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Thread: Am I sacrificing strength gains by not doing abs?

  1. #1
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    Am I sacrificing strength gains by not doing abs?

    I know there are probably 10 billion ab threads around here... but it seems I've been getting some conflicting information.

    I've seen some guys say that doing abs is worthless because you aren't going to see the definition unless you cut to desired weight... which I believe is true, but they didn't say how overall body strength is affected.

    I've heard people say by doing abs you are strengthening your overall core by doing abs and thereby increasing overall strength in other exercises...

    I've also heard conflicting information and varying results for people in the debate about treating abs like every other body part in terms of reps/sets vs. doing obscene amounts of ab exercises and reps.

    Lastly, if anybody wants to mention what they do for abs, I'd be interested.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Klotz's Avatar
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    How much can you squat?

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    TJW jed's Avatar
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    i think once ur abs get to a certain point you can only increase strength by doing heavy stuff like squats and all that. but dont quote me on that, thats only what i think.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
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    If your abs are a weak point, you need to do some specialized work to bring them up. People can get by without ever doing any, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't benefit from some.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
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  5. #5
    Squat Heavy, Squat Often Cards's Avatar
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    now i'm sure direct abb work is a good thing from time to time but i do no direct abb work and have seen them grow from heavy squating and deadlifts. just as jed said, it's just what i believe.
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    Gotta Lose Fat azma's Avatar
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    My opinion:

    The people who say you won't see your abs until you achieve sufficiently low bodyfat are correct. This is a no-brainer -- if you cover something, you can't see it. That's obviously an excuse not to work your abs, though. The bigger your abs are, the quicker you will see them, and the better they will look at low body fat.

    The people who say you will gain useful core strength are also correct. Your abs get worked when you're squatting, they help you stabilize when you're benching, they translate leg drive when you're doing olympic lifts, and they even play a part when you're deadlifting. You can choose whether to isolate them (situps, machine crunches, planks, leg lifts, et cetera) or not, but be aware that their growth and functionality is of notable importance.

    Note that, so far, none of this information is conflicting; abs are important, even if you can't see them -- and you won't see them if they're tiny and/or completely covered with fat.

    Thing is, there is little consensus on how best to train abs. Some guys say that you should do abs at the end of every lifting session. Others insist that abs should be treated like any other muscle, and believe that doing them every time you go to the gym doesn't maximize growth. Still others point out that abs get worked, in some capacity, by pretty much every compound lift, so they don't need to be isolated. There are shredded guys in every one of these categories, and there are weak fatties in every one of these categories, too. The defining factor between these people, aside from genetics, is how hard they work. If you eat right and devote yourself to your workout regimen, you don't have to have the perfect program to see good results.

    Personally, I isolate my abs on lower-body days (twice a week), and I do a lot of compound lifts (squats, deadlifts, OH press, cleans, etc.).
    Last edited by azma; 12-27-2008 at 07:24 PM.
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    I don't think you are losing anything by not doing ab work as long as you are doing core work.

    My fav is barbell rollouts.
    Last edited by fit2bdad; 12-27-2008 at 07:26 PM.

  8. #8
    Ich bin Legende. Torrok's Avatar
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    i'd say if you deadlift and squat enough your abs will grown plenty with that
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klotz View Post
    How much can you squat?
    I do 3 sets of 5 for 315...

    thanks for the opinions everyone.

  10. #10
    TJW jed's Avatar
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    3 sets of 5 lb for 315 reps? jk...

    how deep are these squats? if you can squat that stuff deep with solid form then you shouldnt really be worrying about abs much unless you plan to BB.
    22 - 5'11'' - 190 lb
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  11. #11
    Who is John Galt? CrazyK's Avatar
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    Work your abs. Planks, leg raises and incline sit ups are great for strength development.
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    the way I see it, the whole core needs to be worked for strength and/or bodybuilding.
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    i don't believe at all that dead lift and squats will work your abs, even if they do it wont be enough to get the results your looking for snow, do crunches and planks to start out. than try new stuff, just my opinion. GOOD LUCK!

