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4_Legs_Good Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-22-05 03:18 PM
Original message
Best way to work the abs?
Okay,

I've tried a bunch of stuff, and I eventually see some progress, but then I give up.

So! I need a routine I can stick to. I only have about 60 minutes at the gym a day, and whenever I try to work abs into that routine, they end up getting scrapped because of time after a couple weeks.

I'm 34 years old, 6'2", 175lbs, hard gainer, 15% body fat plus or minus 1% by my silly body fat measuring scale.

How often should I do ab work? Some people say 3x/wk some say every day. How quick can I get it done? I wanna build a bit-o-muscle, but I don't need to get carried away.

Somehow abs is the one area (followed by legs) that I just quit on too easily. I think mostly because it's something that I tack on. I think I need a time to do them separate from my regular routine - like in the morning or evening, but then it's easy to ditch it as well because I'm late and/or tired.

thoughts?

david
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MissMillie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-23-05 10:39 AM
Response to Original message
1. I did a one-time session w/ a trainer for abs
He set me up w/ a progression of exercises that are to be done in order... starting from stretching exercises that work the sides and then moving on to to upper abs and then the lower. He told me that I can do the exercises every day, but if I want to get in all the exercises that I want to do in a given week, I cut the ab work down to every other day. One of the other trainers said I was fine w/ that.

I have an umbilical hernia and the routine the trainer set up for me takes that into consideration.
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4_Legs_Good Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-23-05 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. Cool, thanks!
I think I just need to come up with a reasonable routine and then figure out when I can do it.

david
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-23-05 11:52 AM
Response to Original message
2. You looking for 6-pack abs or just want to strengthen up?
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4_Legs_Good Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-23-05 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. How's about a bit of both?
I don't need HUGE six pack abs or anything, but a strong semi-visible abdomen would be cool.

My traditional routine has been 5 sets of 15-25 crunches w/ a 10lb medicine ball (or hands on the top of my head, which is actually harder) and with a disc dealie (don't know what they're called, but the things that people use for balance training) under my lower back. That disc thingie seems to make it much more difficult that a Swiss Ball, but I have to admit I haven't done much with the ball.

And I know there's not going to be much six-pack action with gut fat, but I don't have much of that anyway.

david
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-23-05 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Your routine is good, but
you need to drop 4 or 5% of your bodyfat (down to 10-11%) at least to see them. I'm assuming that you work your abs more than once a week with your routine.

Remember also, as I'm sure you already know, any ab work that's done to try to bring out a sixer also increases the size of your waist. The torso stabilizer muscles get a good workout all the time doing day-to-day stuff.

However, if you want to make them bigger and more defined, I'd add some leg raises as well, for your lower abs.
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4_Legs_Good Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-23-05 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I was doing 'em 3x/wk
Now do you have any advice on how to drop body fat (again, I'm pretty skinny as is) while trying to gain muscle weight? I try to keep the caloric intake up, but I suppose adding some cardio work and getting more calories from complex rather than simple foods would be the way to go. Do you agree?

david
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-23-05 08:40 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. What's your diet like now?
The complex/simple argument isn't always a valid one. Amounts, timing, metabolism, routine...it all comes into play.

Let's look at a goal, here. What sort of time frame are you looking at to lose X pounds of fat and gain X pounds of weight?

There are so many variables here. It would be easy to say "go find a good geranamine/chocamine supplement stack, do cardio til your eyes bleed, and do drop/super sets with eccentric negatives while the ambulance awaits outside" you know? Or, do like the pros (sans 'roids) and eat like a pig for a couple months to build the muscle. Then, diet down, utilizing the new muscle to burn more calories while you starve yourself, eliminate salt, and pound dandelion extract (diuretic).

But, we've all seen my claptrap around here long enough to know that that type of advice just ain't me.
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4_Legs_Good Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-24-05 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. The diet and stuff...
Timeframe: I have forever to gain 25 lbs muscle and lose 8 lbs fat.

