ab definition vs ab muscle gain

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    Nov 21, 2009 2:45 PM GMT
    are there different ab workouts for definition and for muscle gain?
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    Nov 21, 2009 3:47 PM GMT
    From what I can tell, ab definition comes from diet and bulking up your abs comes from working out.
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    Nov 21, 2009 11:44 PM GMT
    okay, someone needs to tell me what to eat then.... cuz mine ain't showin!
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    Nov 22, 2009 7:28 AM GMT
    SAHEM62896 saidokay, someone needs to tell me what to eat then.... cuz mine ain't showin!


    I'll never have a real six pak because I EAT ALL THE TIME...............
    or else I fall downicon_rolleyes.gif
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    Nov 22, 2009 10:47 AM GMT
    jawrhed said
    SAHEM62896 saidokay, someone needs to tell me what to eat then.... cuz mine ain't showin!


    I'll never have a real six pak because I EAT ALL THE TIME...............
    or else I fall downicon_rolleyes.gif


    I´d pick you up. icon_wink.gif
  • nismo29732

    Posts: 117

    Nov 22, 2009 10:53 PM GMT
    SAHEM62896 saidokay, someone needs to tell me what to eat then.... cuz mine ain't showin!


    Mine show in the morning but no other time. Honestly, I just train them, keep increasing the intensity and leave it there! I hear genetics has something to do with it as well, but I quit stressing about it. I do everything else almost right. ( a few bad habit's I been struggling with) I see growth everywhere else, and I don't have a gut anymore, just not a six pack. Im just content to no longer have a gut. Whatever other progress I can make I welcome!
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    Nov 23, 2009 4:03 AM GMT
    I'm curious about definition vs mass myself. I seem to have achieved the lean part, and I have enough muscle mass in my abs to make them "pop", but I really want to get those high/low ridges that some guys seem to have.

    I would assume that, just like any other muscle, heavier weight with lower reps helps put on mass. But almost all of the ab exercises I've found are extremely low weight--usually just body weight.

    Any ideas for high-resistance ab exercises?
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    Nov 23, 2009 4:06 AM GMT
    Yeah, I'm the same way. Too much food = not enough visible abdominals
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    Nov 23, 2009 7:29 AM GMT
    I recently started a more intense ab workout (5 days a week, before the schedule muscle group), and reduced my cardio to almost nothing.... I had been doing 30 minutes pre-workout and 15 minute cooldown after. I now only do cardio on my 2 off days. Surprisingly, even with the lack of cardio, I have reduced my body fat %, and suddenly I have abs! Pics to come.


    I've put a lot of focus on hanging ab workouts, Hanging Leg Raises, etc.


    I've also recently been doing a lot of Decline Raises with Hip Lifts: (but slower, and more focus on the top part)


    And the last new thing, which has shown major improvement in my abs has been some floor Floor Oblique Twists with Weight Plate.



    And then, of course, Situps, etc.




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    Nov 23, 2009 6:45 PM GMT
    using weight plates while doing crunches are better than machines i find.
    Can do them on a decline bench, stability ball, on floor etc.
    Problem with some machines is they sometimes don't seem to fit well, in spite of the minor adjustments provided. So your mobility or range is compromised.
    I still use them for variety but they aren't wonderful.

    mine are growing a bit but i know they'll never be the big 6 pack. Actually they look sort of like a 3.5 pack, lol. Like the one directly under the pecs . Mine are small, i see them, but can they get bigger? no lo se.


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    Nov 23, 2009 6:54 PM GMT
    I find abs are best trained either on a ball or doing hanging leg raises. Those exercises use your body as resistance, and provide ample repetition to help with definition. The key to SEEING the abs, especially the lower group, is diet. Cutting carbs and sodium often does the trick for most individuals, however, as with any muscle group, the key is to train them consistently hard.
  • Ironman4U

    Posts: 738

    Nov 23, 2009 7:15 PM GMT
    I decided I was going to get a six-pack when I turned 50...so I don't buy the whole genetics thing because my gene pool sucks!

