Apr 2 10 tweets 4 min read Read on X

"Sharp, well-built abdominal muscles are worth a king's ransom. To my mind, there is no more treasured possession," said Vince Gironda. Here are the fundamentals of his approach to training the abdominals. 👇 Image

Sorry, but no amount of sit-ups will burn the fat off your stomach. Fat loss doesn’t work like that: it isn’t specific to the region that is being worked. Vince knew this way back when, and it’s been wholly substantiated by scientific studies as well. Image

Once you know you can't spot reduce, and you instead focus on reducing your body fat levels by dieting and intense exercise, things become much easier. Image

You don’t need to do thousands of reps to develop your abdominals. The abdominals should be trained just like any other bodypart, Vince says, in the same rep ranges (8-12, generally). You don’t need to do Roman-chair crunches for an hour and a half like Frank Zane to get great abs. In fact, doing so is likely to be counterproductive.Image
Vince cautions that beginners shouldn't even train their abs at all, at least not directly. Training them might even hinder progress, since they’re already getting more than enough stimulation being worked as support muscles during other exercises.

Neither sit-ups nor leg raises are pure abdominal movements. Although the abdominals are involved, these exercises work other muscles primarily. As Vince reminds us, the abdominals function to “shorten the distance between the pelvic basin and the sternum.” So if you want to work the abdominal muscles, that’s what you need to do. For this reason, a partial sit-up—“lifting the body only one-quarter or one-half of the way”—will target the abdominals much more specifically than a full sit-up.

To ensure that the abdominals are properly worked when shortening the distance between the pelvic basin and the sternum, you must ensure the small of the back is in constant contact with the bench or board.

Vince's general approach to progression was to increase density (the amount of work performed in a given period of time), rather than simply increasing reps per set, number of sets or weight. For this reason, with abs Vince recommends keeping rest periods between sets to a minimum, and reducing them consistently to progress, rather than drawing out the exercises with more and more reps or added weight.Image

The vacuum was a staple of Silver and Golden Age bodybuilding. With the arrival of the “mass-monster” era, however, the vacuum got lost along with the trim waists of the past, as bodybuilders went all-out on size.

The vacuum is an isometric abdominal-hollowing exercise that targets the transverse abdominis, a deep muscle that acts like a belt around the waist. Tighten the belt, tighten the waist. Remember what Vince said about the importance of “creating the illusion.” If you can slim and tighten your waist, in an instant your shoulders become wider, simply by comparison.

In The Wild Physique, Vince recommended performing sets of eight reps.Image

This is Vince's signature crunch, which he advocated instead of the traditional sit-up. This is a special crunch that is designed to isolate the abdominals. Lower back flat, ankles crossed. Here's how Vince describes it.

"Lie on your back on the floor. Put your heels together and place your hands behind your head. Pull head forward to a tight contracted position. Hold for two seconds and repeat."Image
For more Gironda ab training, check out this article on my Stack and the rest of my Gironda series, THE OG.


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More from @Babygravy9

Apr 6

Yet another study has linked disturbed gut flora in early life to later onset of autism and ADHD. This one is a large-scale study of over 16,000 children born in Sweden in the late 90s. 👇 Image
Over 16,000 Swedish children born 1997–1999 have been followed from birth into their twenties. Of these, 1,197 children, corresponding to 7.3%, have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, communication disorder or intellectual disability. Image
Cord blood and stool samples at age 1 were taken from the participants. The stool samples clearly show that, even at age 1, there are clear differences in the intestinal flora of children who develop autism or ADHD and those who don't. Image
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Apr 2

Ladies: Want to supercharge your breast milk to provide baby with even more benefits and help stave off obesity? Exercise directly before you breastfeed and your milk will be packed with even higher levels of a powerful metabolic hormone. 👇 Image
Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology collected 240 samples of breast milk from 20 new mothers before and at intervals after two HIIT exercise sessions. They then compared these with samples taken at the same intervals after periods of sedentary behavior.Image
The mothers who had just completed an HIIT session had much higher levels of the hormone adiponectin in their milk. Adiponectin is involved in regulating the body’s metabolism and ensures the availability of energy and essential substances for bodily functions. Low levels of adiponectin are linked to insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes.Image
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Mar 26
Eating vegetable and seed oils is bad enough, but eating them when they've been reused in deep-frying is even worse.

A new study suggests that long-term consumption of food cooked in deep fryers is linked to serious neurological damage. 👇 Image
Researchers divided female rats into five groups that each received either standard chow or standard chow supplemented with either a) 0.1 ml per day of unheated sesame oil, unheated sunflower oil, or b) reheated sesame oil or reheated sunflower oil for 30 days.

The rats that consumed reheated sesame or sunflower oil showed increased oxidative stress and inflammation in the liver. These rats also suffered significant damage to the colon that caused changes in endotoxins and lipopolysaccharides—toxins released from certain bacteria.

"As a result, liver lipid metabolism was significantly altered, and the transport of the important brain omega-3 fatty acid DHA was decreased," explains one of the researchers. "This, in turn, resulted in neurodegeneration, which was seen in the brain histology of the rats consuming the reheated oil as well as their offspring."
Another study shows heated soybean oil causes the body to go into "skinny-fat" mode, losing weight but also converting lean tissue into fat. This is interesting because it's specifically heated soybean oil (heated for just 3 hours) that has the effects described. Image
Read 7 tweets
Mar 23
New research has shown that too much exposure to a growth factor called activin A in the womb prevents the proper development of the testes in male fetuses. And what increases activin A production in women? SSRIs. Women are generally told SSRIs are safe during pregnancy. 👇 Image
The research, published in Frontiers in Endocrinology, is the first to show that increased exposure to activin A leads to some of the worst effects caused by endocrine-disrupting substances.Image
The researchers showed that elevated activin A not only damages germ cells (sperm precursors) but also the Leydig cells, which produce testosterone in men.

"Unusually, germ cells exposed to high activin A frequently contained more than one nucleus (multinucleated—see image below) and were abnormally localized outside of the testis cords, reducing the number of sperm precursor cells at birth by half," one of the researchers said.Image
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Mar 22

"Was there ever a hero who didn't have broad shoulders?" Vince Gironda knew that the shoulders could make or break a man's physique, as this image of Steve Reeves (far left) shows. Let's dig in to Vince's approach to shoulder training. 👇 Image
The quote below is from Vince's 1984 book The Wild Physique. Vince's main emphasis with the shoulders, as with every other body part, is proportion. You need to work with your body's natural endowment to ensure you maintain balance even as you add mass.Image
For Vince bodybuilding was about “creating an illusion”. That didn’t mean that the bodybuilder aimed simply to “look big”, but that visual size was a function of the relationship between parts of the body.

A massive pair of shoulders will look smaller if the bodybuilder has a thick waist. A smaller pair of shoulders may even look bigger than a set of larger shoulders if the bodybuilder’s waist is tighter. This should be simple to understand — size is relative as well as absolute — but many failed and still fail to grasp this very basic point.
Read 11 tweets
Mar 15

It all started with a few soyjak stickers. Here's a great recent primer from 4chan on how to wage a successful low-intensity meme warfare campaign in your local town. 👇 Image
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