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72 responses

  1. keith
    July 19, 2009

    Hey Rusty great post but this comment doesn’t really have anything to do with it. You say that you go and travel a lot around the world but how do you regulate how you eat while on vacation and still stay lean? I am going to Hawaii next month for a week and am wondering how to still stay lean while still being able to enjoy all the great food and still also being able to look good on the beach. What do u normally do without depriving yourself on vacation? Thanks. By the way i am already pretty lean ( 6ft / 160 pounds ) and just want to maintain during vacation. Sorry for the long comment

  2. Greeno
    July 20, 2009

    nice post Rusty…is FBB going to get a facebook fan page at some stage? would be good to see and chat with all the contributors to your posts and probably bring in a lot more readers for you…

  3. sangita
    July 20, 2009

    I had read the post by Yavor but its definately better seeing the video so thanks a lot. I also wanted the answer to Elle’s question so thats another thanks. These days all I need to do is wait a little after your post and someone always asks what I need to know and you answer it lol!

  4. john
    July 20, 2009

    hi rusty
    i agree with ur opinion on squats and deadlifts but was wondering wat would hapen if they were performed for low reps of about 3 or so. the reason i want to know is i play sports like soccer and tennis and from other sites people tlk about these lifts to build strength in the legs for increased power and speed. would doing these for low reps still widen the hips?
    and wat about sigle leg lifts like pistol squat stepups etc?

  5. Randy
    July 20, 2009

    Hey Rusty,

    Should I be doing the ab exercises before or after my HIIT + Cardio.

  6. baz
    July 20, 2009

    Hey rusty,

    I know that you preach definition over size and i couldnt agree more, but i just wanted to ask you is there any time you should do the usual ab excercises such as crunches? In my ab workout i have crunches, reverse crunches, bicycle(dont exactly know what its called but its an oblique excercise) along with planks and side planks. Now i ask becasue i think theres only so much definition your mucles can have and in order to look better i think they need to get a little bigger. Not like massive but more than normal, if you get what i mean. What i was thinking was to get my abs to grow with the traditional excercies along with planks then once i feel they have gotten big enough i will ditch the crunches and stick with isometrics. What do you think about this? Would you recommend it at least for a little while for someone who has no abdominal developement at all?

    Summer is 4 months away for me, so i need my abs developed by then in terms of size etc. I’m not worried about the fat covering them as i am in the process of reducing my body fat levels so im only worried about the size and correct way to go about it for now. When my stomach is tensed it feels like i have abs but when it is not tensed all it feels like is, well nothing really. No muscle at all. I’m looking to develope abs where at a single touch you can fell them without the need to sqeeuze.

    Thanks as always rusty!

  7. baz
    July 20, 2009

    rusty i just clicked onto the link for abs without a hunchback and right in front of me your words were “Do Crunches for a Short Period of Time Then Maintain”.

    I guess that answers my question. I just hope they can develope before summer.

    Oh how many times a week would be enough to work the abs? I was thinking every second day?

    Cheers

  8. Studio Element Personal Training
    July 20, 2009

    The Renegade row are great and I use them often with my clients. I believe that the key to great abs is consistency and the implementation of a wide variety of entire core exercises. Diet is key as well.

  9. Simon
    July 22, 2009

    Ooh, just tried these for 3 sets of 5 each side using ‘light’ 6kg weights, these are tough, love them.

  10. Wazzup
    July 22, 2009

    What does it mean for a muscle to be “dense”. Is it about the number of muscle fibres per square inch ? (so that must mean fibres should be small), or what ?

    I think the secret to great looking abs is having some muscle mass and a low enough fat% to see them.

  11. Monica
    July 22, 2009

    I started them as well on Sunday, 4 sets of 5 with just 10 lbs and repeated on Tuesday. I can feel some soreness from it. they sure are harder than they look.

  12. Baz
    July 23, 2009

    Rusty, my current ab routine is done on the days in between my weights training. I do this so my weights dys don’t go for too long leading to me skipping excercises. I work my abs at home on the off days because I dont really need equipment to do them all I need is a floor really. Now I do planks ect on this day but I don’t have dumbells at home so I can’t do the renegade rows at the same time. If I did the renegade rows on my weights day and all other ab wrokouts on my abs day would this be too much? Cause even though I am not doing the same excercises each day I’m still kind of working the same muscle area. Is this a problem?

    Thanks rusty

  13. danny
    July 23, 2009

    i did these for the first time on Tuesday, ive gotta say my abs are as sore as they have ever been, also my arms are sore too, which is good! Thanks for another informative post rusty, good stuff as always!

  14. Chris
    July 23, 2009

    Nice to see this exercise is starting to get more publicity. I first starting implementing this into our training with the NZ rugby team a year ago when a colleague from Mens Health recommended it.

    Just one thing, I have to disagree with what Yavor says about it not being a back exercise, it most definitely is, and more so in some respects as you can’t cheat on it as much as you can in bent over rows and one arm rows.

    A one-arm bent-over dumbell-row (with no rest for the other arm) will also work the obliques in a very similar and effective way, just avoid twisting yourself, thats the key.

  15. Mathew
    July 23, 2009

    Hey Rusty. Thanks for the information. Its gonna help me and also it will help in bringing new clients

  16. Ken
    August 12, 2009

    Rusty,
    I like doing the planks, but I don’t notice any after workout soreness like after doing non-isometric ab work. Is that just because I’m not tearing down any old muscle to build more new, and rather just strengthening whats already there?