More seriously, let's say I wanna be 185 by the time I turn 35 - 5 months and lose that 8 lbs in the same amount of time. I'm 176 lbs now. The time really doesn't matter to me much, except that being 180 by the time I turn 35 has been a goal of mine, so I figured I'd pump it by 5 lbs. Now if I actually dropped 5% body fat (8 lbs), I guess I'd have to gain that much more muscle. Ugh!

What I eat now: Eh, whatever. Seriously, I'm an ovo-lacto vegetarian. I do maybe 80g of whey/soy protein supplementation a day. Some fruits, not too many veggies, some sweets but not too many. Your basic mostly crappy diet.

My routine is 5 days/week 60 min/day lifting stuff, but usually one exercise at a time with a 60 second break between sets up to 5 sets. I don't do any cardio other than a 3 minute warm up on the rower and a 3 minute cool down on the treadmill.

Damn, I'm tired today.

david
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-24-05 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. Okay, so
You'll be 35 in 5 months, am I reading that right? That means that you want to gain 9 pounds of muscle in 5 months. Also, if you start dropping fat to the tune of 8 pounds, you'd be at gaining 17 pounds of muscle in five months. Can't be done. Okay, it can, but only if you like the idea of using a HUGE amount of very illegal steroids, live in the gym (2 full workouts a day) and up your protein intake to 260-275 g/day.

Now, if the goal was to be ??? weight you wind up being, well-muscled and toned, with a nice set of abs, vascularity...ripped, etc, I'd say that you really need to bump some cardio all 5 days, for starters.

Last question...your gym routine. When you lift, are you circuit training or isolating muscle groups? If the latter, what's your 5-day breakdown?

You certainly are dedicated, which is the biggest hurdle there is...
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4_Legs_Good Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-24-05 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. That's what I love about you Flvegan - you're brutally honest
Yeah, I know 185 is pretty much out of the question. When I'm working out well and consistently I gain about a pound a month, so hitting 180 by January seems doable. Oh, and every week I skip I lose about a lb, though I can usually gain it back in 1/2 the time (i.e. I can gain 1 lb of lost muscle mass in 2 weeks rather than a month.)

So let's say hit 180 by mid January including loss of 2lbs of fat. Puts me on my way and is still pretty ambitious.

I mix the routine up every 4-6 weeks and usually after an absence. At the moment, I'm doing pseudo supersets. Here's what I've done this week:

Monday: Chest and Back
3 minutes warmup on the rower

5x
non-wide grip chin ups (palms facing away)
Incline bench press with dumbells
Rest 60 seconds

5x
10 dips (average/set)
10-12 lower back lift dealies
Rest 60 seconds

5x
Lat lift dealies
Dumbell chest flys
Rest 60 seconds

3 minutes cooldown walking on the treadmill


Tuesday: Arms

3 minutes warmup on the rower - reverse grip

5x
Dumbell over the head triceps lift
Standing biceps curls (dumbells)
Rest 60 seconds

5x
Reverse grip curls (dumbells)
Reverse grip triceps extensions (machine)
Rest 60 seconds

5x
Hammer curls (dumbells)
Triceps kickbacks
Rest 50 seconds

3 minutes cooldown walking on the treadmill


Wednesday: Legs/shoulders - note the gym got all screwed up so I had to improvise

3 minutes warmup on the rower

4x
Dumbell deadlifts (mommy!)
Dumbell lateral raises

5x
Machine calf press
Front deltoid raises

5x
Dumbell upright rows
Dumbell lateral raises (I never feel like I work my middle deltoids enough)

3x
Machine military press

3x
Leg curl

3x
leg extension
Machine lateral raises

5 minutes cooldown walking on the treadmill

I'm planning on reprising Monday's tomorrow and Tuesday on Friday, with maybe a little variation.

Workouts last about 60 minutes.

