Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 27

Thread: Army/Marine obsession with abs?

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Rory Parker Behemoth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    5,320

    Army/Marine obsession with abs?

    My gym teacher is an ex-marine, so some of the stuff we do in gym class has a lot of marine background to it.

    What I cannot understand about the army/marines is how much ab work they do in comparison to the rest of the body. He has us doing abs nearly everyday, along with some pushups now and then, the occasional pullups, and some body weight 1/4 squats.

    I've asked him why we do so much ab work and try to get at several things. One, being overtraining by doing them daily (he's convinced they have superior recovery). And another, the lack of importance of this muscle group. As a bodybuilder I'm probably a bit biased to the importance of the abs, since this isn't a very important part to nail your training on. I know it's a crucial stabilizer group for lifts such as squats and deadlift, but they never even work their lower back.

    I don't get it, if you get your army jeep stuck in the mud and need 3 guys to push it out, what muscle will be most used? I'd say legs and back. But legs and back (at least lower) seem completely overlooked by them.

    He trys to tell me that "the abs are where you get ALL your power from". I ask him to explain and I don't really get a clear answer.

    I just can't understand why in the world anybody would train abs daily, and not even touch other muscle groups such as upper legs or lower back.

    Anybody have any studies or profound thoughts that perhaps might help him understand where I'm coming from?

    Any links to studies about how the abs do not have supierior recovery either (man I hate that misconception, it's almost as bad people thinking you have to workout everyday of the week to get big)?
    Last edited by Behemoth; 11-05-2003 at 01:31 PM.

  2. #2
    $3n10r M3mb3r defcon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,331
    shouldn't train them daily.. but the play a more important role in everything then you think they do.

  3. #3
    Rory Parker Behemoth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    5,320
    Right, I'm quite aware of their role and the frequency of their use. But all in all it still makes no sense to me. Anybody elses thoughts?
    accuflex - LOLZZZZ!!!11one1!! SOEM PPL WORK THRE ARMZ!!!!11!! LETS KILL THEM111

    "You can fake effort with grunts and clanging weights but quiet, consistent hard work coupled with gradual strength increases earns universal respect in gyms" - Steve Colescott



    I'd rather Situation be a member of this board. -Joey54

  4. #4
    Wannabebig Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Downunder
    Posts
    87
    Why does the army have a special unit of intelligence?

    Because if they pool what little they have, it will seem like they have some.

  5. #5
    Wounded Deadlifter ryan1117's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    1,650
    In my opinion, your abs are the 2nd most important body part next to your spinal erectors. I feel core strength is very underrated. Just look at all the middle-aged people with back problems.

    I'm obviously not sticking up for those training methods though.
    5-9 170

  6. #6
    Rory Parker Behemoth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    5,320
    Yeah. I'd DEFINETLY vote spinal erectors as thee single most important group in the body. And from a strength or general health perspective abs are definetly a very very important part.

    I know we have some military men on these boards, perhaps they could bridge our gap of knowledge/understanding.
    accuflex - LOLZZZZ!!!11one1!! SOEM PPL WORK THRE ARMZ!!!!11!! LETS KILL THEM111

    "You can fake effort with grunts and clanging weights but quiet, consistent hard work coupled with gradual strength increases earns universal respect in gyms" - Steve Colescott



    I'd rather Situation be a member of this board. -Joey54

  7. #7
    is numero uno Saint Patrick's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    6,557
    Being an ex-marine doesn't make that guy a fitness expert by any means.
    Age:30
    Height: 5'7"
    Weight: Not Big Enough
    ______________________

    Take things as they are. Punch when you have to punch. Kick when you have to kick. Bruce Lee

  8. #8
    Beware of Attack Ferrets
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    San Bernardino, CA
    Posts
    229
    Well, being 4 years in the Marines, yes being a Marine does not qualify you as a fitness expert. It is a priority though because situps are a part of the physical fitness test we take yearly.

