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    Recovering InternetTuffGuy's Avatar
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    How Much Time Do You Spend On Abs?

    Is it important to target abs if you're already doing things like squats, deads, OHP etc? I currently exclude direct ab work given the volume of compounds I do. Am I making a mistake doing so?
    "Sammiches are like sets of 20 rep squats; if you need a second one, the first one wasn't heavy enough." - DuracellBunny
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    close enough isn't! hmmmm16417's Avatar
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    I usually throw in some ab work between sets on chest day or arms day. cable crunches and weighted sit-ups. I'm just trying to build them bigger while letting my diet make them show.

    I just recently started adding squats and deads to my workouts....but I feel it has helped my core A LOT!!
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    Fat Ass not a option! 21infantry's Avatar
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    does curls in power racks yaaar's Avatar
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    Depends on my current program. Right now doing squats, DLs, push presses, BB Bent rows, weighted pulls all twice a week among some other things, so I dont feel they need any direct work.

    If my volume of those lifts were less I would possibly supplement with some direct ab work, but maybe not. Abs can be a bit like calves, some people need direct work, some can get by without it.
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    Originally Posted by angrypenguin54 View Post
    Abs can be a bit like calves, some people need direct work, some can get by without it.
    Not really sure which category I will fall into. I'm slowly bulking right so when I finally cut down I guess I will have a better idea for what I'm working with.

    Part of the question boils down to balance and core health. With my recent back troubles I wonder if doing some direct work will strengthen my weak lower back.
    "Sammiches are like sets of 20 rep squats; if you need a second one, the first one wasn't heavy enough." - DuracellBunny
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    I just throw in a few sets at the end of two workouts a week. I like hanging leg raises and hanging windshield wipers, so I end up doing a few sets of low reps of one or the other but I prefer them to be harder like that. Sometimes I'll do some leg raises from the captain's chair too for higher rep stuff. Nothing crazy.
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    close enough isn't! hmmmm16417's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by angrypenguin54 View Post
    Abs can be a bit like calves, some people need direct work, some can get by without it.
    ugh.....LOL.... my calves are doomed to be skinny - I'm working on them and will be increasing workouts for them as I go, but my entire family is pretty much doomed with bird legs . even my nephew is 205lb, 5'9" (ish) can bench over 400lb and works out legs quite a bit (at least he did until his back issues) and his legs are about the same as mine. if you looked at him you'd swear he rare ever worked legs hahahahaha

    but yeah, i have a buddy that does absolutely NOTHING for legs and they are huge! (but he has no abs)
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    Originally Posted by angrypenguin54 View Post
    Depends on my current program. Right now doing squats, DLs, push presses, BB Bent rows, weighted pulls all twice a week among some other things, so I dont feel they need any direct work.

    If my volume of those lifts were less I would possibly supplement with some direct ab work, but maybe not. Abs can be a bit like calves, some people need direct work, some can get by without it.
    Yea well, thats what I thought and read here as well. I decided to do some direct ab work last week for the first time.

    Damn that $hit hurt for two days, lol. And trust me, I do all my lifts and lift 4x a week. Until you try, you won't know for sure.
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    Twice a week, maybe.
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    Originally Posted by InternetTuffGuy View Post
    Is it important to target abs if you're already doing things like squats, deads, OHP etc? I currently exclude direct ab work given the volume of compounds I do. Am I making a mistake doing so?

    They should be treated like any other of your muscle groups.
    No brain, no gain.

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    Originally Posted by InternetTuffGuy View Post
    Is it important to target abs if you're already doing things like squats, deads, OHP etc? I currently exclude direct ab work given the volume of compounds I do. Am I making a mistake doing so?
    You have seen what people who skip body parts look like right? The guy that never does calves or forearms and tries to "catch up" later in life. Unless you are Dexter Jackson i say do them.
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    Zero direct work.

    Yet I would hardly say they dont get worked. Given the majority of my workouts are heavy compound movements centered around squat, deads, rows, ohp, I think they get plenty of work.
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    Originally Posted by x-trainer ben View Post
    You have seen what people who skip body parts look like right? The guy that never does calves or forearms and tries to "catch up" later in life. Unless you are Dexter Jackson i say do them.
    I do zero forearm work and very little calve work and have 14" forearms and 15.5" calves at 160lbs. I do very little direct Ab work and have a six pack too.

    Originally Posted by induced_drag View Post
    Zero direct work.