I pound a 40ish g protein dealie 90 minutes before the gym, and some NOXplode 30 minutes before hand. Then I drink some gatorade with cellmass immediately following the workout - drinking lots of water while actually exercising.

Now I'm tired and I'm going to cry about how sore my legs will be tomorrow.

david
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-24-05 07:46 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. I need a few to digest this, but
Can I assume that when you say
5x
non-wide grip chin ups (palms facing away)
Incline bench press with dumbells
Rest 60 seconds

That you're doing supersets of
non-wide grip chin ups (palms facing away)
Incline bench press with dumbells
then resting 60 seconds before going into the next superset, and doing that 5 times?
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4_Legs_Good Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-24-05 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Ummmm
I *think* that's it. Here is it spelled out (I had a hard time figuring it out just what I was supposed to do when I read it in a book.)

Exercise set #1

non-wide grip chin ups (palms facing away) (no rest)
Incline bench press with dumbells
Rest 60 seconds

non-wide grip chin ups (palms facing away) (no rest)
Incline bench press with dumbells
Rest 60 seconds

non-wide grip chin ups (palms facing away) (no rest)
Incline bench press with dumbells
Rest 60 seconds

non-wide grip chin ups (palms facing away) (no rest)
Incline bench press with dumbells
Rest 60 seconds

non-wide grip chin ups (palms facing away) (no rest)
Incline bench press with dumbells
Rest 60 seconds

Move on to exercise set #2

Are those supersets?

david
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-24-05 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. That is the very definition of a superset.
Any exercise, followed immediately by another, followed by a rest period is a superset.

Still thinking about this, btw...
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-24-05 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. Let me ask this too, while I'm thinkin'
What do you think Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sun will hold for you?

Just trying to get a grip on the routine, what exercises you're used to.

Stacking the Cellmass w/the NOXplode. Good work. I'm still not getting a check from them. However, Ronnie Coleman is looking for his 8th? Olympia and making big cash off of them. Yeah, like BSN products built that rediculous body of his. No offense, Ron, but cripes! I'll bet he pees pure test.
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4_Legs_Good Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-24-05 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Well...
Thursday and Friday I will reprise Monday and Tuesday's workouts, with maybe a little variation (espically if there's no freaking equipment in the gym). Saturday I'll pretend that I'm going to do a leg/shoulder workout at home on the Bowflex (The Bowflex actually tears shoulders to shreds), but the chances of that actually happening are slim.

Sunday I'll likely do absolutely nothing.

Keep in mind that other than actively exercising, I lead a rather sedintary life - desk job, 2 hour/day commute, etc.

david
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4_Legs_Good Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-25-05 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. On the BSN
Yeah, I'll pretty much try anything you recommend, and it seems to be working well. I really like the NOXplode, and the Cellmass at least makes me think that I'm putting something good into the muscles immediately after the workout.

I had been a little nervous about health implications, though. I'm a total hypocondriac, and I was sure that all this sh*t along with the high protein was destroying my intestines. I just had a physical though, and everything came out great, so Feh on all that crap!

david
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-26-05 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Don't worry.
If you don't have any real issues (heart, diabetes, etc) you'll be okay.

Nice thing is that vegetarians utilize off the shelf creatine MUCH better. Ka-ching!

So...you ready for what I want you to do for the next 4 weeks?
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4_Legs_Good Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-29-05 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Oh Lordy!
Sure, hit me!

Not literally, that would probably a best leave me paralyzed for life.

david
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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-30-05 12:28 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. You can get to the gym 5 days a week, right?
I know that you are really pressed for time, so which 5 days don't matter, and if not 5, but 4 days, just let me know.

I'm going to completely change what you do, and how you do it (at least, I'll suggest it, and what you do with it is, well, what you do with it). You've got a great routine, but I think that it's time to advance...

Also, how closely are you following the NOXplode and Cellmass labels/dosages? The Cellmass, in my opinion, is easily manipulated for the positive. You taking any other supplements? And your protein. Still the same?
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4_Legs_Good Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-30-05 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. Yikes!
Yes, I can normally do 5 days a week, but I'm limited on time (maximum of 60 minutes).

