Q: You guys often use weight for ab work, but I don’t want to build up my abs because I don’t want a big muscular belly. Shouldn’t I do high reps to keep the muscle toned rather than growing? I want maximum abs from a detail standpoint, not size!
A: Your fear is a common misconception that can prevent fast, dramatic etched abs. The rectus abdominis is a long flat muscle. It CANNOT attain a lot of bulbous mass no matter how much weight you use and how hard you train it.
(Note: The protruding bellies you see on some pro bodybuilders are caused by drug use that bloats their internal organs.)…
The reason you should use weights for maximum abs and train them like any other bodypart is because you DO want to build the muscle. Here’s why: Those lines you see running across the abdomen and one down the center, are tendons that “strap down” the muscle.
So if you develop the long, flat rectus abdominis with weight, those tendons will sit deeper as the muscle rises a bit higher on either side….
That means etched abs to the extreme that can be seen from a hundred yards away as you stroll up the beach. Very impressive!
So use progressive resistance to give your abs some eye-popping assistance. (For more on fast ab development and precision full-range workouts, see the X-traordinary Abs e-book.)
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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