Working on abs

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 13, 2008 10:18 PM GMT
    Basically my goal is to get nice visible 6 pack abs, not so much ripped or washboard, but good and defined enough that you can notice they're there. I think thats way sexier.
    If you need an example this pic is pretty close to what I'm looking to achieve. http://i29.tinypic.com/34eqb82.jpg

    Now I need some help getting a workout plan going to get to that. I've also heard that abs are born in the kitchen not the gym (although I'd have to think that the gym helps a lot right?). So I'm guessing then I need to get a good eating plan going too in addition to my workout.

    And if you give me a workout/eating plan will it help me gain some weight too? Because I have a decently high metabolism and am pretty average or skinny. And I wouldn't mind gaining some weight out of this to bulk up a bit if it was more muscle weight than anything.

    I'm not really sure what else to include, like what my workout consists of now, or my eating habits? Right now for my abs I pretty much use the oblique and crunch machines, I tend to prefer the machines over much else. And I do notice its like I have a band of fat across my lower abs. Let me know anything else to include I guess.

    Looking forward to hearing everyones response! Sorry that was so long haha icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 14, 2008 2:53 AM GMT
    Just get a Hawaii Chair--it really works the abs:
  • bigguysf

    Posts: 329

    Feb 14, 2008 2:57 AM GMT
    OMG
    That Hawaii Chair is the fubbiest thing I have ever seen! icon_lol.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 14, 2008 3:01 AM GMT
    Diet.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 14, 2008 3:50 AM GMT
    chuckystud saidDiet.


    Aren't diets to make you lose weight? I don't really want to lose weight, more just adjust what I'm eating to make it work better for getting abs, doesn't that make more sense?
    Plus weight watchers say diets don't work lol
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 14, 2008 3:51 AM GMT
    and that hawaii chair looks cool as hell
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 14, 2008 3:42 PM GMT
    At your age you just need to start doing some crunches. Like 200 a week. Take an exercise course where a trainer can show you how to do crunches to max effect. Or just start out from the stuff shown on here. I joined a community college core strength class to slim down to 31 waist and get some definition.
  • NYCguy74

    Posts: 311

    Feb 14, 2008 3:46 PM GMT
    Diet doesn't necessarially mean loosing weight.
    i think chucky's definition of diet here is "stuff that you eat"
    It's more about being conscious of how and what you are eating.
    to increase definition, you want to watch your excess fats and processed sugars.

    keep in mind that your body needs fats to function properly, just make sure its mostly

    "good" fats
    monounsaturated, poly-unsat -comes from vegetables: nuts, avocado, flax, canola oil

    and not Bad Fats
    saturated: from animals - meat, and dairy - a little is ok

    trans-fats: not natual only manmade- look for hydrogenated in the ingredients. avoid these totally.

    and if you're having a soda or 2 a day (even "exercise" drinks like gatorade), it's not going to help you trim up (even diet soda, just go for water).
    Eat whole grain foods, on bread make sure it's 100% whole wheat, the only flour in it is "whole grain wheat". no white rice, eat sweet potatoes instead of white. no high fructose corn syrup at all.
    lots of fruits & vegetables. they are high in fiber.
    basically eat food that is "closer to nature"

    to add muscle you need at least a gram of protein (some say 1.5 to 2) per pound of lean mass per day (so for you i would say 150 to 200g), protein powders help here. be careful of the protein bars, check the labels for sugars. and do the math for the weight you want to be, not where you are. 30-40g of protein and some carbs ASAP after working out

    try tracking your daily calorie intake and how those cals break down (fat, protein, carbs). http://www.fitday.com has a good way to do this.

    check out the abs diet, there are lots of good examples of how & what to eat in there. and some decent receipes

    most of all read the labels on food, check to see what ingredients go into it, see how the fats and carbs break down.
    and eat 5 or 6 smaller meals, if you cram 2 huge meals down, it will go more to fat, make your body think it's got a steady supply of food and it won't store fat to be ready to run out of food.
  • dionysus

    Posts: 420

    Feb 14, 2008 10:33 PM GMT
    please tell me that hawaii chair thing is a joke. thats AMAZING

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 15, 2008 7:58 AM GMT
    you need to decide your goal getting those abs and getting bulkier are opposing ends of the training spectrum

    Its not to say it cant be done but you need to know your training and diet is spot on so that you can achieve that and that means yep counting the calories both in and out. Otherwise it really is a pipe dream or wishful thinking and just hit and miss
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    Feb 15, 2008 11:54 AM GMT
    burninmanLike 200 a week.


