T Nation

Ab Training on a Bulk


Hey guys,

Long time T-Nation member, been following the newsletter for years.
I want to develop my abs and was wondering if anyone can give me some things to read up on. I know its asked a few million times, Ive been training for years I just understand I have no abs, when I cut I have a lean stomach. So if anyone can pinpoint some articles/posts/books to work on my abs right now because I am bulking and come summer ill start to cut so when I cut I'll have some muscle there to show.

Thanks =)


Hey, i feel like ab training on a bulk is kinda wasted energy (and calories). if you are deadlifting or squating (especially front squat), your abs should be working really hard. if you desperately want to train them, try cluster training them. work them hard for a week or two every 6 weeks or something like that. i unno. id rather focus on bringing up major body parts on a bulk and worry less about this kinda shit.


Thats what I've been training for like the past 5 years. Squats, deadlifts. I'v always been the one to say ab training is for pussies, but then again I've never really had much abdominal to be cocky about. So I want to get them this year and not worry about them.


Lmao @ "ab training is for pussies." Where in the world did you come up with that nonsense? If anything, heavy ab training will HELP your squat and deadlift, dum dum.


I certainly don't prioritize abs while bulking, but think it's a good idea to include them. Sometimes they are part of my warm-up work and sometimes I do a few sets at the end of a session. Strap fall-outs, standing cable crunches, leg raises, Iso-holds, medicine ball throws, even that 'old school' ab wheel can be a bitch. Stay off your back. I believe there is some carry over to strength training and other practical reasons. I agree that squats, deads, over-head pressing, etc. work the core, but some direct work is worth it.


There's a ton of carry over to certain movements. I remember when I started training abs heavy a while ago and my front squat shot up 40lbs in like 3 weeks.


I train abs pretty much every time I'm in the gym.

I want my abs to be as pronounced and deep as possible so they show at higher bf levels.

As others have said strong abs are pretty important to every lift.

I do my ab work in between sets, usually later in my workout. nothing too crazy just the basics.


Dude, just pick one day out of your split and do some abs then. Same protocol as any other body part (rep/set wise,) maybe even less volume.

I do them after leg day, seeing as they get most involved on that day anyway.

It's really not a whole lot more complicated than that.

I don't understand these people NOT training body parts, what's the rationale?


like kingbeef says strong abs n core will help you in all heavy lifts . think what helps keep you straight other than your back in over head press's , weighted chins , bb curls , d lifts etc etc .
i do weighted hanging knee raises with 10kg n dragon flags.


I can tell from experience that what SSC said works. I did weighted sit-ups on an incline bench and weighted leg raises and those noticeably built my abs bigger. Use the most weight you can in the rep range that gives you the fastest hypertrophy in your other muscles.


what kind of ab exercises did you do?


Do you know how few calories are burned from doing a few sets of situps or leg raises? Or thought about how your lower body can be brought up from strengthening abs? A measly ten to fifteen minutes of ab training has prevented and treated quite a few back problems.


I'm not sure where he got this from considering that 600 to 1000 pound squatters and deadlifters have taken ab training seriously.


You can also look at some some highly innovative ab routines of the pros. Like look at Dorian Yates' revolutionary and exotic ab routine...

crunches 3 x 15 to 20
leg raises 3 x 15 to 20


Squats and dea... I mean heavy cable crunches and weighted leg raises. That's it.


you ever do the ab roll outs? That little wheel is the only thing that gets my abs really sore. That little thing always kicks my ass... after 5 sets of 10 I'll be sore for 3 or 4 days lol


I usually keep it heavy, as an assistance to my bigger movements. Nothing fancy though, hanging leg raises from a full extended dip position works fine for me and I can stick a heavier db between my feet as I get stronger.


The first time I did a measly three hard sets with the ab wheel, my abs were destroyed.


I'm still trying to figure out why someone would purposefully neglect a bodypart during a hypertrophy phase.


I tried those a few times and they were good, but I stopped doing them because I couldn't figure out how to do it without feeling like I'm going to pop blood vessel in my head, lol.

Best ab workout hands down has got to be sprinting though. I remember doing like 5 100 yard sprints a while ago and my whole midsection was ridiculously sore for a good 5 days soreness wasn't completely gone til about day 10. It's the only ab exercise this guy has ever done according to him and I don't think I've ever seen better abs on anyone.