Abs at the gym: is it a waste of time?

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    Apr 12, 2011 6:33 PM GMT
    Hey guys, I love spending time at the gym, but I always get a bit twitchy when it comes to Abs...always think I could do it at home. So I wanted to ask: who does their abs work at home? and who makes use of gym equipment?
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    Apr 12, 2011 7:11 PM GMT
    I prefer the gym just due to the fact that I have a wider range of equipment. For example, cable crunches, decline benches, swiss ball, bosu ball. Stuff that would normally clutter up my place if I went out and bought it.

    Besides I also prefer to leave the gym at the gym and not take it home much like work.

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    Apr 13, 2011 5:30 PM GMT
    Much like sydney_cider, I make use of the equipment provided at the gym. Even if it just a padded mat, i'll do leg raises/v-crunches. I find that I am already at the gym, why not just take those few extra minutes to work the abs?

    Besides, I feel that at the gym I am more motivated than when I am at home.
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    Apr 13, 2011 5:36 PM GMT
    It really depends for me- I work my abs with weights about once a week, and I will do this at the gym utilizing a swiss ball/dumbells, or the cable machine to do oblique twists etc. However, I also have an ab routine that I do at home every other day that does not utilize weights and is sort of like a 7minute superset of 20 or so exercises.
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    Apr 13, 2011 5:39 PM GMT
    I do at home, after I'm done w/ my workout it's time ta eat, get somethin real light, like a shake, then do 8 minute abs (don't laugh) then pig out. If I do em at tha gym after my workout I tend to just goof off.
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    Apr 13, 2011 6:04 PM GMT
    Best to do abs right before bed... burns thru the night rather than building fat . Machines sell Memberships; floor exercises will score the 8 pack.
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    Apr 13, 2011 10:26 PM GMT
    yeah, I seem to have the same approach as hotsauce & alpha...but without the goods! Doing core work at the gym I literally hang around, on TRX straps or doing leg raises, etc., which is kinda entertaining, but I don't tend to push it the way i do with other muscle groups.

    I think a home routine would at least complement all that.

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    Apr 13, 2011 11:08 PM GMT
    I started a gym class at my gym called super abs....45 minutes of abs its pretty intense...I'll check if I see some changes in a month or two
  • Ironman4U

    Posts: 738

    Apr 13, 2011 11:15 PM GMT
    I treat abs like any other muscle group and hit them hard twice a week. I do it at the gym and use equipment and weight combos that I couldn't do with floor exercises at home.
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    Apr 13, 2011 11:16 PM GMT
    "Abs" are a function of body fat level.

    HIIT, along with a clean diet, and lifting, are the fastest ways to abs. That's not to say you should not do ab work; you should, but, getting ripped is about intensity, diet, and getting busy with HIIT. ..period. Starvation is not the right way, unless you wish to look like a girl.

    No special devices. No burn thru the night, etc., etc. That's all nonsense.

    Fuel the furnace (I.e., eat), and get busy, and you'll get lean, and lean means abs.

    Do your work, wherever you want, but, it's usually easiest to make it part of your workout routine at the gym.

    I sometimes superset abs with hamstrings.
  • dive5154

    Posts: 3

    Apr 13, 2011 11:25 PM GMT
    Abs at the gym!
    I do a sub super set. Meaning I do my abs between weight sets.
    Instead of super setting each of my weight exercises, I incorporate an ab set, this helps to keep my heart rate up and give my muscle group the rest i need between sets, with NO sitting around.
    Big pet-peve is watching the guys sit on the bench messing with their Ipod or cell phone. THIS IS A GYM DO WORK!!!
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    Apr 13, 2011 11:32 PM GMT
    dive5154 saidAbs at the gym!
    I do a sub super set. Meaning I do my abs between weight sets.
    Instead of super setting each of my weight exercises, I incorporate an ab set, this helps to keep my heart rate up and give my muscle group the rest i need between sets, with NO sitting around.
    Big pet-peve is watching the guys sit on the bench messing with their Ipod or cell phone. THIS IS A GYM DO WORK!!!


    I do the same thing, it works wonders!
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    Apr 13, 2011 11:36 PM GMT
    Abs coaster 2000 at the gym... Best shit ever!!
    I Use it with 25 lbs on each side plus a good diet to cut body fat.
    Cheers
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    Apr 13, 2011 11:51 PM GMT
    I also used to lazy around with abs...but at this point I just put abs (and obliques) into a separate day. It's too hard to do those the same day as legs, back or chest.

    But I do abs the same day as cardio. Those are my 'slim it down days'
  • msclpatrol

    Posts: 2

    Apr 18, 2011 4:48 PM GMT
    Guys store most of their fat in the midsection. Therefore you gotta lose more weight to even see the muscle at all. You can do millions of crunches a year and still not see the abs if they're covered by fat. Eat less, burn more -> see abs.
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    Feb 27, 2013 3:49 AM GMT
    That's a really good question that I was thinking about myself recently, OP, when while working on my splits, which take a lot of room on the stretch mat. Me and other people who also need the wall to to do flexibility training were crowded out by people using the middle of the mat to do mat ab work that took up so small a footprint that they could've done them on their bathroom floors, much less the edge of the stretch mat, and certainly on any roll out mats anywhere on the gym floor. (That God the plank craze is dying down - now the herd seems to have moved on to shaking those Crossfit ropes.) That type of core work I do at home because I can, along with inverted sit-ups on my inversion table, which gyms typically don't stock given liability issues. I spend enough time at the gym without mat ab work and it's just easier knocking out 10-15 minutes of that stuff at home in front of the TV. Stuff where I need resistance coupled with stability like the ab coaster, seated crunch machines, back-supported hanging leg raises and the more unstable ab straps I do at the gym. Machine ab work I do at the gym twice a week, floor core work I do twice a week on alternate days, and inverted sit-ups I do nightly at bedtime.

