The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Wannabebig Member General Zod's Avatar
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    Abs and Calves - How often?

    There seems to be two opposing theories, when it comes to these two muscle groups. The first theory seems to suggest that these muscles, because of their very nature, can and should be worked more frequently. Others seem to theorize that they're no different, and should only be worked as frequently as any other group. I was wondering what the prevailing wisdom around here was. Thanks.

    Zod

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  3. #2
    I drink your milkshake twm's Avatar
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    They're no different than any other muscle.. 1-2 per week depending on your routine.

  4. #3
    Senior Member b_sinning's Avatar
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    I think calves are often overtrained. Of course I wish I had bigger calves but I'm trying to be patient and not overtrain them.

  5. #4
    riprogrammazione
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    Calves are a personal thing. Some people are blessed with calves that respond well to resistance, and some are not.

    I am not. My calves do not grow unless I put my squat max+ on my back and rep out on calve raises on the round metal tube of my bench as tears mix with sweat and slowly glide down my clenching jaw. 2-3 times a week depending on when the pain subsides. I work my abs like any other muscle.

  6. #5
    schmitty199
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bravo
    Calves are a personal thing. Some people are blessed with calves that respond well to resistance, and some are not.

    I am not. My calves do not grow unless I put my squat max+ on my back and rep out on calve raises on the round metal tube of my bench as tears mix with sweat and slowly glide down my clenching jaw. 2-3 times a week depending on when the pain subsides. I work my abs like any other muscle.
    i do 3 sets of 70 crunches nightly............... would i be overtraining my abs?

    for calfs i do calf raises maybe 3 times a week increases the weight every week
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  7. #6
    C.S.C.S. ddegroff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schmitty199
    i do 3 sets of 70 crunches nightly............... would i be overtraining my abs?

    for calfs i do calf raises maybe 3 times a week increases the weight every week
    Do you do 70 reps with your biceps? I dont know if you are overtraining them, but try 3 sets of 15 weighted decline crunches and see how that feels.

    I do abs and calfs 3 times a week, but i only do one set per work out.

  8. #7
    eek... it's lil' Fixation! fixationdarknes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schmitty199
    i do 3 sets of 70 crunches nightly............... would i be overtraining my abs?
    Don't do it every night; that's useless. And what's the point of doing 70 crunches? Tell me, would you do 3 sets of 70 curls every night? No, so why do it with abs? There's nothing magical about abs.

    --edit: Oops, ddegroff was too fast for me.
    Last edited by fixationdarknes; 07-21-2005 at 10:56 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    I try to visualize that my girlfriend is under the weight and I have to push the weight up to save her. Of course it doesn't work and I just laugh as I think about the weight slowly crushing her bones. Then I remember it's me under the weight and give 200% effort to push it back up.

  9. #8
    schmitty199
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    Quote Originally Posted by fixationdarknes
    Don't do it every night; that's useless. And what's the point of doing 70 crunches? Tell me, would you do 3 sets of 70 curls every night? No, so why do it with abs? There's nothing magical about abs.

    --edit: Oops, ddegroff was too fast for me.

    yes there is something magical about abs im a Running back in football the QB slams the ball into yur guy pretty hard sometimes to ensure you get it on a clean exchange and you land o nthe ball and get hit i nthe stomach alot now if you have good strong abs this wont hurt or knock the wind out of you
    Age:19
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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by schmitty199
    yes there is something magical about abs im a Running back in football the QB slams the ball into yur guy pretty hard sometimes to ensure you get it on a clean exchange and you land o nthe ball and get hit i nthe stomach alot now if you have good strong abs this wont hurt or knock the wind out of you
    The point is, if you want stronger abs, train them with resistance. If you want stronger biceps, you wouldn't train them by making an empty handed curling motion 70 times for 3 sets each night, would you?

  11. #10
    schmitty199
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpecialK
    The point is, if you want stronger abs, train them with resistance. If you want stronger biceps, you wouldn't train them by making an empty handed curling motion 70 times for 3 sets each night, would you?

    hmm good point ill try the decline weighted ab workout
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  12. #11
    eek... it's lil' Fixation! fixationdarknes's Avatar
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    Yeah, I assure you your abs will get stronger that way. Just try to make normal progress with it like every other lift (upping the weight). And don't forget your abs are also worked during heavy compound movements like squats and deadlifts. Make sure you're doing those also if you want strong abs.
    Lifting Journal
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    I try to visualize that my girlfriend is under the weight and I have to push the weight up to save her. Of course it doesn't work and I just laugh as I think about the weight slowly crushing her bones. Then I remember it's me under the weight and give 200% effort to push it back up.

  13. #12
    ...and then there was iron Andre3000's Avatar
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    I do abs almost every night, and I am seeing improvement. I have blessed calves. Maybe its a genetic thing.

    PS I do a lot of running

  14. #13
    HS Football D Breyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddegroff
    I dont know if you are overtraining them, but try 3 sets of 15 weighted decline crunches and see how that feels.
    i do these.... my abs are on fire after every set... really tough workout
    6'1 - 195
    Crossfit Total: Press: 135 - Squat: 315 - Deadlift: 365
    Competition Lifts: Clean: 205 - Bench: 205

  15. #14
    Wrecker of Homes d'Anconia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by outsidethe9
    I do abs almost every night, and I am seeing improvement. I have blessed calves. Maybe its a genetic thing.

    PS I do a lot of running
    Depending on what running you do I doubt that your running really helps make your calves larger than normal (assuming that is what you meant by "blessed calves"). Anyway I think they need to make a sticky talking about how abs and calves are just like any other muscle and should be trained as such

    Since I've learned the truth about calves and abs I always snicker when I see or hear of someone doing high reps trying to get their calves bigger... suckaaaas! For some reason there's the idea also that low reps/high weight for abs will make your abs "blocky" or something like that. I don't know about you guys but I want my six-pack to look like blocks.

