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"Doing more exercise with less intensity,"
Arthur Jones believes, "has all but
destroyed the actual great value
of weight training. Something
must be done . . . and quickly."
The New Bodybuilding for
Old-School Results supplies
MUCH of that "something."

 

This is one of 93 photos of Andy McCutcheon that are used in The New High-Intensity Training to illustrate the recommended exercises.

To find out more about McCutcheon and his training, click here.

 

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Abominable Abdominals
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ATP 4 Vitality

Why are the abdominal muscles detested so much? They must be despicable for the majority of their life is spent hidden under layer upon layer of fat, which can be on either side of them. It's not that the abdominal region is unimportant, for whole sections of medicines are used to remedy various ailments. Furthermore, a well developed abdominal region is something everyone desires, as a current movie star, noted for action movies, showed his highly developed abs in the movie "THE MECHANIC 2: RESURRECTION."

I'm refurbishing a Next Generation Nautilus abdominal machine currently. This machine seems super smooth with a huge weight stack. I don't like the new Nautilus One machine which involve the legs, which results in abdominal muscle insufficiency because the abdominal muscles are NOT connected to the legs at all, so why would raising the legs work the abs. With the Next Gen ab machine I use isometric holds with just one arm for directed emphasis of one side.

I'm shocked by the EMG #'s for the abdominal muscles during chin-ups, and isometric exercises in general. Or one could do no exercise at all for the abs and just restrict calories.

Dr. Darden's ideas on abs:

http://www.drdarden.com/...ic.do?id=385712

http://www.abcoasterblog.com/...ack_secrets.pdf

http://www.abcoasterblog.com/.../ab_secrets.pdf

What are your ideas?
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HeavyHitter32

For the first time in my 27 years of consistent training, I've been focused on abs for the last 6 months with crunches and hanging leg raises. I've seen a significant improvement including a "girdle" effect around the waist as well as just general definition and hardness. These moves have brought out a six pack while staying relatively lean.

My abs were brought to my attention when I received some physical therapy for achy knees. Core training really does matter and there is no way to optimize this area without direct work.
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PTDaniel

Abs are very boring and tedious to train. Also unless you are really lean, they are difficult to see so they seem like little return for the investment of time and effort if you are training for aesthetic purposes.
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ATP 4 Vitality

The rectus abdominis muscle begins at the pubic bone and ends at the sternum. This one continuous muscle pulls the ribs and the pelvis in and curves the back. According to the "all or nothing" principle, the lower abs can not be targeted over the upper abs. Saying that, full range of motion would certainly seem like a logical recommendation, but isometrics (chin-ups) consistently give high EMG readings for the abs.

For certain, Dr. Darden has championed ab training for a very long time.
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Bastion

I didn't pay much attention to ab training for years. Then I woke up and realized that not training abs because "they get enough indirect work" is exactly like not training arms or delts. When I strated doing 100 crunches at the end of each workout. Not only did my midsection tighten up, but perhaps more importantly, my low back doesn't hurt when I get out of bed in the morning like it did for years despite having a very strong back.
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HeavyHitter32

Bastion wrote:
I didn't pay much attention to ab training for years. Then I woke up and realized that not training abs because "they get enough indirect work" is exactly like not training arms or delts. When I strated doing 100 crunches at the end of each workout. Not only did my midsection tighten up, but perhaps more importantly, my low back doesn't hurt when I get out of bed in the morning like it did for years despite having a very strong back.


Agreed.
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Nwlifter

me too, 3rd that!

HeavyHitter32 wrote:
Bastion wrote:
I didn't pay much attention to ab training for years. Then I woke up and realized that not training abs because "they get enough indirect work" is exactly like not training arms or delts. When I strated doing 100 crunches at the end of each workout. Not only did my midsection tighten up, but perhaps more importantly, my low back doesn't hurt when I get out of bed in the morning like it did for years despite having a very strong back.

Agreed.


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ATP 4 Vitality

This may sound strange on a HIT board, but I like certain twisting exercises for the oblique muscles.

1) I like to use a stirrup revolving exercise handle hooked to a resistance band. I do a twisting one-arm press into a standing lunge.

2) I prefer a similar exercise with a Gray Cook exercise bar hooked to a heavier resistance band. Someone borrowed my GCB and never returned it. They must have liked this exercise.

I like lots of sets and reps, and occasionally include an isometric with a heavier resistance band.
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Average Al

The debate over whether or not it is risky to your spinal health to exercise your abs by flexing your spine appears to be ongoing:

http://journals.lww.com/...ce_Based.2.aspx

I do recall reading that the Blond Bomber (a.k.a. Dave Draper) now walks with assistance from a cane, the result of nerve damage he sustained from spinal stenosis. Some might suggest that heavy squats and deadlifts did him in. However, he has written on at least one occasion that his condition might have been caused by the large number of crunches/sit ups he did every day as a bodybuilder. Hard to say what you can conclude from a one-off cautionary tale like this.

Those who are cautious might want to embrace the isometric approach suggested at the top of the thread.

