exercises. You can also expect to perform some isolation exercises (gotta get the GUNZ, right?), and personally, I would have liked to see less of them, but we can’t have everything we want now, can we?
Regardless, you’ll be using some full body workouts and some bodybuilding-style split routines. You can expect to use many of the traditional exercises with everything from jumping jacks to squats, deadlifts, leg extensions/curls, presses, rows, pushups, dips, crunches, situps, etc. to less conventional exercises of cobras, rocking getups, stepping taps, and barbell crab walks, among many others – some of which I had never seen before.
There are many “Functional Cardio” workouts included in the program. I’ve never heard the term “functional cardio” until recently, but these are basically bodyweight circuits done for cardio and metabolic conditioning, which is something I know about. I think this is a great training strategy for a number of reasons, and it’s a particularly good strategy for this product. It goes by many different names, but it’s a solid training method and I’m glad to see it included in this program.
There are simple and straightforward instructions for getting started. If you don’t have to make any exercise substitutions, then there is not a lot of guesswork involved with Six Pack Shortcuts, and you can get started immediately. After submitting your order, you’ll get instant access to the Members Area and product videos (no waiting for a physical product to be shipped to you). Then you just follow the program. That said, it will take you a couple of hours just to watch the introductory videos and preview the Day 1 Workout Video. So, if you’re going to follow the program and do it right, you’re going to need at least a couple of hours to get familiar with the program and materials. So, in that regard, this isn’t exactly most the time-efficient, plug-and-play product out there. At least, not on day 1. You’ll need a little bit of time to get your bearings.
It can be done at the gym or at home. To follow the program as-is, you’ll need a gym membership or an extremely well-outfitted home gym. That said, if you use some of the exercise substitutions, this program can be followed at home, too (some equipment is highly recommended even if you choose this route). But my point being that this program will be much easier to use at a gym with a wide selection of equipment, but it can also be done at home, if necessary. So, you don’t necessarily need a gym membership to complete the program, which is a major plus. Just keep in mind that if you don’t have the recommended equipment, you’ll need to make some exercise substitutions to accommodate what you have available at home. Speaking of which…
There is an exercise substitution guide included with the program. This is basically just a chart listing all of the exercises that are included in the program along with some alternative exercises that you can perform instead (ie if you don’t have the proper equipment available).
The Exercise Substitution Chart says: “If you do not have access to a gym, most of the Listed Exercises can be substituted with an adjustable Dumbbell Set, Flat Bench, Door Frame Chin Up Bar OR Olympic Size Bench Press (with weighted Plates and a Olympic size Barbell) and a Door Frame Chin Up Bar.”
Furthermore, there is also a section of the chart devoted to equipment-free (ie bodyweight) exercises that can be subbed in as well. This is a really nice touch. Although, you should know that there are some sections of the chart that have been left blank with no substitutions listed. I’m not sure why they left these blank – maybe they ran out of ideas. So, if you ARE planning to do this at home, be aware that you might need to do some research of your own to plug in some alternative exercises.
This leads right into the next point…
It doesn’t require a ton of equipment. If you’ve got some free weights, a bench, and a place to do pullups, then you can make this program work without too much of a headache. If you are low on equipment access, it’s true that you could just keep making exercise substitutions, but at a certain point, what you end up doing may not resemble anything like what the program actually involves – and you’ll be getting into a gray area that requires some expertise.
So, if you want my advice, only get this program if you have a gym membership or at least have access to the recommended equipment listed above. There are better bodyweight training programs out there (see links in the footer for a few of them).
The workouts don’t take very long. And this is a HUGE plus. If you stick with the program as written, the longest workout is only 50 minutes – and the shortest one is 10 minutes. Most of the workouts are in the 30-45 minute range, which I think is a great duration. Just remember that you may need to watch the workout instructional video prior to training, which will add a few more minutes to the total time.
