T Nation

ABS

I have tried almost every method known to mad and nothing keeps my attention for more than two weeks it starts to feel like routine after that and I HATE routine. COuld anyone grace me with their vast knowledge and help me create an ab workout that will actually keep my attetnion…Desperately seeking a new positon…
Erica

Based on personal experience and those who i train, I would say
a) Abs are 90% diet, 5% genetic, and 5% ab workouts
b) as such, focus more on your diet, cardio, and other lifts
c) Trust me, don’t be like most other females in the gym where I train, who constantly do crunches, side bends, and other ab exercises in attempt to “cut-up” there abs but never do because they booze it up on the weekends and eat like hell.

Abs are 90% diet–remember that (oh yeah, and don’t forget to eat your fat)
I’m out
Vain

Erica,
Try Ian King’s Ab Specialization program. Phases 1 and 2 are posted with 3 and 4 to follow. King gives progressions for most exercises so you can extend the 3 week timeline and challenge yourself to master each progression of each exercise.

If you’re looking for some nice movements… check out Coach Davies’ Real Abs article a couple of issues back. Those will get you good n’ strong. Also Ian King has 2 parts of a 12 week abdominal program published… it’s called Real Abs. If you want the cuts though… as Vain said, the only way is by watching your diet.

Vain is right. You will never see your abs if you have fat around them. You should do exercuses to strenghten and tone them, but you don’t have to kill them. Fat is tored around your waistline. If you don’t have the fat then you are set. One thing that I do for abs is hit different areas on different days. For instance, Mondays I work upper and mid, Wednesday I hit obliques. Friday I hit lower abs. I spend about 5-15 minutes a day on abs. Watch what you eat and don’t take in empty calories.Like BEER.

Stop worrying so much about ab workouts and concentrate on the rest of your body If you’re training your body as a whole the abs will require little to no stimulation anyway.

Try varying your surroundings instead, then. Like, watch TV while crunching, or have a variety of really inspiring music to play. Get an exercise ball and vary using that with regular ab work. I know what you mean–they do get boring, but there are ways to pump up the atmosphere. Find music you can sing along with. That might get your mind off what you are doing and it won’t seem so dull.

Sex works your abs just fine and it always keeps me interested. Other than that, if you are not eating right, it doesn’t matter how often you train them because you will still never see them.

Well, Vain is right. But also one more thing, Erica: we could go on ad nauseum back and forth on suggestions and then you tell us: “I’ve done that…” - SO, you’re gonna have to let us know WHAT you have done.

Also in terms of ab training: routine works best for me. I don't do anything "fancy" in my ab routine: just good old crunches - cable, decline bench, reverse, etc. You just have to remember that strong abs also enable you to perform THESE exercises optimally: deadlifts (or any back exercise), squats. So hopefully you can see that strong abs are important - NO MATTER if you HATE performing ab exercises.

AND I also have a fitball at home and perform the majority of my ab exercises on it while watching my fave TV shows (Buffy, CSI, Angel): it sure beats performing ab work at the gym...

hey vain thank you for the info about the diet stuff but I know that already I just need a routine to help me strengthen the abs.

Good advice from Vain. But if you really want a good ab workout anyway, you can check the back issues here. Or look at the FAQ, which has some good bodypart workouts listed.

Abs are a muscle like any other, and must be trained as such. That is to say, with resistance and with time allowed for recovery. Doing 100 or so crunches on a daily basis isn’t going to make anybodys abdominal dreams a reality (at least not for a very long time). Here’s what has worked for me: I train abs once a week just like every other muscle. 5 sets total, 1 or 2 sets of leg raises with a dumbbell held between my feet for about 12-15 reps, then 3 or 4 sets of heavy cable crunches also 12-15 reps. I really feel that cable crunches are the best exercise for ab development. If you get bored with this sort of routine (although once or twice a week it shouldn’t be a problem) you can mix it up with something like crunches on a decline bench with a dumbbell or plate held in front of your chest, just keep the reps below 20. Also, Vain68 was definitely right about ab visibility being 90% diet. Low body fat is key. Hope this helps.

I have a little search for you on the T-Mag search engine. Check out the ab articles by Ian King: Awesome Abs and The Thinking Man’s Guide to Ab Training. I believe that Chris Shugart also wrote a good li’l article about ab training.

get-outta-here genetics are 5%! Genetics are usually the reason people have low body fat and abs showing. Theres so many people on this forum talking about doing everything right and still looking like shit. i’d say genetics are more like 50% in terms of six pack definition.

Genetics definitely accounts for more than 5%. I know plenty of guys who eat like crap and have never set foot in a gym but have ripped abs. Explain that. To Erica, try Coach Davies movements for abs. They work the whole body but your abs will feel it pretty good and your core will get incredibly strong. Check out the recent article on T-mag called Real Abs.

“Abs are genetic” was always my excuse…then I learned the fundamentals of strict and rigid, no-game-playing, serious cut dieting, and “voila” I had abs–I do not have “genetic” gifts, although i don’t have “obesity” genes either. Some guys no doubt (and girls) can eat anything they want and have ripped abs, but let me asked you…are they BIG?..faster metabolisms are going to give you nice abs but impair muscle development as well (unless juicing of course)…yeah, there are some genetic freaks, but, nothing too extensive…Okay, so maybe abs are 10-15% genetic, that is as far as I’ll go, I might add that most are just not disciplined enough to cut hard enough.
later
Vain