I get asked about how i train abs a lot. So I decided I will share my own personal experience with my own abs.
I feel that there is an overload of emphasis placed on training abs in that most people believe it will make their stomach thinner and reduce the fat that sticks there. However there is no such thing as body fat spot reduction so we cannot choose where fat decides to leave us. All we can do is burn more calories that we take in. In my experience on a calorie deficit the last place that fat leaves is my stomach.
Aside from that though, I agree that abdominal training is good for everyone. Especially beginners who have a weak core to start with. The core is needed for most movements so it is important to keep it strong and active. The average person exercising should include core related exercises a few times a week to keep them active.
Now, as far as aesthetics go I will tell you my theory. When I boxed (trained, never fought) I did core training every other day to keep the abs active and strong. To look at my core it was like a brick wall, strong and thick. When I really got my abs to pop and look chiseled out I was working them once a split for an entire workout session- with weights. So, cable ab exercises, dumbbell crunches, barbell sit ups on the decline bench. Anything weighted. The abs are a muscle that can grow if stimulated with progressive overload just like other muscles.
Now let’s keep in mind the old adage “abs are made in the kitchen.” Really they are made in the gym but if your body fat is too high they will be hard to see. When I do a competition prep my abs start to show up when my body fat gets low even without training them at all. I assure you they are there. They get worked when you don’t even realize it when you are squatting heavy, shoulder pressing, deadlifting. They are getting worked. The closer I got to competition day the more I was asked “what do you do for abs”. My abs didn’t really need to be worked at that point. I was lean and conditioned already and so they just popped out.
So that is my own personal experience with getting abs to pop. Try it out both ways and let me know what works for you ! 😁