T Nation

Weak Abs Affect Lifts?

I usually dont train abs because they hit through my regular workout.

Recently i decided after my back day that i would do some minor work and noticed they were really weak.

i also noticed that my deadlift havent been going up, and since i also recently added front squat into my leg routine my lower back seems to give out before my legs do.

im not doing heavy weight on the front squat just around 95-135 but going for 10-12 reps and short pauses at the bottom.
my max deadlift is around 315, ive been up to 340 but recently i havent been able to break 325 for more then 1 rep.

ive also noticed that when doing lat pull downs or tricep extentions i have a hard time keeping the weight from pulling me up.

they are the only bodypart that i dont hit regularly ,
could this be my problem? could having weak abs be affecting my lifts?
if so how many sets should i do?

This is what you’re looking for…

Staggered Ab Training by Thibs

[quote]Trainer1928 wrote:
I usually dont train abs because they hit through my regular workout.

Recently i decided after my back day that i would do some minor work and noticed they were really weak.

i also noticed that my deadlift havent been going up, and since i also recently added front squat into my leg routine my lower back seems to give out before my legs do.

im not doing heavy weight on the front squat just around 95-135 but going for 10-12 reps and short pauses at the bottom.
my max deadlift is around 315, ive been up to 340 but recently i havent been able to break 325 for more then 1 rep.

ive also noticed that when doing lat pull downs or tricep extentions i have a hard time keeping the weight from pulling me up.

they are the only bodypart that i dont hit regularly ,
could this be my problem? could having weak abs be affecting my lifts?
if so how many sets should i do? [/quote]

Dave Tate also talked about his abs limiting him in a competition before.

Yes, abs are really important. Don’t just train them by sit-ups and crunches though.

I’m not a big fan of doing ‘core exercises’, such as crunches & sit up’s. Since, they get pretty worked when squatting, deadlifting, shoulder presses, tricep push downs et al.

If tho, you’d like to work on your core, ya should really do it with enough weight for it to be worthwhile. You could do it pre or post workout, altho, if you do cardio post workout, it could be a long session

[quote]TheOlympian wrote:
I’m not a big fan of doing ‘core exercises’, such as crunches & sit up’s. Since, they get pretty worked when squatting, deadlifting, shoulder presses, tricep push downs et al.
[/quote]

I always hear this, and I know it’s the in style thing to say in the weightlifting world, but I truly, truly think it’s absolute horseshit.

The harder you work your abs, the better your lifts will be and the stronger a person you will be.

Weighted situps and hangling leg raises are your friends.

I really like woodchops on the cable station. And then some reverse crunches here and there.

Here’s how I see it.

If Squats/Deadlift will promote core strength, then that should mean those lifts will also benefit from additional core strength. In other words, ab work = one less weak link in the system.

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
I always hear this, and I know it’s the in style thing to say in the weightlifting world, but I truly, truly think it’s absolute horseshit.[/quote]

Agreed, I think it’s horseshit too.

[quote]Trainer1928 wrote:
and since i also recently added front squat into my leg routine my lower back seems to give out before my legs do.[/quote]

That is often the case, but don’t worry, doing more front squats will help.

[quote]anthropocentric wrote:
I really like woodchops on the cable station. And then some reverse crunches here and there.[/quote]

i must admit, i do enjoy doig wood chopping with the cables

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
TheOlympian wrote:
I’m not a big fan of doing ‘core exercises’, such as crunches & sit up’s. Since, they get pretty worked when squatting, deadlifting, shoulder presses, tricep push downs et al.

I always hear this, and I know it’s the in style thing to say in the weightlifting world, but I truly, truly think it’s absolute horseshit.

The harder you work your abs, the better your lifts will be and the stronger a person you will be.

Weighted situps and hangling leg raises are your friends.[/quote]

The reason people say that is because they started with well developed abs from sports, previous ab work, or simple a large frame and good genetics.

People who already have strong abs can easily maintain their strength with heavy compound lifts like squats and deads.

