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Thread: HELP - how to minimize abs

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    Giggle's Avatar
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    HELP - how to minimize abs

    Hi there -
    Just a question for those of you who lift heavy.
    How to you train abs (or DO you train them?) so as to keep them flat and not bulky?
    I've been lifting like a powerlifter for a few years, and my waist is getting wider!!

    I've completely given up on working oblique's, but what about the rest? Any ideas

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    Thanks Girly!

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    Euroholic is offline "ARs Pork Eating Crusader"
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    Dan the ab man have not seen him post in a while

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    Quote Originally Posted by Euroholic View Post
    Dan the ab man have not seen him post in a while
    He's banned Euro. That was a good thread though.

    To answer your question Giggle, I personally don't do them. Haven't in twenty years. If I ever compete again then and only then would I do them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelkel

    He's banned Euro. That was a good thread though.

    To answer your question Giggle, I personally don't do them. Haven't in twenty years. If I ever compete again then and only then would I do them.
    What would you do for abs if/when you do compete?

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    Yes, Kel. Elaborate!

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    Back in my comp days I preferred giant sets. Pick two upper ab movements and two lower's and do them in a row, upper-lower-upper-lower (or vice-versa) with no rest in-between sets. Wait a minute or so and repeat. Effective, efficient and kills them fast. I never directly worked obliques as they are a muscle, and with that in mind what happens when you work a muscle? It grows and who wants a wider appearing waistline.
    -*- NO SOURCE CHECKS -*-

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    If you have been training like a powerlifter and going heavy on leg press machine etc. Suck your abs in about 50% while doing these exercises as it is natural to not pay attention to that area and you are constantly pushing the wall of your abdominal area out which will add in making it protrude. As most powerlifters have a larger, but powerful gut area. Hanging Straight leg, leg raises are excellent for developing ab area. I go all the way to top bar that i hang from with my feet. When lowering, slow and do not go down so far they hit a resting point.
    Personally i do not work abs much anymore as i worked them hard for years, but i did work obliques which will make them grow as Kel states. But i did it for functional purposes to absorb kicks better for MA. Personally i always start with lower abs as they are the hardest to work and i want them fresh before upper abs. If you have abs and they are just hidden by body fat then do not do weighted abs. All ab exercises i do and teach "abs half tucked in" and you need to concentrate while doing it or you will be pushing them out more all the time. There are some great floor exercises and plyo ball exercises for abs but it's to difficult to explain. I'll attempt to explain one that works well. Lay on your back use a plyo ball that is not to big. Throw your legs over the top of it and squeeze it hard. Place hands at your sides and using your abs only with no momentum, pull your knees up to your chest lifting your hips off the floor, but NO Momentum, abs only and do not press down on the floor with your hand to assist pulling the ball up. If you can not do it, widen your legs some to be able to grip the BALL. "It's a reverse crunch with plyo ball" On crunches never let your shoulder blades touch the floor, which means your abs are never in a rested state. When contracting at the top hold for 2 seconds and lower, before shoulder blades touch, pop back up and hold again for 2 seconds. When crunching, point your nose as if you are reaching straight up to the ceiling and not curling forward or tugging on your head. The stronger your abs get the higher you will go. At first doing it this way will seem like you barely get upper back off floor. Perform any variation of crunches you do with that technique and you will not be able to lay there doing loads of crunches. Sets of 15 reps will stress them hard. I do not rest much with abs and sometimes i do tri sets with no rest. Just a 45 second rest between next tri set.
    That may be more than you asked for, but if you do not do them that way, you will find a much more useful crunch.

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    Thanks Kelkel. That makes sense. I did work obliques for about a year or so - but quickly figured out why that was a bad idea!

    Quote Originally Posted by kelkel View Post
    Back in my comp days I preferred giant sets. Pick two upper ab movements and two lower's and do them in a row, upper-lower-upper-lower (or vice-versa) with no rest in-between sets. Wait a minute or so and repeat. Effective, efficient and kills them fast. I never directly worked obliques as they are a muscle, and with that in mind what happens when you work a muscle? It grows and who wants a wider appearing waistline.

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    WOW Easy = that's great, and thanks!
    Sounds like you have really strong abs - I don't think I could even do one of those hanging leg raises.
    I never thought about inadvertently pushing them out. I bet you anything that's what I've been doing all along. Thanks - I'll start working on sucking them in.
    Appreciate that!
    Quote Originally Posted by EasyDoesIt View Post
    If you have been training like a powerlifter and going heavy on leg press machine etc. Suck your abs in about 50% while doing these exercises as it is natural to not pay attention to that area and you are constantly pushing the wall of your abdominal area out which will add in making it protrude. As most powerlifters have a larger, but powerful gut area. Hanging Straight leg, leg raises are excellent for developing ab area. I go all the way to top bar that i hang from with my feet. When lowering, slow and do not go down so far they hit a resting point.
    Personally i do not work abs much anymore as i worked them hard for years, but i did work obliques which will make them grow as Kel states. But i did it for functional purposes to absorb kicks better for MA. Personally i always start with lower abs as they are the hardest to work and i want them fresh before upper abs. If you have abs and they are just hidden by body fat then do not do weighted abs. All ab exercises i do and teach "abs half tucked in" and you need to concentrate while doing it or you will be pushing them out more all the time. There are some great floor exercises and plyo ball exercises for abs but it's to difficult to explain. I'll attempt to explain one that works well. Lay on your back use a plyo ball that is not to big. Throw your legs over the top of it and squeeze it hard. Place hands at your sides and using your abs only with no momentum, pull your knees up to your chest lifting your hips off the floor, but NO Momentum, abs only and do not press down on the floor with your hand to assist pulling the ball up. If you can not do it, widen your legs some to be able to grip the BALL. "It's a reverse crunch with plyo ball" On crunches never let your shoulder blades touch the floor, which means your abs are never in a rested state. When contracting at the top hold for 2 seconds and lower, before shoulder blades touch, pop back up and hold again for 2 seconds. When crunching, point your nose as if you are reaching straight up to the ceiling and not curling forward or tugging on your head. The stronger your abs get the higher you will go. At first doing it this way will seem like you barely get upper back off floor. Perform any variation of crunches you do with that technique and you will not be able to lay there doing loads of crunches. Sets of 15 reps will stress them hard. I do not rest much with abs and sometimes i do tri sets with no rest. Just a 45 second rest between next tri set.
    That may be more than you asked for, but if you do not do them that way, you will find a much more useful crunch.

  12. #12
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    OMG Kel, GGR, and Easy -
    My abs are so weak! I am having trouble finishing sets back to back.
    I better get to work!!
    EasyDoesIt likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Giggle View Post
    OMG Kel, GGR, and Easy -
    My abs are so weak! I am having trouble finishing sets back to back.
    I better get to work!!
    mine have been ignored for too long.

    i will never train obliques again….thanks to this thread

  14. #14
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    It's true - my obliques grew...and that's not good!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kelkel View Post
    Back in my comp days I preferred giant sets. Pick two upper ab movements and two lower's and do them in a row, upper-lower-upper-lower (or vice-versa) with no rest in-between sets. Wait a minute or so and repeat. Effective, efficient and kills them fast. I never directly worked obliques as they are a muscle, and with that in mind what happens when you work a muscle? It grows and who wants a wider appearing waistline.
    Yep, I have to agree with Kel here...I too like to train my abs in a circuit type fashion. Setup 3-4 exercises in a row and bounce from one to the other (no rest). Not only does it burn a good amount of cals (and hopefully fat) it also kicks your abs ass! I will say that I don't even bother working abs unless I'm 10% bf or less which is usually around summer time.

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