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  1. #1
    Registered User quest-x's Avatar
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    abdominal exercises virtually pointless for hypertrophy?

    edit--i altered the title ^

    hey,

    i know this has been discussed tons of times in these forums, but i can't seem to find it using the search function. i really don't know what keywords to type in... i tried "abs" and "useless" and "pointless"... really didn't find much

    now, i really have not worked my abs in over a year, but i might start training them again due to shoulder injuries... just to fill in the discrepencies in a new routine revised for my injuries. before i stopped, i used to train heavy though, heavy enough that i wouldn't get past 10 reps.

    what i want to know is if it's practically useless to train the abs. i heard somewhere that it's a thin layer of muscle that's pretty much pointless to attempt to hypertrophy. if it's not worth it, i won't do it.

    how about the obliques?

    edit--to clarify, i would like to know if it is worth the effort to try to get the abdominals to hypertrophy. if i'm going to do so much work for very minimal results, it won't be worth it to me. any scientific research (articles etc) relating to abdominals and hypertrophy would be excellent.
    Last edited by quest-x; 10-20-2005 at 02:21 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Worthless, if you do heavy compounds
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  3. #3
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    Many have told me that it's pointless to do ab excercises unless i do the cardio with it...
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  4. #4
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    Originally Posted by SPAM
    Many have told me that it's pointless to do ab excercises unless i do the cardio with it...
    because you won't see your abs unless your bodyfat is low enough, and cardio will aid in reducing your bodyfat.

    anyway, i can already see my abs, and regardless i'm bulking and want to know if it's possible to make my abs grow or if it's a waste of effort to try.

    W8isGR8 yeah that's what i figured. i just need some stuff to do while i'm healing my shoulders... lol
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  5. #5
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    Originally Posted by W8isGR8
    Worthless, if you do heavy compounds
    W8... you're going to get another or from RU4 for this. Original poster, nothing wrong with training abs. Heavy compounds will help develop core strength, but for complete ab development, cable crunches, weighted decline or flat crunches, as well as the occasional leg raise (iliopsoas) are a must in my humble opinion. I don't train abs regularly out of laziness... but mine look the best when I do. Also, don't forget the importance of diet when it comes to having good-looking abs... if that's what you're after.
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  6. #6
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    Originally Posted by SPAM
    Many have told me that it's pointless to do ab excercises unless i do the cardio with it...
    Diet is as big or bigger factor in having abs that show... but cardio helps too.
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  7. #7
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    Originally Posted by quest-x
    hey,

    i know this has been discussed tons of times in these forums, but i can't seem to find it using the search function. i really don't know what keywords to type in... i tried "abs" and "useless" and "pointless"... really didn't find much

    now, i really have not worked my abs in over a year, but i might start training them again due to shoulder injuries... just to fill in the discrepencies in a new routine revised for my injuries. before i stopped, i used to train heavy though, heavy enough that i wouldn't get past 10 reps.

    what i want to know is if it's practically useless to train the abs. i heard somewhere that it's a thin layer of muscle that's pretty much pointless to attempt to hypertrophy. if it's not worth it, i won't do it.

