Want Awesome Abs? Quit Working Obliques
So you want wicked abs. You want a chiseled midsection. You want a narrow waist. Guess what: stop training your obliques! Twists and Side Bends build your obliques up, they don’t burn fat from your midsection. For decades Its been common knowledge that spot reduction can’t be done with exercise. In other words working your midsection does not burn fat from your mid section. Working a muscle makes that muscle more developed. In men, that means bigger and denser, in women that means denser and bigger. So if you have belly fat and work your abs guess what: you’re just going to look like you got fatter.
The Abs are super complicated, sorry. So the deepest muscle and most important to looking good and being healthy is the Transverse Abdominus. Its a thin sheet that surrounds your organs and when you contract it it makes your waist smaller. it also supports your spine for health and posture. Ever notice supper skinny people with a gut like their pregnant? Thats them being lazy and not holding their stomach in so their organs push out on this underdeveloped muscle. The best way to train it is use it. Suck your gut in like your topless all the time. When you’re in public, driving in your car, watching tv, just never relax your midsection. The classic Vacuum exercise which is virtually extinct is the epitome of transverse abdominus training and mastery. It takes years but you will have perfect posture, look better, and be healthier. If its good enough for Frank Zane…
The next major muscle is the Rectus Abdominis. This is a superficial muscle and is what people mean when they say 6 pack. The deep cuts and visibility of this muscle is 100% dependant on body fat. The leaner you are the better your abs look. Working this muscle will make it pop out and be three dimensional: rather than looking like flat bricks it looks like bubbles. But if you don’t have low enough body fat all it does is make you look like you have a gut regardless how hard you suck it in.
The internal and external Obliques are probably the most important muscle to NEVER train. They are the muscles that are on your sides. Building these muscles up make your waist bigger and even with insanely low body fat it will always hurt your X frame and hourglass. If there is one reason Men’s Physique competitors look so great, it is because they have tiny waists creating an amazing V taper. This is the single most important thing to work on if you want to catch women’s eye (you can’t do face push ups). These muscles may grow from heavy leg training where you use your whole body like squats and deadlifts. IF you train legs then these muscles will grow enough to accommodate the weight you use. I prefer to pre exhaust my legs and do barbell work at the end for this reason. And I go super deep to really get the most out of medium weight and medium/high reps. I don’t really care to squat 500 pounds for 1 rep more often than once a year, It is dangerous and makes you shorter and look fatter. I’ve never had a girl walk up to me and say “Wow, do you squat 500 pounds?” No one cares. Seriously.
So If You Want Awesome Abs
1) Diet down to a very low body fat, like 8% to get the abs you have visible, then you know what you have. Calipers under estimate visceral fat. Visceral fat is fat around your organs and pushes your muscles out making you look thicker despite having visible abs. I currently have detailed abs at 20% bodyfat because I personally have a high estrogen and thus high propensity to store my fat visceral, not subcutaneously.
2) Hold your gut in and stand up straight like you’re always naked. Even when you’re alone.
3) Practice the vacuum
4) Do rectus abdominis work like crunches and reverse crunches if necessary.
5) Don’t inject GH in your abdominal fat, it may act locally on your abdominal muscles. You’re better off using a GHRP sublingual spray like GHenerate for a number of reasons, for more on the flaws with GH and the relative strengths of peptides click here then here.