Perhaps a case can be made that if you are doing some barbell work that requires abdominal bracing (deadlifts, squats, overhead presses), you may get an adequate amount of isometric abdominal work from that. Does Turpin do any direct ab work?
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Ray200

Loathed crunches from day one. Strangely, sit ups always felt like my back was hyperextending, particularly if I used a decline board. These alone make me have a certain sympathy with Dave Draper, although a lifetime of squats and deads is the likelier cause of his problem.
Tried going down the Chins/Deads/Squats route with no direct stimulation, but that never felt right either. Now I do hanging leg raises or--my favourite--the ab wheel. Nothing matches the latter.
Incidentally, re previous post, I think Turpin does hanging leg raises.
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sonny153

Man I absolutely LOVE ab work, I did abs as a powerlifter and now I work them to be able to stand next to ANYONE in the world and not look out of place. Of course unless you carry low body fat you'll never see them. Here's my latest picture, taken last week as a matter of fact and the result of using weighted exercises for the first time this year. This isn't my lowest body fat level either, I'm probably around 6.5% here, I'll see how low I can get later in the summer. I'm lucky in that I have a narrow bone structure in my hips which enables me to have a small waist measurement but everything else I've had to sweat blood for.
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ATP 4 Vitality

Another exercise I seem to be doing regularly is the cat camel abdominal vacuum.
Arnold did this exercise in his early days. Obviously Grimek has done some training for his transverse abdominal muscle.
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ATP 4 Vitality

Arnold working the TVA

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Bastion

Dave Draper's spinal issues are most likely a result of 60 years of slinging iron. I can't see how anyone could pinpoint having spinal issues to abdominal training. Speaking with experience with spinal stenosis, strong abs and avoiding unnecessary movements such as squats and deadlifts (exessive spinal loading ) are key to longevity.
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StuKE

Another interesting thread. I believe we should work the abs directly, but. I can't say I am doing so at the moment, being in the middle of a lacklustre training phase (not proud, need to get my act together).
I have said it before, but I really believe that some of the best abs in the world can be found on calisthenics athletes. These guys usually do no crunches or sit ups etc. Do leg raises, planches, leavers, chin ups with the legs straight out in front, flags, L sits and so on. What I have also seen a lot of is guys who were pretty mediocre in physique before, embrace a calisthenics based workout program, combined with a decent diet and end up very lean with great strength and amazing abs.

There are loads of cases of that on You Tube. I am not promoting it, just pointing out how this kind of training really produces awesome abs, with no crunches, weights etc. These exercises demand an awful lot of tension and often it is more isometric in nature. I love the idea of it, I am just very wary at 43 with double hernia surgery under my belt (no pun intended) and pains in those areas from time to time after ab work.

But if someone was to ask me the best way to get abs, I would not hesitate to say, calisthenics and a good diet. Of course, a good weights based program incorporating some of these exercises would be even better I reckon.
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StuKE

Here's one example
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StuKE

And another picture
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hit4me

Florida, USA

leg raises and crunches and the vacuum

however, diet is most important
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StuKE

hit4me wrote:
leg raises and crunches and the vacuum

however, diet is most important


...only from a visual point of view, we should always remember that. For overall health and injury prevention, doing the exercises is a necessity, having a super low bodyfat percentage is not.

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hit4me

Florida, USA

StuKE wrote:
hit4me wrote:
leg raises and crunches and the vacuum

however, diet is most important

...only from a visual point of view, we should always remember that. For overall health and injury prevention, doing the exercises is a necessity, having a super low bodyfat percentage is not.




agreed

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ATP 4 Vitality

I like a unilateral farmer's walk hold. I like using my Nautilus OME with a stirrup revolving handle and a short link of chain. I rotate isometric holds and dynamic reps. This works the quadratus lumborum well, however it is next to impossible to isolate the abdominal muscles to any large degree.
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StuKE

Sometimes I wonder if laying on a bench, face up with a weight on your stomach, and then pushing the abs out against the plate would be any good, hitting the abs from a different angle. Not sure, suppose I could experiment.
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PTDaniel

Don't try this at home.

https://www.youtube.com/...h?v=gpCD396Zkag
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ATP 4 Vitality

Ken Hutchins, who has a great many good ideas about losing bodyfat, wrote 2 articles concerning circus fat ladies. These articles give insight into fad diets and calorie counting. Matt Stone writes about the important role of catecholamines in losing body fat.

Dr. Darden has wrote about carbohydrates role in losing fat many times. It is advantageous to keep an equilibrium of blood glucose, and also a balance of stress hormones if long-term successful fat loss is desired.
Any diet that excessively stresses the body will likely fail all things considered. That said ..... intermittent fasting, very low carbohydrate diets, very low fat diets, should be cautiously undertaken. Dr. Darden's diet protocols make logical sense where low stress fat loss is desired. If it took 30 years to gain 30 pounds of fat, it may take a while to safely remove such excessive weight.
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parker1

The master of core training, Dr. Stuart McGill, PhD. If he recommends it, I will follow. :)
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