T Nation

Abs- They Are Frustrating Me!

I’m trying to work on getting a six-pack and these are the issues i’m dealing with.

  1. Using the “Ab Training for Athletes and Babehounds, 2K3”

Accentuated negative Swiss ball- I felt a burn the first couple of days I did the workouts but now I don’t feel much. Am I supposed to hold for 15 going up or on the way down? I’ve been doing up which feels more natural.

Cable crunches- don’t feel anything even after adding weights.

Forward roll- only feel it in my arms

What am I doing wrong?

Um. lets see.

I do the the 15 seceond hold on the way down with a LOT of added weight.

One thing to remeber is to concentrate on always flexing the abs as HARD as possible during the movements.

Cable crunches. I suspect you are doing most of the movement at the hips and not using the abs. You really need to flex those suckers and curl your back in at the shoulders. Aim to try and force your shoulder/head to your crouch.

Christaine gave a perfect example in a pic in her recent ab article. Back rounds like a cat.

Mainly try and reallly flex the abs HARD at all times,

Hope that helps,
Phill;

Also a great one is this:

Lay down on a incline situp bench. Take 2 dumbells and press them up like in a dumbell press. Now holding them over your eyes, do crunches keeping the dumbells in vertical the whole time.

Burn baby burn, ab inferno.

Most of the articles I have read here seem to say that “the burn” is about as important as “a pump”, neither have anything to do with getting bigger or stronger. As far as I know the pump happens in some and doesnt happen in others but its not correlated with a training effect even though it feels good. The burn is associated with fatique, so all it means is that the muscle is being fatiqued. Chad Waterbury and Charles Staley both talk a lot about fatique management and Charles at his RIT seminar made a big point of focusing on the quality of the workout rather then the pain it creates. It seems that as long as the form is right and you are using the muscles you want to correctly throw some weight on there and keep going. I would like to hear other opinions on this. I for one would follow the other posts advice about contracting the abs as hard as you can. Try and excersise like the dragon flag and you will get that tension and no burn but you will know its working those muscles because you cant do the excersise without creating a boatload of tension in those muscles. Just some thoughts.

Here is the ab workout that has given me the best results. I find it especially rewarding after my carb-up day when My muscles are the fullest.

“Rocky” Leg Raises superset with Twisting Roman Chair Crunches
4 sets 15-20 reps

Haging Leg Raises superset with Medicine Ball Crunches
3 sets 15 reps

Side Bends
2 sets 20 reps w/30 pound dumbbell

Leg Lifts superset with lying crunches
1 set 50 reps (each exercise)

Give that a try!

Can someone please explain what reps above 20 are going to do for the muscle other then build endurance in that muscle. It sure as hell isnt going to build strength, will it induce hypertrophy? Everything I’ve read on this site and studied about muscle physiology seems to say no. Is there something I overlooked?

The debate, which has been around forever it seems, is low v. high reps when doing abs. Personally, I think low reps are the way to go for most. If you are an O-lifter, Powerlifter, or athlete you should be doing low reps. Heavy Low Reps. If you are a competative lifter, you do singles on the platform…so why would you want to condition your abs for endless reps with no resistance??? Hey, it would be much easier to squat with the empty bar for high reps than it would be to load the bar up till it bends and do some doubles.

Weighted sit-ups, janda style…Full Contact Twists, the band crunch that the West Side guys do, Overhead squats. Use the stability ball as a play toy in the swimming pool.

I don’t want to imply anything by this because I obviously don’t know you, but don’t forget that even if you have great abs, you’ll never see them if they are covered in a protectave layer of goo.