Weight and Resistance Training - Weighted core work vs. non-weighted

07-13-2011, 08:03 PM
I've heard conflicting things about core work. Some say weighted core work is better, others state that weights will add unnecessary bulk to your waistline which is not my mission, lol.

I usually only use weights when I do the tree trunk exercise for my obliques and sometimes I'll put a dumbbell between my feet when I'm performing reverse crunches. Other than that, it's non-weighted all the way. I've gotten good results thus far.

What do you do - weighted, non-weighted or both?

07-13-2011, 08:21 PM
I would caution those who do weighted core work to make sure they aren't stressing their spine.

Besides that, yes, I do weighted core work. If the idea is to fatigue the muscle, then cut to the chase and do less reps this way and achieve the same results.

As far as bulk? LOL. It's not like you're going to add a pot-belly shape to your gut. I mean, if your fat on top of the muscle is pot-belly shaped, then all you're going to do is strengthen the muscle underneath and still have a pot belly, but it's not going to make your pot belly bigger.

I think what you may be referring to is obliques. I do far less oblique work than regular core work because, yes, I don't want a bump (whether it's muscle or fat) just above my hip bone. When I started teaching boot camp, I did more oblique work than ever before. I noticed the muscle growth. I didn't like it there. NO ONE ever noticed it. Why? Because it's just not that big!

I do still do some oblique work, only to keep my body balanced. You shouldn't strengthen one muscle without strengthening all of them because it creates an imbalance in strength and movement and can lead to injury or just plain looking funny (i.e. the "big" lifter men at the gym with skinny, teeny tiny calf muscles).

I hope this helped!

07-13-2011, 08:33 PM
I actually have decent obliques - they make my midsection appear more toned and not so 'boxy' considering my boyish-shape, lol. So, do you recommend that I try some weighted core work or stick with what I've been doing so far?

I've seen some big beefy guys with toothpicks for legs, I know exactly what you mean. Not a pretty sight IMO.

07-13-2011, 08:40 PM
I love obliques...I think they are sorely overlooked by many.;)

07-23-2011, 05:05 PM
Joyfull, I applaud you! NICE avatar pic or more like nice body to have to be picutred!!

My body shape is different. I'm all legs. My obliques bulk because I have a regular torso. When I work them, they bulge since there's no room for them to sit inside my rib cage. You, obviously, are better proportioned.

I learned. I should not advise others without disclaiming each body is different.

So to go back to the OP's Q...My answer would be, so long as your back is not riddled with disc problems or whatever, do weighted reps and you'll reduce your # of reps, thus saving time at the gym. Just keep your spinal health in check.