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The Six Pack

Tough Old Man

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Are sit-ups, crunches ect, really necessary to obtain a 6 pack or will diet and other exercises IE: bent over rows ect do the trick?
 

The_Beast

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Are sit-ups, crunches ect, really necessary to obtain a 6 pack or will diet and other exercises IE: bent over rows ect do the trick?

From experience it depends on the individual.

To have a well defined 6-pack you need:

1. A low body fat level especially on the abdomen (obviously)
2. Thick abdominal muscle bellies

The low body fat is a given.

Thick abdominal bellies give the "6-pack look" because they create a depth contrast with the tendinous lines between each of the "packs". Since those tendinous lines will not increase greatly in thickness, the thicker the muscle bellies are, the more visible will the 6-pack be.

Not every body needs to do a lot of abs work to have abdominal bellies thick enough for them to form a nice 6-pack. But the thicker they are, the more visible they will be even at a higher body fat level. In other words if your abs are thick you don't need to go down as low in body fat to see your 6-pack and by the same token, the thinner your abs are, the leaner you need to get to see it.

Some observations...

1. My friend used to train abs hard 3x per week for his first prep. He had great abs on stage but was told that his waist was too wide (he has narrow shoulders too). So for his next prep he didn't do much for his abs, especially during the off season (where thickness can more easily be built) and at the end his abs were MUCH worse on stage despite being leaner, and his waist was just as wide.

2. I also have a fairly thick waist from a powerlifting/strongman background. I also did a lot of heavy abs work and because of that had a 6-pack even when at a fairly high BF level (12-14%). I wanted a smaller waist and also stopped during abs work... and my abs are much less visible at my current body fat (8%) than they normally are.

On the other hand there are many bodybuilders who had good abs without doing any abs work. So it really depends if they are thick enough already.
 

Elvia1023

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Are sit-ups, crunches ect, really necessary to obtain a 6 pack or will diet and other exercises IE: bent over rows ect do the trick?

It all depends upon the individual. For most they are needed to different degrees. I am lucky in that department as I was naturally very lean etc. My abs looked their best and I had probably done a few sets of crunches in many months. They get excellent simulation during most compound exercises such as squats, barbell row, leg press etc. Just adding I think anyone would look better if they done all of the above. But for me to have a good 6 pack 'ab work' is not necessary at all.

The opposite can be seem in all gyms. How many guys do you see training their abs well. They do an array of ab execises (many with good form many with bad). They do set after set and they haven't got a hint of a 6 pack. 6 packs are primarily made in the kitchen. Genetics play a major role in all development but especially for the abs.
 

Elvia1023

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There ae so many conflicting opinions but I remember alittle light flashing in my head when Dorian once said how abs are like any other muscle they need to be trained with heavy weight to grow. My ab work mainly consists of 3 movments. I tend to do hanging knee raises above parallel (only effective way). Those knee raises are performedwithno added weight. Some weighted cruches (heavy weight) and then some broomstick twists either seated r standing. Thats it... nice and simple but very effective
 

plang

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I think it's genetic...I've probably done 4-5 sets of abs in the last 2 years...I have a six pack year round...it's just about low body fat
 

BIG EVIL42

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I think it's genetic...I've probably done 4-5 sets of abs in the last 2 years...I have a six pack year round...it's just about low body fat

I agree 100%. Genetic. Especially if you have done years of Multi-joint exercises that require rectus abdominal and lower back stabilization like squats, BB rows, and deadlifts. I do feel that "planks" are neccessary for complete abdominal development as you can only work the transverse abdominals by exhaling against resistance (example: blowing up a balloon) or holding a weight bearing isometric like the body plank....
 

tweb123

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I hardly ever train abs they just somehow appears on there own :D
 

plang

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I did one set of abs precontest
a6cd08f4-741d-d7a3.jpg