    Yet I would hardly say they dont get worked. Given the majority of my workouts are heavy compound movements centered around squat, deads, rows, ohp, I think they get plenty of work.
    Pretty much the same for me, I do work my Abs once in a while but never anything steady.
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    I read the same stuff about not needing direct ab work if you were doing the compound lifts described above, so for quite a while I did not do regular ab work. As my body fat came off, they did reveal some abs, but they were not as sharply defined or as full as I'd like. I now do ab work 2x/week with strict attention to form and MMC. I can see definite results.

    I must be one of those who needs the extra emphasis, unfortunately. I don't know if you can tell which category you fit into without going through the same process.
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    Powerlifting in disguise induced_drag's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by FltDoc06 View Post
    .but they were not as sharply defined or as full as I'd like. I now do ab work 2x/week with strict attention to form and MMC. I can see definite results.
    ..
    Are you saying that working a muscle makes it more "sharp" or "defined"? Next we will be toning
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    Originally Posted by induced_drag View Post
    Are you saying that working a muscle makes it more "sharp" or "defined"? Next we will be toning
    Isolation exercises on the superficial abdominal muscles do help hypertrophy them so they can be clearly seen at higher body fat percentages or appear more defined at lower body fat percentages. Things like squats and deadlifts don't really focus on the superficial muscles in the same way but more so deep core muscles such as the internal obliques and erector spinea
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    Since I started directly working abs they've improved drastically. They're strong from years of squatting and deadlifting, but now they're getting shape and size.
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    Never really did any direct ab work, unless you count having to go to the bathroom really bad

    They get stimulated when I do my pullups/chinups as I make it a point to keep my legs raised somewhat. Abs just aren't fun for me.
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    Originally Posted by EB68 View Post
    I do zero forearm work and very little calve work and have 14" forearms and 15.5" calves at 160lbs. I do very little direct Ab work and have a six pack too.


    Pretty much the same for me, I do work my Abs once in a while but never anything steady.

    And do you think that everyone responds the same way you do? I ask because perhaps you are a unique responder with super duper dna; or you are blessed.
    Last edited by x-trainer ben; 10-06-2014 at 06:07 PM.
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    Well seems like it's a little different for everybody based on responses. I do know when I throw in a few sets here and there I can feel it the next day unlike letting compounds hit them alone. I have a feeling this PT is going to suggest doing them. Just wasn't sure if I was 100% for sure selling myself short by omitting direct work. I might look to throw a few sets in at the end of legs or upper body pull. Thanks everybody.
    "Sammiches are like sets of 20 rep squats; if you need a second one, the first one wasn't heavy enough." - DuracellBunny
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    Depends on my fiber intake.

    None would be my answer but I'm fat so there is that.
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    Once a week

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    How can you visualize training a muscle if you don't know its structure?
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    🅾🅼🅴🅶🅰 🆆🅴🅰🅿🅾🅽 EjnarKolinkar's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by InternetTuffGuy View Post
    Well seems like it's a little different for everybody based on responses. I do know when I throw in a few sets here and there I can feel it the next day unlike letting compounds hit them alone. I have a feeling this PT is going to suggest doing them. Just wasn't sure if I was 100% for sure selling myself short by omitting direct work. I might look to throw a few sets in at the end of legs or upper body pull. Thanks everybody.

    You could always do something functional. Pallof press, stir the pot drill on a fitness ball, or KISS and just the old standby 50 leg raises.


    *****://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1m_ru6EpyRo





    This is harder than it looks, and like deadlifts and squats works the rectus abdominus in its primary role of stability.


    I'm good for about 5-6 min of abs a session. Just one movement weighted short ROM crunch standing, leg raise, or one of these two "Functional" ones. I guess you could say weighted dead bugs which I abhor but do from time to time also. But those take 15 min or so.


    ETA: I don't thinkg any of them do as much as squat, military or DL but they do slightly different things.
    The most important aspect of weight training; whether for the athlete, bodybuilder, or average person is to better ones health and ability without injury. - Bill Pearl

    Ironwill2008 is surely doing RDL's and eating eggs and bacon somewhere right now.
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    I generally work my abs by getting the weight high on the body. Exercises like squatting will definitely work your core/abs, but getting the weight overhead (press, overhead squat, C&J, snatch, etc) will do even more for your abs.

    The other side of abs is nutrition. Unless your bodyfat is very low, your rock hard abs are going to be covered with a layer of fat. You might be strong as an ox, but have no visible sign of your abs. I've read that your BF needs to be something like 7% or less to get that washboard look.
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