  • Montague

    Posts: 5205

    Feb 27, 2013 4:06 AM GMT
    I liked this pic I seen before. :p

    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTNUcPwtlRJpoDZM-J_lnh
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    Feb 27, 2013 4:22 AM GMT
    I think u need this icon_smile.gif

    242199_STANDARD__MAS_20121217.jpg
  • goofrider

    Posts: 22

    Mar 12, 2013 4:23 AM GMT
    I find it difficult to incorporate a core day to my weekly routine, so now I just try to make sure my regular selection of major compound lifts give my core a good workout as well. Here's some of my favorites compound exercises that covers the core:

    - max-effort squat (down to parallel, avoid cheating)
    - max-effort deadlift (pick it up from a dead-stop on the floor in each rep, avoid cheating)
    - kettlebell swing
    - kettlebell turkish get-up
    - kettlebell renegade row

    The last two kettlebell exercises are much harder to do that they look, and renegade row is a particularly brutual core workout if you use heavy weights. I find it a better bang for my gym time this way, and these lifts are both fun and satisfying for me, which keeps me motivated and stay on the wagon. In fact, I think this might my entire mid/lower body routine. And look ma, no machines! no crunches!

    I highly recommend this book: "New rules for lifting for Abs", it move focus away from mindless crunches and sit-ups, instead it advocates for overall core strength using stability exercises.

    http://www.thenewrulesoflifting.com/nrol-for-abs

    http://www.amazon.com/New-Rules-Lifting-Abs-Myth-Busting/dp/1583334602

  • MidwesternKid

    Posts: 1167

    Mar 12, 2013 4:28 AM GMT
    Anyone who still comes to this thread searching for answers, never give up on abs!!!

    I thought I would never get anywhere near to loving my midsection. It wasn't until I started getting serious about cardio and attacking my abs from all kinds of directions with unique and intense workouts that I started seeing results.

    I don't have a six pack like some guys on here, but it doesn't stop me from loving my midsection like I do now.

    Belly fat is the last to go so you have to work even harder to get that to go away.

    Cardio
    Healthy eating
    Work those abs from every angle possible.
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Mar 12, 2013 4:35 AM GMT
    I dont work my abs for appearance. I work them because a strong core is essential for functional movement. Swiss Ball, GHD machine, hang variations, etc. I done have all the equipment to do it at home, so I do core at the gym at the end of my weights section, before stretching.
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    Mar 12, 2013 4:40 AM GMT
    The best way to get abs is to do cardio. You need to shed the fat first so that they will appear fully. You can do millions and millions of ab exercises but they will not show properly if your belly has extra fat. Once the fat is gone then you can begin to incorporate weights/more exercises to strengthen them.
  • jakekid123

    Posts: 9

    Mar 12, 2013 4:41 AM GMT
    You can do them at the gym or at home. In fact, changing it up keeps it fresh and may even help you stay on target.
    Just take advantage of whichever setting you're in; use resistance ab routines when at the gym (using the weights and equipment), and hi intensity routines at home (when all you need is a mat, and you won't have to feel like a crazy person in front of all the elder people on the elipticals. icon_razz.gif )
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    Mar 12, 2013 4:42 AM GMT
    As the saying goes: Abs are made in the kitchen

    I prefer to do abs in the morning before im full of food.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 12, 2013 4:42 AM GMT
    goofrider saidI find it difficult to incorporate a core day to my weekly routine, so now I just try to make sure my regular selection of major compound lifts give my core a good workout as well. Here's some of my favorites compound exercises that covers the core:

    - max-effort squat (down to parallel, avoid cheating)
    - max-effort deadlift (pick it up from a dead-stop on the floor in each rep, avoid cheating)
    - kettlebell swing
    - kettlebell turkish get-up
    - kettlebell renegade row

    The last two kettlebell exercises are much harder to do that they look, and renegade row is a particularly brutual core workout if you use heavy weights. I find it a better bang for my gym time this way, and these lifts are both fun and satisfying for me, which keeps me motivated and stay on the wagon. In fact, I think this might my entire mid/lower body routine. And look ma, no machines! no crunches!

    I highly recommend this book: "New rules for lifting for Abs", it move focus away from mindless crunches and sit-ups, instead it advocates for overall core strength using stability exercises.

    http://www.thenewrulesoflifting.com/nrol-for-abs

    http://www.amazon.com/New-Rules-Lifting-Abs-Myth-Busting/dp/1583334602




    Solid plan.

    Like Chucky said, the best way to see your abs is through your diet and burning calories. HIIT is indeed very efficient at doing that.

    If you're doing isolated strengthening on just your abs, you are weakening your overall strength and capacity to do certain lifts and potentially setting yourself up for injury down the road. You need to balance abs with working the rest of your core (rotational exercises for your obliques, glute activating exercises that are hip dominant like kettle bell swings or deadlifts, and things that work your posterior chain like wall balls). Your core muscles are used to stabilize your hips which is important for just about any functional movement you do.