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How to Train Abs for Max Definition?

[quote]DSSG wrote:

[quote]NYWanderer1982 wrote:

[quote]DSSG wrote:
For definition it happens in the kitchen (losing body fat and getting leaner all around), but you probably won’t like what you see unless you get bigger and stronger all over. If you still want to train them, I would say do stuff like suit case deadlifts/variations of it (from floor, do them as rack pulls from various heights, do them as holds, there are many variations that you could do) barbell/dumbbell side bends, extremely heavy front squat holds, for indirect work that still trains it very hard zercher squats, front squats, good mornings, and not to forget deadlifts, back squats, along with other stuff. What does your training look like right now/ your experience.[/quote]

I play indoor soccer, and it’s the middle of the season now. 1 game per week, plus 1 soccer training session with focus on skill and conditioning. I’m in the gym twice a week doing Chest/Back on Day 1, Shoulders/Biceps on Day 2 with 8 x 8 per body group. I start my workouts off with some core exercises. Not doing weights for legs at the moment, as they will not have sufficient time to recover for soccer.

Diet is in check, I’m on a 300 calorie deficit per day, and I’m already down around 10 lbs. The goal is to lean down to 187-185lbs for optimal performance on the field, plus for aesthetic reasons. At the end of the season I will start doing WS4SB.

[/quote]
I would say train your legs, soccer isn’t enough for your legs, I have two hard lower body days a week with two hard sprint sessions a week. Give exact exercises/how long you have been doing them. [/quote]

Do you also play indoor soccer and have a hard soccer practice session once a week as well? Because I don’t really see where these blanket recommendations are coming from. I asked for advice on how to train my abs and you’re telling me about squats and deadlifts.

[quote]NYWanderer1982 wrote:

[quote]DSSG wrote:

[quote]NYWanderer1982 wrote:

[quote]DSSG wrote:
For definition it happens in the kitchen (losing body fat and getting leaner all around), but you probably won’t like what you see unless you get bigger and stronger all over. If you still want to train them, I would say do stuff like suit case deadlifts/variations of it (from floor, do them as rack pulls from various heights, do them as holds, there are many variations that you could do) barbell/dumbbell side bends, extremely heavy front squat holds, for indirect work that still trains it very hard zercher squats, front squats, good mornings, and not to forget deadlifts, back squats, along with other stuff. What does your training look like right now/ your experience.[/quote]

I play indoor soccer, and it’s the middle of the season now. 1 game per week, plus 1 soccer training session with focus on skill and conditioning. I’m in the gym twice a week doing Chest/Back on Day 1, Shoulders/Biceps on Day 2 with 8 x 8 per body group. I start my workouts off with some core exercises. Not doing weights for legs at the moment, as they will not have sufficient time to recover for soccer.

Diet is in check, I’m on a 300 calorie deficit per day, and I’m already down around 10 lbs. The goal is to lean down to 187-185lbs for optimal performance on the field, plus for aesthetic reasons. At the end of the season I will start doing WS4SB.

[/quote]
I would say train your legs, soccer isn’t enough for your legs, I have two hard lower body days a week with two hard sprint sessions a week. Give exact exercises/how long you have been doing them. [/quote]

Do you also play indoor soccer and have a hard soccer practice session once a week as well? Because I don’t really see where these blanket recommendations are coming from. I asked for advice on how to train my abs and you’re telling me about squats and deadlifts. [/quote]

No need to be rude man. The guy was only trying to help you and, IMO giving you a nod towards the right direction. I don’t play soccer myself but I do have a lot of friends who do and they train their lower body hard in the gym too. The lower body exercises he suggested will give your abdominal muscles a lot of strength and stability so, in a sense he was giving you advice on how to train your abs.

decline bench sit-ups with a dumbbell behind your neck. 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps. twice per week. been fucking awesome for me.

but like you were already told diet is huge.

I spent a good part of my youth doing crunch/sit-up type exercises of every type. I’m convinced now that this contributed heavily to a fucked-up back. I think static planks/ab wheel stuff is the way to go.

This thing is a killer:

And, of course, front squats and zercher squats are great for the mid section as well.

[quote]NYWanderer1982 wrote:
I asked for advice on how to train my abs and you’re telling me about squats and deadlifts. [/quote]

What happens when you pile weight on your back and push against that weight with your legs if your mid-section/abs are weak?