  14. #14
    TJW jed's Avatar
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    i guess i did kind of misinterpret his post. i read it as core... which is mainly lower back for me for some reason lol. ur right tho... they dont hit abs all that hard. but i still dont think hes necessarily sacrificing strength by just solely not doing abdominals. but yeah, work em at least once a week sure.
    22 - 5'11'' - 190 lb
    PR's - Squat 350 | Bench 290 | Deadlift 400.4 | BW 203
    P Clean 98 KG | Jerk 106 | Full Clean 106 |
    Philippians 4:13 - "I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me."
    "I'm really impressed with your dedication. I will call it your jedication." - killxswitch
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  15. #15
    Squat Heavy, Squat Often Cards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pitbull3291 View Post
    i don't believe at all that dead lift and squats will work your abs, even if they do it wont be enough to get the results your looking for snow, do crunches and planks to start out. than try new stuff, just my opinion. GOOD LUCK!
    the bolded part is wrong.
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    It takes what, ten minutes to do some weighted side bends and weighted sit ups,planks..etc? You'll look and feel better and your squat ( and standing military/push press for me) will improve.
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    you should definately work your abs. A strong core plays a vital role in squatting and deadlifting. Left hook is right. take ten mins twice a week to do them. I like to do one session heavy using slings or rope and the others would be high rep sit ups, sometimes with a light plate.
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    just out of curiosity, how are the abs worked during a squat or deadlift? what function do they do? I'm not saying they aren't worked I'm just curious as to how they are.
    Stats: Bodyweight : Current= 150 lbs, Height = 5ft11.5

    Bench Press:160 lbs/Squat:225 lbs,/Deadlift:305/Total:675lbs/

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJ_H View Post
    just out of curiosity, how are the abs worked during a squat or deadlift? what function do they do? I'm not saying they aren't worked I'm just curious as to how they are.
    They make sure you don't fold up like a card.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Notorious View Post
    They make sure you don't fold up like a card.
    it's just that the main function of the abs is to pull the rib cage forwards which is probably not something you want to happen during a squat or deadlift. Again I am not denying they are worked: I can feel them working myself when I squat or dead.
    Stats: Bodyweight : Current= 150 lbs, Height = 5ft11.5

    Bench Press:160 lbs/Squat:225 lbs,/Deadlift:305/Total:675lbs/

    Not strong yet, but getting there.

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  21. #21
    Squat Heavy, Squat Often Cards's Avatar
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    My abs get worked during deadlifts and squats by taking deep breaths and flexing them extremely hard to get the extra push out of the hole.
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  22. #22
    ANVIL POWER Detard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJ_H View Post
    it's just that the main function of the abs is to pull the rib cage forwards which is probably not something you want to happen during a squat or deadlift. Again I am not denying they are worked: I can feel them working myself when I squat or dead.
    Did you know that biceps get worked during a bench press?

    They are not the main muscle involved, but they are being activated.

    The same goes for a deadlift. During a deadlift, every muscle in your body is getting worked. Your calves, your feet muscles, traps, shoulders. EVERYTHING. Your back has to work really hard to prevent you from folding. The muscles on the front of your body help support and stabilize the ones on your back. Have you ever felt your pec cramp up while locking out a very heavy deadlift or rack pull?
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    Wannabebig Member Masako's Avatar
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    Personally, I think isolation exercises in general are a bit pointless. I think if you're lifting big and doing compound lifts, that all the smaller stabilizer muscles are worked as well.
    Last edited by Masako; 01-03-2009 at 06:23 PM.

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    Who is John Galt? CrazyK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Masako View Post
    Personally, I think isolation exercises in general are a bit pointless. I think if you're lifting big and doing compound lifts, that all the smaller stabilizer muscles are worked as well.
    Tell that to the westside barbell guys, competitive bodybuilders and competitive athletes. They're not just "stabilizers".
    "You shall invite to the path of your Lord with wisdom and kind enlightenment, and debate with them in the best possible manner. Your Lord knows best who has strayed from His path, and He knows best who are the guided ones."- Quran 16:25

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  25. #25
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    You need to work your abs plain and simple. I am very guilty myself of neglecting them.

    Your deadlifts and squats work your hams and glutes and low back, right? Yet we still do extra glute, ham and low back work because the development is not sufficient to just leave it at that. The same is true for abs. You are getting SOME ab work with squats and DLs and what not, but it isn't sufficient to be building a strong core. It will hold you back eventually.

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