Most of the top bodybuilders today,
regardless of stature, are massively developed for their body size, the
most important goal of abdominal training has become definition.
This involves two things - training and developing the abdominals and
reducing body fat sufficiently to reveal the muscularity underneath.
Most bodybuilders believe in something
called spot reduction, there are a lot of people who still think this is
possible and effective. Spot reduction refers to training a specific
muscle group in order to burn off fat in that particular area. According
to this idea, to develop abdominal definition, you need to do a lot of
abs training, lots of high reps, and burn away the fat that is obscuring
the development of the abdominal muscles.
Unfortunately, this doesn't work. When
the body is in caloric deficit and begins metabolizing fat for energy,
it doesn't go to an area where the muscles are doing a lot of work in
order to get additional energy resources. The body has a genetically
programmed pattern by which it determines from what adipose cells to
access stored fat energy. Exercise does burn calories, of course, but
the abdominals muscle are such relatively small muscles that no matter
how much abs training you do you won't metabolize nearly the energy you
would by simply going for a walk for the same amount of time.
But this is not to say that training a
given area like the abs muscle doesn't increase definition. The
abdominals muscle get a hard workout when you do heavy exercises, but
what they don't get is quality training - that is, isolation, full range
of movement exercises. Movements that do this bring out the full shape
and separation of the abdominals instead of just making them bigger. So
although training the abs muscle like this does not do a lot to reduce
the fat around the waistline, it does create very well defined abdominal
muscles that are revealed once you are able to reduce your body fat
sufficiently by means of diet and aerobic exercise.
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