Great chest and arms at the risk of your abs?

  • Hotgymguy22

    Posts: 98

    Feb 22, 2013 5:46 AM GMT
    First off, I've always been skinny and it's always been hard for me to gain weight, no matter what I've eaten and no matter how much or how badly I've eaten. But I've finally reached a point where I am gaining weight by eating a ton and working out. But while my arms and chest are noticeably bigger, my abs look nothing like the abs I used to have. I used to have defined abs. Now I'm doing good to see any definition at all in the morning.

    I've heard of people packing on weight during the winter months and then working it off in the spring before beach season. What should I be doing now? Cut back on eating and focus more on core and cardio? Keep eating like I'm eating and continuing to strength build my chest and arms and add more cardio? As I see the number on the scale rise I panic a little, because I've always been slender and very cautious about becoming overweight, then I reassure myself that muscle weighs more than fat. But I'm currently the heaviest weight I've ever been in my life. I just want a nice chest and arms and stomach and I'll be happy. I don't want to continue to build my chest and arms if my stomach is going to get any bigger. Anyone have a similar experience?

    Any help will be appreciated.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 22, 2013 5:51 AM GMT
    I'm in the same boat.... Its all so hard isn't it!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 22, 2013 5:56 AM GMT
    honey, listen to me: This is normal. If you want size you have to let go of definition a little bit. Then you shift focus and you sacrifice a little size as you cut. It goes back and forth for the rest of your life until you finally (hopefully) get the results you want.

    also, consider high intensity interval training for cardio. it revs up your metabolism for hours, so you burn lots more fat, even while resting; however, it also accesses your superfast twitch muscles fibers, which causes your muscles to add size when they release human growth hormone. this can mitigate some of the visual oscillation.

    however, it is normal to be give and take in both directions until you finally find the balance of food, strength, cardio, and SLEEP that works for YOUR body.
  • Danskerb

    Posts: 286

    Feb 22, 2013 6:26 AM GMT
    I'm looking to get a bigger chest right now so I can get a better stomach. I'm tired of having a flat stomach from neck to dick, the chest needs to pop out.
    I'm also trying to get rid of having bones and ribs visible on my torso.

    I think its worth it to add to chest and arms.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 22, 2013 8:08 AM GMT
    Same situation. Finally someone told me that to get more muscle you will just have to get fat. I look in the mirror every day and see my undefined belly and I think I am fat and out of shape.

    But the plus now is that I eat whatever I want. I have broken 165 albeit with belly fat. But I have started being able to bench more than 185.

    If you have a hard time gaining wiegh I would just eat what ever but make sure you get your proteins. If you really want a challenge then cut out empty carbs and fatty meats. So no beef or white bread. Or fried foods.
  • geebus

    Posts: 216

    Feb 22, 2013 8:40 AM GMT
    Perhaps try eating more, but eat cleaner. Meat and leafy vegetables, with a good mix of fibre throughout.

    I'm continually perplexed by the notion spread about in the fitness industry that you go through bulk/cut phases, whilst there is some truth to it, it has been taken way out o context for most people as I see them balloon into a ball, then shrink to stick.

    Remember what you are looking for is body composition:
    Want to bulk? Do hypertrophy.
    Want to get stronger?. Strength train.
    Want to get lean? Do fat loss.

    Choose one main goal and rotate programs towards your secondary goal. icon_smile.gif

    Also for the love of christ, please do not cut out fat from your diet! Animal fats, especially from an organic source, is crucial for general health and testosterone production!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 22, 2013 8:55 AM GMT
    It is all about balance. Do you just want big muscles or do you want to have overall fitness, be slim and look good? This is how I approach it with my clients:

    Cardio: two session of 50 to 60 mins a week at high intensity - that means that you are out of breath to the extent that you cannot complete a sentence or if you use a heart rate monitor that a mean heart rate great than 77% of your maximum heart rate. (Max HR = 220-age) Combine interval training with continuous pace to achieve this.

    Resistance: 2 sessions a week working all your muscle groups including your core. These must be progressive that is each time you reach 3 sets of 12 reps increase the weight. Change the routine every 2 or 3 weeks using different exercises for the same muscle groups. And do 2 or more exercises for each muscle group - eg chest press, pec flye and push ups.

    Nutrition: you need 5 - 7 grams of carbs per kg body weight and 1.5-2 grams protein per 24 hours. Eat carbs during the day rather than in the evening when you are less active. No more than 10% of your calories should come from saturated fat.

    I know it sounds complicated but this amount of attention to detail is necessary if you want to be CXV fit, have good muscles size and definition, and a flat, tummy.

