I want smaller abs

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 23, 2010 1:59 AM GMT
    Now, this is not a troll post.
    I've gained almost 30 pounds in the last 4 months, and I've seen (and felt) gains in my legs, arms and abdomen. The chest just won't do it though. So since I was told to eat more in general, it makes my midsection pop out, so to make it smaller, I do more ab exercises, which makes them even more disproportionally bigger compared to my chest. And thus the vicious cycle continues.

    Any suggestions?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 23, 2010 5:31 PM GMT
    Really, 100 views and no takers?icon_sad.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 23, 2010 5:35 PM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidNow, this is not a troll post.
    I've gained almost 30 pounds in the last 4 months, and I've seen (and felt) gains in my legs, arms and abdomen. The chest just won't do it though. So since I was told to eat more in general, it makes my midsection pop out, so to make it smaller, I do more ab exercises, which makes them even more disproportionally bigger compared to my chest. And thus the vicious cycle continues.

    Any suggestions?


    Eat small meals, often.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 23, 2010 5:47 PM GMT
    Post pics so we can see the progress. icon_smile.gif

    You sure it isn't mostly in your head? Your profile pics look good. (Nice arm gains on the "11 weeks" one)

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 23, 2010 6:22 PM GMT
    Cut the booze.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 23, 2010 6:28 PM GMT
    Um, seriously? You mention that your chest "just won't grow," and that you do more ab exercises in an effort to make those muscles "smaller." It sounds like you've given up on your chest, and put that effort into growing your abs. (Just because they're your abs, doesn't mean that stimulating the muscles magically makes them smaller whereas stimulating other muscles makes them bigger.)

    Go do some push-ups and wake the hell up. icon_biggrin.gif
  • metatextual

    Posts: 774

    Dec 23, 2010 6:37 PM GMT
    You could try doing more cardio or focus more on your legs?
  • BlackBeltGuy

    Posts: 2609

    Dec 23, 2010 6:48 PM GMT
    damn i just paid 6 grand to have mine made and etched. lol
    Ab's really are made in the kitchen. However I will tell you The unit I bought called slenderone worked like a charm in about 4-5 weeks seriously
    went from a 36 to 33-32 waist

    and thats not including lipo
    its a EMS unit
    dont buy it on their website I got the guy on ebay that rocks
    40 bucks a unit
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 23, 2010 7:36 PM GMT
    OK, so my trainer says, "Eat more." So I eat more, and I'm just barely getting 1 pound a week of weight gain as suggested.

    Was told not to do too much cardio (since I'm such a hard gainer).

    I haven't given up on my chest (Tuesday is just chest and back), but it's just not doing as well as everything else.

    No booze at all.
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    Dec 23, 2010 7:37 PM GMT
    averagejoe saidPost pics so we can see the progress. icon_smile.gif

    Sigh, the pics are in reverse chronological order (i.e. no progress seen despite the weight gain). icon_sad.gif
  • samasaurusrex

    Posts: 84

    Dec 23, 2010 8:01 PM GMT
    Do you do dips much? I find this works good for the pecs, and you also get a minor core workout.
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    Dec 23, 2010 9:35 PM GMT
    I have a dip thing at home (http://www.ultimatebodypress.com/) and I use it almost everyday (besides 50-60 push ups).

    This guy's pic is my goal (his weight is similar to mine and pecs are much better proportioned) :
    http://www.realjock.com/srqhottie
    http://www.realjock.com/fullphoto/594964
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 23, 2010 9:46 PM GMT
    60 pushups isnt that many. try a total gym thingy... start doing pullups...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 23, 2010 10:06 PM GMT
    Put your feet on an exercise ball and do pushups.
    That's by far the most demanding chest exercise I know.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 23, 2010 10:25 PM GMT
    Funny, I thought pushing on the exercise ball is the harder exercise.
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    Dec 23, 2010 10:30 PM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidFunny, I thought pushing on the exercise ball is the harder exercise.
    It's definitely not easy. But doing it the way I described above is the hardest for me. I can only do 20 pushups (2 sets) like that. With bench press, I can do 3 sets of 20 with my own weight (175).
  • samasaurusrex

    Posts: 84

    Dec 24, 2010 7:01 AM GMT
    Also, hire a trainer for a single session. Tell them what you want. My trainer Ive only gone to 2x. Shes awesome and once you establish a relationship with them they will likely help you on small things free of charge. For me, I just shoot her a text about whatever, and she'll respond with her suggestion. May cost you something, but the results are generally better than what I read on here. Though this site does have some good posts.
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    Dec 24, 2010 7:40 AM GMT
    chuckystud said
    q1w2e3 saidNow, this is not a troll post.
    I've gained almost 30 pounds in the last 4 months, and I've seen (and felt) gains in my legs, arms and abdomen. The chest just won't do it though. So since I was told to eat more in general, it makes my midsection pop out, so to make it smaller, I do more ab exercises, which makes them even more disproportionally bigger compared to my chest. And thus the vicious cycle continues.

