Who never did their 100 sit-ups beside their bed every morning? This habit, often developed at a young age, may well have given some results
Most of these gains were obtained at the beginning of the « daily abs routine», then the body adapted quite rapidly. I should say that muscle gains made at a young age can be very apparent. One should only look at the Young gymnasts at the Olympic games; there is no need to take a close look at their muscle development,it’s easy to see, and they often are only 16 or 17 years old, and sometimes even younger. If you look at the same athlete few years later when he or she retires, you can see that the muscle volume has changed very little.
The evidence as well as several research and training principles such as GAS (general adaptation syndrome) developed by Hans Selye prove this fact. The GAS principle is defined by 3 phases, alarm, resistance or adaptation, exhaustion. In training, we want to stimulate the first 2 phases, and once adaptation is reached, we should change the stimuli to keep progressing. The person who does sit-ups every day since the last 3 months is adapted to the stimuli since a long time, and as adaptation = stagnation, there is no progression. This is why a young Olympian’s muscle structure will be modified at the beggining of his career, and the changes will be much less apparent during his last years as an athlete.
A muscle or a muscle group progresses when at rest and not while training. Often people who are very eager to see their body change make the same mistake, i.e. they hit the samemuscle group again before it even had the necessary time to recover from what it has undergone during the last training. It’s true that smaller muscle groups will recover faster from training. Biceps for example can be trained more frequently than legs, but those same biceps also need to recover to progress. The same applies to abs which need to recover the day after a training in order to progress.
A muscle needs a minimum of 48 hours to recover and this period of time can extended up to 7 days for legs in strength training. This type of training solicits the nervous system and requires quite a bit of recovery, otherwise after a more or less shorter period certain symptoms of overtraining might appear. In short, take the required time for your muscle and nervous system to recover, and results will be much more interesting.