T Nation

Ab Training Advice

I have a hard time targeting my abs. Everything else seems to respond well to training. But I just can’t get that great burn in my abs, and since I carry a lot of my weight in my mid-section (having had 3 babies) I really need something that’s going to produce results. I’m doing my first competition the second weekend in Nov, so that puts me out 23 weeks.

I do your typical crunches, decline crunches, leg lifts, etc. I just need to think outside the box but I’m too carb deprived for that :o) Any suggestions? Thanks so much!

[quote]angelmamma329 wrote:
I have a hard time targeting my abs. Everything else seems to respond well to training. But I just can’t get that great burn in my abs, and since I carry a lot of my weight in my mid-section (having had 3 babies) I really need something that’s going to produce results. I’m doing my first competition the second weekend in Nov, so that puts me out 23 weeks. I do your typical crunches, decline crunches, leg lifts, etc. I just need to think outside the box but I’m too carb deprived for that :o) Any suggestions? Thanks so much![/quote]

Targeting the rectus abdomis is indeed quite difficult, because in almost all classical “Ab exercises” its only used as a stabilizing/assistance, the real working is done by the hip flexors.

That being said, first of all the “burn” is not a good way to judge the effectiveness of an exercise. And Second, there is no connection between the weight you carry (i assume by that you mean bodyfat) in your midsection (or anywhere else really) and working the muscles in that specific area. If you want to change your body composition, you need to adjust your diet.

In my experience, the core is worked best during any movement in which the torso has to be stabilized against the hip joint during heavy loading (which is its intended role, preventing hip extension), e.g. Squats, Deadlifts, any kind of Oly lifting, any kind of overhead pressing.

Also, here is a list of isolation exercises :

http://www.exrx.net/Lists/ExList/WaistWt.html#anchor172895

My favorite ab cycle is this:

  1. 5x5 weighted situps

  2. 3x20sec Isometric hold on back-extention
    (this is where you lie face up on the back extention, with the tuck of your bum on the seat, and hold your body out straight horizontal.) if you can hold this for more than 20 second, start pilling weights on your chest.

  3. 3xmax Leg raises with Russian-twists
    (this is one movement)

Keep things heavy, and keep things short. cycle these three at the end of your workouts and you will get some decent size, but the rest is up to your diet.

Edit: another ideas is power-breathing excercises?

Thanks!

http://www.T-Nation.com/article/bodybuilding/9_ab_exercises_for_more_sex&cr=
Christiane Lamy’s ‘9 Exercises For Sexy Abs’

I figure her words are worth more than mine because she’s a woman.

That said, I think the greatest ab exercises ever are low-rep hanging leg raises and front squats, but both of these come from lifting less for physique persuits than for core stability and the ability to lift more.

50 situps
25 leg levers
35 flutter kicks
any other ab exercise you want to add in

superset all of that with no rest, by the second round you should be in some good pain

then increase the # of reps over time

Abs are like every other muscle and respond in the same way to the same stimuli.
You can train them concentric, isometric or eccentric. The only exception is the Transverse Abdominals which can’t be trained eccentrically. Same set, rep, load and volume, etc. rules apply to all muscles.

TNT

[quote]TNT-CDN wrote:
[…] Same set, rep, load and volume, etc. rules apply to all muscles.

TNT[/quote]

This statement is not true.

Fiber setup, rate of regeneration, hypertrophy potential and possible ROM varies between muscle groups on the same individual, and for optimal results that must be taken into consideration when designing a workout regime.

[quote]Petrichor wrote:
TNT-CDN wrote:
[…] Same set, rep, load and volume, etc. rules apply to all muscles.

TNT

This statement is not true.

Fiber setup, rate of regeneration, hypertrophy potential and possible ROM varies between muscle groups on the same individual, and for optimal results that must be taken into consideration when designing a workout regime.
[/quote]

Paralysis by analysis. The difference is insignificant.

TNT

I agree, the point is this: doing what cyph31 told you to do would result in fit abs, but not big abs, do people get big by doing 50rep benchpresses? Hell no. At one point where I trained my pushups to 100 reps I didnt look any different to when I could only do 30.

Pointless, as far as your goals.
Keep it heavy, keep it changing.

[quote]forevernade wrote:
I agree, the point is this: doing what cyph31 told you to do would result in fit abs, but not big abs, do people get big by doing 50rep benchpresses? Hell no. At one point where I trained my pushups to 100 reps I didnt look any different to when I could only do 30.

Pointless, as far as your goals.
Keep it heavy, keep it changing.[/quote]

I think we said the same thing. The same format that makes your bicep or quad get big is the same recipe for you abs.
High reps ain’t the answer.

TNT