Hint: You fold up like a hida-bed.

[quote]NYWanderer1982 wrote:
The goal is to lean down to 187-185lbs for optimal performance on the field, plus for aesthetic reasons.[/quote]
How tall are you?

In-season is a terrible time to try losing fat. Your priority should be performance, not seeing maximum definition in your abs. They’re incongruent goals.

Slow the attitude, bud. You’re getting the advice you need, not the advice you want.

Fact of the matter is when you’re in-season and have games and practices every week, low volume full body training is ideal, which means you’ll be training your legs and all the other big muscle groups two or three times a week, in addition to your practices. You will be able to recover from it because you won’t be restricting calories… because, again, cutting in-season is a terrible idea.

Are you still learning form on the basic exercises?

Is your knee 100% healthy with no activity/exercise restrictions?

‘max definition’ comes from getting very, very low bodyfat and is nothing to do with exercise selection

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
‘max definition’ comes from getting very, very low bodyfat and is nothing to do with exercise selection[/quote]

R u saying that the idea of training abs for hypertrophy has no merit? Because that would put every article ever written by bodybuilding authors, including those on TNation (gasp) in the pure fluff category. In the articles they say you should train your abs to grow w/weighted excercises.

[quote]NYWanderer1982 wrote:

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
‘max definition’ comes from getting very, very low bodyfat and is nothing to do with exercise selection[/quote]

R u saying that the idea of training abs for hypertrophy has no merit? Because that would put every article ever written by bodybuilding authors, including those on Tnation (gasp) in the pure fluff category. In the articles they say you should train your abs to grow w/weighted excercises.[/quote]
R U gnna spel rhyte? Unless something is done about your LBM to your body fat ratio you won’t get your abs to have definition (show). You can get more muscle, and keep the fat levels around the same, or lose fat, and keep muscle around the same. The rectus abdominis (the muscles you want to show for your “sick awbzZz” or what gives the six pack its look) is fast twitch fiber dominate, so you know what will make it bigger and stronger the most? Heavy weight, do you know what the abs and erector spinae have in common? They stabilize your trunk, or encase that term wasn’t taught to you in school your ‘mid section, or torso’. They’re also antagonists of each other. So I bet you have an idea of what I am getting at, you need to deadlift and squat along with weighted ab/back exercises.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]NYWanderer1982 wrote:
The goal is to lean down to 187-185lbs for optimal performance on the field, plus for aesthetic reasons.[/quote]
How tall are you?

In-season is a terrible time to try losing fat. Your priority should be performance, not seeing maximum definition in your abs. They’re incongruent goals.

Slow the attitude, bud. You’re getting the advice you need, not the advice you want.

Fact of the matter is when you’re in-season and have games and practices every week, low volume full body training is ideal, which means you’ll be training your legs and all the other big muscle groups two or three times a week, in addition to your practices. You will be able to recover from it because you won’t be restricting calories… because, again, cutting in-season is a terrible idea.

Are you still learning form on the basic exercises?

Is your knee 100% healthy with no activity/exercise restrictions?[/quote]

Please listen to this OP. You are so very off with your training.

If your goal is to be a better soccer player, that should be your goal. Not gaining “max definition” in your abs.

You really need to start educating yourself about proper athletic training. WS4SB has a good inseason template that you should be using. Not this crap you wrote down.

Also, as an athlete, a training session should never be called “shoulders and biceps” or whatever. You SHOULD be training for performance, not to look pretty.

I would also highly suggest that you expect more from yourself. You say you aren’t training your lower body because you have ONE practice and ONE game a week. That is a piss poor excuse and I wouldn’t be surprised if you aren’t training your lower body simply because it’s hard and you don’t want to.

As Colucci said, you should be training your entire body always, even inseason.

I’m not speaking out of my ass here. I play rugby at the collegiate level, with consprises of 2-3 full contact practices, 2 additional conditioning sessions on my own outside of practice, and a game every week. As you know, this sport is also much rougher on the entire body than soccer, and I still lift twice a week, training the whole body both times.

Stop the excuses and get better.

Ok, I sincerely believe that you gentlemen mean well, which I think some explanation from me is due. I am a little disappointed that you are so quick to beat me over the head with the generic advice dogma before learning anything about me. That’s the hallmark of amateur coaching.

