How big can your abs get?

I hardly ever hear of men having distended abs who are clean. Is this possible from doing to much work on your abs? Even if I was shredded I would still have abs that would make me look fat under a shrit. Any cures for this?

I’ve seen it quite a bit in powerlifters and some martial artists. I guess it doesn’t matter as long as there’s not any fat on them.

What’s your bodyfat %, and how do you measure it? I have read that some people will, genetically, carry alot more inter-abdominal fat in their body cavity that others, this fat would be behind your abdominal muscles and, so, I think, not effect how “visible” they were. A recent article I read mentioned that Bioelectrical Impedance testing will register such fat, whereas the more traditional caliper-type won’t… perhaps that would answer your question.

Feel free, however, to disregard my comments, as I am probably talking out of my ass… just thought I’d mention what I had read. I’m sure someone who actually knows if this is correct will chime in.

Wadely, It is unlikely that Bioelectrical Impedance measures this at all. Impedance is the resistance to current flow. Current takes the path that has the least resistance to ground. Now the path is from foot to foot through the legs. Muscle has less resistance than fat. The current doesn’t travel all throughout the body. I’m not saying you
are talking out your ass… but if you’ve been doing your squats & Deads then that may be the current path. That is one reason these meters are not the most accurate indicators of true BF.

what do the call it hypertrophy of the … (thickening of the waist). There is a term for when you waist thickens (your abs stick out more, although it isnt because there is fat beneath them), and this generally happpens from heavy squatting.

Actually, I hook one lead up to the head of my penis, and the other to my thorax, that way, it MUST travel through my abdomen. In addition to the more accurate readout, I also get a sexy tingling feeling in my privates. hehe… :o) Kidding, of course.

The Bioelectrical Impedance device that I use is handheld, so, the current goes from one palm to the other.. not that this is any more or less acurate, I know that. I'm not making a case for it, just saying that not everyone uses their feet for that type of testing. Who knows, maybe someone, somewhere really does want to measure inter-penile fat.

Still, is it at all reasonable to think that someone with a genetic predisposition to carry extra intra-abdominal body fat may be able to attain the professional and, apparently much sought after, GH gut look without spending all that money on GH? :o) And, wouldn’t that type of individual’s body fat % have the potential to be considerably higher than measured with calipers? I’m asking, not telling.

yes it can be caused by training. I don’t ever wear a belt and I never recomend anyone else to, but if you do not then you have to be carefull to keep your abs IN dureing exertion. you can strech the ab muscle itself by forcing your abs out when you do certain exercises (ie.squats,deads,legpress,ect…) so be carefull, I have noticed this in people who do use belts also, they seem to think that this little leather strap over their abs will keep them in and they don’t have to hold them in. some believe it is also possible to strech them out by doing ab work if you do not exhale all the air out of your lungs and pull the abs in on the contraction. peace

if you are lifting for strength, unfortunately you are supposed to force you abs out.

who told you that??? but even if that were true (I deffenitly don’t!!!) then I would atleast use a powerlifting belt instead of a regular belt. but realy, I wanna know where on earth did you hear or read that, thats not safe for many reasons.

heytey, maybe i phrased it wrong. you are supposed to “grip” the air, with your abs. You fill your belly up with air and hold it. You don’t suck your belly in though. You want it big and full of air (again, strength not BBing purposes). Now that i have clarified what i said, would you still like me to tell you who told me this (more than a few people btw).

yea dman, there is NO reson NOT to keep your abs in while training, your LUNGS need to be full of oxygen to help support the spine but not tour abdomen. I realy do not understand what purpose it could serve. now if you atleast keep them resonably tight (which I think was the point of your last post) ok, atleast its a midle ground, I’m sure you know what I mean about people lifting and FORCEING their abdomen out. but there still is no reson NOT to keep your abs in, and no I do not mean like your doing a vacume, just in and tight.

hetyey i believe its Dave Tate that says to push your abs out.

Dave Tate, Louie Simmons, Dr. Mel C Siff, Vladimir M. Zatsiorsky, and (although he only eluded to it) Vassily Alexsyev.

did they say WHY, I can understand a COMPETATIVE lifter (it can improve leverage, but realy has nothing to do with actual strength) but a NON-competative lifter? no way, it just makes no sence to me. peace

yes, it creates higher intra abdominal pressure (theres several pages in Science and Practice on this) and this pressure, and the expansion of your adominal cavity help protect your lower back/spine. the second thing is that it creates a larger corset/ base which is helpful in squatting in particular, for control.

I know it’s just anecdotal, but I did get bigger lifts up when using Dave Tate’s advice, but since I’m a recreational bodybuilder, I stopped doing it when I noticed my waistline expanding while at rest. Resuming my standard practice of just keeping a neutral back and not really “pushing” in any directing changed my waist in a couple of weeks. Maybe it has something to do with Chek’s famous TVA.

I noticed this happening with me too. It seems like my lower back curves in unnaturally and my abs are always pushing out. Now, there is no pain in my lower back and I know its not “bad” for my back, but it makes me look fatter than I am. To correct the problem I started training lower back a little heavier, but it didn’t work, for obvious reasons. In conclusion, I have no idea how to fix such a problem, but I would love to.

i think you just got to deal with it. Just get bigger shoulders, lats and legs. and no one will notice.

Okay, let me stick my highly unscientific nose in here for a moment. I’ve noticed the same “bulging” problem lately, but I think it’s more simply a matter of age than anything else (at least in my case). At 25 I didn’t used to have it; now I do, despite consistent training.

So, how to fix the problem? Well, I don’t think training the rectus abdominus is going to do much good. Try this test: sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you, and lean back on your arms (straight), like you’re taking a break. If you’re like me, your belly will pooch a bit. Now flex your abs. Did your gut go in? Nope. Okay, so try something different - contract your transverse abdominus (I think this is right…). In other words, do a stomach vacuum. NOW the gut goes in, right?

So it seems to me that bodybuilders spend a lot of time working their "abs" (which usually means the frontal abs and maybe the obliques and intercostals) but never spend any time on their transverse muscles, which are the ones really responsible for holding the whole thing in flat. Doesn't it stand to reason, then, that making the rectus thicker and heavier, coupled with not training the transverse, would tend to produce a poochy belly over time?

Any anatomy experts out there who think I’m full of crap, please feel free to fire away…

You want to lift big weights, get a big belly and listen to Dave Tate and Loiue Simmons. Take a deep breathe short of maximum and draw your navel in while trying to push you upper abs out. You want to create a hydraulic pump effect so your spine is supported. The bigger the belly the better the support. When coming out from the squat you must contract your TVAs hard which will force your upper abs to protrude. This will signal your glutes and hams to contract. The signal must first come from abs before you lift so be prepared when squatting heavy.The reason you want big belly is so that the TVAs can handle the volume of air. More air being drawn in, the stronger the TVAs must be. When I first started to learn TVA activation, I was only breathing in small amounts of air. Now I breath in just short of maximum.
Want to impress others, then hold a BB (+ weight) out infront of you and activate your TVAs hard. Learn to breathe through pursed lips while maintaining a tight hold on some pressure. Think of it like letting air out of a car’s tyre and then pumping it a little again to bring up the pressure. Hope this helps some of you out there.