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  • Training abs like any other muscle?

    I was doing core today and something occured to me. Is there a particular reason I shouldn't train my abs like any other muscle in the DC system? Ie, pick 3 exercises, rest pause them for max intensity, and beat the log book each time. Considering (Biceps/forearms/calves/hamstrings/quads) takes a significantly shorter time than my first split I have plenty of time to work it in.

    Has anyone tried this? Or have a reason that this is a bad idea?

    Thanks
    -BW

  • #2
    Originally posted by beetlewharf View Post
    Has anyone tried this? Yes. Or have a reason that this is a bad idea? Yes.

    Thanks
    -BW
    Your abs will be getting hammered by compound movements like squats and deads.
    Ph.D., Theoretical Physics '16
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    • #3
      Originally posted by Sammich View Post
      Your abs will be getting hammered by compound movements like squats and deads.
      I agree. I haven't done direct ab work in years and the work my abdominals get from compound movements has produced better development than any type of crunch or leg raise.

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      • #4
        I too favor a restricted ab plan. It's the inner abs, not the 6 pack, that gives you that core strength you need for squats and deads. I'm also against heavy training on core to avoid a thick waist.

        Heavy compounds can strengthen your inner core just fine. The 6 pack can get hit with light or bodyweight focused movements. I dont really hit obliques directly at all since they get involvement in the crunch movements, especially if you throw in a little twist here and there.
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        • #5
          I like what Lock did for his abs training...
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          • #6
            Mngeh, I like to do them whenever I feel like it which is every 3rd or 4th workout or so. Rest-paused and beating the logbook. Usually towards the end so I don't need to warm up and just get right into the RP set.

            Incline bench leg raises, standing cable crunch, weighted decline crunches.

            You (I) get so damn beat with the main exercises, the last thing you want to do is do another RP set of something, hence the lack of frequency.
            Last edited by theroymccoy; 03-06-2012, 04:26 AM.
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            • #7
              AB Lounge. Thank me later.
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              • #8
                I'm going to have to disagree with everyone on this here. When i was doing deadlifts, squats, standing military, etc.. My back would hurt after awhile. It took me years to finally figure out what was causing it - weak abs.

                It wasn't that I started out with weak abs.. In fact when I started my abs would be worked with everything else and my lifts would start skyrocketing.. Over time I stopped training abs and just did the compound movements. Slowly but surely my back would start to hurt and my lifts would go down or stall.

                Once I threw the ab training back in there I saw an immediate difference and zero back pain.

                I don't know if I would rest-pause abs with heavy weight - I would go for a little more endurance with abs. Planks, toes to bar/knees to elbows, etc.. Destroy my abs and give them the endurance to do exactly what they need to - control your core and protect your back.
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by fade View Post
                  I'm going to have to disagree with everyone on this here. When i was doing deadlifts, squats, standing military, etc.. My back would hurt after awhile. It took me years to finally figure out what was causing it - weak abs.

                  It wasn't that I started out with weak abs.. In fact when I started my abs would be worked with everything else and my lifts would start skyrocketing.. Over time I stopped training abs and just did the compound movements. Slowly but surely my back would start to hurt and my lifts would go down or stall.

                  Once I threw the ab training back in there I saw an immediate difference and zero back pain.

                  I don't know if I would rest-pause abs with heavy weight - I would go for a little more endurance with abs. Planks, toes to bar/knees to elbows, etc.. Destroy my abs and give them the endurance to do exactly what they need to - control your core and protect your back.


                  I couldn't agree more

                  not only does my back hurt WAY less now that I train abs regularly, but my posture is better and my abs are more developed...go figure

                  I'm a BIG fan of weighted ab movements like ab wheel, kneeling cable crunches, and weighted leg raises
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by fade View Post
                    I'm going to have to disagree with everyone on this here. When i was doing deadlifts, squats, standing military, etc.. My back would hurt after awhile. It took me years to finally figure out what was causing it - weak abs.

                    It wasn't that I started out with weak abs.. In fact when I started my abs would be worked with everything else and my lifts would start skyrocketing.. Over time I stopped training abs and just did the compound movements. Slowly but surely my back would start to hurt and my lifts would go down or stall.

                    Once I threw the ab training back in there I saw an immediate difference and zero back pain.

