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Steve Kaspar
12-14-2008, 05:32 PM
i would like to hear some opinions on how to get the defined abs look. i know the core strength workouts of kettlebell swings, overhead squats, walking around with a barbell extended overhead for as far as you can walk, and deadlifts and a bunch of others build a strong core, but what are a few of the best ab exercises to get the 6 abs showing? i have been doing the standard crunches, situps, leg raises, since 1959, and i do have a nice 6 pack, but it really only shows if i exhale...flat stomach with 0 fat, but not the 6 pack look i'm after.
how do i get this look and what are the best exercises to achieve this?
thanks alot
steve

Chris Salvato
12-14-2008, 05:34 PM
use your fork less....best workout advice for getting your abs to show imho

EDIT: Since 1959? Its a hard goal to obtain when you are 30+, 40+ and 50+...though still possible IMHO...it is much harder though. Diet is the key to abs and always will be..

Donald Lee
12-14-2008, 05:36 PM
Standing Ab-wheel rollouts with a weighted vest

Kevin Perry
12-14-2008, 05:40 PM
I would assume that if you have already done enough stabilizer and direct abdominal work then the rest just comes down to diet. And if your diet is perfect then the rest comes down to genetics. Some people have that perfect ab look others not so much. I don't think people on this board put a whole lot on abs though.

Brian DeGennaro
12-14-2008, 05:43 PM
Sprint. Short or long. Hard. That's the best way to get defined abs I think, coupled with a good diet. I remember I was at my leanest (3%-5% lower than normal) during track season, especially indoor and outdoor.

George Mounce
12-14-2008, 05:44 PM
Its either your food choices or how you are eating them.

Seriously, who cares about a six-pack unless its a good beer.

Jason Lin
12-14-2008, 05:55 PM
Stop drinking water?

Matt Edwards
12-14-2008, 06:03 PM
cardio/interval training. Typically everyone has the defined six-pack, but forget to burn off the fat around the abs to get them to show.

Steve Kaspar
12-14-2008, 06:54 PM
thanks for the quick replies.
yep, started training as a gymnast todler at age 4..since 1959... i'm 6' 145#
i currently cycle the pro cat 1-2 level races. very tough...
was a 4:19 miler, and played semi pro ice hockey. body % has been 3-4-5% always. i imagine its a genetic thing. maybe there are a few exercises to do that will define them more.
its my challenge to get them, like all goals in sport. maybe hanging off the bar and elbows to knees??? i have no rings, but the awsome pullup/dip bar with the place to do the knee-ups. maybe weighted knee-ups.
diet perfect my whole life. just see the abs when i flex them, not like some guys that have the big ab muscles..
thanks for the comments.
steve

George Mounce
12-14-2008, 06:56 PM
thanks for the quick replies.
yep, started training as a gymnast todler at age 4..since 1959... i'm 6' 145#
i currently cycle the pro cat 1-2 level races. very tough...
was a 4:19 miler, and played semi pro ice hockey. body % has been 3-4-5% always. i imagine its a genetic thing. maybe there are a few exercises to do that will define them more.
its my challenge to get them, like all goals in sport. maybe hanging off the bar and elbows to knees??? i have no rings, but the awsome pullup/dip bar with the place to do the knee-ups. maybe weighted knee-ups.
diet perfect my whole life. just see the abs when i flex them, not like some guys that have the big ab muscles..
thanks for the comments.
steve

Exercise to define them more? Very unlikely. Diet is the key, and I'm guessing yours isn't perfect, nobody's is. I can have a six pack on a pretty unmoderated Paleo diet. You also don't weigh much, pack on some muscle all over your body and you'd see a huge difference I'm guessing.

Chris Salvato
12-14-2008, 07:12 PM
You also don't weigh much, pack on some muscle all over your body and you'd see a huge difference I'm guessing.

I concur. SS for 3 months with GOMAD will bring your weight up...lose some fat after that with x-fit metcons and good diet and i reckon it will be a ton easier for you.

