The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #51
    Senior Member Canadian Crippler's Avatar
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    I see no difference aside from an overall increase in mass. How much did your weight and bf% change during this procedure? I can go do only inclines now, gain 50lbs, and say my upper chest grew... because it did.
    "I added some db curls with the pink weights for a bit of a burn." - Rookiebldr

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  2. #52
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    thanks getfit


    i love how everyone who hopped on late didn't read me saying that the 'after' shots were taken right after a workout, so i'm jsut pumped, i am not really more muscular



    extremeanabolics, if the pictures aren't showing a visible difference, that doesn't mean that i am experiencing a placebo effect, or that i am right. it means that the difference, if there is one, is too small to discern in a picture, which i was very sure woudl be the case, even before posting it. again, this is 4 or 5 months into a program, so the difference isn't a big one, but it is absolutely there. i know that very specific spot, that i circled in the pic, was very thin before. i obsessed over it. it bothered me so much i read and read and read. i was convinced it couldn't be fixed. i gave up. i then read an article that gave me a shred of hope. i figured why not, it's a snowball's chance in hell, but what have i got to lose. i did only incline movements for months and months. now i have put on noticable mass in that upper/inner spot. we can definitely rule out placebo, i obsessed on this particular spot, no larger than a softball. i had virtually no real mass there before, now it is coming in. you can say i'm lying, or that my entire chest muscle grew and started to grow into different (genetically determined) dimensions than before, but i can assure you that it is not placebo. everyone has one of these parts that they just loathe and want to change, and would know w/o doubt if it were changing. this is mine.

    i will (clearly) continue to train this way, as i have no doubts it's working, so i will post pics another time down the road with more progress






    do any 'respected' senior members here believe that you can target upper chest?

    if just one respected member here would sacrifice 4 months we could seriuosly bury this forever. just a thought for any selfless people on these boards who would like to see this topic finally get solved. you'd actually be doing sooooo many people such a service, you'd either be saving people time otherwise wasted, or allowing people who denied that it worked a new way to sculpt their bodies

  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazer80
    thanks getfit


    i love how everyone who hopped on late didn't read me saying that the 'after' shots were taken right after a workout, so i'm jsut pumped, i am not really more muscular



    extremeanabolics, if the pictures aren't showing a visible difference, (1) that doesn't mean that i am experiencing a placebo effect, or that i am right. it means that the difference, if there is one, is too small to discern in a picture, which i was very sure woudl be the case, even before posting it. again, this is 4 or 5 months into a program, so the difference isn't a big one, but it is absolutely there. i know that very specific spot, that i circled in the pic, was very thin before. (a) i obsessed over it. it bothered me so much i read and read and read. i was convinced it couldn't be fixed. i gave up. i then read an article that gave me a shred of hope. i figured why not, it's a snowball's chance in hell, but what have i got to lose. i did only incline movements for months and months. (b) now i have put on noticable mass in that upper/inner spot. we can definitely rule out placebo, i obsessed on this particular spot, no larger than a softball. i had virtually no real mass there before, now it is coming in. you can say i'm lying, or that my entire chest muscle grew and started to grow into different (genetically determined) dimensions than before, but i can assure you that it is not placebo. everyone has one of these parts that they just loathe and want to change, and would know w/o doubt if it were changing. this is mine.

    i will (clearly) continue to train this way, as i have no doubts it's working, so i will post pics another time down the road with more progress






    do any 'respected' senior members here believe that you can target upper chest?

    (2) if just one respected member here would sacrifice 4 months we could seriuosly bury this forever. just a thought for any selfless people on these boards who would like to see this topic finally get solved. you'd actually be doing sooooo many people such a service, you'd either be saving people time otherwise wasted, or allowing people who denied that it worked a new way to sculpt their bodies

    1. See (a) and (b)

    (a) You have admitted that you were obsessed with this.

    (b) Then you read this article and did "only incline movements for months and months".