This program is fairly simple and flexible. You are able to set your own schedule and decide which days will be for training and which will be for rest. Also, the workout instructions are specific, but also flexible to an extent. Suffice to say, you have a little bit of wiggle-room when it comes to how you schedule and perform your workouts.
The program is easy to follow and comes with a built-in progress journal. One of the PDF guides contains a spreadsheet of the full program – with all the workouts, exercises and training protocols listed in one convenient place. At only 20 pages, it’s not so massive that you wouldn’t actually print this out (especially if you do it double-sided like the treehuggers do). Plus, it’s setup like a workout journal so that you can log and keep track of your progress as you go (sets, reps, weight used, etc.). This is a great feature and I recommend you use it!
The product comes with unlimited email support. And that’s a bold service. Seriously, I don’t know how Mike does it, and I haven’t written in with any questions of my own to test out this aspect, but if this is true, and you really can get unlimited email support from Mike Chang himself, then this is a steal. The way I understand it, is that the first month of “Advanced Coaching” and email support is free, and will be $67/month after that. So, I’d suggest looking into this yourself and milk it for all it’s worth.
Note: that $67/month also includes access to the Advanced Coaching Videos (25 total) on topics ranging from training, to nutrition, to dating tips. If you don’t want to pay for these, then make sure you cancel your subscription BEFORE they charge you for the 2nd month – to save you the trouble. Personally, I don’t think the videos are worth the money, but it appears that some people really benefit from them. It’s your call.
This is a high-value product. As I mentioned above, you get a whole bunch of stuff when you buy Six Pack Shortcuts. For less than the cost of a couple personal training sessions, you get a complete 12-week workout program, which isn’t too shabby, all things considered. There is a TON of material included in the program when you factor in all of the bonuses that are included, and they could easily charge hundreds for this – and I think some people would pay it. So, for a 12 week workout program, this is a pretty good deal all things considered. You’d pay a lot more than that to get a similar program from a personal trainer – and you wouldn’t have any of the perks and bonuses of buying a product (PDF’s, videos, etc.). My point being that you get a lot for your money. So, if you’re shopping around for a workout program based on value, then this is definitely an option worth considering.
OK, now that we’ve covered some of the things I like about Six Pack Shortcuts, let’s talk about a few of the things I don’t like. But first, here’s a little story about my experience with the Six Pack Shortcuts Customer Service Department.
My (Positive) Customer Service Experience
Something I do when reviewing best-selling products is see what kind of customer service they provide. So, I called the 800 number that Six Pack Shortcuts provides for customer service and someone picked up after four rings. They answered my question completely to my satisfaction. I’ve also sent two emails into their help desk (ie their contact form) and received responses to both on the same day – very good sign.
However, there was a third email that I sent directly to one of the reps (I did NOT use the help desk) over a week ago that I have yet to hear back on. Maybe it was ignored, lost in cyberspace, or they just haven’t gotten back to me yet. I’ll update this review if I hear from them.
Six Pack Shortcuts Cons (Things I Don’t Like)
Six Pack Shortcuts does have many good qualities, but it’s certainly not a perfect program and has a bunch of shortcomings. Here are the most important ones to know about.
The name of the program is misleading. If there’s one thing that’s true about getting a six pack, it’s that there are no shortcuts – ZERO! So, I think the product name is misleading at best, and deceptive at worst. That said, when you actually get into the download area and see the product itself, you quickly realize that there are no shortcuts in this program. There are hours upon hours of videos, and the system is fairly exhaustive and intensive.
In the end, I think the title is a play on words because the fastest way to get a six pack is to make all of the necessary lifestyle changes and then be patient as you burn fat and build the necessary abdominal muscle definition. And Mike touches on this subject in the introductory videos – calling his program a “lifestyle program.”
