ABS Myths | Mistakes You Must Avoid
Here are facts from Arnold’s book
Since most oft he top bodybuilders today, regardless of stature, are massively developed for their body size, the most important goal of abdominal training has become definition. This involves two things-training and developing the abdominals and reducing body fat sufficiently to reveal the muscularity underneath.
When I got into bodybuilding most competitors believed in something called spot reduction, and there are a lot of people who still think this is possible. Spot reduction refers to training a specific muscle in order to burn off fat in that particular area. According to this idea, to develop abdominal definition, you do a lot of ab training, lots of high reps, and burn away the fat that is obscuring the development of the abdominal muscles. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work. When the body is in caloric deficit
and begins metabolizing fat for energy, it doesn’t go to an area where the muscles are doing a lot of work in order to get additional energy resources. The body has a genetically programmed pattern by which it determines from what adipose cells to access stored fat energy. Exercise does burn
calories, of course, but the abdominals are such relatively small muscles that no matter how much ab training you do you won’t metabolize nearly the energy you would by simply going for a walk for the same amount of time.
But this is not to say that training a given area like the abs doesn’t increase definition. As I said, the abdominals get a hard workout when you do heavy exercises, but what they don’t get is quality training – that is, isolation, full-range-of-movement exercises. Movements that do this bring out the full shape and separation of the abdominals instead of just
making them bigger. So although training the abs like this doesn’t do a lot to reduce the fat around the waistline, it does create very well defined muscles that are revealed once you are able to reduce your body fat sufficiently by means of diet and aerobic exercise.