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Training discussion on Ab's Question, within the Bodybuilding Forum; Originally Posted by Kane I agree that doing heavy compounds will make your abs stronger, but lately (past year and ...


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Old 07-12-2007, 03:52 PM   #11
Riddick2112
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Originally Posted by Kane View Post
I agree that doing heavy compounds will make your abs stronger, but lately (past year and a half) I've worked with the philosophy that building stronger abs makes for a stronger compound. I want my abs built on their own rather than from doing heavy compounds alone. If you're working a good set of plates on the bar your gonna wanna make sure that everything that stabilizes that movement isn't going to be your weak link. IMHO relying on your ab strength to increase because you've increased the weight on your barbell is a good way to increase your chance of injury. I believe that heavy heavy ab exercises should be a staple in anyones routine. To me the difference that it makes is night and day.

I've seen the best ab growth and definition from doing heavy ab exercises (in the 5x8-10 range 2 times a week) plus heavier compounds....fuck that 5000 crunches before bed shit, thats for the abercrombie models with 3% bodyfat and 12" pythons.
it's hard to argue with the logic of that philosophy!
possibly for the novice, the compounds would be sufficient but as one gets stronger and moves onto intermediate shit, direct ab work becomes more necessary?
i think the most important point is that doing hundreds of reps of crunches, twists and side bends will not do much except waist (heheh, get it?) your time.


lol, Ok that was

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Old 07-13-2007, 03:25 PM   #12
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possibly for the novice, the compounds would be sufficient but as one gets stronger and moves onto intermediate shit, direct ab work becomes more necessary?
I would start the ab work right from day 1. Even as newbie lifting 135lbs on deadlift, which is nothing for most of us, its still heavy to them. A vet pulling 700lbs or a novice pulling 200 could both be working at the same intensity. To me thats a potential trap you could fall in as a rookie, "I'm not lifting nearly as much as that guy and he doesn't do this or that, so I'm fine".

But most definitely ab work becomes necessary. There's no way I'd be able to pull 300+ on deads or squat 400+ without the abs I've got. I'd probably have a hernia otherwise.

Another thing I like about big abs is that on a tough rep or set I'll tighten my abs and it helps me push through and move the weights.

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Old 07-13-2007, 05:15 PM   #13
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The only thing I would say is there is a big difference between the weighted ab work everyone is talking about and the actual role your abs as a whole play in terms of squats, deadlifts, and such. Have you ever stopped to think that the job in that regard is to PREVENT movement not to promote it?

Now I'm a big proponent of weighted flexion, side flexion, etc. And I agree that the real "core" work goes on when you are pulling heavy deads and such. But there are many, many trainees who feel all these movements mostly in the back despite all that heavy ab strengthening work. Because all these things make your abs stronger but they don't actually teach them to do their job. To some extent just doing the squats and deads, should be enough but if your erectors have been taking the brunt of the load in terms of stabibility for long enough they will continue to do so despite heavy flexion and side flexion work. In other words doing hanging leg raises and such will make you better at doing hanging leg raises. That strength will play a part but not until the abs are "turned on" during the heavy work.

I would recommend actual stabibility work for many people. I like single leg movements a lot. Also bridges/planks to start and front squats, zercher squats, heavy barbell walkouts and all that sort of thing. Another thing that really works well for this is to do a plate squat. You take a heavy plate and hold it out in front of you and squat. Makes for a very heavy isometric contraction of the abs. Basically if you feel like it all in the back despite everything you try then this sort of thing should help get your abs working into the equation.

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If you act sanctimonious I will just list out your logical fallacies until you get pissed off and spew blasphemous remarks.
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Old 07-14-2007, 02:56 PM   #14
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0311 just mentioned something about deficiencies in another thread and it hit me that there was a good phrase for what I'm talking about: hidden deficiencies. These are defeciencies that you can't analyze at a glance because nothing feels any different for you than it ever has. I.E. you hit a solid brick wall on squats and none of the obvious familiar things gets it going again.

There is a threshold involved in these things. This is the point at which your body slams on the brakes and says no more.

