Ab exercises are worthless (or just about worthless) if you've been doing compound weight lifting exercises as laid out in the WLC System Manual.
Compound weight lifting exercises work and strengthen the abs VERY well. Compound weight lifting exercises look like this:
- Bench Press
- Overhead Press
- Chin Up
The weight lifting exercises listed above are the best ab exercises and it's not even close.
You can take ANY crunch exercise you can find, and it will NEVER compare. You're simply wasting time if you're trying to get better abs and ONLY doing ab exercises.
Are Your Abdominal Muscle Hiding Out?
Your abs may be hidden under a layer of fat (or two) and doing ab exercises that build the muscle under the layers of fat will do next to nothing in terms of you seeing those abs in the near future.
To see your abs, you simply need to get rid of those layers of body fat.
I guarantee you already have some amazing abdominals under the layers of fat. You will be extremely happy with them if you could only see what they look like.
So give them a chance before you start wasting your time with all those extra ab exercises.
Do we have a deal? Not yet…
You Need STRONG Abs
And you shouldn't just want to see your abs…
I'm sure you also want to have strong abs as well. Strong abdominals lead to a strong core which stabilizes, balances, and helps your mobility throughout life. A strong midsection is something all of us should have.
Let me ask you a question…
Which exercise option below do you think would help strengthen your abs and stabilize your body?
#1 – Barbell Squats with 275 Pounds for 8 reps
#2 – Crunches with Body Weight for 20 reps
There is no comparison between the 2 options I've given you above. The squats will squash the crunches when it comes to build strong and powerful abs. It's not even close.
The crunches in option 2 are next to worthless. You don't need them.
What's Wrong With Crunches?
All of those crunches and other ab exercises only burn a small number of calories which isn't going to go very far in helping you get a strong and lean midsection.
If you wait for those exercises to do something for you, I can guarantee you'll be waiting a long time.
And no one wants to wait a long time to get strong and lean abs.
I'm sure you've seen all of the different types of ab exercises that are out there. You've probably done some of them just as I have:
- Vertical Leg Crunch
- Raised Knee-Ins
- Flutter Kicks
- Reverse Crunches
- Swiss Ball Crunches
- Lying Side Crunch
- Side Planks
- Hanging Leg Raises
- Hanging Knee Raises
- Russian Twist
- Front Planks
- Bicycle Kicks
- Scissor Crunches
- Toe Taps
- Bird Dogs
- Incline Crunches
- Hip Thrust
I could go on with this for a LONG time. There are hundreds and hundreds of ab exercises out there. It's actually amazing once you start listing them out.
I think there might be more exercises for the abs than ANY other muscle group.
Before we move on, though, take a look at some of those exercises… flutter kicks??? Toe taps??? Come on. You don't need all of those. Let's get serious.
You're going to do much better following the WLC System. You'll get much faster results when you follow this powerful muscle building and fat burning system.
Compound Weight Lifting Exercises Work the Abs!
Don't get me wrong at all.
You do need to strengthen your abs and work your abs VERY WELL as they are extremely important.
BUT, you aren't going to do it the normal way as so many “experts” tell you.
You aren't doing flutter kicks, side crunches, pikes, crunches and twists, and so on. You're going to instead focus on getting lean with powerful foods and the right type and perfect amount of cardiovascular exercise. You'll use weight lifting to keep the lean muscle mass you have which in turn helps you burn more tummy fat.
You'll see how this is so much faster once you start seeing the results.
Exercises Have a Purpose
I want to make this point because so many people don't understand this point or even realize what I mean when I say this within the pages of the WLC System Manual.
What's the purpose of doing a weight lifting exercise like squats or deadlifts?
You aren't doing these exercises to burn calories.
You're doing these exercises because you want to get stronger and build muscle. Squats build muscle within your entire body but especially in your legs and butt. You don't do squats to burn fat from those areas. You do squats so those muscles look amazing when the fat is gone from those areas.
Same thing goes for ab exercises.
Why would you do an ab exercise? The entire goal of an exercise is to break down the muscle so your body can repair that muscle and build it back stronger and bigger than before. You're trying to trigger a response from your body.
If you have too much fat in your midsection, why would you want to do additional abdominal exercises that are meant to build bigger abs? Don't worry, though, the way most people do ab exercises aren't going to build any muscle anyway.
In order to build muscle and strength you need to increase the resistance you are using over time. Most people just keep doing 3 sets of 20 crunches and simply do the same thing over and over. That, my friend, is a WASTE of time.
Do you see my point, though?
If you want to see your abs, the ab exercises are going to do nothing for you.
Weight Lifting Exercises Build Muscle
You need to burn body fat through diet and cardiovascular exercise.