This program is totally and unabashedly based on BRO-SCIENCE. If you’re not sure what that is, then look it up. No seriously. I’ll wait… (hint: it has nothing to do with science at all) and if this doesn’t concern you at least the faintest bit, then check your pulse. In all seriousness, after watching most of Mike’s videos, I’m not totally convinced that he really understands how and why his training methods work. He just knows that they’ve worked for him. And at the very least, he does have a little difficulty explaining some of his methods while on camera, but that could be attributed to poor communication or “acting” skills – not necessarily a lack of knowledge. So, as I said before, Mike is a marketing expert first, fitness expert second. Keep in mind that the vast majority of workout programs in existence today are at least somewhat based on bro-science, but Six Pack Shortcuts takes it to a whole new level. And this is something you should definitely be aware of. I’ll let you be the judge on whether or not this should be a deal-breaker, though.
The marketing of Six Pack Shortcuts is horrendous. There. I said it. I almost included this point in a whole other section of its own, but when I realized that I could write a whole series about why the Six Pack Shortcuts sales and marketing tactics are downright outrageous, I decided to condense it down to this one bullet point. To put it bluntly, I’ve found that the SPS marketing to be amateur, sensationalistic, misleading (even deceptive), borderline unethical, and even dangerous in some cases. But it’s obviously working because they keep cranking it out!
Suffice to say, it is beyond obvious to me that the people at Mike Chang Fitness will say and do anything to get you to buy Six Pack Shortcuts. For instance, in the sales video presentation, you are told that you can expect to perform 30 minute workouts 3-4 times a week (a very modest and reasonable plan that most people would agree to). But in reality, during some phases of the program you’ll be instructed to perform 5-6 workouts for up to 50 minutes each week, and at one point train for 12 days straight. So, this serves as an example of an inaccurate and misleading statement at best (perhaps just an honest mistake), and a blatant lie at worst – and it’s right in their sales video on the homepage of their website. And there are countless other examples like this, too, where you’re being told what you want to hear instead of what you need to hear.
So, I would advise you to take everything that is contained in the Six Pack Shortcuts sales and marketing literature with a grain of salt. You will find an abundance of half-truths, myths, and lies (whether intentional or unintentional), in their marketing and sales messages. So, don’t believe any of it until you see it for yourself. Do your own due diligence and research this product before pulling out that credit card. Besides, you should do this with ANY product, especially when dealing with the fitness and weight loss market. Demand the proof, and be willing to ask for your money back if Six Pack Shortcuts isn’t what you thought it was or isn’t really what you were looking for (they offer a full refund within 60 days of purchase).
I could go on and on, but I’ll leave it at that.
Some of the program design has me scratching my head. Either Mike Chang knows something I don’t, or there are some serious incongruencies in the program design aspect on this workout system. For instance, on Day 1 of Phase 1, Mike has you super-setting barbell squats with barbell deadlifts for high rep sets (15 reps each), and this is supposed to be performed towards the end of the workout – AFTER you’ve already done several exercises and will be pretty worn out. In case the strangeness of that hasn’t sunk in, try reading it again. These are two very strenuous, full-body exercises that are being performed back to back for high repetition sets towards the end of the first workout of a program that is geared for beginner to intermediate trainees. And there are tons of cases like this where I’m just wondering what he was thinking. But I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he knows something I don’t. Plus, any trainer worth their credentials would probably do things differently – myself included. So, I can’t be too critical.
Speaking of program design…
There’s definitely some overlap in the program design. Put simply, you can expect to be working the same muscle groups, movement patterns, and energy systems on consecutive days during certain portions of the program. For instance, on day 1 of phase 1, you’ll be doing flat bench presses, standing barbell shrugs, standing barbell curls, and standing calf raises, and on day 2 you’ll be doing incline dumbbell chest press, standing dumbbell shrugs, seated dumbbell curls, and 3-position calf raises. At first glance, these appear to be completely different exercises, but the fact of the matter is that these are all similar exercises that work the same primary muscle groups with a similar training split. In other words, they’re very similar workouts. So, unless you’re an absolute conditioning beast with Olympic-level fitness, you will probably be pretty sore the next day (especially if you’re just starting a new fitness program for the first time in awhile). In fact, I’d plan on being pretty sore most of the time and having to train through soreness. And if you’re ok with sacrificing a little comfort for six pack abs, then all the power to you.
