Thick or Thin; You can’t lose with a Six Pack


There seems to be a lot of confusion about how often to work your abs.  Should you do them every day or just once a week?  The arguments for both are plentiful if you search on bodybuilding forums.  The answer is it depends on your goals.   There are 2 different schools of thought: Train abs the way you would any body part; once a week with a hardcore grueling workout vs. A quick ab workout every day or every other day.   Both of these will provide you with the core strength you need in order to prevent injury and be active.  To determine which way you should train your abs, you need to decide what you want the end result to look like.  Do you want small tight abs or do you want big muscular abs with deep ridges like a bodybuilder?    

Just like any other muscle group, if you put your abs through long grueling workouts the results will be bigger stronger abs providing you eat properly.   In order to increase the size of your abs you need to damage the muscle.  Muscles grow larger in response to the repair process that occurs when muscle is damaged.  When you feel that burn in your muscles, you are experiencing microtears in the muscle fibers.  This triggers the repair process which rebuilds your muscles making them bigger.  Most of the process takes place 24 to 48 hours after you exercise, which is why you should leave a couple days between repeating the same body part.

 Overworking them will not lead to a six pack.  If you constantly pound on them, your muscles will never have time to repair.   If your goal is a smaller tighter waist and abs then a lighter ab workout every other day is really what you need.  If you are going to do abs every day then to give your muscles time to repair and recover, perform different exercises for your core each day.  This will also help prevent repetitive stress injuries.  Varying your workouts can help increase the benefit from daily ab workouts by changing how you use your muscles.     Remember, no matter what your goal, overtraining any muscle group has the opposite effect of what you’re looking for.  Be smart about it.

 Like Rome, you can’t build a six pack in a day.   Tip:  The best way to build muscle with core exercises is to do them slowly with resistance.  If you are trying to burn calories while doing core exercises, perform them quicker and with less intensity so you can exercise longer and create a greater calorie burn.  


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