    The Army, well they just think it's important because they see Marines doing it (that and they want to get rid of that gut )

  9. #9
    Rory Parker Behemoth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    5,320
    Yeah, he was in the Marines for 8 years and while I respect him and like him as a person, he seems to be a bit condescending in conversation to me, probably because I'm a kid and he doesn't think I really know what I'm talking about.

    Get rid of the gut huh? Now along with overtraining and training imbalance, the false notion of spot reducing fat can be added to the mindset of Marines doing obsurd amounts ab work


    MORE!
    accuflex - LOLZZZZ!!!11one1!! SOEM PPL WORK THRE ARMZ!!!!11!! LETS KILL THEM111

    "You can fake effort with grunts and clanging weights but quiet, consistent hard work coupled with gradual strength increases earns universal respect in gyms" - Steve Colescott



    I'd rather Situation be a member of this board. -Joey54

  10. #10
    Senior Member geoffgarcia's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    3,445
    Behemoth
    Gym class shouldn't be misconstrued as a workout
    all the things your doing are just warmup exercises

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing situps/pushups/etc... every day as a warmup

    Also, now that I'm thinking about this topic, this is how I rationalize it:
    legs, abs, spinal erectors are muscles that the avg person uses constantly throughout the day. (walking, breathing, stairs, sitting, etc)
    Biceps, triceps, lats, traps, pecs are almost never used by the avg person
    Based on that I wouldn't be surprised that abs/legs can recover faster

  11. #11
    Senior Member geoffgarcia's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    3,445

    Re: Army/Marine obsession with abs?

    Originally posted by Behemoth
    Any links to studies about how the abs do not have supierior recovery either (man I hate that misconception, it's almost as bad people thinking you have to workout everyday of the week to get big)?
    I'm just trying to be a devils advocate here

    its only a misconception if there is proof that goes contrary to the belief.
    Your still searching for proof, thus its not a misconception at all, just a different opinion than yours.

    Another thing that piques my interest is the belief that working out daily is not efficient.
    I wonder then how athletes such as runners, swimmers, bicyclists etc, practice day in and day out taking breaks only in the days leading up to a competition. Surely if training once per week was the best way to train that these elite athletes would be doing that?
    Last edited by geoffgarcia; 11-06-2003 at 12:03 PM.

  12. #12
    Rory Parker Behemoth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    5,320
    Oh boy, I don't even know where to start. First off, I by no means misconstrued gym class to be a workout.
    I'll give you the pushups daily as a warmup, but the abs are about as much volume as I'd do weekly for them, THAT is not just a warmup.

    The abs get about as much of a workout daily from breathing as the delts/biceps do from picking stuff up or the chest and lats do from pushing and poulling open doors.

    If your logic were correct I'd soon be mr. olympia. I'd simply bench press, then lie on my bed all day long doing the bench press motion with only my empty hands. The next day I'd get up and have a fully recovered chest ready to bench again!

    The reason runners,swimmer,bicyclists can train day in and day out is because they're not taxing their CNS nearly as much as a weightlifting. Now you might try to apply this to the army. Saying well they're not taaxing their CNS like a weightlifter. On one hand I'll agree, but thats beacuase they're only working their anterior upper body, which brings me back to "why doesn't the army train their legs and lower back"?
    accuflex - LOLZZZZ!!!11one1!! SOEM PPL WORK THRE ARMZ!!!!11!! LETS KILL THEM111

    "You can fake effort with grunts and clanging weights but quiet, consistent hard work coupled with gradual strength increases earns universal respect in gyms" - Steve Colescott



    I'd rather Situation be a member of this board. -Joey54

  13. #13
    Banned KingJustin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    3,025
    I used to work my abs doing high rep stuff to as failure every day and my abs would rarely be sore. Abs, calves, forearms and triceps can generally recover faster than most other muscles. That in mind, it would be ideal to train them a little more frequent than other muscles.