Problem is, beginners dont have strong abs to begin with, and telling them not to train abs and just squat heavier is a terrible plan for them.

Its not so much that its horseshit, its just that these people dont consider their audience.

I only do 3 sets of abs a week and mine as rock solid from heavy lifts, its easy to maintain something once its already built up.

[quote]Westclock wrote:
FightinIrish26 wrote:
TheOlympian wrote:
I’m not a big fan of doing ‘core exercises’, such as crunches & sit up’s. Since, they get pretty worked when squatting, deadlifting, shoulder presses, tricep push downs et al.

I always hear this, and I know it’s the in style thing to say in the weightlifting world, but I truly, truly think it’s absolute horseshit.

The harder you work your abs, the better your lifts will be and the stronger a person you will be.

Weighted situps and hangling leg raises are your friends.

The reason people say that is because they started with well developed abs from sports, previous ab work, or simple a large frame and good genetics.

People who already have strong abs can easily maintain their strength with heavy compound lifts like squats and deads.

Problem is, beginners dont have strong abs to begin with, and telling them not to train abs and just squat heavier is a terrible plan for them.

Its not so much that its horseshit, its just that these people dont consider their audience.

I only do 3 sets of abs a week and mine as rock solid from heavy lifts, its easy to maintain something once its already built up.[/quote]

Great take.

I had a great ‘core’ from my military days, but relying on my past eventually stopped working.

I’d try doing ab rollouts and all of the plank variations. If you end up in a pile on the floor or your abs feel like they have ripped off of your body the next day, you need ab work in your routine.

Just to clarify, abs can be worked daily? I’ve always thought this to be true but read somewhere this is not the case?

[quote]dday wrote:
Just to clarify, abs can be worked daily? I’ve always thought this to be true but read somewhere this is not the case?[/quote]

Depends on how hard your working them.

The abs are basically a big tube of slow twitch, they have extremely high endurance and resistance to injury.

But like any muscle they can be over trained or injured.

But I doubt the average lifter would be able to work them hard enough to get to that point.

I would never work them every day because I need my abs to be fully recovered for my legs and back days.

I work them at the end of the week.

Dave Tate has preached numberous times do “Start doing what you hate” in the gym because you’re only as strong as your weakest bodypart.

In his case, his Squat 1rep max had been stuck on a plateau for quite some time. He had never trained abs. He switched things up a little bit, and started training and strengthening his abs intensely for some time. When he went back to squatting, he got a new PR.

He claims that his legs could’ve handled a heavier squat, but his weak abs were limiting how much weight his body could hold on the bar. Call it what you will, but I think he’s right.

[quote]Seinix wrote:
Dave Tate has preached numberous times do “Start doing what you hate” in the gym because you’re only as strong as your weakest bodypart.

In his case, his Squat 1rep max had been stuck on a plateau for quite some time. He had never trained abs. He switched things up a little bit, and started training and strengthening his abs intensely for some time. When he went back to squatting, he got a new PR.

He claims that his legs could’ve handled a heavier squat, but his weak abs were limiting how much weight his body could hold on the bar. Call it what you will, but I think he’s right.[/quote]

Thats the first article I ever read on here and its also the reason i train my abs. Not because I’m worried that they limit me on some of my other lifts, but because I don’t want to have to worry that they are.

Right now I’m using a strength building workout based on the westside barbell programs (power lifting gym). There are a lot of emphasis on core development with deadlifts and weighted ab exercises. Working out core and legs will increase overall strength for everything.

If it is good enough for a powerlifter, it is good enough for me.

I do weighted situps once a week on the decline bench. I usually do 2 or 3 sets with a heavy dumbell on my chest and try to add reps. Right now im working with 80lbs for 15 reps.

My abs are rock solid, their like blocks compared to the way they were before I started adding weight. Sometimes Ill let a girl punch me in the stomach as hard as they can. Its amusing. No dudes tho. I can’t wait to see how they look with the layer of fat stripped off.

thanks for the info guys,
i will train them regularly now
i personally think right now they are a weak link.