- What stage of the workout should I train my abdominals?
dominant paradigm is that the abs should be trained last in the workout. But
what if they're the weakest body part? Doesn't seem to matter to some
"experts." What if they're the number one training focus for
performance? Again it doesn't seem to matter - they're placed last. Why? The
repetitive answer I get to this is, "They cause fatigue of stabilizers and
it would be dangerous to do things like squats after doing abs."
evidence, empirical or research? Again, that doesn't seem to matter. Nobody
does abdominals first! What a load of trash! The excuses support the paradigm,
nothing more. I train abdominals first when they're priority for whatever
reason, and only put them at the end of the workout when I don't want to dilute
substrate or emotional energy prior to maximal strength workout. In other words,
I wouldn't want a total body fatigue draining the neuromuscular system, thus
reducing the potential load. So there's an occasional reason to place ab
training last in your workout, but has nothing to do with preventing injuries!
- How should I periodize my abdominal training?
I like to commence a training career, year or block, with the mastering of
control/stability sub-quality (See below), and then over time phase along the
sub quality continuum to my end goal. This is simply moving from left to right
along the strength sub-qualities continuum. If the sub-quality I want to peak on
is from earlier along the continuum, I return to it.
> General Strength/Hypertrophy > Maximal Strength > Speed Strength >
Division - Is there
more than one abdominal muscle?
I break the
abdominal down into six muscle groups or functions. This may not be technically
correct in the strictest sense, it's just a simple and effective approach to
ensuring exposure to every @part@ of the abs and other trunk stabilizers.
"Lower" abdominal e.g. hip flexion
"Upper" abdominal e.g. trunk flexion
3. Lateral flexion
e.g. side bends
4. Rotation e.g.
of abdominal and gluteal
6. Integration of
total trunk stability
Allocation - Which of
the 6 sub-groups do I train on which days? If you're training
with a day or more rest between sessions, you can afford to do all six
sub-groups within one training session. You don't have to, but you can. If
you're training two or more days in a row with no day off, then I recommend you
don't train all six in the one session. I might allocate abdominal sub-groups in
the following way in a four day split:
A - Lower Abs,
Lateral flexion, co-contraction
B - Upper Abs,
C - Lower Abs,
lateral flexion, co-contraction Integration
D - Upper abs,
the #1 ABS Program!