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Can you change the shape of your abs

Gunsmith

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I'm wondering if is possible for someone to change the shape of their abs , I've noticed that some guys on stage every though they are ver lean and the abs are visible they just don't "pop" like some other people , like they don't have the deep lines between them.
is that due to how they train them , or don't train them.??
I have always trained mine with weighted cable crunch , weighted leg lifts and straight legs raises and they look normal and assumed they were like most other muscle and respond well to heavy loads.
and older guy that use to train at my gym that competed for decades, stayed very lean , trained abs every day doing hundreds of crunches and knee raises but his abs while very lean were just barely visible lines even 30 years ago in his prime they were not very defined. I've seen this with several pros as well and always wondered if that was just how their genetics design their abs

what are your favorite ab exercises??
 

Dieselboss

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I'm wondering if is possible for someone to change the shape of their abs , I've noticed that some guys on stage every though they are ver lean and the abs are visible they just don't "pop" like some other people , like they don't have the deep lines between them.
is that due to how they train them , or don't train them.??
I have always trained mine with weighted cable crunch , weighted leg lifts and straight legs raises and they look normal and assumed they were like most other muscle and respond well to heavy loads.
and older guy that use to train at my gym that competed for decades, stayed very lean , trained abs every day doing hundreds of crunches and knee raises but his abs while very lean were just barely visible lines even 30 years ago in his prime they were not very defined. I've seen this with several pros as well and always wondered if that was just how their genetics design their abs

what are your favorite ab exercises??
That's a good question, I never really even thought about that either. I would assume most of it has to do with genetics??? I don't know though.

I started out with hanging leg raises, then eventually held a dumbell with my feet to do them as I progressed. After that, I went to a cable using relatively heavy weight, and doing maybe 8 crunches per set. I would do that for each side too. Those have since, been my favorite by far.
 

lookslikesausage

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I'd only look to Boyer Coe as an example to answer your question. Conversely, I've known guys who barely did any ab work and had great looking abs when in shape. I personally hate ab and core training, especially planks (so boring). McGill's Big 5 is something I've spent time with given that I have a lower back injury. It's very boring in my experience. Nautilus and then later Hammer Strength both made a very similar Seated Crunch machine that also incorporated a knee raise motion to do in tandem with the crunch motion. I found this machine pretty good in terms of machines and also ab movements. Also, Hanging Leg Raise with straight legs and once close to failure switch to Hanging Knee Raise. Ab Wheel is nice when done correctly (often it's not and people use their shoulders to much).
 

qbkilla

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I think it is 100 percent genetic, I stay lean never have had the lines, see many guys who don't. I think the key is "core training" vs tryin to hypertrophy the abs. With seeing how many look and reading threads lately, id say the mindset "avoid distention at all costs" is a good one. Someone can have huge pecs, big shoulders, great arms, but if it looks like you swallowed a keg, whats the point? Keep it tight.
 

SouthernMuscle

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I'd only look to Boyer Coe as an example to answer your question. Conversely, I've known guys who barely did any ab work and had great looking abs when in shape. I personally hate ab and core training, especially planks (so boring). McGill's Big 5 is something I've spent time with given that I have a lower back injury. It's very boring in my experience. Nautilus and then later Hammer Strength both made a very similar Seated Crunch machine that also incorporated a knee raise motion to do in tandem with the crunch motion. I found this machine pretty good in terms of machines and also ab movements. Also, Hanging Leg Raise with straight legs and once close to failure switch to Hanging Knee Raise. Ab Wheel is nice when done correctly (often it's not and people use their shoulders to much).
Hell yes 👍🏻
 

Type-IIx

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The angle of pennation is genetic and determines to a large extent the shape. The density can definitely be altered, hGH and insulin has a noticeable effect. Training heavier and doing work that thickens the "deep abs" like the transverse abs (and having genetics that preferentially grows them) might look worse for some guys, giving them a weird thickness with less separation to the judge/observer. Basically, shape in terms of pennation is genetic, but you can alter a lot by different training (e.g. heavy compound vs. reps in isolation) and how you respond to supplements.
 

buck

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People with more separation between their abs can have an easier time showing them i have found at the same level of body fat. Very narrow tendons make that harder. Making the muscle thicker on works some for showing separation.
 

3BILLS

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Come on bro. Haven’t you been around long enough to ask something like this ?
 

tjitsu

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Come on bro. Haven’t you been around long enough to ask something like this ?
Yes because wise people know it all, stupid people ask, ponder and leave room for new ideas….

I love the threads gunsmith starts personally and I’m always interested in learning and exchanging ideas 👌
 

3BILLS

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Ok how would you go about changing the shape of a muscle then ?
 

N.L....M.....

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Yes because wise people know it all, stupid people ask, ponder and leave room for new ideas….

I love the threads gunsmith starts personally and I’m always interested in learning and exchanging ideas 👌
Well common sense is no you can’t change the shape of a muscle. A muscle can grow, stay the same size, or atrophy.

I train abs like I do every muscle with progressive overload.
 

pickapeck

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Probably you can emphesize different exercises to get overall development but the general shape I think is what you're born with save some mad doctor experiment. I think you should work the just like every other muscle. I'm seeing a lot of older athletes with Abdominal rectus diastasis where the abdominal linea alba stretch. Some think this is due to inadequate training leading to stretching under compressive force over time.
 

alfresco

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If you could truly change the shape of a muscle (abs for instance) then every bodybuilder would look the same . . . which they don’t thank God. That is one of the things that makes bodybuilding interesting, the different shapes and sizes we all come in.
 

Bleed

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You can not change the shape of any muscle. You can make something like say your brachialis much bigger to where it creates the illusion that you changed the shape of you arm but all you did was make one muscle bigger. You could argue you did in fact "change the shape" by enlarging it.

It's all an optical illusion.

With enough improvements you can "look" like you changed the shape of your entire body. But you didnt change the existing shape of the muscle. You just increased the cross sectional area.
 

N.L....M.....

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I remember Boyer Coe saying, after he was working out for a while,
showing his dad his biceps and the split he had in it. His Dad
rolled up his sleeve and flexing his arm, said I have the same
thing. And he did. So much for genetics.
Ive got the same shape and structure as my dad. We even store fat the same.
 

mexbeast

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Just curious why gunner asks this type of questions? Aren't you older than me? You were a vet when i first joined.
So just wondering, do you just want people to debate? I ask because i see you post some things that would be considered beginners questions
 

buck

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If training heavy you can make the muscle itself thicker which may give the impression of better separation. But doesn't seem to really change thigs a lot. 1 year i trained my core harder then usual and next summer my waist was 1 inch bigger at the same % of BF. So i quit training the core hard.
 

maldorf

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If training heavy you can make the muscle itself thicker which may give the impression of better separation. But doesn't seem to really change thigs a lot. 1 year i trained my core harder then usual and next summer my waist was 1 inch bigger at the same % of BF. So i quit training the core hard.
Phil Hernon always told me to not train abs with weights, or not at all. Been many years now and I can't remember exactly what he told me. I always respected Phil's training.
 

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