Defining a Marvellous Midsection

Building The Obliques

It’s always been my understanding that most bodybuilders want to have little if any obliques. But some lay claim to some exercises that promote their growth.

Where do you stand on this? Thank you.

Obliques are only desirable if you have a very small waist, like Frank Zane.

If you do not, you will ruin your taper.

Lose Fat Around the Waist

I was wondering if you could give me some extra help with a problem I am having.

I have been training for 8 months, and can’t seem to lose around my waist.

I do situps, leg raises, frog sit ups, and side bends. I don’t seem to be losing any inches around the middle.

I eat 800 calories a day, but this doesn’t help. Any help would be appreciated.

The first step I take when preparing for a photo session or contest is to get rid of any soft tissue on my body. How do I do it? I go on a meat and eggs diet. Then I begin my training!

In your letter, you list three worthless abdominal exercises, the only good one being the frog ½ sit up.

As a matter of fact, the side bend has not been performed in professional Gyms for the last ten years.

Losing Fat On Obliques And Lower Back

I've been having a perpetual bodybuilding problem that I cannot seem to correct. I certainly hope that you can eliminate it for me.

The difficulty is in trimming down that slightly bulging deposit of fat on my obliques and on each side of my lower back just above my rear end.

I have had success trimming and tightening my front abdominals with your teqhniques but twists, sidebends and bent over twists don’t seem to help the rest of my waist where it is also important.

I tried a diet you described in MuscleMag but the low carbohydrate intake decreased the mass on my whole body that I worked so hard to build up, and the fatty layer remained but on a smaller scale. In other words, proportionally I looked the same.

Vince, I want the V-shape taper that comes with all around tight, trim waistline, but have met with only frustration.

Can you please suggest some things to melt away this problem on my obliques and lower back? Should I continue the low carbohydrate - high protein diet? (I cannot consume or afford the best quantities of Choline and Inositol necessary to do any real good).

Increase the reps on my present waist exercises? What should I do!?

I am 28 years old, 5 ft. 11 in. tall and 177 lbs. I’ve been lifting regularly for two years.

1. You have a metabolic problem.

2. You need a digestive support at each meal (HCL or Enzymes).

3. You must stop combining carbohydrates and protein at the same meal.

4. You must stop those so called High-Rep reducing exercises (twists and bendovers). They are responsible for you losing muscle tissue. (Hormone Depletion).

5. If you can afford kelp tabs and Vitamin C, take three a day and fifteen kelp.

The Hollywood Abs Training System

The Hollywood Abs Training SystemI am getting my abdominals into rock-hard, punchproof shape by following what is called the Hollywood Abs Training System.

I'm doing exercises like the butterfly crunch, reverse butterfly crunch, vertical ergonomic crunches and a variation with a twisting crunch added. It's like doing one big triset with each movement taken to absolute failure.

The only trouble is that I am feeling the butterfly and reverse crunches in my hips more than my abs. Other than that I think the program is great for reducing the fatty overhang.

What's the skinny on the crunches anyway?

When performing any of the trunk and hip-rolling motions that you describe (crunches etc.), the most important factor involved is to keep the small of the back in constant contact with the bench or floor you are lying on. As soon as you arch your back, you will notice that the stress on the rectus is relieved, and the work load is shifted to the psoas muscles.

These psoas muscles, by the way, attach to the upper thigh bones and both sides of the spine. Their function is to pull the upper body to a sitting position. In the leg raises or vertical ergonomic crunches as you call them they pull the legs up. Also the psoas muscles help to stabilize the hips and trunk when a weight is held overhead or upon the shoulders.

The rectus abdominus has a very simple function. This muscle attaches to the pelvic basin and the sternum and shortens the distance between these two points.

Abdominal work, contrary to popular opinion, does not produce localized or spot reducing. Only nutrition produces fat loss. So do not labor under the delusion that abdominal work will cause a subcutaneous fat loss. However, minimum rest between sets is a must because rapid heart and lung action is very important to emulsify fat.

My observation in the gym is that very few bodybuilders ever break a sweat. They sometimes rest as long as five minutes between sets. This type of workout tempo is too slow to produce definition.

Its a good thing you are not doing full situps because this seemingly deceptive abdominal exercise is not a rectus abdominal exercise at all. Its function is to help stabilize the trunk by static contraction. The psoas major, minor, and quadratus lumborum perform the work by pulling the body up.

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