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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 6:38 pm 
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Hello,

I'm Alfredo, 25 years old.

I do weightlifting and gained some strength with it (my calculated 1 RM for deadlift is 185 kg at 76 kg bodyweight) as well as quite some muscle mass. My BF is 10% measured through plicometry.

However, my belly, if left entirely relaxed, is quite pronounced out, not too different from this one in the following picture (though more well distributed instead of having more fat on the bottom), also with no gynecomastia:

[can't post links]

However when I flex my belly I can see a 4-pack.

I'd like to know which hypotheses are worth considering about this seemingly strange thing (at least to me). It's like my stomach got larger or was pushed "out" somehow during heavy weightlifting (in fact when deadlifting with a belt, I can see the belly reaching out on top) or is it just intra-abdominal fat?


Thank you


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:56 pm 
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you're just fatter than you think you are. Bodyfat calculators are very inaccurate. A real 10% bodyfat is much more ripped than people realise.

Also you probably have weak core muscles, do some planks and stuff like that.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 5:37 am 
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There's also the chance that your posture is bad. If you you spend a lot of time sitting, and your ab routine is really just stimulating your hip flexors, it's not uncommon to have anterior pelvic tilt, which does cause to belly to stick out.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:34 am 
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robertscott wrote:
you're just fatter than you think you are. Bodyfat calculators are very inaccurate. A real 10% bodyfat is much more ripped than people realise.

Also you probably have weak core muscles, do some planks and stuff like that.


I see. Is there any test I'd do to verify if I have weak core muscles? I never thought about this because I assumed that doing (at 75kg bodyweight) 170kg deadlifts for reps and 60kg standing military press for reps ruled this out.


stuward wrote:
There's also the chance that your posture is bad. If you you spend a lot of time sitting, and your ab routine is really just stimulating your hip flexors, it's not uncommon to have anterior pelvic tilt, which does cause to belly to stick out.


I googled out "anterior pelvic tilt" and looking in the mirror I don't think I have such a condition, I'm either balanced on a good posture or more towards a posterior pelvic tilt, if any.

I don't target abs at all, I sometimes feel them worked out by deadlifts, standing military presses and weighted pull ups, so I thought I'd save time not targeting them directly in, say, weighted crunches.


Thanks everybody for your time. Any help is welcome.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:48 am 
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There is still a need for specific core training. If you're just relying on basic movements for core development, you should add something. Doing crunches is not the best way to do it. http://www.t-nation.com/training/buildi ... human-core

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:34 am 
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stuward wrote:
There is still a need for specific core training. If you're just relying on basic movements for core development, you should add something. Doing crunches is not the best way to do it. [t-nation link]


I've read that article after your suggestion. I tried that "deadbug" technique and it wasn't that hard to do (I can do L-sit pull ups), however I'm sure that after enough time performing an exercise, any exercise will be hard to do.

Not trying to be picky or anything like that, however I'd like to know which ones are considered core muscles, so that I can look at this issue in a scientifical manner instead of fanatic propaganda (now I don't want to discuss about this, I know that T nation comes with some very good articles and that X or Y way of writing is useful for X or Y psychological reasons, however most of the time I feel they're 80% fanatic propaganda and 20% useful content, or in general that content is way diluted compared to Exrx exercise directory etc.).

I've looked around and found that muscles considered to compose the core are: rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, internal abdominal oblique, external abdominal oblique, multifidus and psoas. Are these correct or am I missing something?

If above muscles are correct, they're those ones composing the waist, and here on this website the most feasible (and worthwhile) exercises I'd think about to target them are weighted crunch and weighted twisting crunch.

It's not that I don't like bodyweight exercises, it's just that I think (of course correct me if I'm wrong) that unless you don't have any former training, they oppose too little resistance (unless it's something as advanced as a planche push up or one arm pullups, which however are also very technic and I am not able to do) compared to a weighted exercise (like suggesting push ups to somebody bench pressing loads) and thus I'd have to use 30 minutes just to X bodyweight exercise while I'd do 3 sets of a weighted exercise and be done with it in 15 minutes.


Thank you for your help :)


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 10:42 am 
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I tend to pay attention to the author more than the web site. T-Nation has some good authors, some not so good and they tend to throw in nutrition recommendations into most articles. At any rate, in my opinion, Tony Gentilcore knows what he's talking about.