  17. Bertie
    August 16, 2009

    Just wanted to say, been adding these to my abs routine which I do twice a week and it’s made an awesome difference, really helped tone up my mid-section, especially when I take it nice and slow letting the dumbell down, really really solid exercise right here

  18. Brandon
    August 17, 2009

    did the renegades after the 6 minute plank today…i never really felt obliques tightening with 30s and today i tried with 40s, and i could really feel my obliques tightening. Thanks for the exercise!!

  19. Rahim
    August 17, 2009

    Great post! I’m always looking for ways to improve my abs especially since I feel like I’m hitting a ceiling with my progress. I had actually seen some guys in the park doing a similar looking exercise in the park one day. But the technique in the video above looked more controlled.

  20. vacoder
    August 20, 2009

    Hi Rusty,
    I couldn’t agree more, excellent post. I love planks and follow your routine from the earlier post to the T.
    I want to find out if there is any harm in doing the planks routine more than once per day?

    keep up the good work!

  21. Ron
    August 21, 2009

    GREAT post Rusty. I’m going to implement the renegade row into my routine

  22. drew
    August 28, 2009

    Rusty,
    Can I do isometrics as much as I want? I do not want to overtrain so I have been keeping sets and reps of all exercises low but focusing on intense muscle contraction. Because they do not break down muscle can I overdo isometrics or will I continue to notice an increase in definition based on the residual tension it creates? Thankyou so much, amazing site.
    Drew

  23. Mike
    September 11, 2009

    Hey Rusty,
    I have pretty big obliques and a pretty small and toned midsection everywhere else. Im thinking they could be bigger from hockey or rock climbing. Could you give me any tips on how to maybe lose some mass in the oblique area and tighten them up a bit?
    Thanks so much I love your site
    Cheers,
    Mike

  24. michael
    January 12, 2010

    how did that guy get his obliques to look like that?

  25. Emilio
    March 23, 2010

    When I read your article, I was fascinated by the approach to take on ab workouts. I have been following your posts on exercise techniques and have to say I am a big fan of your approach to workouts. I have been doing renegade rows for few weeks and pleased with results and just recently picked up on plank workouts and my back does not hurt like it use too.

    thanks for the advice
    emilio

  26. pr
    July 17, 2010

    hey i’m liking the exercise to try

    saying it gives rock abs….is this more dependent on body type ? could someone get good progression from this and someone else not see the same results ?

    obv diff ppl will see different results, but (all respect) i get a bit suss when someone says this exercise will do ‘it’ for you

    but the info you have put is good sh*t definitely thx

  27. Ab King Fool
    September 1, 2010

    I always wanted good abs. What I did was buy the Ab King Pro, don’t laugh. Well it didn’t work so I went on to follow the abs diet by David Zinczenko. The workout and the diet. Well it worked. Your post is fab I’m going to do that exercise when I get home tonight. I agree the obliques do frame the abs and it just looks awesome.

    Thanx again.

  28. Jackson
    January 25, 2011

    Rusty, I think I have a problem with my obliques, I think that they are underdeveloped. I tried to do a serch on the web and found this one guy who called this a “wasp” body? Have you herd of this? I was wondering if this could be fixed with isometrics. Some additional details are that my body fat % is about 12, I’m 5’11 and 17 years old. PLEASE REPLY!!! I have searched multiple placed and am relying on you for help

  29. Ron
    July 14, 2011

    These are a great exercise. Very tough to do. I also like using lighter weights and lifting the weight to the side for the delts and rhomboids and in front to work the rotator cuff and the rest of the shoulders.

  30. Bob
    July 31, 2011

    I love this exercise! It’s actually the main reason I go to the gym nowadays (bodyweight goes a long way)

    I am looking for equivalents of this exercise with minimal equipement (ideally bodyweight only), does anyone have any ideas? The best I’ve come up with are one-arm pushup (without bending…) or one-arm plank in rings (watch out for your back if you’re not stable!). Would they produce a similar effect?

    Great post as always!

  31. Jared
    October 2, 2011

    When I do the renegade rows I like to do a push in between every rep so say I do ten rows each arm i do a push up every time that weight touches the floor this feels great.

  32. Michael McIntyre @ somebodylied.com
    October 23, 2011

    If these ever become to easy for you Rusty, would say add some clutch flags and press flags to your routine. When I get strong enough I will definitely be incorporating them from the new convict conditioning

  33. Josh Vales
    October 23, 2011

    Planks are such a killer exercise, I didn’t realize you used them as your main ab buster! Isometric exercises have made my stomach flat and firm, not bloated like many of the traditional ab exercises.

  34. mike
    December 24, 2011

    hi m8. terrific site. i have a question regarding my obliques and this one applies to all muscles in my body. the left side differs in size and shape to the right. there is no symmetry. is there any way to achieve this especially for the obliques? is it possible for me to lose the muscle that i’ve built on the obliques and start from the scratch? i’m on this crazy schedule where i’ve gone into burn out mode and i’m trying to lose all the muscle that i’ve built all over kinda like bale in the machinist. i know it’s crazy. i’d like to know what you think. cheers!

  35. Brian
    July 12, 2012

    Did I read that correctly? Low reps and using resistance doesnt add muscle. What does that mean? The way you attain a “six pack” is through your eating habits.

  36. Austin
    October 30, 2013

    Hey man great article.. I was just wondering, I do a lot of “windshield wipers” (the oblique exercise hanging from the bar) and I really like the stretch and core strength I get from it. Anyways my question is, will those make my obliques(love handles bigger)? It’s not worth it to me if it’s going to take away from my V taper

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