Dan Heaney
12-15-2008, 02:27 AM
thanks for the quick replies.
yep, started training as a gymnast todler at age 4..since 1959... i'm 6' 145#
i currently cycle the pro cat 1-2 level races. very tough...
was a 4:19 miler, and played semi pro ice hockey. body % has been 3-4-5% always. i imagine its a genetic thing. maybe there are a few exercises to do that will define them more.
its my challenge to get them, like all goals in sport. maybe hanging off the bar and elbows to knees??? i have no rings, but the awsome pullup/dip bar with the place to do the knee-ups. maybe weighted knee-ups.
diet perfect my whole life. just see the abs when i flex them, not like some guys that have the big ab muscles..
thanks for the comments.
steve

I had best results with weighted abs exercises but I counldn't agree more that the fork is the key. I didn't have defined abs no matter what I tried until I controlled my eating

Steve Kaspar
12-15-2008, 05:31 AM
thanks alot for all the comments.
no SS or GOMAD for me. i am not trying to bulk up, or gain weight. i'm 145# the past 30-40 years, and thats where i'm staying. i use all my energy bicycle training bicycle racing, and training with weights for my racing. i trained in sports to be the best i can be at that sport. trained very hard at ice hockey and made it to the semi pro level. trained hard at running and got to 4:19 in the mile indoors.currently training very hard at cycling these past 10 years and doing ok with that.
i'm not after trying to be pretty good at lots of sports and exercises, but to be good, or very good at one sport. this coming race season i'll be 54, and it may be my last season. then i'll get into the xfit mentality of repitition/specificity is the enemy, and i'll do all the exercises, not trying to master any one..just wanted some opinions on new exercises to build the very defined ab look. thanks alot for all your comments and suggestions.
steve

Gant Grimes
12-15-2008, 06:10 AM
i use all my energy bicycle training bicycle racing, and training with weights for my racing.

That's pretty much it.

Chris Salvato
12-15-2008, 06:44 AM
Agreed with Gant.

You're priorities don't give you the luxury of looking out for the best aesthetics.

Good luck this season :)

Dave Van Skike
12-15-2008, 10:19 AM
zercher squats.

Derek Simonds
12-15-2008, 10:29 AM
I really have nothing to add but saw the topic and saw that Dave had responded and well you know here I am.

Interesting discussion. Best of luck Steve on your goals.

Rafe Kelley
12-16-2008, 12:11 PM
First you need to know if the lack of abdominal definition is due to fat over the abdomen or due to a lack of hypertrophy in the rectus abdominus. You say you test at 3-5 percent body fat thats difficult to believe but if so tell me is your ab caliper measurement significantly higher then your other measurements? If so
excessive cortisol is probably causing you to deposit all the fat you do have on your abs so even though your stomach is flat and you are over all very lean this area refuses to look defined. If your doing allot of long distance biking this is not unlikely, as that raises Cortisol levels substantially, switching out some of your riding for more intense interval training and weight lifting, getting your diet very clean and practicing good recovery habits(consistent sleep in bed early 8-10 hours being the most important) will take care of that. If your caliper test on your abdomen is not significantly higher then elsewhere you probably have a relatively thin rectus abdominus or less taut tendons over the rectus(the bulging of the rectus against those tendons that causes the six pack shape). In that case you need to hypertrophy your abdominals if your relatively strong most straight bodyweight exercises will not do a whole lot to increase hypertrophy in the area. The SS suggestion is a very good one, it is going to be hard to add muscle in that specific area without adding muscle more globally through the heavy hormonal effects of major lifts like the squat and deadlift. If your determined to focus just on your abs and not willing to gain muscle anywhere else, hypertrophy range weighted abdominal exercises like weighted sit ups, hanging knee's to elbows with your feet weighted, ab wheel roll outs with weight vest etc is about the only option that might help you.