As a side note, I wouldn’t recommend using this program repeatedly. Once you’ve finished the program for the first time, you’ll find that Mike says you can repeat phases 3 and 4 indefinitely, but I’d recommend against this. You don’t want to create over-specializations that lead to over-compensations, overuse and excessive strain injuries and other symptoms of overtraining and burnout.
The principle of progression is altogether missing from this program. So, if you can’t follow the program as-is, then you’ll be left to your own knowledge and ability to figure out how to adjust it to your needs (ie skill and conditioning level). For instance, in one workout, you’ll be instructed to “Do a total of 50 Wide Grip Chin Ups as quickly as possible.” And if you can’t do it, then there’s not much help available for you (apart from a tip or two in one of the muscle building vault videos). You’ll just have to figure out how to perform a comparable workout as best you can – even if you can’t do a single pull-up or chin-up. There is hardly any mention of easier (or harder) variations of the many exercises included in this program. So, depending on your current fitness level, this can either be a very well-suited program or a very poorly-suited program.
Most of the exercise technique instructions are vague, non-specific, confusing, and sometimes even incorrect. In fact, some of the exercise technique that is taught and demonstrated is fundamentally flawed – even dangerous in some cases. It would be one thing if improper technique was only demonstrated in free Youtube videos, but when you pay for professional instruction, that’s what you should get. And it’s just not there in the technique department – a very common side-effect of relying on bro-science. So, repeat after me: I will NOT study exercise technique from Six Pack Shortcuts. OK, that’s settled.
John’s Advice: If you do buy Six Pack Shortcuts, do yourself a favor and learn how to perform the actual exercises from other resources. There are plenty of great exercise tutorials that are available for free online that will serve you much better than what is contained in Six Pack Shortcuts. My point being that you should NOT buy Six Pack Shortcuts solely for the Exercise Tutorials and How-To Videos.
The Videos. Yes, the videos. Overall, I found the video quality to be in the fair-poor range. The video and audio quality was all over the place. The editing was amateur, as was most of the instruction in the workout videos. It appears that the videos were loosely scripted, but probably not rehearsed. Honestly, it seems like they just “wung it” most of the time. There is a tendency towards some rambling and mentioning irrelevant information. And have I mentioned they should really fire their cameraman, or at least get him some professional training? Seriously, some of the shots look like they were filmed by a 10 year old, and many times you can’t even see what’s happening and won’t be shown HOW to do some of the exercises. Part of the problem is that the vast majority of videos were filmed in a tiny, cramped workout room that was probably never meant for filming purposes. You’ll still get the general gist of what you need to do, but only a gist.
Speaking of which…
Some of the instructions are vague, if not incomplete (particularly exercise instructions) – and sometimes a bit strange. Unless you’re already pretty familiar with strength training, nutrition, and fat loss, then you’ll probably have some unanswered questions after going through some parts of the program. So, I guess it’s a good thing that there’s unlimited email support because if you’re a novice, you’ll probably need it.
Also, one example of a strange recommendation is this…
“when replacing the Listed Exercise with a No Weight Exercise, PERFORM 2 EXTRA SETS for that exercise and perform all sets to failure.”
So, in other words, when substituting a bodyweight exercise for a weight training exercise (ie doing pushups instead of bench pressing), we’re instructed to perform two extra sets and always train to failure. I’m not sure what the logical rationale is for that, and I’d be interested in hearing how they would back up that recommendation with some actual evidence. At face value, it looks like Bro-Science strikes again!
