When it comes Abdominal Training what many people think it is, is that you’re doing sit-ups, crunches and using crazy gadgets to get six pack abs. They believe if you do good ab work, you’re strong and healthy plus you look like a million bucks. Not so true. Just because you have a great waistline, ripping muscle all over the core area doesn’t mean you’re strong and healthy, some crack addicts have six pack abs.
The real thing about having healthy abs doesn’t always concern on what’s on the outside but what is inside that counts (sorry had to use a intro line from Aladdin). A powerful core is not just muscle but the strength within the internal organs and the core isn’t just the abdominals but the obliques, lower back and the transverse muscles all working in unison. When you isolate the abs you’re missing out on the other important muscles that tie together. Back in the early 20th century, men like Eugene Sandow, Maxick, Otto Arco, Alexander Zass and others didn’t rely on sit-ups, crunches, machines and gadgets because they didn’t exist back then, they relied on what they were training in certain lifts, isometric contractions and Muscle Control. These men were the pinnicle of Physical Perfection and they are still admired to this day.
Although some of the old-timers had great musculature, it wasn’t about looking great. It was about achieving strength and health from both inside and outside. You can have the most muscular abs on the planet but if you can’t move and your organs are shot than what’s the point? Some people believe if you have a 29 inch waist and weigh less than 185 lbs and are around 6’ than you’re awesome looking and have a triangular torso with mighty abs to show off, it doesn’t happen for everyone. Sit-ups and Crunches can give you some muscle but if your neck and back are weak than you’re not going to get anywhere. Believe it or not, some of the strongest and healthiest people in the world don’t have six pack abs but are still agile, flexible and supple. To get the most benefit for strong and healthy Core Strength and power it’s important to tie in as many muscles as possible throughout your training.
To build a powerful core, you play around with exercises that target that but the whole body comes into play. Lifting odd objects, strengthening the neck and back with Bridging, doing basic Gymnastic Movements, moving like a wild animal takes a lot of core strength, contracting the abs during plyometrics to protect your back from injury and even Sprints develop powerful abs because your whole body is fired up and you need to stabilize the core as you run because if you don’t you’re wobbling and could hurt yourself. Powerful abs is not always about the look, however, like the old-timers you can have great abs and still be extremely strong. One of my friends Logan Christopher is around 6’2 and about 190 lbs. or less, that’s pretty skinny for a guy that tall but yet is one of the strongest athletes pound for pound and has an extremely powerful core with great musculature. It’s true to build a powerful body, you need a powerful Core because the muscles there give a protective shield, helping you make the most out of your training.
I’m 5’10 and around 255 lbs. I don’t have six pack abs and quite frankly don’t really care but at the same time my core is very strong and mobile, flexible and supple. Without a strong Core I can’t fall back into a bridge, I wouldn’t be able to bear crawl efficiently, my stretching wouldn’t be that good and most of all without a strong core I couldn’t hold a bridge or do the TNT Cables/Chest Expander very well because I would collapse and my body wouldn’t be able to handle it. So you see even for a big man like myself, it’s still possible to have strong abs and still have strength to keep going. Cardio and crunches won’t help your cause, it takes real training to get what you want and it’s very basic. Start out slow and build up, believe me it feels like a dead end at first but as you get better, you’re getting closer to being strongest you can be.
If you want six pack abs than go for it but look to old school methods to help get you there and have fun with it, if you don’t desire to have muscled up abs but still want strength you can do that too. Be awesome and kick ass on your journey wherever it is.