                    I don't know if I would rest-pause abs with heavy weight - I would go for a little more endurance with abs. Planks, toes to bar/knees to elbows, etc.. Destroy my abs and give them the endurance to do exactly what they need to - control your core and protect your back.
                    Originally posted by bhman6 View Post
                    I couldn't agree more

                    not only does my back hurt WAY less now that I train abs regularly, but my posture is better and my abs are more developed...go figure

                    I'm a BIG fan of weighted ab movements like ab wheel, kneeling cable crunches, and weighted leg raises
                    Agree with both of you 100%. After hurting my back and going through rehab, my PT made me see the importance of strengthening my abs along wiht everything else...I have now been doing ab work religiously, both weighted and unweighted, a few times a week sometimes more, and my back is feeling great. I also work on things besides the superficial abdominals...I do lots of plank, and vacuum work to help stabilize the spine more because I had a tear in a paraspinal ligament...

                    it has helped me tremendously with both pain, and keeping my waist tighter, IMO...and honestly I feel like I have gotten over my injuries fairly quickly because of being aggressive with strengthening my abs. My PT harped on me so much to do my ab work that he prescribed (not normal, run of the mill bbing movements) and it has helped tremendously.

                    I am all for getting a ton of ab work outta your big movements, but I feel like they need to be paid attention to just like any other part...maybe more even, since they are key in so many lifts.

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                    • #11
                      Can you guys give some exercises that you do? I want to train abs religiously as well because I have a fubared low back, but I am not sure what to do. Weighted decline situps with an ez bar behind my neck really hits them hard, but I am looking for more.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SkinnyMike42 View Post
                        Can you guys give some exercises that you do? I want to train abs religiously as well because I have a fubared low back, but I am not sure what to do. Weighted decline situps with an ez bar behind my neck really hits them hard, but I am looking for more.
                        I cycle between doing heavy and light crunches. I'll do one on squat day, then the other on DL day. Seems to work well for me.
                        Ph.D., Theoretical Physics '16
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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SkinnyMike42 View Post
                          Can you guys give some exercises that you do? I want to train abs religiously as well because I have a fubared low back, but I am not sure what to do. Weighted decline situps with an ez bar behind my neck really hits them hard, but I am looking for more.
                          Have you ever tried Janda sit-ups? Position yourself the same as you would while doing crunches, legs bent, but keep your feet flat on the floor. Hook your heals on a fixed object (it should be behind your heal, not if front) and then sit-up.

                          Trying to curl your heals towards your butt (which you actually can't do, cause you're hooked) will de-activate your hip flexors...

                          ...and so your abs will work much harder...

                          For some reason this is much tougher than crunches. Try 'em out...

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                          • #14
                            In season or during pure hypertrophy training I will do various flexion exercises (crunches, reverse crunches). There really isn't a specific plan. I focus on feeling the contraction. I've noticed better abs from my heavy training, but I'm able to display them better by working on the mind- muscle connection by using direct ab work. Offseason I have periods where I work on the core as a whole using different forms of planks, cobras, and stabilization exercises. This also can improve the mind-muscle connection,albeit in a different way. It also will obviously strengthen the stabilizer muscles of the core which can help with injury prevention when you get into some heavy weight.
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                            • #15
                              I love using:
                              • Hanging leg raises (both hanging on pullup bar and ab straps, add some oblique work with these as well)
                              • Rollouts (I just use an olympic bar with 25lb plates than are circular, varying grip)
                              • Reverse crunches on a swiss ball (rehab movement, hard as a mofo IMO)
                              • Weighted planks
                              • Decline situps (done sternum to the ceiling, not crunching down towards your toes yanking on the neck. Add weight as needed)
                              • Weighted machine crunch (Cybex has a good one I like)
                              • Dragonflags (hard as anything you can do with your abs for sets IMO, I suck at them, but the lighter you are the easy there are)
                              • Butt ups (done on your back, heels together, lift your ass off the floor lifting with your core and not by the momentum of swinging your legs)
                              • Supine leg lifts
                              • and basically other bodyweight movement you can think of.
                              • Vacuum work. Bunch of options here.


                              Tons of ab movements, a lot are pretty good if done with correct form. Pick your poison IMO. Some movements are better for health, some better for athletic movement/power, some for bodybuilding purposes.

                              2012 EUP's Mission Submission II
                              -1st SuperHeavy Gi
                              2012 Hayastan Grappling Challenge New York
                              -1st Heavyweight Gi
                              2011 Slippery Rock Open Collegiate Championships, 4th-Open Heavyweight, 220lbs
                              2008 NGA Pittsburgh Bodybuilding Championships, 2nd-Open Juniors, 175lbs




                              Help me, help you! To get a great discount from TrueNutrition just type in MCS722 in the code box when you check out!


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