Friday, June 7, 2013

The Myth of 8-pack abdominal training programs. By Vic Goyaram

The myth of 8-pack abdominal training programs
Researched and Composed by Vic Goyaram
Exclusive for Bodybuilding Mauritius

I am writing this article because I have seen some abdominal training programs that are promising 8-pack abdominals. At the same time I see that a lot of people still believe that one can develop 8 blocks of abdominal muscles even though they most likely have only 6 blocks (either visible or buried under layers of fat). This article will deal with basic anatomy of abdominal muscles to help explain the situation at hand.

Abdominal anatomy

The scientific name of the abdominal muscle is the rectus abdominis. It is one continuous sheet of muscle in the sense that it does not consists of different "heads", or individual muscles like the deltoids/biceps and the legs respectively. When we say ABS, we are referring to one muscle whereas when we say DELTOIDS we are referring to a muscle which consists of front, lateral and rear delt heads with each having an origin and an insertion. Just google more on muscle anatomy to know more about these latter terms. The abdominal muscle runs from the ribcage to the pelvis. There are dividers called "tendinous inscriptions" which give the abdominals the appearance of tiles or "packs" as they are more commonly called.
The rectus abdominis basic anatomy
Ronnie Coleman had a four pack abs and it had to do with his genetics
(and of course this didn't stop him from winning 8 consecutive Mr. Olympia)
We are born with a certain number of these dividers and the way that they are arranged on the abdominal muscle sheet. Most people have dividers that are arranged in such a way that the abdominal sheet is divided into six blocks, hence the proverbial "abdominal six pack". It is not possible to create more dividers by exercising to turn a 6-pack into an 8-pack. If this was possible then Ronnie Coleman would have had a 6-pack rather than a 4-pack. Some people may try to sell you programs to give you eight pack abs but this is not possible.
Few people realise it but Zane had four pack abdominals
As you can see in the pictures above, Frank Zane and Ronnie Coleman have a four pack. Denis Ayen displays a classic six pack. Nasser El Sonbaty (pictured below) was born with a lucky eight pack. Nasser didn't train harder than everybody else to have these eight packs and neither were Ronnie and Frank lazy to train their abs. Furthermore, some people may have 5 or 7 abdominal blocks or their 6 blocks can be arranged in a "disorderly" manner like Jack Madanamoothoo (pictured below).
The late Nasser El Sonbaty had a rare eight pack abdominal. 
Jack "The Mauritian Blade" Madanamoothoo has abs which are arranged
in a disorderly manner. Very much like Flex Wheeler's abs. 
Both Ayen and Bru have classic six pack abdominals
Former IFBB Pro Thierry Pastel (France) had one of the most unique abdominal wall in my opinion. I have never seen such abs. Thierry of course busted his ass in the gym but has a lot to thank to Mr. and Mrs. Pastel Senior for such abdominal muscle genetics.
The take-home lesson
We cannot do anything to increase the number of abdominal blocks that we have. I don't know if it is surgically possible at present. What all of us can do is to train and diet to make our abs visible. There is a difference between the number of blocks "that we have" and "what is visible". If you can see 8 blocks, please rush to kiss your mom and dad. If you can see only 2 blocks, then work and diet your ass off to decrease your bodyfat percentage so that you can see more of the 6 blocks that you most probably already have but which are hiding under bodyfat.
©,2013, Veeraj Goyaram, Bodybuilding Mauritius. Any reprinting in any type of media is prohibited.

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