Weight lifting exercises are NOT specifically for burning fat or fat loss. The focus of weight lifting exercises is to build muscle and strength. This is explained in the WLC System.
If you attempt to use weight lifting for fat loss, you will fail. You'll start compromising and doing things that will make your goals even tougher to reach.
WARNING: You don't want to build huge abdominal muscles because they don't look good if they're huge. Right?
All you need are the compound weight lifting exercises to build strength in your core. They will look absolutely amazing with JUST the 7 core weight lifting exercises that I talked about earlier.
There's no need to do additional ab exercises. They will waste your time. If you begin adding weight progressively with ab exercises, your abs will grow in size.
This is good to know if you actually need to improve the appearance of your abs. You can also increase the strength of your abs by increasing their size. A larger muscle has the potential to be a stronger muscle. Notice I said potential.
Another Reason to NOT Add Ab Exercises to Weight Lifting Workouts
I never recommend that you fatigue your abs during you weight lifting workouts so much that it affects your core weight lifting exercises.
For example, if your abs are fatigued before you do squats you will affect your performance on squats.
I don't want that to happen.
Instead, you need all you have for each and every weight lifting exercise in the workouts I have designed for you. If you focus all your strength and stamina towards lifting heavier weights on the exercises I have chosen for you, you will build an amazing body and an amazing set of abs.
When the weight starts to get heavy for you, I promise you'll feel your abs working.
I've been there. Done that.
Just the other day I reached a new max weight on 1-arm dumbbell rows AND 1-arm overhead press in the same workout. My abs were being worked really hard.
Your abs are there to help stabilize you while you are lifting heavy weights. During 1-arm rows and 1-arm overhead press, your abs have to work really hard to stabilize you while lifting the heavy weights.
I could feel it, and you will too.
If I had worn down my abs and core before doing those exercises, I wouldn't have made my lifts. I needed everything I had to lift that amount of weight. Since I focused on getting stronger on those core exercises, I benefited much more than if I put the focus all on my abs before doing those exercises.
I hope I am explaining this properly.
If not, let me know so I can do a better job. Just leave a comment at the end of this page, and I will do my best to answer any questions you have and explain these concepts much better.
If You MUST Work Your Abs…
If you are lean enough to see your abs and you really do need to work on them, I highly recommend you work them on rest days and not with very much volume. This means a low number of exercises and a low number of sets.
Reps don't need to be really high for your abs.
If you need to build your abs, choose an exercise and focus on increasing the resistance to that exercise over time. You'll understand what I mean once you start using the weight lifting workouts here at WLC.
It's easy to make your own plan of progression for the ab exercise or ab exercises you choose.
If you can't yet see your abs, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you don't add ab exercises to your routines. If you simply must, please do them on your day off and don't fatigue them so much that they are sore for your weight lifting workouts.
Simply work on increasing the resistance on an ab exercise and keep volume low.
STOP Wasting Time Working Your Abs With Isolation Exercises…
Again, I'm sorry if you were looking for a huge list of ab exercises.
You won't find that list here at Weight Lifting Complete. I just don't recommend them at all. Your abs will be taken care of with the weight lifting workouts I provide.
And there will be no need to do additional ab exercises UNLESS you have a true weakness in your abs.
This is entirely possible as most of us have a weakness. My weakness is definitely not in my upper body or thighs BUT in my calves and glutes. And I've worked on those weaknesses over the years greatly. It takes time to develop your weaknesses.
If abs are your weakness, I will leave another article for that discussion and give you an entirely different plan.
This Is Why People Waste Their Time…
People have been led to believe by TV commercials, magazines, and websites that they can lose fat around their midsection simply by using some abdominal machine.
Ab machines are junk.
Again, you don't need them. Don't even listen to that infomercial.
Those people are so slick with words and techniques for selling that they will talk you into anything. If I sit down and really listen to an infomercial, I will buy whatever they are selling if I'm not careful. Those people are good.
One more warning just in case you didn't know…
The fitness models you see on TV, magazines, and websites that are there to sell ab machines or supplements DID NOT get their body from that ab machine or supplement. Not even close.
So don't let their bodies talk you into throwing your money at another worthless product.
Save your money.
Instead, get your free copy of the WLC System and your free weight lifting program from WLC. Spend your money on better foods instead and some good home weight lifting equipment that will last you a lifetime. Do not spend your money on supplements and ab machines. That's the right path to take.
I want you on the right path to better abs. Follow the WLC System, and you'll find that you don't need ab exercises!!!
Hope you enjoyed this page, and I hope I was able to open your eyes to the truth about ab exercises.