T Nation

What is Everyone Doing for Core?


My coach does receives his own coaching from Kabuki, so we’re always focused on bracing and rooting.

Lately he’s been programming planks 20 seconds on, 5 seconds off for me for 5x on. And another day is ab wheel starting from knees, with the goal doing it from standing. I’ve been going beltless ever since my meet was over, so I definitely feel some stuff there, and it could be unrelated, but I do see some recent ab definition, but then again I also lost some weight from traveling, or my wife’s scale is off.


I haven’t been on Kabuki Movement Systems since last spring so maybe they have some different ideas at the moment, but skip to 4:10 and hear what Duffin says: “There’s just no need, in my opinion, to do them standing”

Anyway, the point here isn’t that ab work will make you weak and impotent, it’s just that ab work is overrated and potentially unnecessary. Last I saw at KMS they had a list of what they deemed to be acceptable ab exercises (no spinal flexion of course) and that included ab wheel, stir the pot, the McGill big 3, and a few others. One of them was a thing where you get someone to basically karate chop you all around your midsection as you brace, it’s supposed to help you to activate muscles in any area where they aren’t working. The emphasis over there was on bracing, and learning to brace and doing bracing drills for those who aren’t doing it right rather than whatever sort of ab work just because abs, abs, abs.


Who’s coaching you? (Sorry if you posted this already)


Mike lusby. Lives in Austin, tx and won the 198 class national championship last year in USS. His strengths are also my weaknesses. He’s got an Olympic lifting background, and he’s fast.


I guess they’re programming this to mix it up.


What are they actually programming for your coach?


I don’t see him doing any abwork honestly - mostly transformer bar stuff. Most of my teammates do ab roll outs from the knees, and some can do it standing for like 1 or 2, but not the entire working set


Keep it simple. Weighted decline sit ups and hanging leg raises on squat day(+ good mornings). Standing ab roller and decline sit ups on DL day (+good mornings). All squat and DL variations are done beltelss until around 6 weeks before competiton.


Why? I don’t hear of anyone successful who trains like that. If you aren’t used to lifting with a belt then you won’t get anything out of it, it takes practice to learn to use it properly.


The original post was about training the core. Do beltless SSB squats or beltless dl do nothing for the core?

This is what has worked for me anyway. I know that everyone is different.


I just don’t think that avoiding using a belt until just before a meet is a good idea. As for beltless squats and deadlifts, there may be some benefit to them but wearing a belt actually increases muscle fibre recruitment in the abs/core.


Intersting. I have read that VL and hamstring recruitment increases with a belt, but not the abs/core. Do you have a link to the study?


No I don’t have a link. Greg Nuckols had an article a while back about this, other coaches like Josh Bryant have been saying the same thing.


I think this is the link you’re looking for. It’s a lengthy read but worth it. There’s an infographic in there containing a summary of which muscles get more or less activation if the article will be too dragging for you


Awesome, cheers.


I’ve been going beltless for the last few weeks, really excited to see how big I’ll be lifting once I start using a belt again.


Let us know how it goes. I once stopped using a belt for about 6-8 weeks because of the supposed benefits, when I put it back on I was getting nothing out of it. It seems like doing some beltless work might be good, especially if you are training for a sport where you don’t wear a belt (as in not PL), but for PL I’m not convinced.


I rarely use a belt. When I do, I get 10-20lbs out of it


Either you have the worlds strongest abs or no idea how to brace and utilize the belt more.


Probably the later. I’ve never used one really. I’ll get one eventually.