T Nation

Ab Training? Yay or Nay?


My problem is not knowing if I should train them or not? Some think squats and dls are enough others think they should be done if u want them to pop out.

And if I should do them im thinking about the babehound 2k3 ( http://www.T-Nation.com/article/bodybuilding/ab_training_for_athletes_and_babehounds_2k3&cr=bodybuilding )
and splitting it into 3 parts, so I do 1/3 each training session.

My goal is making my abs hypertrophy as much as they can in 2 months, thats when im starting my cutting phase.

Thanks for the help

I do them twice a week, a full core training twice a week at least! i think its very important personally.

I’d recommend it. The big lifts are great for abs but I don’t think they’ll provide all you need.

I’ve been hitting them once a week lately, only because I’ve been cutting, and figured a little extra thickness would make my abs more visable when hitting a vacuum. In the past, just squatting and doing military presses w/o a belt has given me some pretty decent abs.


I do heavy weighted situps once a week. Good stuff. Do them if you want slabs of abs for the gurlies to punch.

If you’re really concerned with them a little ab work can’t hurt. Big compounds have allowed me to maintain abs decently. Far better looking than the general population

I go on and off between doing direct ab work, and when I’m doing it, big surprise, they look better. Here is what I’ve noticed, however;

With the maintenance state I currently have it only takes about 4 weeks to get them looking really good with results typically tapering off after about 2-3 months.

For this reason - Spring/summer is typically the only time I implement ab training, since otherwise it takes away only if even slightly from the rest of my training.

I currently do not, but will when I am done school as I have more time to lift, I personally don’t have them all that high on my priority list. Having said that I do not work them, I still do the front squats and DL’s, and in a recent ab test done for my program (situp test) I still get 100% like I always have, so I’m not concerned about losing any strength.

What kind of ab work does everyone do, rotational exercises, trunk flexion, etc??

Train them.

Train every body part if you want them to grow!

Most people are training hip flexors when they say they are training abs. Is that bad? not necessarily. A good many also do a good deal of neck flexor work work when they do crunches.
It’s a bit funny to watch.

As far as visibility goes… I don’t think training abs is all that important.

But neglecting abs completely is cause for my back pain.

Thanks guys, I decided to do them 3 times a week while Im still in the mass gaining phase. Later Ill decrease the frequency (dont want catabolism due to the lack of calories).


Well,anatomically,heavy compounds mostly hit obliques and the actual abs themselves have a stabilizing/antagonist etc. role at best. The function of the rectus abdominis is in bending the trunk forwards,and that hardly happens with practically anything but sit-ups and such direct ab training. Hoping that deadlifting or squatting will take care of abs is a bit like hoping that pressing will take care of lats.

I will add in that due to the heavy nature of my lifting protocols in my earlier years, I am now struggling to bring my waist in as it is quite thick (with muscle) even though I did very little direct ab work.


I have sworn off direct ab work, as all it does to me is make me gut stick out more. Damn my genetics.

Saying that squats and deadlifts are enough to fully develop your abs is like saying that rows will fully develop your biceps, it’s just stupid.

Train abs directly too.

I think squats and DL’s are sufficient for a strong core. When people say ab training do they mean crunches and situps?

For cosmetic effect I don’t think it matters whether you do any ab work or not. Most people’s experience bears that out.

If you want to squat and pull heavy, I think you absolutely need to do ab work. The exceptions are usually guys with short torsos. If that’s you it may not help you much.

If you have short legs and a long torso like me, you will notice the difference ab work makes for your squats, pulls, standing overhead work, etc…