Much of the information you will find inside of Six Pack Shortcuts can also be found for free online. And a lot of it right on the official SPS Youtube channel. So, much of what you’ll be paying for is public knowledge that is freely available all over the place if you dig for it. The one thing you can’t find for free is the actual workout program itself. So, the reason you would buy Six Pack Shortcuts is if you want a step-by-step SYSTEM for getting six pack abs that you can follow each day – and want all of the information in one convenient, user-friendly place.
I found some typos, contradictions and errors in the program materials. This really isn’t a big mark off, per se, but it could shed some light on the overall quality and professionalism that went into creating this product. Some aspects of it were obviously just thrown together, and this makes me wonder what kind of professionalism went into the rest of it. But personally, this isn’t a deal breaker for me as long as it’s usable, valuable, helpful, and works. Plus, some of these issues are totally understandable in a product like this. I really can’t nitpick on this one.
Now, before we finish up the cons section, I don’t want it to go unmentioned that Mike and his associate Dan tend to hate on low-moderate intensity cardio a lot in Six Pack Shortcuts, but I won’t hold it against them. You see, this is a pretty common practice for fitness pros who are selling high intensity workout programs that don’t utilize low-moderate intensity exercise (which is actually another great method). And it makes sense, too, they want to make their competitors who espouse such training methods to look bad, and consequently, herald themselves as the saviors of the treadmill and elliptical users who are struggling to burn fat and get lean. I just wanted to point out that both training methods have merit and value, and what I’m really wondering is where’s the love, brothas?
What kind of results can you expect to receive?
If you follow this program to the tee, and in particular, use the accompanying Zero Willpower Eating System, as well as any other dietary and lifestyle interventions you may need, then you can expect to receive the following, atypical results…
1) Fat Loss – Six Pack Shortcuts is first and foremost a fat loss program designed to help you burn the last stubborn pounds of bodyfat to uncover and reveal your abs. This is the primary purpose of the program and is most likely what you’ll predominantly experience from using it.
2) Lean Muscle Gain – A secondary benefit you will receive is some lean muscle gain. No, this won’t turn into the Hulk or help you prepare for a bodybuilding competition, but you will probably experience some lean muscle gain as a secondary benefit.
3) Strength Increases – Strength and conditioning exercises will be your primary workout tools to achieve these goals, and naturally, you will get stronger from lifting weights – whether barbells or your own bodyweight. This is pretty self-explanatory if you ask me.
4) Six Pack Abs – Yes, this program can and should be used to help you get six pack abs, whether male or female. It’s been designed and periodized to help you “peak” your fitness and body transformation towards the end of the program to ultimately help you get lean enough to reveal your abs.
These are the more specific benefits you can expect to receive. But of course, all of the other various benefits of exercise will also come along with using Six Pack Shortcuts: higher energy levels, increased bone mineral density, lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol numbers, improved cardiac and respiratory function, stronger metabolism, etc. But you probably don’t care about those things… right?
A Note For Women Who Might Want To Buy Six Pack Shortcuts: Naturally, this program was created for guys, but it’s true that gals can also use it – and will experience much the same results if you account for gender differences. For example, women will not build nearly as much muscle as men will by using this program, but women will build strength and develop a lean, toned appearance in concordance with their body type and genetics. This is a physique-enhancement program, first and foremost, and it’ll help you create a beach-ready, and maybe even a magazine-worthy physique if you use it – regardless of gender.
John’s Thoughts on the Quality, Professionalism, and Value of the Six Pack Shortcuts Program
Given that Six Pack Shortcuts is a best-seller that is presumably doing millions of dollars in sales, I’m not going to sugar-coat my thoughts on the overall quality of the product, the professionalism that went into it, and the actual value it offers. Hopefully, the good folks at Six Pack Shortcuts HQ can handle the truth regarding what I think about their program, and hopefully, they’ll try to improve it if they read my review. And I certainly hope they do because I want the best for them, their customers, and you.