The reason I came here to ask specific questions is because I realize that you are not in the position to do something drastic for me, such as attempt to redesign my program. I don’t want help from you in changing my life philosophy, getting my goals and priorities straight, attempting to tweak my work ethic, etc.

Here’s why; you don’t know enough about the specifics of my life and my training to offer any meaningful advice that I would trust.

Did you know that I am an ex-Army infantryman? No. But that’s an important part of my injury history.
Did you know that I am an IT Mgr at a financial services company? No.
Did you know that in addition to work I am enrolled in school? No. But combined with work that places 60-70 hours of a specific type of stress per week that affects my recovery ability, along with affecting how much sleep I can get.
Did you know that I had an articular cartilage repair surgery two years ago, and I still have to work around that? No.
Did you know that I severely strained my back and got some pretty bad adhesions in the subgluteal fold on my right hamstring? No.

The point I am trying to make is that you don’t know enough about my training variables to make any drastic changes to my workout program. So, please lets stick to the specifics of what I had asked here, and save your keystrokes on trying to tell me that what I am doing is wrong. What I am doing is working for me, and that’s good enough. I didn’t make good life progress by listening to bad advice, and just because I post in the beginners section that doesn’t mean I am clueless about everything.

FIY,

Do you know how infuriating it is to sit here and listen to people try to beat you over the head with bad advice? Any advice is only as good as the context that it’s placed in, try to remember that. You have been so off the mark with most of what you said, it’s not even funny…

Like I said, I do believe that you mean well in trying to educate me, but please, let’s try to keep things in perspective here. Thx

Power wheel.

I barely skimmed this post, but I’m willing to wager that you look like shit, perform like shit, and that this is not going to change anytime soon.

Edit: To clarify, all I am seeing is a wall of excuses and irrelevant information that, if it mattered, you would have mentioned initially as opposed to just posting up all of that nonsense because somebody called you out on sounding like an idiot (I don’t see why your occupation matters at all, but whatever); also, if you just wanted various isolation ab exercises… http://lmgtfy.com/?q=ab+exercises… guess being an IT Manager at a Financial Services company doesn’t really prep you for using the internet, huh?

[quote]NYWanderer1982 wrote:
Ok, I sincerely believe that you gentlemen mean well, which I think some explanation from me is due. I am a little disappointed that you are so quick to beat me over the head with the generic advice dogma before learning anything about me. That’s the hallmark of amateur coaching.

The reason I came here to ask specific questions is because I realize that you are not in the position to do something drastic for me, such as attempt to redesign my program. I don’t want help from you in changing my life philosophy, getting my goals and priorities straight, attempting to tweak my work ethic, etc.

Here’s why; you don’t know enough about the specifics of my life and my training to offer any meaningful advice that I would trust.

Did you know that I am an ex-Army infantryman? No. But that’s an important part of my injury history.
Did you know that I am an IT Mgr at a financial services company? No.
Did you know that in addition to work I am enrolled in school? No. But combined with work that places 60-70 hours of a specific type of stress per week that affects my recovery ability, along with affecting how much sleep I can get.
Did you know that I had an articular cartilage repair surgery two years ago, and I still have to work around that? No.
Did you know that I severely strained my back and got some pretty bad adhesions in the subgluteal fold on my right hamstring? No.

The point I am trying to make is that you don’t know enough about my training variables to make any drastic changes to my workout program. So, please lets stick to the specifics of what I had asked here, and save your keystrokes on trying to tell me that what I am doing is wrong. What I am doing is working for me, and that’s good enough. I didn’t make good life progress by listening to bad advice, and just because I post in the beginners section that doesn’t mean I am clueless about everything.

FIY,

Do you know how infuriating it is to sit here and listen to people try to beat you over the head with bad advice? Any advice is only as good as the context that it’s placed in, try to remember that. You have been so off the mark with most of what you said, it’s not even funny…

Like I said, I do believe that you mean well in trying to educate me, but please, let’s try to keep things in perspective here. Thx[/quote]

[quote]NYWanderer1982 wrote:
Ok, I sincerely believe that you gentlemen mean well, which I think some explanation from me is due. I am a little disappointed that you are so quick to beat me over the head with the generic advice dogma before learning anything about me. That’s the hallmark of amateur coaching.