Core basically means everything from the hips to the ribs, in other words, the waist. You left the Erector Spinae out. http://exrx.net/Lists/ExList/WaistWt.html The main goal of core training is stability so the anti-movement type exercises are becoming more common.

Quote:
It's not that I don't like bodyweight exercises, it's just that I think (of course correct me if I'm wrong) that unless you don't have any former training, they oppose too little resistance (unless it's something as advanced as a planche push up or one arm pullups, which however are also very technic and I am not able to do) compared to a weighted exercise (like suggesting push ups to somebody bench pressing loads) and thus I'd have to use 30 minutes just to X bodyweight exercise while I'd do 3 sets of a weighted exercise and be done with it in 15 minutes.


The point on the dead bug exercise was that it is often done wrong. I don't think it was intended to be the primary focus of core training. There were only 2 body weight exercises listed. The rest were all weighted. I don't know why you think this was about bodyweight exercises.

The 3 movements he recommended are: Anti-extension, anti-lateral flexion and anti-rotation. He left out anti-flexion because most already do deadlifts and squats which cover this off already. Do 1 exercise of 1 of these in each workout. That shouldn't even take 15 minutes. You obviously didn't read to the end of the article.

An older article, but still very good, gives different options for these same movements. http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_art ... training_1

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 12:54 pm 
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stuward wrote:
I tend to pay attention to the author more than the web site. T-Nation has some good authors, some not so good and they tend to throw in nutrition recommendations into most articles. At any rate, in my opinion, Tony Gentilcore knows what he's talking about.

Core basically means everything from the hips to the ribs, in other words, the waist. You left the Erector Spinae out. ExList/WaistWt.html The main goal of core training is stability so the anti-movement type exercises are becoming more common.

Quote:
It's not that I don't like bodyweight exercises, it's just that I think (of course correct me if I'm wrong) that unless you don't have any former training, they oppose too little resistance (unless it's something as advanced as a planche push up or one arm pullups, which however are also very technic and I am not able to do) compared to a weighted exercise (like suggesting push ups to somebody bench pressing loads) and thus I'd have to use 30 minutes just to X bodyweight exercise while I'd do 3 sets of a weighted exercise and be done with it in 15 minutes.


The point on the dead bug exercise was that it is often done wrong. I don't think it was intended to be the primary focus of core training. There were only 2 body weight exercises listed. The rest were all weighted. I don't know why you think this was about bodyweight exercises.

The 3 movements he recommended are: Anti-extension, anti-lateral flexion and anti-rotation. He left out anti-flexion because most already do deadlifts and squats which cover this off already. Do 1 exercise of 1 of these in each workout. That shouldn't even take 15 minutes. You obviously didn't read to the end of the article.

An older article, but still very good, gives different options for these same movements. free_online_article/most_recent/21st_century_core_training_1


I didn't want to overgeneralize, it was just what I found out most of the times by reading there, though it may be that I was unlucky enough to only read those "bang your head into a wall then lift until you puke" kind of articles.

I left out erector spinae because I thought it was trained as good as it could be by deadlifts.

I thought it was about bodyweight exercises because of those first videos, then didn't even consider the rest due to the "fancy" (for my standards, I forgot to add that I train at home with limited resources/space, just a barbell, plates and a crude rack), so I apologize if I wasn't as accurate as I should have been.

I'll read that other article as soon as I can.

Back to the exercises, shouldn't those ones I've listed cover that core purpose? After all, as isolated as one exercise could be, it involves more than just one specific muscle, and unless something isn't targeted I don't see a real reason to ditch them.

I'm slightly confused about this.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:56 pm 
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I don`t really know what the question is in the first place... I hope I didn`t miss it, but you, alfredo, just wrote about your weight (76kg) without mentioning your height (?) and wonder why you can only see your abs when flexed? Is that correct?

Is it so incredible that your bodyfat could be higher than the mentioned 10%?

After all... training your core (especially the abs) is one part of the equation (making the muscles bigger), the other part is your diet (and perhaps your genetics that didn`t deal you very good cards concerning visible abs).


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:13 pm 
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Crow wrote:
I don`t really know what the question is in the first place... I hope I didn`t miss it, but you, alfredo, just wrote about your weight (76kg) without mentioning your height (?) and wonder why you can only see your abs when flexed? Is that correct?

Is it so incredible that your bodyfat could be higher than the mentioned 10%?

