T Nation

Building Muscular Armor


Coach Thib,

I have been recently in Thailand for training in muay thai and i saw something which was really shocking! A man got kicked in the stomach hard, ruptured his spleen and died! This made me worry a bit about my own health so i have a question CT and i would own you for life if you could help me!

How would you train if your spine was flexion intolerant and you needed to put on as much muscle as possible on your abdominals to help protect your organs from blows? You know, really strong and thick abs to became armor for the punishment that a fighter's body takes!


If you can’t flex, try a hell lot of isometrics. I’m far from an expert, and have never tried it to be honest, but what do most BB’ers (aka hypertrophy freaks) have in common? They train with a significant time under tension.

Say, 10 reps, 2 second each rep. That would equal 20s TUT. Do something for obliques and rectus abdominus (AKA abs).
Try (one-hand) farmer walks, suitcase deadlifts, pallof presses, landmine twists, etc for obliques. Focus on higher reps for more musclr growth (like 20-30 sec TUT).
Try Rkc planks, body saws, etc the same way.

Hope it helps.

Btw I saw a vid of a guy lying on the ground, putting a kb on his belly and pushing his belly out against it for reps. Maybe an idea for improved bracing?


Hey man thanks for your reply!
Yeah I will try something like that…I ll work more with antimovements and weighted carries and see how it goes.

I hope CT can give us his opinion too on the subject…