HST ABS Discussion

Discussion in 'Hypertrophy-Specific Training (HST)' started by imported_domineaux, May 17, 2005.

  1. We need a good abs discussion thread, maybe even a sticky. This is a topic that is relevant to most of us, as I constantly see some new posting about abs training.

    Currently I've just started my 3rd cycle on HST after a 13 day SD. I'm doing the 15s now. My abs routine is 15 reps x 4 sets x 70 lbs in the bodymaster ab machine, 3 sets of 20 rep situps full up and down on the decline bench. This is same training I was doing in the 5s before the SD.

    I've still got love-handles and my lower back torso is carrying most of my bodyfat%.

    Very honestly I'm wondering if the abs shouldn't be addressed a little differently using HST. I say that, because I've not been able to do much with my abs unless I introduce a great deal more volume than my HST is calling for at the time.

    My ab muscles are developing. I can tighten up and press all around on my stomach area very hard and feel the muscular development. I just can't get rid of the fatty covering. LOL

    Appearance wise my wife still thinks I'm a fatty with a big belly, which is so far from the fact. I don't mind telling you that annoys me no end, but...that's her perception.
    My chest is appx. 18" bigger than my waist. LOL

    I'd appreciate reading some other ideas and comments from others about ab training and how you work it into your HST.
    I could use an infusion of some new ideas. [​IMG]
  2. Dood

    Dood New Member

    Bottom line is you need to lose fat, and you can't spot reduce, you need to lose the fat from all over. You still seem to be fixated upon doing ab exercises to lose fat around your abs, as are many people, but it just does not work that way, unfortunately.
  3. Thanks for the reminder...

    When you're pushing down way appx 4,000+ Calories a day mixing it up with protein, carbohydrates and fat then the idea of losing fat doesn't even appear to be possible.

    My workouts are hard and sweaty. Maybe I'm just too impatient, afterall I've only been on HST 3 cycles.

    I do think a lot of mine is water retainage, but I'm sure there is fat as well.

    It is really possible to find balance between getting bigger more muscular and losing fat?

    Does the process just has to be "cut" after you've reached a size you want to "cut" from?

    Is it out of line to expect fat losses during training...even though you're piling in the foodstuffs?

    I realize over time my calorie burn with exercise will burn fat, but at the rate of like 4,000 calories of burn for 1 pound of fat. That's gonna take some time, since I'm eating about 4,000 calories each day.

    I'm eating like I never ate when I was over-weight, except I seriously moderate my carbohydrate intake. I pretty well match carbs gram for gram with protein on workout days only.
  4. robefc

    robefc New Member

    Well if you're chowing down on 4000+ calories a day and trying to get bigger by building muscle then the bottom line is you're not going to lose fat...and if you do ab exercises HST style then your abs will get bigger and push the fat out from underneath...so your belly will look even bigger!  [​IMG]

    If you want to see your abs and lose your love handles then diet and cardio are the key...unfortunately building muscle and losing fat is close to impossible (unless anyone has any new ideas?! ) and most people have to choose between bulking and cutting...

    HIIT cardio is thougt to be anabolic and increases fat burning at rest though, might be the closest thing to being able to lose fat and gain muscle at once

    Just my thoughts

    As for ab exercises, there's info from vicious on the customizing thread re: nelson sit ups and hyper extended crunches.

  5. BoSox

    BoSox New Member

    you won't be able to lose body fat while gaining muscle. As we have told you.

    Furthermore, no amount of sit-ups, crunches, sidebends or ab-rollers will reduce fat on or around your stomach.
  6. dang, I knew I shouldn't have believed that man on TV, now I have to find a sucker, oh I mean person to buy this Ab Roller thingy. ;)

    BTW, anyone want to buy a bottle or two of Cortisol? :D
  7. That's funny [​IMG]

    I'm glad I bought a chaise lounge chair rather than an ab lounge chair...eh!
  8. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    If you want to lose fat while gaining muscle, your only choice would be steroids.