    how about the obliques?
    I am by no means an expert, but I cant imagine that being close to true. Rather than search for why it is pointless to work your abs, search for why you should work them, and how the muscle(s) work. www.exrx.net or here would be a great start. I'm not trying to be smart or anything, but it would be safe to say that all of your muscles can and should be worked and that nothing needs to be neglected. I know some people are able to do very little ab work and still get great results because of genetics, etc (I am not one though). But I read your post as a general rule of thumb (i.e. no need to work abs at all). If I misread, sorry...otherwise, I would work them!
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  8. #8
    Registered User quest-x's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by aqua-beowulf
    W8... you're going to get another or from RU4 for this. Original poster, nothing wrong with training abs. Heavy compounds will help develop core strength, but for complete ab development, cable crunches, weighted decline or flat crunches, as well as the occasional leg raise (iliopsoas) are a must in my humble opinion. I don't train abs regularly out of laziness... but mine look the best when I do. Also, don't forget the importance of diet when it comes to having good-looking abs... if that's what you're after.
    thanks aqua. any scientific evidence/articles on this? i know ab exercises will hit the abs... but if i'm going to be doing so much work for such minimal results, it's not worth it, you know what i mean?
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  9. #9
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    At least do something good for abs like my variation of the perfect pull-over
    "Ahoy, cap'n. Glad to see you weren't bested by the white whale or whatever the fuk you were doing out in the water."- theshoupguy
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  10. #10
    Registered User quest-x's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Bogaerts
    I am by no means an expert, but I cant imagine that being close to true. Rather than search for why it is pointless to work your abs, search for why you should work them, and how the muscle(s) work. www.exrx.net or here would be a great start. I'm not trying to be smart or anything, but it would be safe to say that all of your muscles can and should be worked and that nothing needs to be neglected. I know some people are able to do very little ab work and still get great results because of genetics, etc (I am not one though). But I read your post as a general rule of thumb (i.e. no need to work abs at all). If I misread, sorry...otherwise, I would work them!
    thanks for responding, bogaerts. i'm already familiar with many abdominal exercises and how they affect the targeted areas. right now i'm interested in the issue of how much the abs can hypertrophy from direct training. i.e. if the results are worth the effort. abdominal training i find is tedious, and if i don't believe in it, i won't do it.
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    Diet may be key in terms of appearance, but not in terms of performance. Core stability may not be at the top of everyone's list. But that doesn't mean that it doesn't have it's place.

    I thought training with heavy compounds would be sufficient. That was ten weeks ago until I got hurt. Only now am I in the position to start back, and I will forever more make sure that I pay proper attention to core work.
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    Originally Posted by W8isGR8
    At least do something good for abs like my variation of the perfect pull-over
    eh? can you elaborate please?
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    Just like a pull-over only you use a cable with a rope handle attachment. All you do is add a crunch to the end of the movement. Really hits the abs/serratus good. Excellent for adding meat to the rib area.
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    Originally Posted by quest-x
    thanks for responding, bogaerts. i'm already familiar with many abdominal exercises and how they affect the targeted areas. right now i'm interested in the issue of how much the abs can hypertrophy from direct training. i.e. if the results are worth the effort. abdominal training i find is tedious, and if i don't believe in it, i won't do it.
    Yea, I have to agree with you on that one. If I don't buy into a thing completely, I have trouble sticking with it. I misread the original post then. With regards to abs and hypertrophy, thats another question. I wound up getting great development from just doing core exercises (squats, deads, etc.). I also work abs daily when I do cardio (not heavy though). You can't see em cause the body fat is too high though but a lot more strength. Most of what I have read claims that hypertrophy is possible with ab work and obliques. Not having done it (I have never worked em hard enough to test the theory), I can't really say...
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    Just keep working at it man. I've been pushing for like 5 months now, constantly changing my diet and routine.

    However, I have a question; I am now running on a treadmill for about 12 minutes at 5.3 mph. At this point, I get sweating pretty good, my heart pounds, and my legs feel really tight. Afterwards, I usually do some weighted crunches (about 3 sets of 10 reps) and some push-ups. I then drink a protein shake, and then I move on to a weight workout a few hours later. I do crunches and leg-raises throughout the day.

    If I keep doing this, is it probable tha ti'll earn the results I want in time? Or is there more room for improvement?
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    Originally Posted by aqua-beowulf
    W8... you're going to get another or from RU4 for this. Original poster, nothing wrong with training abs. Heavy compounds will help develop core strength, but for complete ab development, cable crunches, weighted decline or flat crunches, as well as the occasional leg raise (iliopsoas) are a must in my humble opinion. I don't train abs regularly out of laziness... but mine look the best when I do. Also, don't forget the importance of diet when it comes to having good-looking abs... if that's what you're after.
    Ab work goes hand in hand with heavy compounds for building core strength. They compliment one another very well. I'm in the same camp as aqua, though; my abs look the best when I train them regularly.

