I understand that "Abs are 70% diet and 30% training" and all of the other cliches out there about "how to get a six pack". This is not the purpose of this question. I think all of those cliche sayings have ruined my focus on abs. I went from training hard 5 days a week to decently easy ab workouts 3 days a week because people kept on saying "abs are made in the kitchen". I do not want to know how to cut fat off of my abs because I don't have much as it is. I can see my abs and obliques very well and I am now working for ab depth and mass.

So my question is, how can I increase the depth of my abdominal cuts and the size of my abs? I'm assuming that both are related in that - increasing ab size increases the depth of the cut.

Current Ab Workout Routine

Currently, I am training abs 3 days a week for about 15 minutes. I usually pick three exercises and do as many sets of 20 reps as I can in 15 minutes. I can usually complete 3 - 4 sets which (or 180 - 240 reps). I switch it up every day and make sure I target obliques, lower and upper abs. I usually take one day to focus on hanging ab workouts so I'm not always on the floor.

Current Exercise Regiment

  • Crunches
  • Hanging leg raises
  • Ankle Biters
  • Bicycle Crunches
  • Static Crunches
  • Elbows to knee
  • Side Twists
  • Bottoms up
  • Side plank
  • Mountain climbers to the side (Raise knees out to the side)
  • cacoons
  • in and outs

Routines Occasionally I'll use one of these routines

  • P90x Ab ripper x
  • Insanity cardio abs
  • Greg Plitt Ab Assault

Advice I was given

I started thinking about this because of some advice I was given recently. Yesterday I auditioned to be a model in a new fitness magazine. The interviewer said that he would like to see me increase ab depth. He said that increasing reps (to 500/day) and training abs daily would be really increase the depth of my abs to make them really "pop". Does this sound like good advice?

  • The exercises you use could help. Commented Nov 11, 2013 at 16:16
  • @DaveLiepmann added Commented Nov 11, 2013 at 16:22

4 Answers 4



Ab hypertrophy is going to occur like any other muscle -- train them, eat a calorie surplus and rest. All of the exercises that you listed are good. I would mix up rep schemes though -- go really heavy on weighted crunches for 3x8-10.

I'm new around here and not really familiar with the culture or any users, but I am assuming all of this ab work is on top of your normal lifting program. Because your abs will get a ton of work from squats and deadlifts.

Personally, deadlifting heavy grew my obliques/lower abs/v(whatever that's called) more than anything else.

Good luck man


The exercises you do are already fine, just to get some more volume on the side you could try mixing planks with other exercises.

Plank + Row= Renegade row or Plank row, this can be done with pretty much any upper body exercise to work your entire torso while getting a lot of tension on your abdomen.

L sit pull ups or L sit dips are great too.

And yes, doing higher repetitions/frequency/weight is going to build any muscle so 500 reps of different abdominal exercise daily is going to increase the size of your muscles.


Doing a ton of reps certainly won't help in my opinion. At high rep ranges the muscle adapts to endurance. Type 1 fibers improve. The muscle gets smaller but more efficient at doing all that volume. Whats the best way to increase muscle size? Heavier weight. I do weighted sit ups. Should be the same 8 to 12 rep range to failure. If you can do it more than 15 times. You're training endurance. Not strength which is what will illicit hypertrophy. The muscle needs more fibers to handle the heavier load. I don't get why ab workouts are always cardio. Doing that many reps is straight up cardio. That's not resistance training.


I higly suggest to add those exercise to you abs routine:

  • dragon flag (if you can't do it with straight legs just close the lever by tucking in)

  • l-sit

  • hollow posistion

Those exercise really changed my abs game.

And remember that abs are made in the kitchen.

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