T Nation

Best protocol for Abs Hypertrophy?


#1

What do you guys do for ab "gainz" ?

No I'm not talking about seeing a 6-pack (i.e dieting < 10%bf). Basically making each ab square wider or fuller or both. The high rep stuff even with resistance doesn't seem to be helping me one bit last few years.

Time per week, rep scheme, exercises, dedicated days, with legs? etc etc. How many years till the core was a piece of steel even if the abs weren't visible?


#2

I have had good gainz doing heavy weighted crunched for high reps (like 15-20) on the cable pulley and superset that with hanging leg raises. Planks are also great to build stability, but not much for mass gains.


#3

Ab wheel, leg raises, weighted sit ups, and cable crunches are the most suggested. Do you train any other muscle with “high-rep stuff”? Why should abs be trained any differently?


#4

Forgot to mention 20 rep squat sets. My abs were torn up after last week’s leg day.


#5

I like to do a superset or Tri set for 4 rounds. 2-3 un weighted 1 weighted. And do these 3-4 times a week during morning cardio.


#6

Meadows rows.


#7

What are people’s general feelings on ab machines? Any time I toy with them I get a crazy MMC and a deep as burn…often wonder why I don’t do them more often…lol.


#8

[quote]jskrabac wrote:
What are people’s general feelings on ab machines? Any time I toy with them I get a crazy MMC and a deep as burn…often wonder why I don’t do them more often…lol. [/quote]

I’ve used a few different ones with varying degrees of perceived “effectiveness”…I really get a great contraction with the variation of the machine where the user’s arms are outstretched holding handles throughout the movement! The machines that have the user hug a pad to the chest don’t seem to do as much for me


#9

Full Contact Twists
Ab Wheel
SuitCase Deadlifts


#10

[quote]jskrabac wrote:
What are people’s general feelings on ab machines? Any time I toy with them I get a crazy MMC and a deep as burn…often wonder why I don’t do them more often…lol. [/quote]

Depends on which one but I like them


#11

And of course getting a big deadlift and squat.


#12

Don’t forget pull up. Do a Pull up while keep your legs completely straight and then when you come to the top, do a knee raise or leg raises. Burn baby, burn!

But I would imagine some lower rep, heavy weight training would be needed too, something in the 6-10 rep range.


#13

Running sprints fry my entire abdomen.


#14

Never had a problem getting them to BURN in even in low rep ranges, just after years of abs work, the muscles themselfs have no shape and little rigidity.

Starting to play with the weighted crunch machine. Will see how that goes. Seems like volume might be the key based on responses.


#15

For me Ive always done lots of deep squat’s, the higher my squat goes the thicker my abs get. I dont directly work them at all, this probably isnt the answer you are looking for though.


#16

Havey front squats get me every time.


#17

[quote]ryanbCXG wrote:
I like to do a superset or Tri set for 4 rounds. 2-3 un weighted 1 weighted. And do these 3-4 times a week during morning cardio. [/quote]

That is actually a very smart advice. I personally always had my best abs progression (actually I had to stop training abs, they are almost too thick!) by doing blitzes of 4-6 weeks where I train abs very often (sometimes every day) using 1 heavy movement for 6-8 reps (still focusing on form) and 1 or 2 unweighted movements done slowly for 10-12 reps focusing on peak contraction.

I have attached a picture of an IFBB pro I work with … as you can see his ab thickness stands out. In fact we had to stop using loaded abs work because they were actually getting too thick.


#18

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]ryanbCXG wrote:
I like to do a superset or Tri set for 4 rounds. 2-3 un weighted 1 weighted. And do these 3-4 times a week during morning cardio. [/quote]

That is actually a very smart advice. I personally always had my best abs progression (actually I had to stop training abs, they are almost too thick!) by doing blitzes of 4-6 weeks where I train abs very often (sometimes every day) using 1 heavy movement for 6-8 reps (still focusing on form) and 1 or 2 unweighted movements done slowly for 10-12 reps focusing on peak contraction.

I have attached a picture of an IFBB pro I work with … as you can see his ab thickness stands out. In fact we had to stop using loaded abs work because they were actually getting too thick.[/quote]

Thought you posted a selfie for a minute, lol


#19

[quote]Velvet Elvis wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]ryanbCXG wrote:
I like to do a superset or Tri set for 4 rounds. 2-3 un weighted 1 weighted. And do these 3-4 times a week during morning cardio. [/quote]

That is actually a very smart advice. I personally always had my best abs progression (actually I had to stop training abs, they are almost too thick!) by doing blitzes of 4-6 weeks where I train abs very often (sometimes every day) using 1 heavy movement for 6-8 reps (still focusing on form) and 1 or 2 unweighted movements done slowly for 10-12 reps focusing on peak contraction.

I have attached a picture of an IFBB pro I work with … as you can see his ab thickness stands out. In fact we had to stop using loaded abs work because they were actually getting too thick.[/quote]

Thought you posted a selfie for a minute, lol[/quote]

Yeah, we kinda look alike, especially when he is not in contest shape with the gaunt face.


#20

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]Velvet Elvis wrote:

[quote]Christian Thibaudeau wrote:

[quote]ryanbCXG wrote:
I like to do a superset or Tri set for 4 rounds. 2-3 un weighted 1 weighted. And do these 3-4 times a week during morning cardio. [/quote]

That is actually a very smart advice. I personally always had my best abs progression (actually I had to stop training abs, they are almost too thick!) by doing blitzes of 4-6 weeks where I train abs very often (sometimes every day) using 1 heavy movement for 6-8 reps (still focusing on form) and 1 or 2 unweighted movements done slowly for 10-12 reps focusing on peak contraction.

I have attached a picture of an IFBB pro I work with … as you can see his ab thickness stands out. In fact we had to stop using loaded abs work because they were actually getting too thick.[/quote]

Thought you posted a selfie for a minute, lol[/quote]

Yeah, we kinda look alike, especially when he is not in contest shape with the gaunt face.[/quote]

In all honesty when I saw the pic I thought, “Damn CT’s dad is jacked as fuck too!”

Not to say the guy in the picture looks old, just that the picture looks older…