How often should i train my abs??
I get this question where-ever i turn: Abs being the showcase muscle most representative of: a highly conditioned state; and general sexiness…
This being said, the general public, as influenced by media and brainwashed by the ‘no pain no gain’ dogma, believes that you must annihilate them to get results.
Furthermore, a lot of ‘exercise gurus’ quoting a number of dubious sources claim that, because the size and composition of the muscle fibers which make up the abdominal wall, the best route to getting the results you want is to annhilate themn daily.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Furthermore… It is simply illogical.
For the record…I don’t train abs directly.
Unless there’s a definate core weakness (as is a common manifestation in middle-aged sedentary individuals).. or you’re training for a sport-specific purpose.. i don’t think there’s a reason to train ‘em directly.
¤ABs are constantly firing statically to maintain postural integrity. So logically, if you strive to maintain good posture and exercise form… your abs will be working against resistance while lifting. This means that they will get overloaded… and they’ll grow.
You say indirect stimulation isn’t enough?
I say… then you obviously haven’t been training very long.
Look at athletes who train the ‘Big three’ lifts exclusively: Bench; squats; Deadlifts.
They’re thick from head-to-toe.
With relation to the core question: “how regularly should you train abs?”
My answer would be in the form of another question: “how regularly should you, or do you, train other bodyparts?”
Remember the body is a sum of parts working in synergy.
Energy reserves are taxed systemically.
Thus while abs may recover relatively quickly as compared to other bodyparts, this is no reason to train them more regularly than other bodyparts.
Why flirt with the risk of dipping into the recuperative reserves to the point where it curtails recovery for other bodyparts?
With regard to the core question again: “”how regularly should you train abs?”
I say optimally twice per week… no more than that.
This is however but a generic template.
Recuperative ability differs from individual to individual… Thus in the formulation of a plan of attack, ones individual recuperative ability should be factored in.
Some people can train everything twice per week..training 6 days in a row, while still making progress.
Some people can’t train anything more than once per week… and may find that training more frequently that every other day quickly leads to over-training.
But what’s this mean for the beginner.. you know, the guy or gal who has no idea who their body will respond to changes in exercise frequency?
Well basically… start at the middle of the spectrum.
Start with training abs twice per week.
If you continue to make progress… stick with it.
If overall your progress stagnates… and this state is compounded with feelings of overall fatigue; irritability, etc. then cut back. These signs are indicative of over-training.
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