    30 a day... hm... I'm already doing that. icon_razz.gif

    Abs exercises don't need to be alternated do they?

    bfg1
    Its not to say it cant be done but you need to know your training and diet is spot on so that you can achieve that and that means yep counting the calories both in and out. Otherwise it really is a pipe dream or wishful thinking and just hit and miss


    Hmm... I noticed that even if I'm very thin, I've got a layer of fat around my waist. Does this mean, people like me who are bulking up have to put off getting abs until later?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 15, 2008 3:41 PM GMT
    Diet is important (watch out for the fat intake), I also do 300 crunches every day, usually in the morning.
  • bigguysf

    Posts: 329

    Feb 15, 2008 4:03 PM GMT
    I'm with jbedwards, part of getting a good set of abs is pushing them beyond the norm. 200-300 good form crunches a day is definitely gonna help. And I like I tell anyone who asks me about mine, it's all about consistency. If you do them one day, then not again for 4 days, it's not gonna help that much.

    Variety is good too. Keep the abs guessing, and keep them working in different ways to achieve the goal. I'd like to throw a pitch out there for the RJ Ab Workouts that ran a month or so ago. If I can find the link I'll post it here. They are good for ab definition as well as overall core and ab strength/conditioning.
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    Feb 15, 2008 4:34 PM GMT
    I would suggest doing your ab routine with a fitness ball, that thing is amazing. I can be on it for 30 minutes doing all different kinds of stuff!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 15, 2008 7:23 PM GMT
    Diet is as important if not more than the total number of crunches you do. Also need to make sure you are doing enought cardio to cut down on the fat. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Feb 15, 2008 11:45 PM GMT
    Sedative14 said

    Hmm... I noticed that even if I'm very thin, I've got a layer of fat around my waist. Does this mean, people like me who are bulking up have to put off getting abs until later?


    Well if you think about it if yuo are aiming for mass you are going to be eating more calories you wont add a lot of volume to your abdominals but that aside if you are in excess you are in excess your fat level will not reduce for you to see them.

    Its not to say that if you new what you metabollic rate was and you worked out hard you wouldnt eliminate the fat but then you are sacrificing the growth.

    One of the biggest decisions to make really is whats your primary goal? The only caveat I would add tho is most say big muscles, then they have the issue of going for that and never actually achieving the abs that they actually wanted in the first place.

    If you are sub 15% body fat then by all means start adding those 200 stomach exercises if you really want to, not that that volume is of much proven benefit, but otherwise concentrate on your core being employed correctly in all other moves and at the end of teh routine 1 or 2 sets of abs is sufficient

    Anything else is wishfull "abbing"
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    Feb 16, 2008 7:22 AM GMT
    Alright bfg you said that I need to pick a goal between bulking up and getting my abs to show through.
    If I had to pick its definitely just getting my abs to show through, I can concentrate on gaining weight and bulking after I achieve abs.

    Right now I'm thinking about just following this: http://www.realjock.com/article/97
    along with what I already do on the crunch machine at the gym which I usually do 4-6 reps of 25 set at 90-100lbs.
    Does that sound like a good solid plan to follow as opposed to hit and miss self formulated routines?

    The real confusion is my diet. All I hear is how you have to burn through the layer of fat on your stomach or else it doesn't matter how much you work them they won't show through. But with adjusting my diet its like I hear one thing from someone and then someone else tells me 'no thats bad do this', and so on and so on.
    Mainly I've heard cut back carbs, bump up protein, and all in all watch your fats.
    If thats correct, is there a way to know how many carbs I should be taking in daily?

    Concerning protein I hear 1.5g/2lbs. Weighing 140lbs that would be 105g. A protein shake after I workout along with 30 or 40g of carbs looks to be a good option, anyone want to recommend a good product?


    And thanks for all the responses guys this is definitely helping clear up things!
  • bigguysf

    Posts: 329

    Feb 16, 2008 8:30 AM GMT
    Now that I'm home I found my bookmark for RJ's Accessorized Abs (http://www.realjock.com/slideshow/1016). Check these out... they really do a great job on your abs and your core!

    As to diet, I would just say listen to your body cjmajesk71. Try a few approaches, and stick with the one that seems like it helps within a week or so. I posted a thread about wanting to lean out and cut down body mass, and got at least 10 different really good suggestions. But not all work well on my body type. So try your best to figure out what works best for you both with respect to diet, and any exercise plan you follow.