Gavin Harrison
12-18-2008, 11:57 PM
i'm 6' 145#

You should be somewhere about 100 lbs heavier than what you are now :P

Dave Van Skike
12-19-2008, 03:51 AM
You should be somewhere about 100 lbs heavier than what you are now :P

he's a competitive bike racer...those numbers are legit to that end.

George Mounce
12-19-2008, 04:40 AM
thanks alot for all the comments.
no SS or GOMAD for me. i am not trying to bulk up, or gain weight. i'm 145# the past 30-40 years, and thats where i'm staying. i use all my energy bicycle training bicycle racing, and training with weights for my racing. i trained in sports to be the best i can be at that sport. trained very hard at ice hockey and made it to the semi pro level. trained hard at running and got to 4:19 in the mile indoors.currently training very hard at cycling these past 10 years and doing ok with that.
i'm not after trying to be pretty good at lots of sports and exercises, but to be good, or very good at one sport. this coming race season i'll be 54, and it may be my last season. then i'll get into the xfit mentality of repitition/specificity is the enemy, and i'll do all the exercises, not trying to master any one..just wanted some opinions on new exercises to build the very defined ab look. thanks alot for all your comments and suggestions.
steve

But what weight were you in hockey? I played through college - 145 you'd get destroyed. At 6' (thats 6'3" on skates) you need to be 190-200 as a forward or 200-225 to even be competitive against a 6'5" defensemen. My guess is you weighed a lot more at this time, and you'd have the abs you want, or you weren't making it past the semi pro level being so light. Even "small" forwards in the NHL don't weigh less than 185.

You aren't going to get the look you want unless you pack on the muscle. Abs are made with the kitchen first and foremost, then with the stimuli. Ugh...enough on this, it sounds like a bodybuilding forum now.

Mike ODonnell
12-19-2008, 07:54 AM
You aren't going to get the look you want unless you pack on the muscle. Abs are made with the kitchen first and foremost, then with the stimuli.

Point...Set...Match.

Looking for anything else is trying to find the answer you want to hear in situps and never picking up heavy weights....which is not going to happen. But I am sure there is some ebook on the net for $69 on how to get ripped abs with ab workouts 3x a week that would be glad to take your money and leave you with no results.

The answers may be simple....but yet not so to actually implement them.

Allen Yeh
12-19-2008, 08:11 AM
he's a competitive bike racer...those numbers are legit to that end.

Ditto.

Steve Kaspar
12-20-2008, 02:17 PM
hey george
nice to hear of another hockey player out there.
i played from 1967 (age 12) till 1980. stopped when the rink burnt down where i trained..
yep, i was very small. i cant remember, but i think 145-150 playing weight.
yep, they were big. big and fast and tough. glad i didnt get killed and was good enough to play semi pro. my friend who lived across the alley was the manager of the rink where we trained from maybe 1975-1980 and while i worked the night shift 4-12:30, i had all day to train. and we trained hard.
he was an inch at best taller than me and had 25 # on me. he was scouted and asked to try out for the 1976 olympic hockey team. i thougt i was just as good, but i am 100% sure i was too small, and i was a forward. he played defense. anyway he was the 6th last gut to get cut, so he did very well. when he came back he said he was one of the smallest guys there , but and he never bragged, as his nick name was arthur murray(famous dancer) he said he could skate better than all of them.
he remeined me of paul coffee. effortless. anyway we trained together lots of years and got to be halfway good. i was small, took some punishment, but scored alot too...
now days, i watch a game and the guys are all 6'2" or bigger.
but getting on the original subject of abs, i was always fascinated at guys with ripped abs, as its the focal point of the front part of your body.
i got them but my original post is how to make them more defined. seems like most of the replies say bulk up, but its impossible bicycle training the way i do.
thanks alot for all the kind comments. i may just add some more weight to my knee ups or leg raises.
thanks again
steve kaspar

Alan O'Donnell
12-20-2008, 03:52 PM
Have you tried doing l-sits? My abs got pretty jacked once I learned how to do them with my fists on the floor (I'm don't have quite enough pike flexibiity to do them on my palms yet). Doing them on rings is even better.