So if in the case of ab involvement there is enough of an imbalance between the back and the front, your body sees this as a potential injurious situation, and it does have ways of making sure that the danger does not become worse. This will manifest as you simply not being able to progress on a movement with seemingly no cause. Don't ask me how this works cuz I don't know but trust me it does happen.

Unfortunately due to the pretty much unnatural nature of what we put our bodies through, these injuries tend to happen before these protective mechanisms can play their part. But to stop it from happening we need to be more tuned in to our bodies and frankly, we need to learn some biomechanics.
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Old 07-15-2007, 05:47 AM   #15
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Yes I have noticed a correlation like this myself. I took a week off and then kept missing my fri workout which has deads in it. Soo after i felt like my squats were really suffering. It was becoming hard to support some of the weight that normally wouldnt provide much of a challenge. Started deads again, and the squatting was back on track! Strange!

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Old 07-15-2007, 03:11 PM   #16
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Hmmm...I think that makes sense and is probably a good example but it may point to more fundamental problems which these things often do.

As great as deads are you shouldn't HAVE to do heavy deads in order to squat well of course. That is not to say you won't need lots of posterior chain work. But I take it that you had missed a more than just one or two dead workouts.

Theoretically once you've "taught" your abs to fire properly during squats and you continue regular squatting they should continue to do the job. The term "theoretically hardly ever means anything in the real world though However, in this case you might want to look at movement patterns and postural problems that the squat could be reinforcing leading to imbalances. Maybe when you do deads it balances things out more and so what you are seeing here happens. I don't know of course but in the end what you want to achieve is overall more balance and not a continual tug of war between one "balance" and another.

The routines many of us follow are not nearly as "balanced" as we have been led to believe. This is where many of the injuries we get come from rather than just over-use or acute injuries related to a too high load or whatever. The 5x5's we are so very in love with are not balanced at all from this standpoint, if fact.

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Old 07-15-2007, 04:26 PM   #17
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One more point about abs I have is in regards to squats. I read this over at T-Nation, it was in the same article that I used to jump my squat numbers through the roof in no time. When doing heavy squats with a belt, you use the belt as a pushing point for your abs. So when your pushing out of the hole you put your abs into the belt and it is supposed to (and imo does) help you gather up a lil more pushing power through your sticking points.

That's all for now
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Old 07-15-2007, 04:36 PM   #18
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Well you know I think everyone should be doing pretty much that anyway without a belt. That's the way you squat. Gather air into the diaphraghm, tense your abs and push outwards and downwards. In effect make yourself both tighter and wider. Damn straight it helps. It's called the valsalva maneavour I think (that's right, I'm a geek ). This can however, give you a bigger gut appearance since it will basically promote "gut dumping". A good thing is to counter this method during squatting by sucking in your gut when doing ab strength (ONLY during ab work NEVER while squatting or deadlifting).
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Old 07-16-2007, 10:21 AM   #19
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Well you know I think everyone should be doing pretty much that anyway without a belt. That's the way you squat. Gather air into the diaphraghm, tense your abs and push outwards and downwards. In effect make yourself both tighter and wider. Damn straight it helps. It's called the valsalva maneavour I think (that's right, I'm a geek ). This can however, give you a bigger gut appearance since it will basically promote "gut dumping". A good thing is to counter this method during squatting by sucking in your gut when doing ab strength (ONLY during ab work NEVER while squatting or deadlifting).
yeah, the valsalva manuever , which is basically gathering air into your diapragm and holding it during the rep, is really important for core stability when squatting, deadlifting and rowing. Even Bench pressing benefits from having a tight bellyfull of air before each rep.
I recall showing a pic of Ronnie Coleman squatting 800+lbs to a friend of mine and all he said was "look at his fat belly!"
Ronnie wasnt fat, he just had a huge bellyful of air, which i think without it he wouldnt even be able to hold 800lbs on his back nevermind squat with it!
Rip goes into great detail about the VM in Starting Strength.
a lot of people seem to advise breathing during your reps, claiming that holding your breath is dangerous because of elevated blood pressure in the brain. this may well be the case but NOT breathing puts your loaded spine at risk and that is a far more common cause of injury than exploding blood vessels in the brain.
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