If I wasn't so flat in that pic (notice zero veins) they woulda looked 10x better
 

dece870717

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I got fucked in the abs/genetics/storing fat in certain places department. It always pisses me off, I see guys with up to 5% or more bodyfat than me and still freakin have abs. I'm almost at 10% now and I BARELY I mean BARELYYY have a 4 pack showing. Seeing my one friend before really blew me away, guy looks like crap all around(not much muscle and much more fat than me), doesn't have any shoulder separation or really any noticeable cuts in any of his muscles but has a light 6 pack showing. I'm like what the fuck is this shit?! :banghead:
 

rebeltex

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It all depends upon the individual. For most they are needed to different degrees. I am lucky in that department as I was naturally very lean etc. My abs looked their best and I had probably done a few sets of crunches in many months. They get excellent simulation during most compound exercises such as squats, barbell row, leg press etc. Just adding I think anyone would look better if they done all of the above. But for me to have a good 6 pack 'ab work' is not necessary at all.

The opposite can be seem in all gyms. How many guys do you see training their abs well. They do an array of ab execises (many with good form many with bad). They do set after set and they haven't got a hint of a 6 pack. 6 packs are primarily made in the kitchen. Genetics play a major role in all development but especially for the abs.

my thoughts exactly
 

SL1CED

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I got fucked in the abs/genetics/storing fat in certain places department. It always pisses me off, I see guys with up to 5% or more bodyfat than me and still freakin have abs. I'm almost at 10% now and I BARELY I mean BARELYYY have a 4 pack showing. Seeing my one friend before really blew me away, guy looks like crap all around(not much muscle and much more fat than me), doesn't have any shoulder separation or really any noticeable cuts in any of his muscles but has a light 6 pack showing. I'm like what the fuck is this shit?! :banghead:

Biggest bitch in the world right?

I'm pretty damn lean everywhere..have serratus muscles showing, have vascularity right BELOW my tummy fat on my hips. It's just the tummy that does not go. I'm starting to notice the upper abs come in. If you saw me without my shirt you wouldn't think it's the same gut under the shirt. Kind of discouraging.
 

Johnny Smiles

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before i ever did a sit up i had abs.
after doing sit ups i have abs.
after a terrible offseason with too much slin and terrible diet i had no abs:banghead:
-JS
 

SL1CED

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before i ever did a sit up i had abs.
after doing sit ups i have abs.
after a terrible offseason with too much slin and terrible diet i had no abs:banghead:
-JS

Terrible diet as in quality of food, or quantity, or bof?
 

calmuscle

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abs

You can bust your a** doing abs but if your BF isn't low and your diet tight you won't see em'. I'm blessed with good abs, but only when my BF is low. Attached pic is from last show.
 

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Johnny Smiles

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Terrible diet as in quality of food, or quantity, or bof?

i was a newb and it was years ago. back when all i wanted to do was watch the sclae go up so i ate everything and anything in pretty big quantities. put on 20 pounds in 2 weeks and went up 4 inches on my waist i bet...:banghead:
-JS
 

SL1CED

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i was a newb and it was years ago. back when all i wanted to do was watch the sclae go up so i ate everything and anything in pretty big quantities. put on 20 pounds in 2 weeks and went up 4 inches on my waist i bet...:banghead:
-JS

See food diet?

Worse way to bulk I figure is looking at the scale. Man, that was a huge waste. 20lbs in one summer, 4 inches on my waist.

I tell ya, it's what makes PM....PM. Be a beginner and go to other boards, you have people saying STFU & EAT! Or you're only X lbs, go eat! Stupid remark after stupid remark. I was told to just eat what's in sight and lift heavy. With a kid of my appetite, I ate like nearly 8000-9000 calories a day, easy.

How can they say that to me? My problem wasn't eating, it was to stop. Then they tell me to eat like that?

It's all invidiualized.
 

lostin760

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I personally feel like I get a better ab workout from Deadlifts/squats than targeting the abs with crunches or sit ups but this is only gauged off of next day soreness which I am not really sure is an accurate measure.
 

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