T Nation

What's Your Ab Split?


I do abs every other day. Some days with weight, others with none at all.

I'll do 4 x 25 crunches on a decline bench

3 x 10 crunches to each side on the decline bench

4 x 15 leg lifts


I do abs twice a week.

Abs one day, on the abs machine, sometimes followed by weighted crunches.

Obliques the other day. Wood chop really gets the heart pumping.


I mix it up all the time ,every 3rd or 4th day, could be standing ab crunches with a lat machine, decline with a plate,pre stretched crunches with plate, 150lb. side bends, windmills, wood chop, saxon side bends. etc.


hanging leg lifts and this excersize that I thought of (well, I doubt it... but you know) You take two 45 plates put them flat part against flat part (so you use the ring around the edge as a grip) hold them over your head... then walk around in different patterns changing directions every few steps. Great oblique work.


Could you do 4 X 50? What about 4 X 100?

I've never heard a good argument as to why abs are delt with in this way....volume, volume, volume and all sub maximal at that....don't even start with me about 'abs' being postural muscles.

You need to do some heavier ab work. If you really need to do any at all.


I will try ding 4 x 50 tomorrow.


That's not what he was saying. You need to do heavy ab work! Add some freakin' weights and do weighted situps, Barbell Russian twists, Ab wheel, Machine situps with a ton of weight, etc.

They need to be trained hard and heavy. Lower reps, plenty of weight, a variety of sets.

Leave the high-rep stuff to the cardio bunnies.


personally i haven't done an ab exersice in a WHILE, deadlifting, squating and overhead pressing have done more for my abs than any sit up/crunch ever did...


Heavy abwork as in hanging pikes and heavy weighted crunches. Abs really ARE like any other muscle. The only difference being that they actually require LESS direct work because they get worked a lot in all the good compound exercises we should all be doing.


Ok, I understand. I'll try everything with weights tomorrow. Thanks guys.


Is this to bad?

I do 6 sets of all of these

Situps with 10lb weight on my head 6x10
Side bends 6x10 each side
leg lifts 6x10

Is that too much?


I look at that and think either 1. It's not heavy enough...in that you can do 180reps. 2. Your trunk is strong enough from all the other work that you do that I'd wonder why you'd bother with this in the first place.


i dont train abs directly

after i do weighted chins i do chins with a kip(not dead hang) and my abs get quite w workout from this


I'm doing it in order to have a six/eight pac..

I do my workouts (Currently doing the 'Are you a light bulb' workout by Christian Thibaudeau

I got the ab workout from his wife and modified it for myself so that I did 1 set of all of those (and the side bends I have a 30lb pound weight)then every 2 weeks added another set

Would that be a acceptable workout in order to reach my goal (yes I do cardio 2 miles every morning before breakfast along with 2 day H.I.I.T running)


Lately I only directly work my abs once a week, maybe twice. I like hanging leg raises and various exercises with weight.

What I have been doing differently is really concentrating on keeping my mid section tight while perfoming all my compound lifts. I feel this has really helped further develop my abs. It's terribly easy to forget to keep them tight when working out and I still have to continually remind myself.

One thing is for certain, I'm glad that I've moved past the days of beating my head against the wall with rep after rep, day after day, of direct abdominal training.


The other work you're doing will be what significantly contributes to your goal...that and your diet more than all the ab work.


Side bends really don't do much for your abs, nor for your obliques.

To hit the obliques, you need a rotating motion in the torso. But twists don't have much resistance. That's why I prefer wood chops.

But lately I'm looking at the cable push/pull: www.exrx.net/AnimatedEx/Power/CBPushPull.gif


I think Will Heffernan and I are on the same page here. I work my abs when I squat, deadlift, press in any plane and pullup, because I keep my abs tight (and my lower back too) to maintain a strong, stable core.

Maybe when I'm 8% bodyfat I'll start doing some specific ab work, but at the moment I simply don't have time.

And to however was going on about wanting a 6/8 pack: it's diet, mate. No amount of ab work will bring that pack out if you have a layer of fat covering it.


Hanging pikes twice a week, sets of 15.


I'm curous.

Why 4 x 25 crunches on a decline bench ?

Why 3 x 10 crunches to each side on the decline bench ?

Why 4 x 15 leg lifts ?

What's your goal? Hypertophy? Maintenance? Strength? Explosive power/speed? Maximum strength? Why the 3 and 4 sets? Why 15,10 & 25 reps?

By no means am I doubting your training? I would just like more background as to why you choose this and what your goals are?

I personally believe a well rounded abd. training program should have:

Trunk flexion.
Trunk Rotation.
Hip flexion.
Hip rotation.
LAteral flexion.
And an exercise that realy targets the transverse.

On days A & C, I'm currently doing:
Hanging leg(knee) raises.
Standing D.B. side bends.
Wrist to knee sit-up.
Weighted russian twists.

Days B & D:
Swiss ball extended body holds.
Hip rotation on a machine.
Crunch with arms behind head held @ constant 90degrees to body.

My goal is 15 reps each exercise.
311 tempo on most, some a 202 or 303.