    Any suggestions?


    Eat small meals, often.


    Nice advice Chuckie. But now for someone who can explain why. A small "meal" means about 15-25 g protein (for most people, if you're 6'3++ lemme know) and 50-100g carbohydrate, depending on activity level. More protein will not do anything except add unnecessary work for your liver and kidney to process and rid the body of the ammonia formed.

    So the real advice here is this: unless you are doing steroids, those 30 lbs in the past 4 months are not all muscle at all. Whoever the bro-science nutritionist that told you to just eat more to gain weight didn't bother asking you if you wanted to gain lean mass or just mass. If you're storing bulk in your muscle, it's not solid muscle, but marbled muscle (fatty muscle), much like what makes steak juicy and tasty, but horrible for your arteries.

    The most amount of muscle you probably naturally could synthesize, assuming adequate rest, sleep, not overeating (like it sounds like you have been), and perfect training is about 8 lbs of lean mass (be it actual contractile proteins or glycogen stored in the muscle) within your time period of 4 months, and really, this would only occur if you are past the initial starting period of learning how to lift weights correctly and are actually making slow and steady gains for the first time in your life.

    So, working your abs will not make the abs stick out or shrink. It will make them fitter and able to do more reps, but they will not grow like your arms or legs unless you do a machine that adds resistance. Just like running won't grow your legs, doing tons of situps won't make them stick out anymore. You can make them stronger with resistance (those ab machines that add weight), but that's probably not your goal.

    You store fat in front of your abs, and it's the first place fat is stored on men (other than our butt and hips). Because you've been doing the popular "bulking" routine, which is a poor choice indeed albeit everyone is an expert and it is not your fault you listened to people who don't know what they're talking about, you have to remove the layer of fat you put on there, and the bloat is from your overeating distending your abdomen.

    Any sort of food will create an osmolality in your intestine that will draw water from the body into the intestine to normalize the osmolality. If you overeat, you're going to draw water into the small intestine, puff out your abs, and store more fat because you don't need that much blood sugar at once, and not ALL of the glucose will go to your burning muscles, if they even are sufficiently burning. Most will go to your adipose tissues, making you fat. Thank god you have adipose tissues to take up excess glucose because once they get inflamed, you get diabetes (sugar has no where to go but make your arteries sticky like maple syrup).

    So my advice is to stop overeating and start eating a little bit less in terms of portion sizes. You do not want to feel stuffed. Maybe after another few months you will have reversed some of the the fat you stored in front of your sexy abs.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 24, 2010 10:01 AM GMT
    Yes I have a personal trainer since august ( that's how I started gaining weight)
    And I eat basically 6 small meals a day, 300 to 600 calories at a time. Believe me, I cannot stuff myself(I used to live on a 1600 calorie diet and felt full).
    It's hard to believe that it's just 8 pound of lean muscle...they don't feel fatty. How did you come up with that figure?

    Btw, my body fat went from 6% to 8% between august and now (using one of those handheld machines that use bioimpedance). So clearly that is not just fatty muscle...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 24, 2010 6:07 PM GMT
    The hand held fat testers are a joke.

    I've been at 4% and they'll say I'm at 40%.

    They are VERY inaccurate.

    With regard to type 2 diabetes: too much insulin; too much sugar; too little activity; too long, causes the person to become insulin tolerant. Your body's insulin receptors fail to latch onto insulin properly, and, that makes the mess a bunch worse, because then your blood sugar doesn't go down like it needs to, and...you end up taking exogenous insulin.

    Excess blood sugar forms little crystals that cut on your insides and cause damage. They don't really make your arteries sticky as a previous poster said. The damage is caused by the sugar crystals.

    You can measure those sugar crystals with what's caused a HBA1C test, or more simply, an A1C (available at any Walmart). Those crystals take a while to dissipate from your blood stream.

    Type 2 diabetes, which many studies predict fully 1/3 of all Americans will have by 2020, is a disease of inactivity, poor diet, and obesity. It's mostly preventable.

    Small meals often and an understanding of insulin management are critical for maximal exercise performance, good health, and staying lean.

