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  1. #1
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    Default Don't like training abs?

    So, I've been toying with the Pavel Ladder technique of performing a maximum number of reps over time without ever reaching failure. Here's a thread on the subject. At the same time, I have really let my core strength training go, and my back is reminding me of it daily. I don't really like core strength exercises, especially when I'm sucking at them, like right now.

    So, here's what I tried. I used the Pavel Ladder technique, but instead of letting my partner finish his set (I work out alone, so that's a tough one), I did a quick set of core exercises between them. Honestly, it was a great workout. This is my first time doing it, so I can't really speak of any results, but I'm just throwing it out there as an idea for people.

    Step 1: establish a goal number of reps to do. In my case, I was performing pullups and dips. My goal was to do 15 pullups and 75 dips (I know, I've let myself go) over 10 sets. For a one set max, I can do 5 pullups and 15 dips. Remember, you can't do too much early on, or you won't be able to complete the total number of reps.

    Step 2: Establish four or five different exercises for core strength, and a number of reps for each exercise. For example, crunchesx30, bicyclesx15, etc.

    Step 3: Keep moving between sets, and you'll keep your heart rate up and still be able to get all of your reps.

    Here's what this looked like for me:

    Pullups set 1
    Abs exercise 1
    Dips set 1
    Abs exercise 2
    Pullups set 2
    Abs exercise 3
    Dips set 2
    Abs exercise 4
    Pullups set 3
    Abs exercise 1
    Dips set 3
    Abs exercise 2
    Pullups set 4
    Abs exercise 3
    Dips set 4
    Abs exercise 4
    Pullups set 5
    Abs exercise 1
    Dips set 5
    Abs exercise 2
    Pullups set 6
    Abs exercise 3
    Dips set 6
    Abs exercise 4
    Pullups set 7
    Abs exercise 1
    Dips set 7
    Abs exercise 2
    Pullups set 8
    Abs exercise 3
    Dips set 8
    Abs exercise 4
    Pullups set 9
    Abs exercise 1
    Dips set 9
    Abs exercise 2
    Pullups set 10
    Abs exercise 3
    Dips set 10
    Abs exercise 4

    In about 30 minutes, I did 16 pullups, 79 dips, and 20 sets of ab work. I finished it up with 2x15 of curls and 2x15 of my favorite tricep exercise. And, of course, some cardio and stretching.

    Seems like a great way to get abs in and still increase strength.

    Eric


  2. #2
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    Default

    GREAT JOB with the workout. I'm definitely going to try it. Right now, as I prepare for the HAverhill, MA Combat Challenge, I'm doing combination lifts which involved a series of 3 exercises. The first and third ex.'s are fast with a slower strength ex. in between. Playing with the reps, weight, and rest period is fun and impact my strength AND endurance.

    One question about your back: is your lower back starting to hurt?
    Yours in health & safety,
    Rich Meyer, Strength Coach
    Author of FAST Responders: The Ultimate Guide to Firefighter Conditioning
    www.functionalfirefitness.com
    *Sign up for FREE training journal

  3. #3
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    Default

    That sounds like a great work out. Im looking for something that I think you found. THANXs.
    Rath De Ort

    RSM

  4. #4
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    Default

    Originally posted by madmaxx
    GREAT JOB with the workout. I'm definitely going to try it. Right now, as I prepare for the HAverhill, MA Combat Challenge, I'm doing combination lifts which involved a series of 3 exercises. The first and third ex.'s are fast with a slower strength ex. in between. Playing with the reps, weight, and rest period is fun and impact my strength AND endurance.

    One question about your back: is your lower back starting to hurt?
    Yeah, I've had back pain problems for a while. They are significantly better when I've been training abs and core strength for a month or so.

    Eric

  5. #5
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    Default Update

    After three weeks of this workout (4 workouts), here's my progress:

    Workout 1: 14 pullups, 73 dips in 10 sets
    Workout 4: 20 pullups, 90 dips in 10 sets

    I don't know what my one set max is, cause I haven't gone to failure yet, but I will test it out in a couple of weeks. Also, my abs are doing great. It is a lot easier to do abs knowing that I only need to do one set as opposed to starting abs when I know I have multiple sets ahead of me.

    Eric

  6. #6
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    Default

    Core training, especially with existing or previous back problems, is more about quality and efficiency than volume. If you train your core properly, it'll work during all other exercises and improve functional strength and stability. Remember though, stability should preceed strength which is the foundation for power.

    Have you noticed an increase in arm strength or size since you started the chin/dip routine?
    Yours in health & safety,
    Rich Meyer, Strength Coach
    Author of FAST Responders: The Ultimate Guide to Firefighter Conditioning
    www.functionalfirefitness.com
    *Sign up for FREE training journal

  7. #7
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    Default

    That's very true about core training. I am looking for a good book about core exercises, well at least one with a lot of fitball and free standing exercises, so I can get more variety. Right now I do planks (on my elbows or hands), bicycles crunches, bridges, and a few others which I've learned but don't know a good way to describe them.

    I have noticed a definite increase in arm strength and size. I have kinda small arms for my body (about 14.5" on a 6', 210 lb frame) and have always had a tough time with them. Maybe focusing on exercises like chins and dips is the way to go for arms?

    Eric

  8. #8
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    A good book for using Swiss balls is called "Strength Ball Training" by Goldenberg and Twist. Human Kinetics is the publisher. It has some awesome core and total body exercises.

    Dips and chins/pulls are a great way to add strength and mass to your arms. In both, you are pulling or pushing the weight of your body or additional poundage. Simply stated, any time you bend your arms, you stimulate the biceps. Anytime you extend the arms, you stimulate the triceps. If you're looking to add some size to your arms, you should try to vary your rep ranges to stimulate the different muscle fibers.
    Yours in health & safety,
    Rich Meyer, Strength Coach
    Author of FAST Responders: The Ultimate Guide to Firefighter Conditioning
    www.functionalfirefitness.com
    *Sign up for FREE training journal

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