    Oh and by the way ddegroff weighted inclined crunches (I hold weight plates behind my head) kick my ass. So does the regular weighted ab machine (specifically the ones made by Nautilus).

  16. #15
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    if you own the arnold book, read what hes got to say about them
    delete this account

  17. #16
    Senior Member Canadian Crippler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by outsidethe9
    I do abs almost every night, and I am seeing improvement. I have blessed calves. Maybe its a genetic thing.

    PS I do a lot of running
    You're seeing a pump in the mirror, and likely a decrease in BF%. I don't see how working 50+ reps out of the hypertrophy range and never recovering can lead to any improvement.
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  18. #17
    Grasshoppa
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    Although calves and abdominal muscles tend to repair much faster than most others, you should still train them like any other muscle. People think that by doing 200 situps that they'll "strengthen their core and burn fat on their stomach". If we apply that logic to our whole body, why don't we drop the weights and just do 200 non-weighted tricep extensions...it doesn't work that way.
    Shao-LiN
    "I tried so hard and got so far, but in the end, it doesn't even matter." - Linkin Park

  19. #18
    Senior Member DNL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by schmitty199
    i do 3 sets of 70 crunches nightly............... would i be overtraining my abs?

    for calfs i do calf raises maybe 3 times a week increases the weight every week
    have you seen any progress by doing 3 sets of 70? If you do, then continue, if you don't then you must have done something wrong.

  20. #19
    Getting Swole hoser813's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fixationdarknes
    Don't do it every night; that's useless. And what's the point of doing 70 crunches? Tell me, would you do 3 sets of 70 curls every night? No, so why do it with abs? There's nothing magical about abs.

    --edit: Oops, ddegroff was too fast for me.
    I dont think its fair though to compare sit-ups or crunches with bicep curls. What about push-ups? People do sets of 50 and 100 at a time and they dont seem to be overtraining?

  21. #20
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    I never used to worry about my calves directly. I would do my entire work out, then kind of do the calf machine in passing on my way out of the gym. Maybe twice a week. I'd often even forget. The funny thing is, that muscle grew the most, no joke. It's almost disproportional to the rest of my body lol.

  22. #21
    Wrecker of Homes d'Anconia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hoser813
    I dont think its fair though to compare sit-ups or crunches with bicep curls. What about push-ups? People do sets of 50 and 100 at a time and they dont seem to be overtraining?
    They also don't seem to be gaining strength or getting a bigger chest by doing these push-ups. And by strength I mean it in an anaerobic sense like a 1 rep max, not endurance. And yes you CAN compare crunches with curls and abs with biceps in this case. Muscle is muscle buddy (except for smoothe and cardiac muscle, we're not talking about those).

    And mattanshrager not all of us have access to the arnold book. Mind summarizing what it says?

  23. #22
    Senior Member dissipate's Avatar
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    I dont think its fair though to compare sit-ups or crunches with bicep curls.
    why do you not think so?

    And by strength I mean it in an anaerobic sense like a 1 rep max, not endurance.
    what does anaerobic exercise have to do with a 1 rep max?

    have you seen any progress by doing 3 sets of 70? If you do, then continue, if you don't then you must have done something wrong.
    agreed. if you stop seeing progress, change things till you do again.

  24. #23
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    I work everything heavy every 4 days. My abs are super strong but my calves suck. Then again the only thing I do for calves are weighted one-legged calf raises(don't have access to machines) so maybe that is why.


    For abs I do:
    Ab workout 1
    Weighted Situps: 2 sets, BW+130lbs X 6-8 reps
    Twisting Crunches: 2 sets, BW+120lbs X 6-12 reps
    Vertical Leg Raises: 3-5 dropsets

    4 days later....
    Ab workout 2
    Ab Machine: 2 sets, 40-80 reps
    Ab Wheel: 2 sets, 15-30 reps

    Then 4 days later back to ab workout 1.

    I have been working abs for years though, like 10 years, even before I lifted weights, so that may be why they are so strong. However I have noticed a change in the way they look since working them heavy.


    I used to work them 3x a week, on/off/on/off/on/off/off without resistance. I have seen better results with resistance. Goodluck!
    Last edited by Dedicated; 07-24-2005 at 11:18 AM.

  25. #24
    Wrecker of Homes d'Anconia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dissipate
    what does anaerobic exercise have to do with a 1 rep max?
    I was just trying to emphasize that I was talking about strength with regards to how much weight can be lifted once rather than how many times a light weight can be lifted. Technically if you do 70 reps of situps every other day or whenever then yes, they will get stronger but only in the sense that he'll be able to do more reps. I doubt the person doindg 70 reps of low weight will be able to lift the amount that someone doing high weight/low reps will be able to do.

    I don't know if there is a term for the strength of being able to lift high weight but I know that the strength for being able to lift a lighter weight many times is usually just referred to as endurance.

    So who is stronger?
    Person 1 has a 1 rep max of 300 but can only rep 200 eight times.
    Person 2 has a 1 rep max of 280 but can rep 200 thirteen times.

    You get what I'm trying to say? I used the term "anaerobic" to try to clear up that I'm talking about being able to lift high weight (in a 1 rep max sort of way) and not in an endurance sort of way.

    I hope that kinda clears things up.
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  26. #25
    Getting Swole hoser813's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dissipate
    why do you not think so?
    Because one exercise you are using weights and only doing a few reps and the other you have no resistance and are doing 50+ reps at a time.

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