    Go for it!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 22, 2013 9:09 AM GMT
    Dont believe the hype. You CAN have a chest AND abs. First, abs are made in the kitchen. A quick way to build your chest... push ups. Nature's secret. Best exercise for chest. And remember its hundreds of different types of push ups so don't just stop at traditional.
    If you want to get bigger, eat more but eat healthier.. eat things high in protein, low in fat. Like eggs at 6g of protein per egg. Or even beef jerky is really good for packing muscle as its high in protein and not a lot of fat

    To sum it up, better choice in exercise and diet. Do some research and/or hit me up. I can help ya.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Feb 22, 2013 12:55 PM GMT
    you never really "had" abs. you had very low body fat so your abs showed. if you want them to continue to show, then you have to keep low body fat.
  • Hotgymguy22

    Posts: 98

    Feb 22, 2013 1:34 PM GMT
    Thanks for the replies this far. I'm happy with the progress I've made with my chest and arms, and to answer a couple posters my my goal would be to tone up my stomach from here and maintain my chest and arms. I don't necessarily want to get bigger in the chest if it means my stomach is going to get worse. I've started running some, but I think I need to increase my overall cardio a lot. I guess if I had to describe what type of body I want it'd be like a "surfer" body build, where the guy has a nice chest and arms but also has abs.
  • stratavos

    Posts: 1831

    Feb 22, 2013 3:00 PM GMT
    dancerjack saidhoney, listen to me: This is normal. If you want size you have to let go of definition a little bit. Then you shift focus and you sacrifice a little size as you cut. It goes back and forth for the rest of your life until you finally (hopefully) get the results you want.

    also, consider high intensity interval training for cardio. it revs up your metabolism for hours, so you burn lots more fat, even while resting; however, it also accesses your superfast twitch muscles fibers, which causes your muscles to add size when they release human growth hormone. this can mitigate some of the visual oscillation.

    however, it is normal to be give and take in both directions until you finally find the balance of food, strength, cardio, and SLEEP that works for YOUR body.



    it's very difficult to make very noticeable gains while keeping definition (I would know, I've been trying). If you want gains now, you won't have definition, if you want to keep definition, be ready for things to take 3 times as long at least.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 22, 2013 3:10 PM GMT
    if you want to build a bigger chest or other parts like arms to get bigger there will be some sacrifice when it comes to abs.

    personally I do not get the ab craze, sure they are nice to look at but people with abs tends to be skinny elsewhere and toned rather than muscular

    still everyone has their own goals, some may want that but then set your training program toward their goals. If you want a more muscular chest then you will have to eat more and yes there will be some loss of definition but it does not have to be permenant...and you dont have to bulk ridiculously either, you still need to eat a fairly good diet.

    You should still be working your abs anyway in the gym regularly so then when you do reduce your body fat a bit that work will show

    it will be a trial and error thing for you. The great thing about weight training and fitness is you keep learning all the time. You find out what works and what doesn't over time by listening to and paying attention to what your body says and does.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 22, 2013 4:07 PM GMT
    Add Kettlebell & TRX training with your free weight workouts. Both Kettlebells and TRX suspension training target abs and core along with being very good upper & lower body strength training exercises.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 23, 2013 12:11 AM GMT
    you can also try to get your abs bigger by training them like other body parts

    try these and keep the reps around 10 to 12
    weighted crunches (legs up)
    weighted decline crunches
    cable crunches

    or if you're a weakling you can do any ab exercise without added weight as long as you can't make more then 12 reps in the last set of the last exercise
  • MN_daily

    Posts: 6

    Feb 23, 2013 6:45 AM GMT
    I guess the idea about getting out of size a little bit after bulking is just as normal. I myself is also a hard gainer and it sucks. I have to eat tons of food to maintain my metabolism, not to mention bulking. My roommate was like i am eating buffet every day...lol

    I would say dont freak out and you would put on weight much faster this way. Try to get shredded after you gained enough flesh.

    Some ideas above me should also work. Good luck.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 23, 2013 6:46 AM GMT
    I'd much rather have arms / chest than visible abs. If you're a skinny twig they don't really count anyways ;P
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 23, 2013 7:06 AM GMT
    No one thus far I don't think has mentioned legs... Guys are sooooo obsessed with chest, arms & abs that they skip legs and up looking like this poor guy:

    friends_dont_let_friends_skip_leg_day-11

    your butt & thighs have the biggest muscles in your body... if you work the f*ck out of them and get them growing too they're going to be burning your fat off 24 hours a day and you'll keep those abs poppin'.

    I agree with the earlier post that suggested you also eat clean: increase your protein A LOT (yes, you'll need to buy protein powder in addition to getting more natural sources of protein like eggs & lean meat), avoid carbs like the plague, and get your fats from things like nuts, peanut butter, avocados, fish oil capsules... I still remember a guy who gave me advice when I was a scrawny kid: if you wanna get big, you gotta eat big.

    At your age and with your metabolism, you really don't need to focus much at all on cardio. Just focus in on the diet (you should also be eating a MEAL every 3-4 hours - or a protein shake if you absolutely CAN'T make an actual meal) and work those legs like HELL icon_evil.gif ...and keep doing what you're already doing with chest, shoulders, arms & abs.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Feb 23, 2013 7:52 AM GMT
    Some people over-work their abs with a shit load of crunches. I would think that would just break them down. I do high weight, low reps. I notice that they pop more when I do this..... and of course diet is crucial, for me anyways


    (my 2 cents)