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  1. #1
    Registered User Andrew11O2's Avatar
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    Down 20LB and Still No Abs

    I started at around 185lbs, I definitely had a little of a gut and good amount of fat to lose. I started cutting by only eating about 1800 calories while still working out (lifting) 5 times a week. If I ever ate over 1800 I would do cardio to bring my net back down to 1800 for the day. I started tracking my weight a couple days afterwards so that all the initial water weight I lost wouldn’t come into account. Well after 3 weeks I saw I was losing almost 3-3.5 pounds a week, so I decided to up it to 2,000 calories a day. Now I’ve steadily been losing 1.5-2lbs a week of what I hope is mostly fat. I’ve been eating around 190G of protein a day and continue to lift so I hope I’ve been preserving as mush muscle as possible. I also noticed my lifts haven’t really been affected either, maybe I can do 2-3 reps less than before.

    Now to my main question, after losing all this weight my arms are definitely smaller but more defined. Beforehand they were bigger but now when I flex you can clearly see my bicep peak. The issue is I still can’t see my abs. When I flex hard and sort of pull my stomach fat I can see them which is big for me because I’ve NEVER seen that before on myself but I thought after 20Lbs over the course of almost 10 weeks I would see better ab results. My problem now is that even though my arms are defined they are a lot smaller probably due to the fact a lot of the fat on them is gone. I want to get bigger arms so I want to start to try and bulk but I also want to get the abs to show.

    Seeing as though I’ve been at it 10 weeks almost should I continue to cut until I see the abs or start a relatively lean bulk (300-500 calories above maintenance) in order to build some more muscle?
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  2. #2
    Registered User NextPound's Avatar
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    Are you doing abs? Conventional wisdom here is that its like any other muscle and you need to train to get them to show up.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Andrew11O2's Avatar
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    Yeah after every lift session I do about 10-15 minutes of ab work. Some weighted sit ups, planks, twists etc. I feel like I might not have enough muscle underneath but if I’m in a deficit isn’t it impossible to build them up more?
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  4. #4
    Registered User jlsnyderTypeR's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Andrew11O2 View Post
    Yeah after every lift session I do about 10-15 minutes of ab work. Some weighted sit ups, planks, twists etc. I feel like I might not have enough muscle underneath but if I’m in a deficit isn’t it impossible to build them up more?
    You're cutting while trying to build muscle, and it doesn't work this way. You're not seeing your abs, because you haven't built them yet. It takes years, not months to acquire noticeable muscle development. Start back at a surplus and keep going.....it will all come if you're training correctly.
    **Sandwiches are made in the KITCHEN......ABS are built in the GYM!**
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    Registered User Luclin999's Avatar
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    "Abs" don't magically appear once you get to a certain BF percentage.

    Abdominal muscles are just that... Muscles and as such require time and effort to develop.

    People don't expect to see "huge, defined biceps" after just losing weight (with little to no history of weight training) so why does everyone seem to think that they will have a "rippling, defined, six-pack" just waiting to be revealed at some magical BF percentage?
    ~ Like Tae-Kwon-Leap, my goals are not a path to a door, but a road leading forever towards the horizon.
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    Registered User mavd's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Andrew11O2 View Post
    When I flex hard and sort of pull my stomach fat I can see them
    There's you're problem. Still have too much fat to see them. As for what to do, pick you're priority: Abs then cut, bigger arms than bulk. It's not rocket science.
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  7. #7
    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    You need to post a pic of yourself however you need to get pretty damn lean to see even well developed abs well. If they aren't developed enough no amount of diet will expose em.
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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  8. #8
    Registered User sunsean's Avatar
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    How tall are you OP? 165lb can mean a lot of different things at different heights. Also how long have you been lifting, did you just start recently?

    But as already said - post a photo for best possible advice; “a picture says a thousand words”
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    Registered User RapidFail's Avatar
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    Knowing your height would be helpful, a pic would be moreso. Your genetic fat distribution (which you can't control) plays a part too. I carry my fat mostly on my stomach, which means I need to be leaner than most to have abs. In my profile pic I was 155lb at 6'1" and still only had slight ab definition while flexing.
    Age: 35
    Height: 185cm (6'1")
    Weight: 75.9kg (167lb)

    Personal best lifts
    Bench - 6 x 57.5kg (127lb), 8 x 55kg (121b)
    Bent-over row - 8 x 62.5kg (138lb)
    Front squat - 5 x 60kg (132lb), 8 x 55kg (121lb)
    Back squat - 5 x 67.5kg (149lb)
    RDL - 8 x 95kg (209lb), 11 x 82.5kg (182lb)
    Deadlift - 6 x 92.5kg (204lb), 8 x 90kg (198lb)
    Overhead Press - 5 x 40kg (88lb)
    Chin Ups - 7 x bodyweight + 7.5kg (16.5lb), 12 x bodyweight
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