    I do one day of pretty intense abdominal work every week. Usually I'll do real heavy pull downs, heavy negative sit-ups, a couple sets of fast/high rep sit-ups and hard stablity work. The next day I don't feel even slightly sore.. (Not to mention heavy oblique work)

    I do a couple more days a week of high rep stuff for abs/obliques, too...I'd work abs more but I'm doing such high overall volume already that I am afraid I might overtrain by adding too much more in.

    Ok done rambling.
    Last edited by KingJustin; 11-07-2003 at 06:21 PM.

  14. #14
    Rory Parker Behemoth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    5,320
    Yeah thats all well and good, if you believe soreness indicates growth.
    accuflex - LOLZZZZ!!!11one1!! SOEM PPL WORK THRE ARMZ!!!!11!! LETS KILL THEM111

    "You can fake effort with grunts and clanging weights but quiet, consistent hard work coupled with gradual strength increases earns universal respect in gyms" - Steve Colescott



    I'd rather Situation be a member of this board. -Joey54

  15. #15
    Banned KingJustin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    3,025
    I think soreness is a fair indication of whether or not your muscles have recovered.

  16. #16
    Senior Member geoffgarcia's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    3,445
    Originally posted by Behemoth
    Oh boy, I don't even know where to start. First off, I by no means misconstrued gym class to be a workout.
    I'll give you the pushups daily as a warmup, but the abs are about as much volume as I'd do weekly for them, THAT is not just a warmup.
    Its my opinion that volume in situps doesn't qualify as an ab workout. How many could you possibly be doing in gym class anyway? 30?

    Originally posted by Behemoth
    The abs get about as much of a workout daily from breathing as the delts/biceps do from picking stuff up or the chest and lats do from pushing and pulling open doors.
    I disagree

    Originally posted by Behemoth

    If your logic were correct I'd soon be mr. olympia. I'd simply bench press, then lie on my bed all day long doing the bench press motion with only my empty hands. The next day I'd get up and have a fully recovered chest ready to bench again!
    I don't understand what your getting at here...

    Originally posted by Behemoth


    The reason runners,swimmer,bicyclists can train day in and day out is because they're not taxing their CNS nearly as much as a weightlifting. Now you might try to apply this to the army. Saying well they're not taaxing their CNS like a weightlifter.
    what is a CNS?

  17. #17
    Senior Member Exnor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Brighton, UK
    Posts
    1,369
    Abs do have a faster recovery time in comparison to other muscles, but never the less they require recovery. 3 times a week is plenty - doing them every day is silly.

    Core strength is indeed under rated, and muscle balance. Your abs can so easily get overly weak in comparison to your lower back causing all kinds of problems. Having a strong and balanced mid section is very important and crucial to avoiding injury in lifts like squat, deadlift, standing military press etc.

    They basically should not be ignored - if you work them once a week thats probably enough. If you do hyperextensions or anything then 2-3 times a week is proabably a good idea.

  18. #18
    Rory Parker Behemoth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    5,320
    Originally posted by geoffgarcia

    1 - Its my opinion that volume in situps doesn't qualify as an ab workout. How many could you possibly be doing in gym class anyway? 30?


    2 - I disagree


    3 - I don't understand what your getting at here...


    4 - what is a CNS?
    1. Ha! 30 situps? Roughly 3 sets of 30 situps, crunches, v-ups, and flutter kicks.

    2. to each his own

    3. What I'm saying is, if because you use your abs daily for breathing that makes tem capable of recovering faster. Then I would apply this logic to all body parts, such as chest. Doing so by do a weightless bench press all day long, which would be the equivalent working as to abs with breathing.

    4. Your CNS is your Central Nervous System

  19. #19
    What ChrisH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Wilmslow, nr. Manchester
    Posts
    1,075
    The reason they do it is because everyone can do at least 1 situp (unlike pullups or pushups) and because it required no equipment etc. Basically, someone can tell them to do 200 situps as punishment or something.

    The military want to train for endurance really, and not neccesarily "muscle endurance", but another thing. They have to learn to keep going even when they're tired. Thats probably why militay training hasnt really changed much over the years. Physical conditioning is a small part of it, the whole mental thing is more important.