The NOXplode I do a full dose (2 scoops) 30-60 minutes before my workout on workout days (on an empty stomach). On non-workout days I do one scoop at some time durring the day.

The Cellmass I do one scoop with Gatorade immediately after the workout.

I think both of those are 1/2 the recommendations. I only do each once/day.

My protein supplement at the moment is Anabolic MRP from the protein factory

http://proteinfactory.com/store/product_info.php?cPath=...

I usually do 3 doses a day - morning, 1.5 hours before the workout, evening with soy milk or cow milk.

Eso si que es.

david
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4_Legs_Good Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-24-05 01:13 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. Let's see...
Timeframe: I have forever to gain 25 lbs muscle and lose 8 lbs fat.

More seriously, let's say I wanna be 185 by the time I turn 35 - 5 months and lose that 8 lbs in the same amount of time. I'm 176 lbs now. The time really doesn't matter to me much, except that being 180 by th etime I turn 35 has been a goal of mine, so I figured I'd pump it by 5 lbs. Now if I actually dropped 5% body fat (8 lbs), I guess I'd have to gain that much more muscle. Ugh!

What I eat now: Eh, whatever. Seriously, I'm an ovo-lacto vegetarian. I do maybe 80g of whey/soy protein supplementation a day. Some fruits, not too many veggies, some sweets but not too many. Your basic mostly crappy diet.

My routine is 5 days/week 60 min/day lifting stuff, but usually one exercise at a time with a 60 second break between sets up to 5 sets. I don't do any cardio other than a 3 minute warm up on the rower and a 3 minute cool down on the treadmill.

Damn, I'm tired today.

david
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MemphisTiger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-23-05 12:52 PM
Response to Original message
4. If you're trying to build muscle try
heavy work once or twice a week. If you're cutting, try three times a week. Make sure you hit all areas of abs. It's a pretty large muscle group. Try this routine for mass and definition.

http://www.abcbodybuilding.com/animals8weekstoawesomeab...
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4_Legs_Good Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-23-05 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Thanks!
And thanks for the link. It looks very painful - which is good!

david
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seemunkee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-23-05 09:58 PM
Response to Original message
10. I love ab work
I would do some kind of ab work every day if it is a high priority. 3 times a week should be fine. Pick one of the exercises and do 3-5 sets of 5 reps, anything beyond that and you are getting into bodybuilding instead of strength training.
60 minutes is a hell of a long workout unless you are doing cardio. I have 15-20 minutes in the AM for strength work and then cardio stuff in the PM.

Saxon side bends - http://www.bodyresults.com/E2AlpineCore.asp start with 5lb weights, it doesn't take much to make this hard.
Janda situps - http://www.cbass.com/HardestSitup.htm When these get too easy do it with one leg raised in the air, one leg bent and tucked behind the calf of the other, or hold a 25lb plate on your chest.
dragonflags - http://www.evfit.com/200207.htm (scroll down)
Full contact twist - see the same site as above for a good explanation
The book Bullet Proof Abs by Pavel has all of these and more.

6 packs don't really show until you get down towards the 10% body fat.
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Raffi Ella Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-15-09 11:56 AM
Response to Reply #10
25. Those links are great.
I'm not a body builder but a lot of those moves can be modified. Some of them I've never heard of - those dragonflags!??? haha, omg. right! Not in a million years could I do those. But I will be doing some of the others listed, thanks!

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GoCubsGo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-09-09 04:25 PM
Response to Original message
26. Pilates
Their basic ab series on the mat is good for core strength AND provides stretching, too. They'll help make you long and lean. If you can take a class to learn proper moves and techniques, do so. There are also lots of good DVDs out there, such as Windsor Pilates. The "teaser" is said to be the best abs move out there. Just google "pilates teaser" for videos on how to do it.
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