    If I were you, I would just do a cutting cycle or two. Cut your calories carefully, add in some cardio, keep doing HST and lose your extra fat slowly. You can have a ton of muscle, but if you've got slabs of fat covering it all up, no one is going to know - especially your wife.
  9. Dood

    Dood New Member

    Actually, some people can lose fat and gain muscle without steroids, but usually they are young and are pretty tight on their diet. Also it's a slow process.
  10. Falco

    Falco New Member

    Choose a goal: fat loss or muscle gain. Keep HSTing, but add cardio & lower your calories:
    However - part of your question bears further discussion: exactly how to train abs under HST. Should it be treated like any other small muscle group? ie keep to the 15, 10, & 5 rep cycle; but use smaller weight increments.

    I have found that some ab exercises don't lend themselves well to pure HST. For example, the reverse crunch. It's one of my favorites for lower abs. I like to do them on a decline bench while holding a medicine ball b/w my calves & hams. What I've tried to do is increase workload by upping the reps & sets over time instead of the weight.

    Any other ideas out there for HST ab workouts?
  11. cheen

    cheen New Member

    If you stick with the large compound movements like squats and deads in the heavier rep ranges and perform the core stabilization side of things correctly, eg tightening your transverse abdominus etc out of the whole you can generally get excellent ab development without ever doing a crunch. Ab visiblity is all about bf levels, you will not be seeing your abs until you spend a couple of cycles below maintinence calories to remove your current bodyfat. Aim for somewhere in the order of 10-12 calories per pound of bodyweight assuming your working out 3x a week + cardio (varies according to metabolism, daily expenditure)
  12. Old and Grey

    Old and Grey Super Moderator Staff Member

    Over a two year time frame I went from 170 pounds at 18% bf to 185 @ 9% bf by following HST principles and strictly limiting sugary carbs and bad fats. That is a loss of 14 pounds of fat and a gain of 29 pounds of muscle. So it is possible but, as Dood said, it takes a while. You cannot cut for a contest or the summer and not lose some muscle also.

    My ab routine, done twice per week with heavy weights to a max of 15 reps to strengthen my trunk core and help stabilize my back to avoid injury, is:

    Crunch Machine
    Lying Decline Leg Raise
    Oblique Raises on a Hyperextension Machine
    Hyper extensions
  13. the_dark_master

    the_dark_master New Member

    I'm currently using the one day version at the end of this post (pilched from T-Mag) & can honestly say it's the only one that's ever worked; and not a crunch in sight!!

    Two+Two Day Program
    Monday/Thursday — Linear and Compression Work
    Hanging Leg Raises (trunk flexion, lower RA), 3 x 6
    Dumbbell Crunches on Physioball (trunk flexion, upper RA), 3 x 8
    Back Extensions with Weight (trunk extension), 3 x 10
    Vacuums (compression), 3 x 10 second holds

    Tuesday/Friday — Rotation and Bracing Work
    Side Bends (lateral flexion), 3 x 8 each
    Full Contact Twists (Rotation), 3 x 8 each
    Dead Bug Twist (stabilization), 2 x 30 seconds

    Two Day Program
    Tuesday — Linear and Compression Work
    Hanging Leg Raises (trunk flexion, lower RA), 3 x 6
    Dumbbell Crunches on Physioball (trunk flexion, upper RA), 3 x 8
    Back Extensions with Weight (trunk extension), 3 x 10
    Vacuums (compression), 3 x 10 second holds

    Friday — Rotation and Bracing Work
    Windmills (lateral flexion), 3 x 6 each
    Rotation Medicine Ball Throws, 2 x 8 each
    Dead Bug Twist (stabilization), 2 x 30 seconds