After all... training your core (especially the abs) is one part of the equation (making the muscles bigger), the other part is your diet (and perhaps your genetics that didn`t deal you very good cards concerning visible abs).


My main question is what could be that makes my belly stick out if my BF isn't that high and I'm not that fat (though as in the first reply I've received, I should reconsider this). Then it switched to weak core muscles being the culprit and I wanted to be sure I get things right by incorporating and good and feasible exercise or two in my workout routine.

I'm 76 kg and 168cm.

Thank you


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 1:45 pm 
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You could use ab-wheels. They are hated because they were sold on TV with those skinny girls using them, but if you try to do them on your toes (not on your knees) they can be very hard. If you can do that for reps, than you don't need more core work. Google this, and you will find out what you need to know about them:
Quote:
ab-wheel site:t-nation.com

You can also work those front lever and back lever and L-seat that gymnasts use.
More than that would just be losing time.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:24 am 
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Stefan 93 wrote:
You could use ab-wheels. They are hated because they were sold on TV with those skinny girls using them, but if you try to do them on your toes (not on your knees) they can be very hard. If you can do that for reps, than you don't need more core work. Google this, and you will find out what you need to know about them:
Quote:
ab-wheel site

You can also work those front lever and back lever and L-seat that gymnasts use.
More than that would just be losing time.


I tried using ab ab wheel and I surely can't do what you've suggested for reps, let alone with strict form. Could I use kneeling ab wheel as my only core exercise?

Thank you


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:43 am 
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alfredo wrote:
Stefan 93 wrote:
You could use ab-wheels. They are hated because they were sold on TV with those skinny girls using them, but if you try to do them on your toes (not on your knees) they can be very hard. If you can do that for reps, than you don't need more core work. Google this, and you will find out what you need to know about them:
Quote:
ab-wheel site

You can also work those front lever and back lever and L-seat that gymnasts use.
More than that would just be losing time.


I tried using ab ab wheel and I surely can't do what you've suggested for reps, let alone with strict form. Could I use kneeling ab wheel as my only core exercise?

Thank you


kneeling ab wheels are great. It is VERY hard to do them from standing, so don't worry about it. Once you get good at doing them kneeling you can do them with your knees up on an aerobic step to make it more challenging.

The problem I find with ab wheels is you'll get good at doing them on your knees quickly, but there's not really an intermediate stage between kneeling and standing, so it's hard to progress from one to the other. The difference in difficulty between doing them from your knees and doing them standing is staggering. If there's a halfway point between the two, I'm yet to find it.

Be careful as to how your lower back feels when you do them. If it's hurting then you need to reevaluate your technique. Make sure you're squeezing the hell out of your glutes while you do them, that should stop any back pain.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:58 pm 
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robertscott wrote:

kneeling ab wheels are great. It is VERY hard to do them from standing, so don't worry about it. Once you get good at doing them kneeling you can do them with your knees up on an aerobic step to make it more challenging.

The problem I find with ab wheels is you'll get good at doing them on your knees quickly, but there's not really an intermediate stage between kneeling and standing, so it's hard to progress from one to the other. The difference in difficulty between doing them from your knees and doing them standing is staggering. If there's a halfway point between the two, I'm yet to find it.

Be careful as to how your lower back feels when you do them. If it's hurting then you need to reevaluate your technique. Make sure you're squeezing the hell out of your glutes while you do them, that should stop any back pain.


Thank you very much for your tips, I really appreciate your sharing of knowledge.

I've read about standing ab wheels progression on beastskills and it convinced myself pretty much. You're right it won't be easy but when trying that once-understimated training implement, I felt a challenge I wasn't thrilled by quite some time, so given its ease of use, cost and time needed, I was hoping it could feel that void in my training which was challenging me so hard I wouldn't have expected beforehand (also due to being confident about my 3 big lifts weights).

Thank you :)


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:05 pm 
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alfredo wrote:
I've read about standing ab wheels progression on beastskills and it convinced myself pretty much. You're right it won't be easy but when trying that once-understimated training implement, I felt a challenge I wasn't thrilled by quite some time, so given its ease of use, cost and time needed, I was hoping it could feel that void in my training which was challenging me so hard I wouldn't have expected beforehand (also due to being confident about my 3 big lifts weights).


you're right about it being an underestimated implement. It's way harder than it looks.

alfredo wrote:
Thank you :)


anytime mate


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