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An Ab question for the fitness heads here.

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Wrong Robot, Feb 15, 2006.


  1. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    So, I have studied a lot about fitness, weight training and the like, I know a lot of general knowledge, practical wisdom and et cetera. I don't follow a strict workout regimen, but I'm not a total slacker. However, recently I have come upon a divide in my research.

    On the topic of whether or not it is okay to work your abs everyday or not.

    Now, my common sense tells me that it is a muscle like any other muscle group, you work it too much and it won't have any time to repair and it will never improve and can possibly decrease. Right, that makes sense and I'm sure many people would agree with that.

    However, in my many readings on the subject, I have come across people who believe it is okay to do abs every day of the week, assuming you are not adding weight and focusing on a sorta anaerobic approach.

    This also makes some sense to me, in that, if you're not working your abs particularly hard or to failure, they won't break down enough to necessitate the extra rest alloted to them, and since usually the goal with abs is to define them and not bulk them up, light and frequent anaerobic exercises makes some sense.

    But still, I cannot overlook the common sense that I would otherwise approach the situation with.

    Most recently I was reading about bruce lee. He was absolutely devoted to his abs, he believed that the core was responsible for the majority of true strength(especially for martial arts), and having a strong and developed(but not bulky) core was absolutely priority.

    He worked his abs everyday. Without fail, he'd do complicated and simple exercises, with weights and without weights, anaerobic and isometric and all that jazz. He worked them all the time.

    Now, it's easy to say "but he was a god, an exception to the rule, you can't judge your workout solely on his already insanely developed physique", but still, he had one of the most impressive sets of abs ever in his day.

    So, personally, I was working my abs everyday, with perhaps a days break if I felt I worked them too hard. I wouldn't kill them, but I'd work them thoroughly, all the components with a variety of exercises. I can say with confidence I have seen substantial gains to my core in the past 4 or 5 months(still got a fat padding, but my core is still much stronger, people kept commenting on how much taller I'd gotten, when in reality my posture had just improved greatly...etc., but since then, gains have been minimal or unnoticed.

    So, I've been starting to experiment with different exercises, some using weights, some using different movements than normal...etc. And I've come to this split in thinking.

    To restate, my common sense tells me that it's okay to work my abs everyday unless I work them heavily to the point where they feel worked/sore, in which case, let them rest for a day or two.

    Shrug. So what's the verdict?
     
  2. brothernewt

    brothernewt Some people call me the stormtrooper of love...

    Apr 13, 2004
    Happyrock, OR
    I'm no expert... but it sounds like it's working for you, keep at it!
     
  3. I read this "An A-flat question..."
     
  4. cowsgomoo

    cowsgomoo gone to Longstanton Spice Museum

    Feb 8, 2003
    UK
    it depends on you... some muscles recover quicker than others... if your abs recover in 24 hours then it should be ok.. my abs don't but then different people are different

    bear in mind that delayed onset muscle soreness can often take 24 hours or longer to surface, so doing abs every day might just mean you're tearing & re-tearing muscle fibre and not ever giving your muscles time to mend & grow properly... and not noticing it because they never feel especially sore

    best solution would be to spend a month doing abs only every 4-5 days, then compare your gains. I used to do all upper body on mondays, wednesdays & fridays, with cycling on tuesdays & thursdays, so I was giving my muscles 48 hours to recover... and it wasn't enough... i've made better gains by doing shorter, heavier workouts on only 2 or 3 different muscles per day, giving them longer to recover (4-5 days) and eating more

    it's counter-intuitive to exercise less for better results, but one of the biggest mistakes we nearly all make is to over-train
     
  5. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses, Hipshot products
    I've done abs every day. I've done abs 2 days a week. I've done abs 2X a month. I've read lots of contadictory information on the subject. After all I've read and MY OWN experience, here's my take on it.

    If I work my abs every day they will LOOK their best. The constant workout keeps them pumped and therefore kind of flexed - and I believe the muscle magazines recommend working them everyday because everyone wants the above desired effect. I also think that it's safe to work them everyday because they can be hit from so many different angles. Upper abs, lower abs, obliques. I even count lower back exercizes as ab exercizes cuz it's working the same general body area.

    Since it seems like common sense that's it's better to let the muscles repair themselves than destroy them every day, I break my stomach workouts up working my obliques and lower back on one day, and upper, lower abs on the next. I also rotate my exercises to make sure I keep hitting different area of the muscles. I pretty much have 4 stomach workout routines, and that's about how many I do a week lately.

    It seems almost redundant to say that the more aerobics you do (or less food you eat) the more defined your abs will be, but I'll say it anyhow. We all know this by now.

    Oh yeah - last note: I often see people killing themselves doing the strangest things to their bodies while trying to work their abs. For me stomach workouts aren't aerobics, I concentrate on letting my stomach do the work and I wind up doing half the reps I used to, with 2X the results. The older I get, the more concentrated on form I get, the better my results get.