Are Abdominal Crunches Necessary To Produce Bodybuilder Level Stomach Muscle Definition?

Published: 17th March 2009
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Bodybuilders often seek to develop the abdominal muscles, as this particular area helps produce a visibly pleasing physique. In hopes of achieving the most impressive abdominal shape, bodybuilders frequently implement body weight exercises such as crunches or sit-ups, and sometimes even increase resistance by adding weight to induce failure within a lower rep range, taxing the abdominal muscles with considerable intensity to theoretically improve appearance.

But is the commonly held belief that crunches are the most potent abdominal exercise yet another in the plethora of bodybuilding myths? Not quite, but the idea that direct abdominal training is the key to improving mid-section appearance is a very misleading connotation, as exercise is actually the least important technique in producing impressive abdominal definition, since a proper diet is the basis supporting the success of any correctly structured abdominal muscle routine.

For abdominal muscles to reach the impressive appearance all bodybuilders seek, muscle size need not necessarily increase by any substantial margin, but body fat, which covers abdominal muscles and diminishes their apparent shape, must decline dramatically to improve definition, which is the very goal that all bodybuilders seeking to enhance the stomach musculature are striving for. Although in other muscle groups, weight lifting is normally the technique used to improve muscle impressiveness, abdominal definition is more dependant upon body fat level than mid-section muscle mass improvements, therefore a properly designed fat loss diet system is the secret to producing a sleek, muscular abdominal section.

What many bodybuilders are not aware of is that performing a large number of abdominal crunches or sit-ups will cause very little if any stomach appearance improvements unless accompanied by substantial body fat reduction, and the latter goal does not depend in any way upon direct abdominal training, but rather is contingent on whether diet variables are correctly constructed for consistent fat loss, and this not only involves the proper caloric intake for a bodybuilder's personal metabolic rate, but also effective fat, carb and protein ratios so that sufficient macronutrients are present to create an ideal fat loss environment for abdominal definition improvement. The number of bodybuilders who regularly perform abdominal crunches or sit-ups without any apparent mid-section improvement is staggering, and due to lackluster results, they then seek other abdominal muscle building exercises, when in fact, direct stomach training is not related to mid-section definition, and any bodybuilder suffering from disappointing ab development is in desperate need of a structured, efficient fat loss diet system.

In addition to a correctly designed diet, a bodybuilder should implement aerobic activity five days per week when he or she is attempting to improve definition in any muscle group, as although cardiovascular exercise does not substantially impact abdominal definition when following a poorly structured diet plan (which is why many mistakenly assume aerobics is ineffective), cardio will significantly enhance the speed of fat loss when used in conjunction with a potent diet philosophy. As you'll notice, I have yet to place emphasis upon sit-ups or abdominal crunches, the two most often pursued solutions by bodybuilders attempting to significantly enhance abdominal appearance, as despite their popularity, such exercises actually rank last in terms of priority when seeking abdominal improvement, behind cardiovascular activity, and the most important tactic which numerous bodybuilders fail to address, a intelligently structured fat loss bodybuilding diet plan which will improve definition in all areas.

The advantages of pursuing a fat loss phase do not only relate to abdominal enhancement, but will actually cause the biceps, chest, arms, and all other muscle groups to appear bigger, specifically because they become more defined with the missing layers of fat. So, when you are searching to improve abdominal appearance, remember that sit-ups and crunches are far less important than integrating effective fat loss diet techniques, despite the propaganda you've read surrounding crunches. When you decide to aim for fat reduction, you need not fear muscle loss if you continue to implement correct weight lifting workout techniques, and make certain to never drastically reduce calories, and avoid low carbohydrate diet routines, as both can quickly burn away muscle tissue, which will harm, as opposed to enhance, overall body appearance. Lastly, I urge you to continue performing abdominal crunches or sit-ups, but know that the fat layer must vanish before the fruits of your labor become apparent, and this is directly related to how you eat, as opposed to abdominal exercise.

Francesco Castano authors, a bodybuilding routine for muscle gain without supplements or drugs. He also owns, an online fitness superstore selling fitness equipment at guaranteed lowest prices.

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