The reason I came here to ask specific questions is because I realize that you are not in the position to do something drastic for me, such as attempt to redesign my program. I don’t want help from you in changing my life philosophy, getting my goals and priorities straight, attempting to tweak my work ethic, etc.

Here’s why; you don’t know enough about the specifics of my life and my training to offer any meaningful advice that I would trust.

Did you know that I am an ex-Army infantryman? No. But that’s an important part of my injury history.
Did you know that I am an IT Mgr at a financial services company? No.
Did you know that in addition to work I am enrolled in school? No. But combined with work that places 60-70 hours of a specific type of stress per week that affects my recovery ability, along with affecting how much sleep I can get.
Did you know that I had an articular cartilage repair surgery two years ago, and I still have to work around that? No.
Did you know that I severely strained my back and got some pretty bad adhesions in the subgluteal fold on my right hamstring? No.

The point I am trying to make is that you don’t know enough about my training variables to make any drastic changes to my workout program. So, please lets stick to the specifics of what I had asked here, and save your keystrokes on trying to tell me that what I am doing is wrong. What I am doing is working for me, and that’s good enough. I didn’t make good life progress by listening to bad advice, and just because I post in the beginners section that doesn’t mean I am clueless about everything.

FIY,

Do you know how infuriating it is to sit here and listen to people try to beat you over the head with bad advice? Any advice is only as good as the context that it’s placed in, try to remember that. You have been so off the mark with most of what you said, it’s not even funny…

Like I said, I do believe that you mean well in trying to educate me, but please, let’s try to keep things in perspective here. Thx[/quote]

Look bud, like Colucci said, you are getting the advice you NEED, not the advice you WANT.

If you wanted someone to pat you on the back and tell you how great you are, then you should have asked for that, not for real advice.

Colucci knows his shit. He has most likely been making people great for longer than you have been alive.

I don’t have near the experience as him, but I did take myself from a skinny twig who trips over his own feet to a division 1 athelte. I also train people when I’m not studying or practicing/training.

All of the background stuff you have was nice, but it doesn’t change the advice much. You should tweak your program to account for past injuries and life stress, etc. But that doesn’t mean you just throw everything out of the window.

If you want to be an athlete, than train like one. It really isn’t terribly complicated, but it is hard.

If you really want to head that advice, I would be happy to help you out. If you want to continue to suck, then that’s on you.

[quote]NYWanderer1982 wrote:

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
‘max definition’ comes from getting very, very low bodyfat and is nothing to do with exercise selection[/quote]

R u saying that the idea of training abs for hypertrophy has no merit? Because that would put every article ever written by bodybuilding authors, including those on TNation (gasp) in the pure fluff category. In the articles they say you should train your abs to grow w/weighted excercises.[/quote]

It depends what you want. From a bodybuilding/ aesthetics perspective you just need to get very lean and maybe a few leg raises to keep the lower back healthy.

Anyone whose played a decent amount of sports will have developed some reasonable ab muscle its just covered by a layer of fat, this is especially true in your case as you were in the military.

If you want really thick abs for heavy contact sports like boxing, rugby etc then thats a different story.

Training your legs will make you more powerful at soccer, and less prone to injury.
Training your legs with squats and deadlifts will allow you to add muscular mass to your entire body, helping you achieve these “popped” abs.
Training your legs will make you more of a man in general.

If you just want to see your existing abs more clearly, lose fat by adjusting your diet.

FWIW, I spent a number of years playing up to 4 games of indoor soccer per week, plus 3 evenings of strength training, while working fulltime and studying at university. I didn’t feel this was a particularly dire workload. It’s all about your goals, and what you are willing to do to reach them.

[quote]Chris87 wrote:
Colucci knows his shit. He has most likely been making people great for longer than you have been alive.[/quote]
Thanks man. I do appreciate that. But are you saying this because OP sounds like a snotty teenager or because you think I’m like 50? :confused:

[quote]NYWanderer1982 wrote:
R u saying that the idea of training abs for hypertrophy has no merit? Because that would put every article ever written by bodybuilding authors, including those on TNation (gasp) in the pure fluff category. In the articles they say you should train your abs to grow w/weighted excercises.[/quote]
If only there was a TNation author who could wander into this thread and chime in with his opinion.