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    your abdominal muscles are muscles after all so yes you can induce hypertrophy.
    "Leave the pump in the bedroom and add some damn weight to the bar" - Dave Tate

    "Train for strength, eat to grow and you will get bigger and stronger" - Someone bigger and stronger then me
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  18. #18
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    Originally Posted by SPAM
    Just keep working at it man. I've been pushing for like 5 months now, constantly changing my diet and routine.

    However, I have a question; I am now running on a treadmill for about 12 minutes at 5.3 mph. At this point, I get sweating pretty good, my heart pounds, and my legs feel really tight. Afterwards, I usually do some weighted crunches (about 3 sets of 10 reps) and some push-ups. I then drink a protein shake, and then I move on to a weight workout a few hours later. I do crunches and leg-raises throughout the day.

    If I keep doing this, is it probable tha ti'll earn the results I want in time? Or is there more room for improvement?
    Your abdominals consist of primarily fast-twitch fibers, so it's best if you work them with high weights and low-reps. In your case 3 sets of 10 sounds fine. Also, they're like any other of your muscles and need proper recovery time. Work them intensely, and no more than once or twice a week. Don't do crunches and leg raises throughout the day...

    Additionally, I would train them before cardio when I have a lot more energy. Treat them like any other muscle group.

    Also, the push-ups are pointless. It's probably just beneficial psychologically for you.

    Just my opinion.
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    It's probably a good idea to train your abs even if you're not getting any hypertrophy... You don't want a weak link in your core
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    Originally Posted by Jneves
    your abdominal muscles are muscles after all so yes you can induce hypertrophy.
    Thanks jneves. I should have made it more clear. In my original post, I stated that I heard it was "practically pointless" to train abs. Meaning, not completely pointless... but is all the effort worth it if I'm just going to get very minimal results?

    Basically I started this thread to look for scientific opinion/evidence/articles related to the abdominals and hypertrophy.
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    Originally Posted by Jonnyboy81
    It's probably a good idea to train your abs even if you're not getting any hypertrophy... You don't want a weak link in your core
    Hmm that's true
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    ................

    Lemme Drop Some Knowledge On Some Of You Dirtclowns


    These Are Facts...

    1. Abs Are Worked In Heavy Compounds - True
    2. Ab Visibility Is Based On Low Bf As Well As Moderate Hypertrophy Of The Ab Muscles - True
    3. Abs That Can Do 30 Weighted Crunches Are Stronger Then Abs That Cant.
    4. Therefore Having Strong Abs By Direct Training Will Effect Your Heavy Compounds.
    5. In Conclusion Training Abs Specifically Is Helpful Overall. Although Your Heavy Compounds May Work Them, Making Them Stronger Will Help Out Your Heavy Compounds.

    Knowledge Has Been Dropped, Soak It Up
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    Originally Posted by Jonnyboy81
    It's probably a good idea to train your abs even if you're not getting any hypertrophy... You don't want a weak link in your core



    I can't believe that it took 20 posts for someone to finally mention this. Anyone who doesn't train their abs/core is a fool. And don't forget that ab training and core training aren't the same thing. Core training will give you a 6 pack AND function, while ab training gives you a 6 pack with A LOT less function. In any lift you do, especially squat and deadlift, core training is critical. If you have a weak core, you either risk injury, will have poor form, won't be able to handle the weight...a number of things. Granted, you do gain core strength from doing those lifts, but to me that's not enough. Realistically, the only way to get a pretty strong core with the Big 3 lifts is to always increase the weight, not do the same weight all the time. And since you can't just keep adding 10 pounds to your squat automatically whenver you want to, core training will help you reach that next mark, while protecting yourself from injury.

    I'll say it again..while someone who can squat 400 pounds will have a strong core simply cuz of the poundage they can lift, they could be doing SO much better in terms of function and injury prevention if they worked their core as well with ab exercises, lower back exercises, glute exercises, hip flexor exercises etc.

    Ask any powerlifter...they will tell you the key to lifting weights is core stabilization. If your core is weak, you won't be able to lift that much weight. I know we're BB'ers, not PL'ers, but you can NOT ignore the importance of a strong core, no matter what kind of lifter you are.

    /end rant
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    Originally Posted by Thin Build
    ................