    HIIT markedly INCREASES insulin sensitivity, and glucose tolerance. It should be in everyone's workout regimen.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 24, 2010 6:13 PM GMT
    Yeah, I don't know anybody that actually does skin fold measurements around here...then again, maybe those handheld things are designed for people that are within the 95% curve and not supermuscular. (My PT tried it and it said 16%, which I believe) And it was replicable, i.e. it didn't fluctuate a lot when I repeated it.
    (And I know the difference between accuracy and precision) icon_razz.gif

    Again, the main problem is not so much fat but disproportionate muscle development between my chest and abs, and the little fat that I have is going all in front of the abs, exacerbating the look. (If I had a camera right now I can show you what I mean--if you look at me from the side my chest almost looks like it's dented back above the xiphoid).
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 25, 2010 4:46 AM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidNow, this is not a troll post.
    I've gained almost 30 pounds in the last 4 months, and I've seen (and felt) gains in my legs, arms and abdomen. The chest just won't do it though. So since I was told to eat more in general, it makes my midsection pop out, so to make it smaller, I do more ab exercises, which makes them even more disproportionally bigger compared to my chest. And thus the vicious cycle continues.

    Any suggestions?


    Abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym.
  • Syphon

    Posts: 366

    Dec 25, 2010 4:56 AM GMT
    Don't eat for a day and take a huge shit and I think your midsection will stop popping out.

    My stomach sticks out too, it's because I eat enormous amounts of food in an effort to overcome my insane metabolism. I'm thinking you're having the same problem.

    If you want a larger chest, you're going to have to work for it. Do heavy presses, switch your routine up every week with something new. Working your abs is not going to make them smaller, they're going to grow... duh.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 25, 2010 5:13 AM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidNow, this is not a troll post.
    I've gained almost 30 pounds in the last 4 months, and I've seen (and felt) gains in my legs, arms and abdomen. The chest just won't do it though. So since I was told to eat more in general, it makes my midsection pop out, so to make it smaller, I do more ab exercises, which makes them even more disproportionally bigger compared to my chest. And thus the vicious cycle continues.

    Any suggestions?


    The stomach is a funny thing its the last part you will lose bodyfat. And some of it is what is inside the body referred to as visceral fat. Just diet and cardio dude
    Try very high rep twisting motions like broomstick twists
    really focus on contracting the obliques, when the obliques are hit with high reps they tend to pull in the rest of the stomach
    Just dont hit it with weighted side bends at low reps like everyone does, that just makes the waistline bigger
    check my facebook for numerous tips
    address on my profile
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Dec 25, 2010 5:24 AM GMT
    Skotlake saidUm, seriously? You mention that your chest "just won't grow," and that you do more ab exercises in an effort to make those muscles "smaller." It sounds like you've given up on your chest, and put that effort into growing your abs. (Just because they're your abs, doesn't mean that stimulating the muscles magically makes them smaller whereas stimulating other muscles makes them bigger.)

    Go do some push-ups and wake the hell up. icon_biggrin.gif


    This is basically the best post.
    Ab exercises won't shrink your midsection, they will strengthen your abdominals (which may increase size, depending on nature of exercise and state of muscles).

    If you want a bigger chest, you need to work on your chest.
    If you want a smaller midsection, you probably should just lean up. That said, if I were you (which, admittedly, I'm not) I'd focus more on gaining muscle than leaning up right now, as you look good and leaning up and staying muscular is relatively easy once you've got muscular gains, but making muscular gains while staying lean can be hard.

    Two things:
    (a) If you want bigger pecs don't just do lots of push-ups. You want to be lifting heavier weights for a smaller number of reps. (8-12, is the magic bodybuilding range that's usually thrown around for most of the non-core muscles; 5-8, usually quoted as better for strength gains).
    (b) Are your pecs sore after chest days? Do you feel like you're hitting your pecs when you're doing chest exercises. It's not uncommon for people to use their shoulders such that they bottleneck or outright carry most of the lift on chest exercises. (I had this problem when I started, and still have to be careful about it.) I'd ask your trainer. If you're not hitting the pecs read up on how to's and experiment with very low weights while contracting the pectoral muscles until you can find the right form/movements for you.

    [Edit: looked ar your profile (literal profile) picture, yeah, I definitely would not recommend shooting for smaller abs. You're already very thin and your abs are nicely defined. I'd work on getting a larger chest. Think of starting out weight lifting as a little like puberty: even though you're maturing (by analogy) and getting stronger it can be a little bit awkward as you get everything synchronized and balanced. Looking good, just keep at it ;]