Archive for the tag - overtraining

Can You Train Abs Everyday?

Hey Davey,

I’ve gotten plenty of tips for workouts from friends in the past but there’s one recurring rumor I keep hearing. To your knowledge, can ab exercises be done everyday? Or do you have to give them rest like you do the other parts of your body such as arms or legs?

From,
Max

Max,

Whether or not abs should be trained everyday is one of the million dollar fitness questions with elaborate theories for and against it.

Opponents of everyday ab training point out that our abs are just like any other muscle in the body – and that they can be overtrained. When we exercise with resistance, our muscles break down. Sufficient time is required for any muscle to rebuild, and so opponents believe that a day (or more) of rest is needed between ab workouts.

Proponents of everyday ab training believe that our abdominal muscles are unique. Because we use these muscles for almost any movement we make, it takes a lot of training to really fatigue these muscles. As such, it takes frequent training sessions for optimal results. And indeed, many bodybuilders do train their abs everyday.

I take a middle-of-the-line approach that combines both philosophies. I train my lower abs on one day, my upper abs on the second and my obliques (side abs) on the third. This gives sufficient rest to each area of my abdomen while still allowing more frequent ab training.

Of course, you’ll have to find what works best for you – and remember that you should never train a muscle that is still sore from a previous workout. Most people will be perfectly fine with 3 – 5 ab workouts per week.

Also keep in mind that, contrary to popular belief, the best way to improve abdominal definition is not with crunches or sit-ups. Any layer of fat (even a very thin one) will hide your six pack, and so it’s crucially important to engage in frequent and effective cardiovascular training (I recommend metabolism-boosting intervals).

I hope that helps!

Love,
Davey