    For both, a good and VERY GENERAL rule of thumb is cut down on your fats (diet), and vary your ab routines (exercise). And with both, you gotta be consistent. icon_exclaim.gif

    I look forward to seeing the results.
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    Feb 16, 2008 7:16 PM GMT
    cjmajesk71 said
    Right now I'm thinking about just following this: http://www.realjock.com/article/97
    along with what I already do on the crunch machine at the gym which I usually do 4-6 reps of 25 set at 90-100lbs. Does that sound like a good solid plan to follow as opposed to hit and miss self formulated routines?!
    [/quote]

    in isolation if thats all you plan on doing then no, its a load of crap as are all tehse 10 minute wonders. You need to stimulate every muscle when on a calorie deficit or kiss good by to your lean muscle mass elsewhere. By all means stick in 2 ab exercises into your routine, anything more than that is a waste of time IMHO. Just keep upping the weight on that crunch machine. Even better get off the crunch meachine and use a dumbell and while you are at it slow the rate down 5 seconds up 5 seconds hold 5 seconds down. People power through abs at a rate of knotss like speedy gonzales on acid as they read somewhere about a fast twitch muscle group! Whereas the same goes for all exercises control is the key, its all about TUT (Time under tension)

    [quote][cite]cjmajesk71 said The real confusion is my diet. All I hear is how you have to burn through the layer of fat on your stomach or else it doesn't matter how much you work them they won't show through. But with adjusting my diet its like I hear one thing from someone and then someone else tells me 'no thats bad do this', and so on and so on. Mainly I've heard cut back carbs, bump up protein, and all in all watch your fats. If thats correct, is there a way to know how many carbs I should be taking in daily?![/cite]


    Carbs high protein high is a matter of preference if you look at the research the end result is the same as long as you get your required amount of protein a day anything over that is just alternative fuel. Best answer to that is use a tool like www.fitday.com Now this bit requires work, but then again so do abs, so if you want them you will do it. Keep a food diary for the next week, weigh your food, when possible dont guess it, and enter it into fitday. That will tell you wether you currently like eating carb high or protein high. Find a diet approach that mimicks that, unfortunately a fat high one doesnt cut the mustard so dietary fat should not exceed 15% of your daily intake.

    Now find a training routine and diet that will allow you to workout your requirement, I can send you one if yuo want it easy :-)

    [quote][cite]cjmajesk71 said
    Concerning protein I hear 1.5g/2lbs. Weighing 140lbs that would be 105g. A protein shake after I workout along with 30 or 40g of carbs looks to be a good option, anyone want to recommend a good product?[/cite]
    [quote]

    You are imediatly overlooking any other dietary forms of protein from meat, dairy and even grains. Workout what you are getting first before you decide if you need that. Also decide this: You will be cutting back the calories you are eating ie HUNGER. What will keep you fuller? Solid foods or a fancy milkshake? I know what I would say.
  • SkyMiles

    Posts: 963

    Feb 16, 2008 7:38 PM GMT
    I'd like to add that, even if you'll never have a chisled midsection, abdominals and all trunk muscles are critical to general mobility and health. These muscles support the carriage of your body and keep your internal organs in their proper position, not to mention assisting in walking, getting up, etc.

    So work the abs even if you're like me: definition free!!icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 16, 2008 7:45 PM GMT
    more to the point as you engage them in every activity always concentrate on good posture and contracting the abs rather than just an isolated session at the end
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 17, 2008 1:06 PM GMT
    thanks cjmajesk71 for asking this btw. icon_biggrin.gif

    it's 200 a day, good lord...

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    Feb 17, 2008 1:58 PM GMT
    So the actual answer is 40 minutes of sit ups every day, non stop in good form that (doesnt mean bouncing up and down at 90 miles an hour) to burn 500 calories which equates to 1 pound of fat a week.

    Now I have never met anyone that could do that yet!


  • SkyMiles

    Posts: 963

    Feb 17, 2008 8:29 PM GMT
    I just remembered that a old friend of a friend went to prison for two years and got a 'prison' body with 8-pac abs and everything.
    So I asked, Ok, what did he DO to get abs like that. The answer was 1,500 sit ups a day. Not all at once, but like, 100 every hour you're awake! icon_eek.gif

    ;(

    Ok, maybe I don't want beautiful abs THAT much icon_sad.gificon_sad.gif.
  • bigguysf

    Posts: 329

    Feb 18, 2008 12:06 AM GMT
    Here is a partial list of the crazy ab routine I do on a weakly basis, as taken from a post I just made in my "leaning out" thread:

    - ab workouts varying daily from crunches (both on and off physioball),
    - sets on the Abench at Golds, crunches using my blue resistance tube hooked to a stable post behind me,
    - the RJ Accessorized Abs routines (http://www.realjock.com/slideshow/1016),
    - standing cable pulls on a bosu ball,
    - various leg lifts/circles, medicine ball crunches on inclined ab bench
    - knee raises at the military dip station (my surgically repaired shoulder can't handle the compression of the shoulder straps or "rocket pack" elbow rest/grip combo)

    In terms of repetitions, I rarely go beyond 100 reps of any crunch variation. I may do 3 sets of 100 for easier crunch routines like on the Abench or just on a mat. Anything with weigh gets 3 to 4 sets of 20. It just all depends on the exercise AND how my body feels like it's responding at that time.

    It takes committed effort, but will show results.