    Never heard of the dead bug twist? Lie on the floor with your legs up at a 90-degree angle and your arms outstretched above your torso. Now, bear down on your abs like someone is about to punch you in the stomach. With this tight feeling, move your arms and legs in opposite directions, maintaining the tension throughout the course of the movement. If you start to feel this in your low back, reset by getting tight again and then resume the movement. These really hits the TVA and teach you to brace with movement. Perform these for sets of up to one minute at a time.
    This program is great for someone who's already doing a lot of heavy, basic lifts, but also wants to increase his core strength. If you're training your core two times per week, I'd suggest breaking your workouts into a linear day and a rotation day as shown above.
    Notice the exercise order for Tuesday. We've placed the lower RA movement first, and most importantly before we do our upper RA movement. This is because the upper RA has a tendency to "take over" movements, and therefore if it’s activated first we lose some of the benefits of the lower RA exercise.
    For the more serious trainee who goes to the gym four times per week, you can follow the above routine (with reduced volume) two times per week. You might perform the linear workouts on Monday and Thursday, then the rotation workouts on Tuesday and Friday. Another option is to further split the routine into four separate workouts, with each one emphasizing a different movement pattern. Here's an example:
    Four Day Split Program
    Monday — Rotation
    Full Contact Twists, 3 x 6
    Russian Twists on Ball, 3 x 8

    Tuesday — Stabilization/Compression
    Pillar Bridges, 2 x 40 seconds
    Quadruped Navel Draws, 3 x 8 (with 5 second holds)

    Thursday — Lateral Flexion
    Bent Presses, 3 x 6
    Side Bends, 3 x 8

    Friday - Linear
    Decline Bench Reverse Crunches, 3 x 10
    Standing Cable Crunches, 3 x 8

    By decreasing the number of exercises we perform per day, we not only increase the quality of our workouts, but we also make them more manageable and less time consuming.
    Finally, here's a sample program for someone who only wants to train his core one time per week. This would be a good program for someone who only trains three days per week, but still wants to develop his core musculature.

    One-Day Program
    Hanging Leg Raises, 2 x 6
    Rotation Medicine Ball Throws, 2 x 6 each (I'm using FCT's)
    Dumbbell Crunches on Physioball, 2 x 8
    Windmills, 2 x 6 each (I've replaced these with sidebends)
    Back Extensions, 2 x 10
    Dead Bug Twist, 30 seconds
    Vacuums, 2 x 10 second holds
  14. BIGBANGSingh

    BIGBANGSingh New Member

    Try doing military presses. At the beginning of the movement, when you're forced to lean back, in order to rest the bar across your upper chest, you get a nice stretch in your abs.
  15. McDee

    McDee New Member

    I'm a bit concerned about bulking myself, I gained about 18lbs in my 1st HST program which blew me away, but I did gain some body fat due to a crappy diet, so I did some reading in the forum and found some good tips I plan on implementing next session after my SD.

    from: gaining to much weight

    also the_dark_master, what are Vacuums ?
  16. I'd appreciate knowing the purpose for the vinegar. My understanding is the Vinegar just acidizes your stomach juices more. It helps with Acid Reflux kind of issues, because it adds fuel to the fire so to speak.

    By Burn sets does it - refer to a set of 15s with lower weight only during the 5s?

    Also, should burn sets be applied to every workout during the fives or just how and when? I'll probably do a month or more in the 5s, which I did last cycle. I did do burn sets in the last week of 5s prior to SD. THey were a real help because they gave me a valid point of reference when I started back into the 15s
  17. Dood

    Dood New Member

  18. the_dark_master

    the_dark_master New Member

    Have a look at this :Vacuums
    Personally I find a I get a better "draw" by bending over at the waist, expelling the air & pulling in the stomach whilst straightening up
    It's oldschool - but it also helps the mind-muscle connection...
  19. Louno

    Louno New Member

    The vacuum exercise seems interesting, but does it really work ? if it does, why woulndt it be used much today as compared to before?
  20. vicious

    vicious New Member

    More or less, the vacuum has been substituted with medicine ball and general core/stability training. People who practice Pilates -- they usually flex the transversus abdominus while exhaling and performing the movements -- do a lower-intensity variation of the vacuum.

    Very little in bodybuilding is "new." Much of the culture is in a perpetual Dark Ages/Renaissance ebb and flow. The Net's merely shortened the turnover.


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