    First thing is diet makes a difference. I've always had a flat, hard stomach (because I worked it and didn't eat junk) but I could never get the six-pack because I LOVE CARBS. When I cut the carbs way back...the abs started to pop. Once I got the six-pack, I no longer felt the need to prove it to myself and I started packing in the carbs again.

    Recently, I did about 11 weeks of work with a personal trainer just on core training. Pistol squats, kettle bells, burpees, standing roll outs, knee raises from hanging bar, etc., etc. Intense workouts with super sets and pyramids and whatever else was needed to PUSH me harder. Besides the kettle bells, no weights needed. Now, my abs are showing better than ever and my carbs are not reduced. So the harder ab work (two times a week) has been more effective than the carb reduction...although the combo would be great.

    My most recent three pics (profile) and others in orange suit show the results. At almost 52, I'll take it. So come on boys...if I can do it at my age...what's your excuse?
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    Nov 23, 2009 10:09 PM GMT
    Ironman4U saidif I can do it at my age...what's your excuse?


    Chocolate and alcohol!
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    Nov 23, 2009 10:16 PM GMT
    Lostboy said
    jawrhed said
    SAHEM62896 saidokay, someone needs to tell me what to eat then.... cuz mine ain't showin!


    I'll never have a real six pak because I EAT ALL THE TIME...............
    or else I fall downicon_rolleyes.gif


    I´d pick you up. icon_wink.gif

    ...and I'd break your fall. icon_wink.gif
  • nismo29732

    Posts: 117

    Nov 24, 2009 1:06 AM GMT
    Ironman4U saidI decided I was going to get a six-pack when I turned 50...so I don't buy the whole genetics thing because my gene pool sucks!

    First thing is diet makes a difference. I've always had a flat, hard stomach (because I worked it and didn't eat junk) but I could never get the six-pack because I LOVE CARBS. When I cut the carbs way back...the abs started to pop. Once I got the six-pack, I no longer felt the need to prove it to myself and I started packing in the carbs again.

    Recently, I did about 11 weeks of work with a personal trainer just on core training. Pistol squats, kettle bells, burpees, standing roll outs, knee raises from hanging bar, etc., etc. Intense workouts with super sets and pyramids and whatever else was needed to PUSH me harder. Besides the kettle bells, no weights needed. Now, my abs are showing better than ever and my carbs are not reduced. So the harder ab work (two times a week) has been more effective than the carb reduction...although the combo would be great.

    My most recent three pics (profile) and others in orange suit show the results. At almost 52, I'll take it. So come on boys...if I can do it at my age...what's your excuse?


    I too love food and I know it. You know how big I would be if I did not work out? OMG! I have cleaned up my diet a good bit, but I still have a ways to go. I guess I am a constant work in progress!
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    Nov 24, 2009 1:21 AM GMT
    I had a six pack...it's not worth the effort and watching what I eat to keep it. I'm in college...now and then I want McDonalds or Burger King, and if you want a six pack you can't have that!
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    Nov 24, 2009 4:32 AM GMT
    i can see my abs peaking through, but little definition. i would assume cutting carbs doesn't work for everyone...or does it? i'm already small, i'd wither away without my carbs
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    Nov 24, 2009 9:21 PM GMT
    jawrhed said
    SAHEM62896 saidokay, someone needs to tell me what to eat then.... cuz mine ain't showin!


    I'll never have a real six pak because I EAT ALL THE TIME...............
    or else I fall downicon_rolleyes.gif


    You are so seriously hot that whether or not you have a six-pack is totally irrelevant.

    I know that doesn't help the OP but I had to say it.
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    Nov 25, 2009 12:18 PM GMT
    collegekid2004 saidI had a six pack...it's not worth the effort and watching what I eat to keep it. I'm in college...now and then I want McDonalds or Burger King, and if you want a six pack you can't have that!