    As for that teacher, they're a dumbass. Yet another person who holds beliefs but either doesnt know where they came from, or thinks its "just common sense".
    "I'm gonna die with a dumbell in my hand." - stpatrick44


    Age: 18 | Height: 5'10" | Weight: 80kgs (176lbs) | BF%: dunno
    --
    BB Bench 1 x 110kgs (242lbs) | Deadlift: 135kgs (300lbs) x 2 | Current Routine: Bodybuilding

  20. #20
    Senior Member geoffgarcia's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    3,445
    Originally posted by Behemoth

    30 situps? Roughly 3 sets of 30 situps, crunches, v-ups, and flutter kicks
    your right this is high volume, this detail would have been great to put in your first post. How often do you have gym and have to do this? When I was in HS gym was either 2 or 3x per week, which IMHO would make this type of volume ok, 5 days a week is a stretch though


    Originally posted by Behemoth

    What I'm saying is, if because you use your abs daily for breathing that makes tem capable of recovering faster. Then I would apply this logic to all body parts, such as chest. Doing so by do a weightless bench press all day long, which would be the equivalent working as to abs with breathing.
    its my opinion that abs and legs are preconditioned through evolution to withstand this constant work, its not so much the fact that you do use them every day, its that this is the role that they have been determined to play in our lives THATS why they recover quicker
    Last edited by geoffgarcia; 11-07-2003 at 05:56 PM.

  21. #21
    Rory Parker Behemoth's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    5,320
    Originally posted by geoffgarcia

    your right this is high volume, this detail would have been great to put in your first post. How often do you have gym and have to do this? When I was in HS gym was either 2 or 3x per week, which IMHO would make this type of volume ok, 5 days a week is a stretch though




    its my opinion that abs and legs are preconditioned through evolution to withstand this constant work, its not so much the fact that you do use them every day, its that this is the role that they have been determined to play in our lives THATS why they recover quicker
    5x a week

    My comment was somewhat sarcastic, but I still don't agree with your theory. To each his own

  22. #22
    Wannabebig New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1

    Hello guys & gals, Im New

    Hi, i'm schoooler

    Im new to the forum and just saying hello.

  23. #23
    Who you callin' Clown? TUEFELHUNDEN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Windsor, WI
    Posts
    291
    I hope we just stop calling Marines "Army" around here. Not cool.
    Goal = IM 70.3 Racine 2010 (Sub 5 hour)
    LOG----->http://www.wannabebigforums.com/show...58#post2079858

  24. #24
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    7,644
    90 reps of bodyweight ab work is NOT going to throw your world into an overtraining abyss...
    Last edited by Sensei; 01-17-2009 at 07:20 AM.
    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
    Lifting Clips: http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=johnnymnemonic2
    Blog: http://squatrx.blogspot.com/

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    NW Iowa
    Posts
    216
    I was in the Army so I'll give you my thoughts.In basic/AIT, which was roughly 13 weeks for me,we would PT 6-7 days a week.Our bodies were worked from head to toe.I would say sit-ups and push/ups were the two exercises we had to do the most of.Lots of push-ups,and of course lots of sit-ups.But we ran countless miles,and did lots of stretching and cali's.I have no doudt I was in great shape when I came out of basic.Our Armed Forces do know how to get people in shape.You are a piece of equipment,and as you know,it sucks to have any equipment fail.So they make sure you are in great shape.As far as overtraining abds??? Good question,but we worked ours very hard and you rarely ever saw anybody injured.Your Marine gym teacher went through a very tough training scheadule.Like an above poster mentioned,everyone should be able to do ab work,but maybe not everyone can knock out 5 pull-ups,or do 20 push-ups.Trust me when I say this,when a Marine comes out of basic training,they are fit/strong from head to toe.
    And a shout out to all our vets and people in the Armed Forces.

    Ryan Hale

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •