Abs

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Marathon
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Abs

Post by Marathon » Mon Sep 22, 2008 2:46 pm

Hi everyone!.
I'm training follow the Full Body workout described in this website.. For each excercise I do 15 reps at a low weight (normally 50% of the following reps.) to warm up. After that, I do between 12 and 15 reps. with as much weight as I can cope (always trying to make between 12 and 15 reps.). The question is the following:

. what about the abs?.

I'm doing crunches for the abs. I'm slowly adding some weight to them (holding it with both hands behing the neck). Should I also do 15 reps. with low added weight (or no weight at all) as warm up and thereafter between 12-15 reps. with added weight?. Should I also do crunches every other day?
Summing up: should I treat Abs (and thus crunches) like every other muscle/excercise?.
Thanks in advance,
Regards,
Martín.
Martin

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nygmen
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Post by nygmen » Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:55 pm

I've heard a lot of conflicting views on the weighted or not, higher reps v. normal reps. But what I seem to hear the most is it depends on your goals.

I have always liked cable crunches, personally I feel like I accomplished more, might be placebo effect though. http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Rec ... runch.html

I like to do as much weight as I can muster, for as many reps until my abs feel like they did in third grade gym class. Which often is almost all if not the whole stack, and upwards of 30, 20, & 15 reps in three sets. This may not be a good idea, but it works for me, but we are all different. Try out both ways of doing them, and see how it feels, and how you feel after.

Every other day shouldn't be an issue, it will help with endurance. But be careful if you start weighting your crunches heavy. In that case treat them like every other muscle. Pulling your abdominals is extremely uncomfortable. But like everything it depends on your goals.

On a side note, I have eased off on hitting my abs hardly at all until my erectors "catch up." I would advise if you're not doing deadlifts or some other PC work, to avoid hitting your abs TOO much. Not that you shouldn't work them, just don't further a muscle imbalance. Most people, including myself have much stronger and better trained abs than erectors. I would shoot for pure endurance if you're not working your erectors.

Just my two cents…

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Post by pdellorto » Mon Sep 22, 2008 7:12 pm

Abs aren't different from any other muscle. The only reason to do high reps would be if you needed endurance flexing them; this doesn't seem to be very useful in sports or much else. Isometric endurance is something else.

If you're doing abs, it doesn't make sense to keep doing lots of reps and more reps. Once you can do your goal reps, find a way to make it more difficult (progress from reverse crunches to dragon flags, for example) or weight them (weighted crunches, weighted situps, etc.). Or if you do multiple sets, shorted up the rest times a little. But don't just crank out reps.

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Post by Jungledoc » Mon Sep 22, 2008 10:05 pm

Yeah. If you CAN do more than 15-20 reps of anything, they probably aren't hard enough to do you any good.

I remember doing 500 or 1000 crunches in my Taekwando days, and my abs aren't anything to write home about, then or now.

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Post by KPj » Tue Sep 23, 2008 4:03 am

This is one of my favourite subjects just now.
nygmen wrote:On a side note, I have eased off on hitting my abs hardly at all until my erectors "catch up." I would advise if you're not doing deadlifts or some other PC work, to avoid hitting your abs TOO much. Not that you shouldn't work them, just don't further a muscle imbalance. Most people, including myself have much stronger and better trained abs than erectors. I would shoot for pure endurance if you're not working your erectors.
Actually, the majority of people have weak and/or dysfunctional abs. Coupled with overactive hip flexors, due partly to all the Ab training they do :wink:

The 'imbalance' that excessive ab training enforces is the shortening of abs, which, when severe will pull our rib cage down towads your pelvis (think of being seated, slumped over a desk - this is REALLY what the problem is, not neccessarily crunches), contributing to kyphosis / rounded upper back aswell as even more spine flexion added in to our lives.

The erectors are normally over active and actually, commonly have adequate strength in them. Most people with back pain have a strong back. It's a strange one, I had always assumed back pain meant 'weak erectors', but that was because I failed to differentiate between functional strength that caters for day to day tasks and strength required to Deadlift X amount of weight...

Still, it's a learning curve :roll:

My recommendation for abs is to be aware that they get worked a lot during compound movements, especailly if you do them right. Therefore, don't go nuts with them. If you want a six pack, drop some body fat - that's what most people want with their abs anyway, and actually aren't that interested in the strength or function of them.

After that, in my view ab training depends on the individual. If you can barely hold a plank for 15-20 seconds, then I would make planks and their variations a priority. But I would go with - planks, then learn to resist rotation (i.e. Pallof press), then learn to create rotation (wood chops, twists), and after being able to all that, I would class someones abs as 'functional'. Then the ab training world is your oyster - keep on top of all the different 'functions' (isometric, resist rotation, create rotation, trunk flexion) but keep all variations difficult. And in accordance with our lifestyles, keep the trunk flexion or hip flexion to a minimum.

Don't get me wrong, during that whole process, some reverse crunches or dragon flags isn't going to have a negative effect on anything - and would actually have a positive effect, since they're a good exercises. But doing loads of them is just asking for it, especially if you don't have the other bases covered.

KPj

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Post by nygmen » Tue Sep 23, 2008 8:38 am

OP - I was wrong, listen to the other guys... Much smarter... HA HA

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Post by robertscott » Tue Sep 23, 2008 8:47 am

in my experience, crunches don't really do anything. For me anyway. I'm sure other people get good results but I used to do hundreds and hundreds of em (push ups too) in my school days but despite increasing volume nothing was really happening.

I don't train my abs very often as i carry pretty much zero body fat but I have noticed i get the best results from hanging leg raises, so they might be something worth trying.

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Post by L_Dub » Sat Sep 27, 2008 4:54 pm

In short, yes, train your abs like you do any other body part.

The key is to make every rep count. 15 QUALITY reps is better than 25 sloppy ones. Use good form and technique.

I'd recommend doing low rep/heavy weight ab training. Reason is your abs mainly consists of fast-twitch muscle fibers, which respond best to heavy resistance.

I will not embed spam in my posts anymore. Because I know that will do nothing but get me totally pwned!!


Good luck.

KaiX7

Post by KaiX7 » Sat Sep 27, 2008 5:55 pm

so doing 800 crunches is bad for you im guessing,

i d 800 crunches, 600 happy v's, and 100 leg lifts every time i work on abs, is it realy necesary to ad weights?>

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Post by stuward » Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:12 pm

KaiX7 wrote:so doing 800 crunches is bad for you im guessing,

i d 800 crunches, 600 happy v's, and 100 leg lifts every time i work on abs, is it realy necesary to ad weights?>
No you don't have to do 800 reps. Even though I think L-dub is spamming his web site, he is right about ab training. However, if you squat and deadlift and do other heavy compound exercises that require and build core stability, I don't think you have to specifically train your abs anyway.

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Post by Jungledoc » Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:49 pm

If you CAN do 800 of ANYTHING, that should prove that it's not challenging enough to bother doing at all! Yeah, if you can do that many, add weight or do something different to make it hard enough so that you can't do more than 15-20.

This is an interesting article that ranked ab exercises in comparison to crunches. It shows that most of the common ab exercises do more for you than simple crunches. There is no comparison of weighted vs. unweighted versions of the exercises. I'm guessing that captain's chair would be the easiest to add weight to.

http://www.acefitness.org/getfit/studie ... rcises.pdf

KaiX7

Post by KaiX7 » Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:52 pm

i get you guys now, but that that still kinda confuses me, will 800 crunches do good or bad for me and how exactly can i add weight to a crunch, behind head or do i puit weight on legs?

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Post by Jungledoc » Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:01 pm

KaiX7 wrote:i get you guys now, but that that still kinda confuses me, will 800 crunches do good or bad for me and how exactly can i add weight to a crunch, behind head or do i puit weight on legs?
800 crunches will do nothing for you except waste your time.

Yeah, you can put weight on your ankles and you can hold weight behind your head or on your chest. But try some of the other exercises in the link.

Try planks, and Pallof Presses.

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Post by Stephen Johnson » Sat Sep 27, 2008 10:57 pm

In bodybuilding, the goal is to increase the size of the bodypart as much as possible. There are only two exceptions this - the first are the abs. The other one is the butt. There are powerlifters who have six pack abs despite having waists measuring over 40". These powerlifters do none of the high volume ab workouts that are the rage among the ab-obsessed. Their abdominal development comes primarily from the heavy poundages that they squat and deadlift. But the thick, blocky waist - whether it's muscular or fatty - runs counter to the bodybuilding aesthetic.

Bottom line: If your goal is to have a trim, defined set of abs, diet and cardio (to remove fat) work a lot better than ab exercises. If your goal is a thick, powerful waist that helps you lift huge amounts of weight, squatting and deadlifting will build it a lot better than ab exercises. Some ab work is desirable to work the muscle through its full range of motion. I often do three sets of this exercise twice a week, 12-15 reps per set. But doing 800 crunches is a waste of time, unless you're training for a crunch contest.

KaiX7

Post by KaiX7 » Sun Sep 28, 2008 12:24 am

thanks guys, before i was trying to follow somone elses workout but his workouts are something that can make you drop, ill listen to you guys better.

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