    I'm in school and it's finals this week and I am eating my way through it - so I will have the pancakes and the biscuits and cheese omelet with a pot of coffee and a Redbull chasericon_smile.gif

    But really for the OP - fat-burning cardio can work with diet to reveal abs
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    Nov 27, 2009 7:36 AM GMT
    Abs are just a product of genetics, diet, and resistance training. There is some good info in this thread, but I'll try to clarify a few things:

    1) The actual lines you have, ie symmetry, are genetics. The lines are connective tissue over your muscles. Mine are not symmetric, and my last few divisions/bumps will never show up like some guys' do because I have a short upper torso, and I picked the wrong parents who are not models. That said, I love my parents, they gave me alot of other things that makeup for that icon_smile.gif

    2) Getting abs to show is all about diet. You guys are asking what to eat. You'd do better asking what NOT to eat. But no one wants to hear that. If you fill your plate with appropriate portions of whole grains, fruits and vegetables (things most Americans fail at doing everyday), you're likely to get full on fewer calories in than you burn. The rest is the thermodynamics equation: calories in = calories out. If you're eating too much, it's either going to be stored as fat, or if you're working out extra hard doing increasing amounts of resistance, it could be muscle. But muscle gain is very slow unless you are on 'supplements' like testosterone or precursors, which many people in the gym are anyways (supplements are not regulated by the FDA, so they could be laced with impurities that may be testosterone and you would not know the better, or it could just be sand in your supplement, you never know).

    3) The abs are a muscle. They follow the same rules as any other muscle. To get thicker abs, you would need to increase the resistance and increase the amount of calories and protein you eat OVER TIME. Body weight will only get you so far, then you might consider using the ab machines in the gym. It doesn't matter how many reps you're doing of your body weight or which 'magic' exercise you are doing, as more reps just means muscular endurance. Muscular endurance increases your muscle's ability to store glycogen and increases it's oxidative capacity (so more and bigger mitochondria). Muscular endurance increases time till fatigue, which is not a bad thing in most sports. It's usually not the goal of a body builder, however, so if you're thinking you will make gains by doing 100 crunches a day, save yourself the time and assign your determination to something else if that is not your goal.

    The abs are confusing only because they are hidden by a layer of fat for most people. This layer of fat is also the last spot for it to leave in men (we store fat on our belly and hips, so love handles and pregnant look if you don't watch it). You cannot spot reduce fat by working abs more. You likely will lose muscle in a fat burning diet/exercise program, but you can minimize with muscle loss by consuming adequate protein (depends on your activity and maintenance level, although you will NOT gain muscle during fat loss unless you are relatively new to exercise or do a new exercise).

    Abs are also pooched out due to the lack of structure holding the abdomen together if you eat food, which attracts water to the gut. This is part of the reason your abs look best in the morning.

    Hope you all achieve your goals and people hire me when I'm done with my masters icon_smile.gif

    B.S. Kinesiology, B.S. Nutritional Sciences, working on masters in Exercise Physiology and RD.
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    Nov 27, 2009 7:51 AM GMT
    Ironman4U saidI decided I was going to get a six-pack when I turned 50...so I don't buy the whole genetics thing because my gene pool sucks!

    First thing is diet makes a difference. I've always had a flat, hard stomach (because I worked it and didn't eat junk) but I could never get the six-pack because I LOVE CARBS. When I cut the carbs way back...the abs started to pop. Once I got the six-pack, I no longer felt the need to prove it to myself and I started packing in the carbs again.

    Recently, I did about 11 weeks of work with a personal trainer just on core training. Pistol squats, kettle bells, burpees, standing roll outs, knee raises from hanging bar, etc., etc. Intense workouts with super sets and pyramids and whatever else was needed to PUSH me harder. Besides the kettle bells, no weights needed. Now, my abs are showing better than ever and my carbs are not reduced. So the harder ab work (two times a week) has been more effective than the carb reduction...although the combo would be great.

    My most recent three pics (profile) and others in orange suit show the results. At almost 52, I'll take it. So come on boys...if I can do it at my age...what's your excuse?


    Now that's inspiring, thanks for sharing.