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About me

I'm 16, 181 cm. I don't really know the max weight I can lift, because I only have 5 kg dumbells at home. Can do 7-9 pull-ups.


For the past two or so months I have been training at home according to the following schedule

  • Sunday: Lower Body 45 min strength workout with 5kg dumbells
  • Monday: Bodyweight 45 min HIT aimed at glutes and core
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Upper Body 45 min strength workout with 5kg dumbells
  • Thursday: Yoga from 30 to 50 mins
  • Friday: Bodyweight HIT and Flow which is said to target the full-body, but in my opinion, it targets legs mostly
  • Saturday: Rest

As you've probably noticed there aren't many core exercises, I saw improvement in my upper and lower body, but I didn't notice much development in my core/abs.

So for the last week, I have altered my schedule a bit, now sometimes in the morning I do just the ab exercises for 20-30 mins, so on some days, I have 2 workouts.

  • Sunday: Lower Body 45 min strength workout with 5kg dumbells
  • Monday:
    • Morning(after breakfast, about 11 am): 20-30 workout aimed only at the abs
    • Afternoon(about 5 pm): Bodyweight 45 min HIT aimed at glutes and core
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday:
    • Morning(after breakfast, about 11 am): 20-30 workout aimed only at the abs
    • Afternoon(about 5 pm): Upper Body 45 min strength workout with 5kg dumbells
  • Thursday: Yoga from 30 to 50 mins
  • Friday:
    • Morning(after breakfast, about 11 am): 20-30 workout aimed only at the abs
    • Afternoon(about 5 pm): Bodyweight HIT and Flow which is said to target the full-body, but in my opinion, it targets legs mostly
  • Saturday: Rest

The Problem

I don't know if it is good for your body and for your gains to have 2 workouts a day. So I was thinking of doing my core workout not on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. But on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday(see the list below), that way I have 2 workouts a day only on Sunday, although Tuesday won't really be a rest day, and Thursday also used to be kind of a rest-stretch day for me, but it no longer will.

Schedule with core workout on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday

  • Sunday:
    • Morning(after breakfast, about 11 am): 20-30 workout aimed only at the abs
    • Afternoon(about 5 pm): Lower Body 45 min strength workout with 5kg dumbells
  • Monday:
    • Afternoon(about 5 pm): Bodyweight 45 min HIT aimed at glutes and core
  • Tuesday:
    • Morning(after breakfast, about 11 am): 20-30 workout aimed only at the abs
  • Wednesday:
    • Afternoon(about 5 pm): Upper Body 45 min strength workout with 5kg dumbells
  • Thursday:
    • Morning(after breakfast, about 11 am): 20-30 workout aimed only at the abs
    • Afternoon(about 5 pm): Yoga from 30 to 50 mins
  • Friday:
    • Afternoon(about 5 pm): Bodyweight HIT and Flow which is said to target the full-body, but in my opinion, it targets legs mostly
  • Saturday: Rest

So which training schedule is better for my body and my gains?

  • 1
    This is a very ambitious training schedule. I'd advice you to set realistic goals. You might have the free time, but if you don't, try something more efficient. Why your core? What do you mean by your core? What sort of result would you say is sufficient? The issue with core workouts is that they are overused. Anyone can do them at home, they burn and feel hard so you think you've accomplished something and then there are those sixpack abs (that are made in the kitchen). You already spend a lot if time working out, a core workout is maybe the least important thing you can do. – Raditz_35 Apr 12 at 15:05
  • Asking for recommendations for a training schedule will solicit many opinions. Some good, some not so good. – rrirower Apr 12 at 15:13
6

The amount of (appropriate intensity) training volume necessary to maintain Ab Hypertrophy is typically going to be zero sets per week. The minimum volume required to make progress is also typically going to be zero sets per week assuming that you are also doing heavy lifts that require core stabilization like squats and deadlifts. If you aren’t however, (and this depends on training experience) you might need two to six sets per week as a minimum to see progress. Going beyond what’s minimally effective however, there doesn’t seem to be much benefit to doing more than four sets per session and 12 sets per week seems to be optimal. Anything beyond 25 sets per week seems to cause issues with recovery.

What I don’t understand about your routine is why you are measuring your training volume by time rather than something more tangible. The total training time is mostly irrelevant, it says nothing about intensity or effort. Additionally, 20-30 minutes seems like an awfully long time to train abs (or even your entire core). I would recommend setting up your routine in terms of sets that are taken to (or close to) failure - technical failure specifically, which refers the point at which you can no longer perform another rep with good form.

You mentioned concerns over whether doing two workouts a day would be problematic. That would depend entirely on the cumulative systemic fatigue that you build up between the sessions (and across the days and weeks of subsequent training). Ab training shouldn’t add much to your systemic fatigue, so doing it in addition to regular training should not be anything to worry about.


References

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  • Thanks for such a detailed answer! I do squats and deadlift only once a week, as a part of my strength workout, but for now, I can only get a hold of 2x 5kg dumbells and they aren't heavy enough for me. Could you please recommend a good ab workout? I had to do an ab workout day, and here's what I came up with so far: 15 crunches with 5kg, 12 lying leg lifts, and 8 weighted side bends with 5kg each side, and repeat this 3 more times, so a total of 4 sets. Is this routine any good? – Kedel Mihail Apr 13 at 10:03
  • @KedelMihail - That would be 12 sets. A "set" is a single exercise consisting of a multiple repetitions "reps" that are performed. Ideally your are performing enough reps to reach failure or 1-4 reps shy of failure. Failure isn't when you feel a burn, it's when you are incapable of performing another rep (technical failure is preferred). What you are describing sounds more like a cardio session rather than a resistance training session. If you want to do cardio involving your core that's fine (it has benefits), but if you mainly want to build muscle/strength you need to do resistance training. – JustSnilloc Apr 13 at 12:59
  • @KedelMihail - As far as specific recommendations go, if you want a resistance training example then check out the first link I provided in my reference section. At the bottom of that page is a template that you could use and theoretically substitute with any exercise. As a side note, I would count oblique work as being separate to total ab training volume - you can do them at the same time, but when calculating total ab volume the obliques are actually a separate muscle group so don't include them in the calculation. For cardio ab training I would recommend the free app "6 Pack Promise". – JustSnilloc Apr 13 at 13:12

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