    That is what I mean by the 'placebo effect'. You believed in it so strongly that to you it looks bigger. Think logically about this for a moment. Nobody aside from you can see a single difference (except when it was pumped). Now before you lose your temper I should point out that I am not calling you a liar. However what you are saying goes against established common sense and first-hand experience (more on that in number 2) Surely you can see why we are skeptical no? If you had accurate before and after measurements that would have provided solid proof. As it is no one can tell whether you did or did not gain mass. But yes, pics with more progress would help your case.

    2. I used to believe that inclines would build "upper" chest. I believed it so strongly that I did inclines for 2 years straight in every chest workout. Never noticed an increase in "upper" chest mass. Only when I went back to flat bench and weighted dips did I notice an increase in chest mass and it was overall chest mass.


    I am sure that there are other people out there who have tried inclines and not experienced any results or very minimal as well.

    Sorry Mr. jazer80 I don't know what to tell you.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExtremeAnabolic
    1. See (a) and (b)

    (a) You have admitted that you were obsessed with this.

    (b) Then you read this article and did "only incline movements for months and months".

    That is what I mean by the 'placebo effect'. You believed in it so strongly that to you it looks bigger. Think logically about this for a moment. Nobody aside from you can see a single difference (except when it was pumped). Now before you lose your temper I should point out that I am not calling you a liar. However what you are saying goes against established common sense and first-hand experience (more on that in number 2) Surely you can see why we are skeptical no? If you had accurate before and after measurements that would have provided solid proof. As it is no one can tell whether you did or did not gain mass. But yes, pics with more progress would help your case.

    2. I used to believe that inclines would build "upper" chest. I believed it so strongly that I did inclines for 2 years straight in every chest workout. Never noticed an increase in "upper" chest mass. Only when I went back to flat bench and weighted dips did I notice an increase in chest mass and it was overall chest mass.


    I am sure that there are other people out there who have tried inclines and not experienced any results or very minimal as well.

    Sorry Mr. jazer80 I don't know what to tell you.
    i'll keep my temper, i had to get in the right mindset to start this thread, so i'll be cool

    i see what you mean about placebo effect, but the point i was tryign to drive home is that it would be soo much more likely if i said 'now when i look at it, i can totally tell the shape has changed'. but, what really happened is there was a specific spot that was the major culprit, and i was wanting that to change the most, and due to the fact that it is the extreme upper/inner, it is easier to gauge than, say, total chest mass. i had no appreciable mass there before, in that softball-sized spot, and now i do.

    i realize in retrospect that i should've kept the pictures out, as it is clear to me now that a change is visible in the mirror to the person it is on way, way, way before it is visible in a picture, especially pictures that were taken from as far away as those. all i can say is that i'm fully convinced, and will (naturally) keep working my upper chest only. i have been really kicking the intensity/diet up in the past several weeks, so hopefully gains will come even quicker, and within another couple months i will have a new round of pictures we can go by.

  5. #55
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Jazer, your upper chest IS bigger. Unfortunately, for your argument, so is your lower chest.

    You got bigger. Congrats.
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  6. #56
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    Jazer,

    I'm not completely sold on the notion that you can't build the upper chest either. It seems to me that this argument stems from the old adage that in the scheme of things, it is a fairly silly venture to worry about your upper chest before having a decent amount of strength in general. Hence, worry about building a big chest first; worrying about how your upper chest looks is a detail in comparison. Now, it's evolved into "you can't target your upper chest, period." Well, from my experience, using an incline to build the chest does make a difference, i.e. a fuller look around the clavicles. For me, full squats, taken as deep as possible, have built the muscle immediately above the knee to a much larger degree than regular powerlifting squats. Granted, the muscles of the thighs are not the same as those of the chest, but inclines have had a similar effect on my chest. For me, an incline of 10-30 degrees transfers the load and gives me different development than flat benching. And no, I have no proof. If it works for you Jazer, keep doing it.