    Lemme Drop Some Knowledge On Some Of You Dirtclowns


    These Are Facts...

    1. Abs Are Worked In Heavy Compounds - True
    2. Ab Visibility Is Based On Low Bf As Well As Moderate Hypertrophy Of The Ab Muscles - True
    3. Abs That Can Do 30 Weighted Crunches Are Stronger Then Abs That Cant.
    4. Therefore Having Strong Abs By Direct Training Will Effect Your Heavy Compounds.
    5. In Conclusion Training Abs Specifically Is Helpful Overall. Although Your Heavy Compounds May Work Them, Making Them Stronger Will Help Out Your Heavy Compounds.

    Knowledge Has Been Dropped, Soak It Up
    Thanks thinbuild. It's indisputable that direct abdominal work will contribute to overall core strength at some degree. I didn't think about that when I started this thread (I was only looking for insight on the hypertrophy-related issue). I'm definitely going to include intense abdominal work in my routine from now on, mainly for the strength benefits. Hypertrophy would be a nice bonus however...
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    Originally Posted by BernieD


    I can't believe that it took 20 posts for someone to finally mention this. Anyone who doesn't train their abs/core is a fool.



    Ab work and it's relation to core strength was mentioned a couple of times earlier in this thread.

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    Originally Posted by BernieD


    I can't believe that it took 20 posts for someone to finally mention this. Anyone who doesn't train their abs/core is a fool. And don't forget that ab training and core training aren't the same thing. Core training will give you a 6 pack AND function, while ab training gives you a 6 pack with A LOT less function. In any lift you do, especially squat and deadlift, core training is critical. If you have a weak core, you either risk injury, will have poor form, won't be able to handle the weight...a number of things. Granted, you do gain core strength from doing those lifts, but to me that's not enough. Realistically, the only way to get a pretty strong core with the Big 3 lifts is to always increase the weight, not do the same weight all the time. And since you can't just keep adding 10 pounds to your squat automatically whenver you want to, core training will help you reach that next mark, while protecting yourself from injury.

    I'll say it again..while someone who can squat 400 pounds will have a strong core simply cuz of the poundage they can lift, they could be doing SO much better in terms of function and injury prevention if they worked their core as well with ab exercises, lower back exercises, glute exercises, hip flexor exercises etc.

    Ask any powerlifter...they will tell you the key to lifting weights is core stabilization. If your core is weak, you won't be able to lift that much weight. I know we're BB'ers, not PL'ers, but you can NOT ignore the importance of a strong core, no matter what kind of lifter you are.

    /end rant
    lol. Thanks bernie. Yes, it's pretty clear that abdominal work will tie in with core strength, which will conversely affect most of your lifts. I obviously will include abdominal training in my routine henceforth. I want to point out however that, as primarily a bodybuilder, my original intention for this thread was information, possibly scientifically-backed, regarding abdominals and hypertrophy.

    But yes, abdominal training is definitely a must for overall strength.
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    Originally Posted by jaguarr


    Ab work and it's relation to core strength was mentioned a couple of times earlier in this thread.

    Cheers,
    jag
    lol. it doesn't hurt to have that fact reverberated i suppose, since many people don't realize it.

    so far i haven't received any scientific data regarding abdominals and hypertrophy however, lol
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    Originally Posted by jaguarr


    Ab work and it's relation to core strength was mentioned a couple of times earlier in this thread.

    Cheers,
    jag
    Damn it Jag, I was enjoying my time in the sun
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    Originally Posted by quest-x
    Thanks thinbuild. It's indisputable that direct abdominal work will contribute to overall core strength at some degree. I didn't think about that when I started this thread (I was only looking for insight on the hypertrophy-related issue). I'm definitely going to include intense abdominal work in my routine from now on, mainly for the strength benefits. Hypertrophy would be a nice bonus however...
    http://www.abcbodybuilding.com/abdominalworkout.php
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    Originally Posted by quest-x
    lol. it doesn't hurt to have that fact reverberated i suppose, since many people don't realize it.

    so far i haven't received any scientific data regarding abdominals and hypertrophy however, lol
    http://www.abcbodybuilding.com/abdominalframwork.php

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