300 crunches a day~

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    Jul 04, 2008 12:03 AM GMT
    Would you say this is good or bad? I've heard regular sit-ups are actually bad for you, and that crunches are better (as long as you do them right). I'm curious as to whether or not crunches are good/bad for you and how many one should do in a day?
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    Jul 04, 2008 12:17 AM GMT
    Y'know, I've had so many people tell me vastly different things about training abs. I'm no expert, but I think my abs are decent, though plenty of guys on here have better. . . anyway, here's what I do for abs. . .

    I have a decline sit-up board at home. I try to do a set of 60-80 reps daily, and occasionally an additional set(s) before work or later that night;

    I do 400 crunches at the gym about 5x a week;
    Also an additional 60 or so with legs at approx. 90 degree angle to torso, that gives a pretty good burn;
    Trying to get in the habit of doing hanging leg raises;

    Also run 5x a week, from 4-7 miles, and do a little jump rope sometimes;

    And watch diet. No junk food.

    Some guys will tell you that's not enough. Some will say it's too much. I guess it works OK for me, though I still want to get more defined.

    Good luck !!
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    Jul 04, 2008 2:22 AM GMT
    It sounds like you're doing a good job as it is. I really wouldn't change much other than maybe take a look at your diet.
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    Jul 04, 2008 2:28 AM GMT
    crunches are good but too much of anything isn't necessarily good- the body gets used to them so it cheats and has to work less at that motion over time- and it effectively becomes less of a workout. also, it all really boils down to proper form- i hate when i see guys in the gym clutching their heads in a death grip and making rapid half-motion crunches while jerking their heads forward with their hands- it accomplishes nothing and is dangerous. give me 50 good, slow, protracted crunches with one's gut sucked in and fingertips lightly touching the ears over 500 crappy crunches any day.

    also, the abs are a complicated set of muscles- think of how many ways the torso can twist and bend! therefor the best way to get good abs is to hit them with VARIETY. i originally read that in here in a fitness article actually- and have found it to be very true. just take 10-15 minutes every day to do this sequence 3 times over: 20 leg lifts, 20 side crunches on each side, 15 lemon squeezes, 20 bicycles, and 20 crunches. if you wanna get fancy, hold a pike position (like a push up position but on your forearms, with a perfectly straight back and sucked in stomach) for 30 seconds afterwards.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Jul 04, 2008 11:52 AM GMT
    It's good when compared to nothing...

    But 300 of anything everyday isn't such a good Idea

    The abs are a peculiar muscle group
    they can take a lickin' which means that they can be worked a lot more than other grps but they get used to certain exercises very quickly
    and doing the samething day in day out plays into this
    whats better is doing 3 types of exercises instead

    *** do the crunches. Less of them but add some oblique work
    and maybe some leg lifts for the lower abs too
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    Jul 04, 2008 12:00 PM GMT
    Remember crunches/sit ups work the abdominals (Rectus abdominis) for the 6 pack, but not for making your tummy flat (Transversus abdominis). Some guys build such a large Rectus abdominis that they look fat.
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    Jul 04, 2008 12:41 PM GMT
    Yeah, just to add to what I said earlier -- I agree with Czar and the others that variety for abs is really important, ao along with the crunches, do some additional things too.
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    Jul 04, 2008 12:58 PM GMT
    Interesting responses guys. I am doing 400 crunches a day in various positions (200 in the AM and 200 in the PM), but my results are starting to taper off. I think I will try and do more research on RJ to see how can make them more effective.

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    Jul 04, 2008 1:13 PM GMT
    Another issue from my perspective is that there are a few things that prevent a standard panacea solution.
    One is age. The body's response to exercise changes with age.
    Two is history of exercise. What I do now, because I only started working out a couple years ago, is not going to match what someone who is my age who has been working out for 10-20 years or more.
    Three genetics and body type. What your abs look like is affected by your genetic make-up in terms of muscular structure. Someone who has the exact same height and bone structure as you do, and has the same workout plan/diet/history can look significantly different due to these genetic variations. The other correlated aspect is build type (ecto-, meso-, endomorph) and it's effect on the look of your abs (and musculature in general.)

    As pointed out by both GQjock and Caslon, variety of exercise and quantity determine the results.





    *Results not typical. Your mileage may vary.
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    Jul 04, 2008 3:54 PM GMT
    That is true bgcat57. I could do 10,000 crunches a day and not have the abs of czarodzeij.

    I just want to have defined abs, and to minimize the soft look in the stomach area. That is where I gain weight first in the stomach.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19138

    Jul 04, 2008 4:07 PM GMT
    300 is definitely too many...you'd be better to do 4 sets of 40 reps, but do different exercises.

    - crunches ( 1 set of 40)

    - hanging leg lifts (1 set of 40)

    - laying down bicycle crunches (1 set of 40)

    - twists and bends using a pole or a twisting oblique machine


    If you can't do a set of 40...start out doing sets of 20...then work up to 30...then to 40. Also, try doing one of the ab exercises while your resting between reps of working another body part (like say chest presses), so you don't get bored doing your ab workout.
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    Jul 04, 2008 9:46 PM GMT
    Thanks for all the responses guys. Really enlightening! icon_razz.gif