So, here’s how I’d rank each of those categories…
Overall Product Quality = 2.5 out of 5 stars
Overall Product And Business Professionalism = 2 out of 5 stars
Overall Product Value = 4 out of 5 stars
In other words, this is a low/average quality, fairly unprofessional, but good value product. I don’t know how much that’ll help you make up your mind, but I included those stats just in case.
Now, when I consider all of the advantages, disadvantages, and most importantly, the context of who this program is for and how it can help them, and do my absolute best to come up with an overall product rating after taking everything contained in this review into account, this is the rating that I keep coming back to:
OVERALL PRODUCT RATING: 3.5 out of 5 stars
So, like I said in the introduction, if you agree with Mike’s training ideology and philosophy, then this is a good program – not a great one. But like I also said earlier, for the right person, this could definitely be a 4 or even 5 star product if you fit the criteria, use the program, and achieve your goals. It all depends on who you are and what you’re looking for.
So, don’t write it off completely just because I didn’t give it an enthusiastic 5 stars like all of the other review sites have. Some people have found exactly what they’re looking for in a three or even 2-star product. And for some people, Six Pack Shortcuts could be it – the game-changer that finally makes a difference and helps you achieve your goals. Speaking of which…
Who Is Six Pack Shortcuts Best-Suited For?
A lot of products in the world of fitness, weight loss, and six pack abs are really vague and elusive regarding who they are meant for. Some of these products claim to be a perfect fit for practically anyone. And we know that most of the time, that’s not really the case. Six Pack Shortcuts is a little unique in that regard. This program is very specific regarding who it was created for and what specific goals and circumstances it is meant to fulfill.
Now, I’ve come to my own conclusions on this matter and have found that they seem to coincide with the overall marketing messages that Six Pack Shortcuts espouses. Put simply, they aren’t trying to sell this to pro athletes, stay-at-home moms, or grandmas. This is a very specific product that was created for a very specific type of person – maybe you.
So, if you’re a young man (ie 18-40 years old), who wants to burn some fat (e.g. approximately 5-30 lbs of excess bodyfat), build some lean muscle, and get six pack abs using a traditional strength and conditioning program with a few unconventional training strategies, and you’d prefer to train at a gym or in a properly-equipped home gym for less than an hour a day, and are willing to do some of your own research on topics such as exercise instruction in your spare time, then Six Pack Shortcuts will probably be a perfect fit for you.
That’s not to say that those who don’t meet this criteria 100% should totally disregard the product altogether. For instance, if you’re a gal, older than 40, or need to lose more than 30 lbs, then you will still absolutely benefit from following this program. Just keep in mind that you may not necessarily be the exact type of person Six Pack Shortcuts was created for. Hopefully, the rest of this Six Pack Shortcuts review and website will be able to help you determine if it’s right for you.
John’s Advice for Prospective Buyers
I am most definitely not a big spender, and I would never spend money on a fitness product without extensively evaluating the decision beforehand. I need to be sure that it is the best product to meet my specific needs, goals, and circumstances – and this needs to be clear to me before I purchase it. I’m not made of money, and I’m not afraid of returning something that doesn’t meet my needs or expectations.
Now, depending on who you are, Six Pack Shortcuts could be an awesome program that you learn to love or an awful program that you learn to loathe. After using it for 12 weeks, you may feel that a miracle has taken place in your life. Or, you may feel that you’ve just wasted some time, money, and energy that you’ll never get back. Well, at least you can get your money back.
So, that said, if you apply yourself and stick with Six Pack Shortcuts for the full 12 weeks, then you will definitely see excellent results from using it. You will get stronger, burn fat, build muscle, and improve your physique, among other things. And that’s the real “secret” here. It has nothing to do with some mysterious “afterburn effect” or special program design strategy. Everything works for a little while, and Six Pack Shortcuts is no different than any other good workout program in that regard.
So, if you’ve been doing some research on the product and it has perked your interest, then it may be a good option for you. If you think you’ll like using it, then it’s probably a no-brainer. Just get the product, try it out, and if you hate it – you can always get a full refund. It’s guaranteed within 60 days of purchase.
