We’ve all seen those ridiculous infomercials selling electronic devices that “stimulate” your ab muscles without you doing any crunches. But do those devices actually work? Well, if you’re a regular reader of this website, you probably already know the answer to that. In order for muscle to grow, it has to be subject to an intense stimulus which triggers muscle growth. The stimulus triggered by these electronic devices is so minimal that it will not even be close to stimulating anything other than a stomach tickle. It’s as ridiculous as claiming that writing with a special electronic pen that stimulates the finger muscles will develop huge forearms. Come on, who’s buying this stuff?
What is the reason that products like this even get enough traction to generate infomercials? It’s the desire for that ultimate statement of fitness and physique…..the six pack abs! And it’s based on the misunderstanding of actually how to develop that six pack. Those purveyors of muscle misinformation make you think that developing a six pack will require hundreds and hundreds of crunches. After all those repetitions, those magic bumps will start to appear. However, reality is far from this.
The fact is that the rectus abdominis muscle is a paired muscle running on each side of the anterior wall of the human abdomen. The two parallel muscles are separated with connective tissue called the linea alba. There are fibrous brands which cross the abdomen. When the muscle grows, it grows between these connective tissues and causes that six-pack look. The only way to get a six-pack is to stimulate the rectus abdominis muscle to grow. In addition to muscle growth, we will need to get rid of the body fat that covers the muscle to reveal the six-pack. Muscle growth with belly fat remaining on top will only lead to a bigger looking stomach……not very impressive.
In this article we’re going to focus on the trigger that is needed to stimulate muscle growth of the rectus abdominis muscles. As mentioned above, we will need an intense stimulus which recruits the most muscle fibers possible to stimulate growth. What is the best way to do that?
Most people think that in order to stimulate the muscle they need to do hundreds and hundreds of crunches? Why? Well, because when they do crunches, they “feel it” in the abs so hence the abs must be growing. The problem is, that while for a new trainee those crunches may be helping, as the trainee progresses and gets stronger, those crunches become less and less of a stimulus and the muscle hence stops growing. The trainee continues on with the crunches and gets no results and hence thinks that the only way to get some results is to do more and more until they get some results. And here starts the vicious cycle of doing hundreds and hundreds of crunches each training session.
With static contraction training we stimulate the muscle with 1 intense rep. For more information on how this type of workout stimulates the ab muscles to grow check out Pete Sisco’s e- book Super Rep Abs. I myself have been using this workout method for over 3 years. I’ve ditched leg lifts, crunches, Swiss balls and all the other ab torture devices for doing 1 intense rep. With two ab workouts scheduled a month, I do less than 25 crunches IN A YEAR and have developed strong, impressive abs. With each repetition lasting 5 seconds, that means I’ve worked my abs for 2 minutes for the whole year and have been able to build six pack abs. Now how is that for efficiency?