T Nation

12 week ab training cycle

I’m pretty sure that the abdominal muscles are composed of both fast and slow twitch fibers or else they wouldn’t respond to both high rep and low rep training. I also notice that people who train their abs with weight can see their ab muscle even at higher levels of bodyfat.
My goal is to do an ab specialization phase similar to the other programs Testerone has i.e. low rep heavy training for 3 weeks then go on a diet and do higher reps with a bunch of different exercises for three weeks. What do you all think?

I’m not going to list the complete program here but I’m thinking that I’ll start with the three week mass building cycle and use low pulley leg pullins, side bends, woodchops, ab wheel work, weighted crunches, and high pulley crunches. Everything for the first phase will be three sets of eight to twelve reps. Any suggestions for additional or alternate exercises and should I work abs by themselves or with another muscle group?

best ab mass builder - incline situp w/heavy dumbell - hold it to your chest on the way up, pause, and lower with it held over your head. if you are going heavy enough, you should find yourself unable to control your descent! my abs are sore for 3 days after just 3 sets of 6 of these.

ONEAB:

How do your abs look? Do you have a 6 pack or 4. I’m scared to use weights while working my abs. I don’t want a thick waist.

I strongly suggest you try some good ol’ Russian Twists…done correctly, they will absolutely obliterate your entire midsection, including the wonderfully pleasing seratus muscles. For the incline crunches with dumbbells, after you go to concentric failure with the weight, you can then do the concentric portion without the weight on your chest–holding in front, then place the weight back on your chest on the negative. Every once in a while, hold the contraction for a ten count. You can also do weighted swiss ball crunches.

6, despite bodyfat being around 10. I do, whoever, have somewhat thick obliques, due, I think, to a combination of these, heavy squats and DL’s, and genetics. It is impossible for your ab wall to get more than maybe 1.5 inches thick - it does not add much to your waist thickness. That is more a function of posture, a strong TVA, and low intra-abdominal fat. When in doubt, make a muscle bigger! You can always make it smaller again if you need to.

Thanks guys. Any thoughts on a good split? I’ve got the option of working abs by themselves on two days a week for this mass building cycle(sounds strange to talk about mass building for abs) and do a sort of whole body routine for everything else on the rest of the days. Or I could continue what I’m doing now, work legs on two separate days and put abs with legs(one day is quad dominant one is hip dominant). The other two days are push pull days for upper body.