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Abs or No Abs?

I was doing my ab routine today when a gym buddy of mine mentioned that working the abs (with crunches, bends, etc.) will only make it wider as muscle grows.

I couldn’t really argue much with him because I didn’t know how correct he was. And he had good abs and doesn’t include ab work in his routine.

My goal is to cut fat in the mid section and end up with a V figure, so the comment somewhat bothered me.

I know there is not such thing as spot reduction and losing the belly width will be through diet and conditioning.

What I don’t want to be is unpleasantly surprised after losing belly fat to realize that the ab work made the remaining midsection thick.

If doing ab work is detrimental to having a smaller midsection/waist, how do you train so you have a good strong core (since I know it is important).

Thanks.

Ab work will NOT help you to cut fat. It WILL however work the muscles that will be visible once diet strips away the fat you have over them. Some people will say that heavy work that engages your oblique muscles will be counterproductive to achieving a small waist (I stopped doing full deads once I started competing), but I’m pretty sure that 99% of the people in gyms won’t ever get lean enough for it to even make a difference in their
appearance.

S

I know many cases of people doing side bends, which push their fatty love handles out further, and increase their waist size.

I know of NO cases where someone had low body fat, and core work made their body unaesthetic (from an everyday stance, not a bodybuilding competition perspective)

Also, I doubt working the rectus abdominus (6-pac muscle) would be aesthetically detrimental in any situation, the obliques are the tricky ones.

This ^ and this ^^

[quote]arzoo wrote:
I was doing my ab routine today when a gym buddy of mine mentioned that working the abs (with crunches, bends, etc.) will only make it wider as muscle grows.

I couldn’t really argue much with him because I didn’t know how correct he was. And he had good abs and doesn’t include ab work in his routine.

My goal is to cut fat in the mid section and end up with a V figure, so the comment somewhat bothered me.

I know there is not such thing as spot reduction and losing the belly width will be through diet and conditioning.

What I don’t want to be is unpleasantly surprised after losing belly fat to realize that the ab work made the remaining midsection thick.

If doing ab work is detrimental to having a smaller midsection/waist, how do you train so you have a good strong core (since I know it is important).

Thanks. [/quote]

Considering you have this inquiry, it’s safe to say you’re nowhere near big and not even close to running into the problem you speak of.

Get big (220+ pounds for average height) and strong enough to have a 500+ squat and deadlift and then perhaps you can worry if those lifts or additional abdominal exercises are gonna ruin your aesthetics.

You’re literally worrying about a problem that behemoths (eg, Michael Francois) have worried about!

Plus, proper abdominal exercises can prevent injuries and have you feeling good.