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After the first two times I trained abs I had pain for weeks, but since then I haven't encountered any noticeable muscle pain.

Do I need to stimulate the pain/ache sensation to get abs or will they become more defined likewise?

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It means your body is getting used to the load. Start increasing reps/intensity or incorporating different types of exercises (abs is a general term for upper/lower/obliques/transversal muscles etc. and different exercises hit them differently). Eventually you reach a point when you workout enough, your body doesn't really get DOMS or sore, which is ok but know that to stimulate further muscle growth you need to tear fibers which is done by increasing reps/intensity etc.

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