Thanks for taking the time to write out a huge premenstrual rant pissing on the people who invested time into helping you instead of being open to constructive criticism.

No it isn’t. The cause of an injury is much less important than the treatment and its current state. It doesn’t matter if you tore your knee parachuting into Kabul or slipping in the shower.

[quote]Did you know that I had an articular cartilage repair surgery two years ago, and I still have to work around that? No.
Did you know that I severely strained my back and got some pretty bad adhesions in the subgluteal fold on my right hamstring? No.[/quote]
I asked. You decided not to answer because it was more important for you to whine about people offering input on the big picture instead of answering what you think is the issue at hand.

P.S. - if your back is “severely strained”, you’re probably making it worse with the fucked up ab training you’re currently doing. Nice work.

[quote]Did you know that I am an IT Mgr at a financial services company? No.
Did you know that in addition to work I am enrolled in school? No. But combined with work that places 60-70 hours of a specific type of stress per week that affects my recovery ability, along with affecting how much sleep I can get.[/quote]
If you weren’t following a shitty training program and a fat loss diet, recovery wouldn’t be as issue. People with schedules busier than yours have gotten results. You are not a unique little snowflake.

[quote]FIY,

Do you know how infuriating it is to sit here and listen to people try to beat you over the head with bad advice? [/quote]
FIY, do you know how infuriating it is to be asked for advice, invest time and energy into offering advice, and then have that person be a condescending shit and say, “FIY, no that’s not it. Here’s all the reasons you guys need to give me better advice.”?

You mean like a guy with a bad back and bad knee who has soccer games and practices weekly while following an imbalanced and poorly designed weight training program on a reduced calorie diet who believes his current priority is figuring out the best ab exercises?

That’s context, bud.

So, go use the Search function, find your own answers, piss off, and have a Merry Christmas.

FIY, do you know how infuriating it is to be asked for advice, invest time and energy into offering advice, and then have that person be a condescending shit and say, “FIY, no that’s not it. Here’s all the reasons you guys need to give me better advice.”?

You mean like a guy with a bad back and bad knee who has soccer games and practices weekly while following an imbalanced and poorly designed weight training program on a reduced calorie diet who believes his current priority is figuring out the best ab exercises?

That’s context, bud.

So, go use the Search function, find your own answers, piss off, and have a Merry Christmas.[/quote]

SNAP.

[quote]NYWanderer1982 wrote:
What’s the best way to get the abs to pop? Should I train them with heavy weights once a week, same as any other body group?[/quote]

Ab definition is made in the kitchen. That’s pretty much common knowledge to people who lift. Just keep lowering your bodyfat percentage. Doesn’t matter how much you work or how many injuries you have. None of that disqualifies you from needing a lower bodyfat percentage if you want more defined abs.

But given the amount of bitching you’ve done, that’s obviously not what you wanted to hear. I sympathize, I hate dieting and messing with bodyfat percentages and shit. I’d much rather just lift heavy. Anyway, if you don’t want to listen, just let us know how your “ab hypertrophy training” goes and show some pics of your success in a few months.

[quote]csulli wrote:

[quote]NYWanderer1982 wrote:
What’s the best way to get the abs to pop? Should I train them with heavy weights once a week, same as any other body group?[/quote]

Ab definition is made in the kitchen. That’s pretty much common knowledge to people who lift. Just keep lowering your bodyfat percentage. Doesn’t matter how much you work or how many injuries you have. None of that disqualifies you from needing a lower bodyfat percentage if you want more defined abs.

But given the amount of bitching you’ve done, that’s obviously not what you wanted to hear. I sympathize, I hate dieting and messing with bodyfat percentages and shit. I’d much rather just lift heavy. Anyway, if you don’t want to listen, just let us know how your “ab hypertrophy training” goes and show some pics of your success in a few months.[/quote]

Haha yeah bro. It seems totally unfair that we can’t just lift heavy every other day and get amazing bodies. In a world ruled by logic and justice, abs would be created by training like a man, not eating like a bird. Unless the bird in question is a Terror Bird (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phorusrhacidae) … eating like one of those would be fucking sweet.
Sorry for thread de-rail, OP. But at least it will give you something valid to grumble about =].