Patrick Yeung
01-03-2009, 01:03 PM
thanks alot for all the comments.
no SS or GOMAD for me. i am not trying to bulk up, or gain weight. i'm 145# the past 30-40 years, and thats where i'm staying. i use all my energy bicycle training bicycle racing, and training with weights for my racing. i trained in sports to be the best i can be at that sport. trained very hard at ice hockey and made it to the semi pro level. trained hard at running and got to 4:19 in the mile indoors.currently training very hard at cycling these past 10 years and doing ok with that.
i'm not after trying to be pretty good at lots of sports and exercises, but to be good, or very good at one sport. this coming race season i'll be 54, and it may be my last season. then i'll get into the xfit mentality of repitition/specificity is the enemy, and i'll do all the exercises, not trying to master any one..just wanted some opinions on new exercises to build the very defined ab look. thanks alot for all your comments and suggestions.
steve



I havent read all of this, maybe someone said it, but I dont think anyone really noticed you said you were a cyclist, and what a cyclist looks like.

Im guessing youre pretty skinny, and are not lifting heavy weights, like the squat or deadlift. And, I bet youre carrying a higher BF% than alot of the people here. I used to do endurance training, and never had a 6pack. Your muscle to fat ratio is just too high, and its hard to get it low enough because, you dont have much muscle.

What im saying is, you may not even have a 6 pack under the fat. I never had one at 135 and endurance training, but ive got it at 155.

Joe Bernard
01-13-2009, 03:19 PM
I know diet is key for a six-pack, but some exercises are definitely better than others at getting abs to show. You said you've done gymnastics, I can't think of a better way to get a six-pack to show than to do that. L-sits, straddles, planches, back and front levers, free-standing HSPUs, MUs, rountines on rings...the list is endless. Given your background in gymnastics I'm surprised you asked this question. I read that you don't have rings, that's fine because the fundamental static positions can be done on the floor and absolutley fry your abs.

Also, try to work on harder progressions of the knees to elbows. For example, try to do feet to hands, and windshield wipers while feet are pointed at the ceiling from a dead-hang on bars.

I used to be obsessed about abs and getting the "perfect" six-pack as well. I did ab workouts 2-3x/week and I barely did any other strength training. After stepping back, I realized what I was doing and stopped my ab training all together. I switched to doing the CF WODs with some occasional ab work as a part of my warmup and lo and behold, my abs became more defined. I also ate more, which helped as well. Honestly, training for abs and doing crunches endlessly will result in less defined abs as opposed to doing functional exercises such as training for a 60sec L-sit (or other static position), or doing DLs, OHSs, pull-ups, dips, MUs, etc.

Dean Saunders
03-10-2009, 09:31 PM
[Seriously, who cares about a six-pack unless its a good beer.[/QUOTE]

Amen

Ben Reynolds
07-14-2009, 03:09 PM
thanks for the quick replies.
yep, started training as a gymnast todler at age 4..since 1959... i'm 6' 145#
i currently cycle the pro cat 1-2 level races. very tough...
was a 4:19 miler, and played semi pro ice hockey. body % has been 3-4-5% always. i imagine its a genetic thing. maybe there are a few exercises to do that will define them more.
its my challenge to get them, like all goals in sport. maybe hanging off the bar and elbows to knees??? i have no rings, but the awsome pullup/dip bar with the place to do the knee-ups. maybe weighted knee-ups.
diet perfect my whole life. just see the abs when i flex them, not like some guys that have the big ab muscles..
thanks for the comments.
steve

It might work to try overhead squats if you have the shoulder flexibility. Personally, I've always seen excellent results from L-sit pullups. One particularly weird option I tried was performing pullups and bar dips while bicycle kicking as fast I could, directing force straight in front. For some reason those kicks did a great deal to ramp up the intensity.

If knee-ups get easy, try doing them straight legged. The diminished leverage will build abs much faster. Front levers are also great to incorporate for core work.