Iron man Iron Man USA April 2017 - Page 26

T2B TWIG TO BIG Avoiding direct AbdominAl work will become A limiting fAc- tor And prevent you from mAximizing your Athletic potentiAl. Even if you could argue or pull out a re- search study that disproved otherwise, there are no downsides to making your abdom- inal muscles as strong as possible. So why wouldn’t you include direct abdominal work in your programming? On top of that, each person’s ability to recruit muscles is different. What if you have a low capacity to recruit your abdominals in the first place? Just because you’re doing move- ments that are “supposed” to engage your abs doesn’t mean you’re still engaging them. You see, if you can’t recruit and challenge your abdominals with direct abdominal work- out, otherwise known as isolation training, then how in the world are you going to recruit your abdominals in heavy compound lifts? The answer is: You’re not. You’re going to disperse the tension to other strong bodyparts to make up for your weak links and escalate the chance of imbalances and force yourself into a plateau at best and a severe injury at worst. You see, if your capacity to recruit a certain muscle group is minimal, then it’s the same as trying to fire a cannon out of canoe. It’s not a matter of if you get hurt, it’s a matter of when. Avoiding direct abdominal work will be- come a limiting factor and prevent you from maximizing your athletic potential whether you’re involved in strength competitions, a functional fitness athlete, or you participate in traditional sports. Now, there are always exceptions to the rule. I can already hear the skeptics say, “But my buddy can deadlift over 500 pounds and he never trains abs.” Good for him. He’s either the rare exception (there are always excep- tions walking among us), or he simply hasn’t gotten injured yet. You should not be making decisions based on exceptions to the rule; you should be making them based on funda- mental training principles and logic. You’re going to want to find ways to directly challenge your abdominals, and I have just the workout for you to start adding into your program. Here is my own abdominal program directly out of my current eight-week training cycle. (You can check out my YouTube chan- nel to find this workout performed.) You will perform it one time per week to begin. Just be prepared for some deep-muscle soreness. Put this direct abdominal training program to work that I provided here and I guarantee you’ll see improvements in your squats, dead- lifts, military presses, pull-ups, and rows. IM 24 aprIl 2017 | ironmanmagazine.com Direct Abdominal Training A. Half-Kneeling Low-Pulley Pallof Press 2 x 6-8 reps each side Hold for five seconds each rep Rest 45 seconds between sets B. Hanging Garhammer Raises 2 x max reps Rest 45 seconds between sets C. Superman Plank 2 x 30 seconds Rest 45 seconds between sets D. Scissor Sit-Ups 2 x 5 each side Hold for three seconds in contracted position for each rep Rest 45 seconds between sets