The fact of the matter is that if you like Mike Chang’s Youtube videos, then you’ll probably love his Six Pack Shortcuts program.
Note: when in doubt, just take a look at some of the photos on the right, and ask yourself if you could be one of them 12 weeks from now. Sometimes, the best course of action is to trust your gut instincts.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that Six Pack Shortcut’s is a good program for the right person. And if you are that right person, and you use it, I truly believe that you will see “visible results within two weeks from starting the system” as Mike Chang claims. And twelve weeks from now, you could have a completely new body. You’ll be leaner and stronger and your life may never be the same again. And if you’re not the right person for this program, then no worries. There are tons of other options out there.
Now, I’d like to close this product review with this final thought. On Youtube, Six Pack Shortcuts is all about the abs, the women, the sex, (ad nauseam). But when you get the Six Pack Shortcuts product for yourself, you’ll quickly realize that it’s about a lot more than that. It’s about health, fitness, empowerment, and self-confidence, among other things. It’s a more serious resource that’s all about helping you get the results you want.
You should also know that Mike is not exactly an eloquent speaker. He’s not a professor or a guru, and I wouldn’t even say he’s a top level fitness expert either (but definitely more knowledgeable than your average personal trainer). He’s just an average guy who figured out a workout system that works for him and wants to share it with others, and I think this is a major part of the appeal of Six Pack Shortcuts. He’s just a normal guy. Plus, I really think he wants to help people change their lives by delivering a blueprint for getting six pack abs.
So, by now, I’m sure you realize that I’m not out to mislead anyone. I don’t pull any punches and I don’t have any tricks up my sleeve. I just want you to know the truth about what I think about this product so that you can figure out if it’s right for you. So, I’m going to make a recommendation – take it or leave it.
If you want a good program to help you burn fat, build lean muscle, reveal your six pack abs, then go and check out Mike Chang’s Six Pack Shortcuts program right now. And you’d better get yourself revved up because the first workout is tough. And if you find yourself muttering curses to Mike Chang under your breath when you try to get out of bed tomorrow morning, just let the good folks at their HQ know and they’ll gladly refund your money:
*Note: if this review was at-all helpful for you, and you’d be willing to help me out by using one of those handy-dandy buttons to like, +1, or share this post, then I’d really appreciate it! This way, the people who are looking for an honest review of Six Pack Shortcuts will be able to find it a little easier and all my hard work won’t be for nothing. I want this page to climb to the very top of the Google search pages so that more people will learn the truth about this product instead of having to wade through a bunch of sketchy affiliate sites that don’t really offer much help. And if you’re not comfortable with that – no worries. I hope this review was helpful for you either way!
CST Coach, CST-KS
Health-First Fitness Coach
Professional Fitness Product Reviewer
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Note: this Six Pack Shortcuts review reflects product research and testing done during the dates of September 2012 to March 2013. Obviously, things could be different about the product, program, or marketing at some point in the future.
What if Six Pack Shortcuts just isn’t for you? What else would I recommend?
A fellow named Dan asked a good question down in the comments section, and I wanted to add my response to the bottom of this review in case you had the same one.
QUESTION: Hi John! Thanks for the great review! I was wondering, what programs would you recommend over this? I am 18 and skinny, looking to get prominent abs and put on a little bit of muscle. I feel like this program targets my age range and body type and my end goal, however there seem to be a lot of cons to it. Is there another program(s) that you recommend?
There are a lot of directions I could point you, but I’d probably start with Tom Venuto’s book, Burn The Fat Feed The Muscle (recently released in hardcover edition). That’s the single best body transformation system currently available, in my opinion. No matter your age, training level, or physique goals, you simply couldn’t go wrong with it. It’s been called the Bible of fat loss and body transformation, and for good reason. You can read my full endorsement here, and my Amazon review here. And be sure to check out Tom Venuto’s other offerings while you’re at it here.