  7. #57
    Senior Member Meat_Head's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazer80
    do any 'respected' senior members here believe that you can target upper chest?

    if just one respected member here would sacrifice 4 months we could seriuosly bury this forever. just a thought for any selfless people on these boards who would like to see this topic finally get solved. you'd actually be doing sooooo many people such a service, you'd either be saving people time otherwise wasted, or allowing people who denied that it worked a new way to sculpt their bodies
    Gino believes, he's a big and respected guy here. I think you can emphasize the clavicular head too, although both the sternal and clavicular head will grow no matter what angle you use so its hard to tell. Plus you can stimulate the pec minor(which lies under your upper chest) better with incline movements, which might make a difference. I think I've added alot of mass to my clavicular pecs with the addition of incline movements to my routine, it was a huge weak point before and now that's improving. I can't tell if its improved in proportion to the sternal head though, so its probably just the entire muscle growing.
    Last edited by Meat_Head; 03-27-2006 at 11:51 AM.
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  8. #58
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    I just wanted to throw in a sidenote. In the last pair of pics Jazer the area you're circling looks to be the clavicular head of pectoralis major. In general I think it is actually considered a different muscle (at least 'head) than the sternal head. What's weird is when people talk about the "upper chest" I usually think of the area just a couple inches above the nipple.
    Anyway for the clavicular head to grow faster than the pec head doesn't seem like it's not plausible though I'm not sure how one can train to focus on the clavicular head over the sternal head.
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  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony
    Jazer, your upper chest IS bigger. Unfortunately, for your argument, so is your lower chest.

    You got bigger. Congrats.
    uhhhhhhhh, i actually just finished a workout in the after pics, i'm actually like 10lbs lighter in the afters, but am just pumped up

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmanderson
    it is a fairly silly venture to worry about your upper chest before having a decent amount of strength in general. Hence, worry about building a big chest first; worrying about how your upper chest looks is a detail in comparison.
    i'm actually damn near where i want to be in terms of weight, i am aiming for hte 'magazine fitness model' look (raises shield for protection), so i am trying to sculpt as i grow. i am ~155 now, would like to be 165ish as a max, so i'm not really in a heavy mass phase as much as i'm just trying like crazy to build better shape (i am working out for 'shape' now more than anything. for instance, i am aiming for a better 'v', so i am pretty much ignoring lower back stuff, like no pullups or anything, and focusing more on my traps and middle back, especially on my upper/outer back, with tons and tons of reverse flyes. i've stopped most arm exercise too, i'm basically trying to bring my upper back, upper chest, traps, and shoulders out. also want to bring my quads out more, but am not currently doing legs)

  11. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by xMeat_Headx
    Gyno believes. I think you can emphasize the clavicular head too, although both the sternal and clavicular head will grow no matter what angle you use so its hard to tell. Plus you can stimulate the pec minor(which lies under your upper chest) better with incline movements, which might make a difference. I think I've added alot of mass to my clavicular pecs with the addition of incline movements to my routine, it was a huge weak point before and now that's improving. I can't tell if its improved in proportion to the sternal head though, so its probably just the entire muscle growing.
    whoa, whoa, whooooaaaaaaaaa..... it was my impression after all my reading that your pec muscles, which contained the major and minor, could only grow uniformly. they can get bigger or smaller, but their dimensions remain the same. did i miss something? is it accepted that you can change the shape, but you're doing it through the aforementioned means (stimulating pec minor better, claviular heads, etc), and not through 'targetting'? is this whole battle a semantic one? please tell me that i was not incorrect in assuming that most veterans believed that the entire shape remains the same, liek if you have 'muscular man-boobs', they will stay that way, you can just go from a's to dd's....

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    I just wanted to throw in a sidenote. In the last pair of pics Jazer the area you're circling looks to be the clavicular head of pectoralis major. In general I think it is actually considered a different muscle (at least 'head) than the sternal head. What's weird is when people talk about the "upper chest" I usually think of the area just a couple inches above the nipple.
    Anyway for the clavicular head to grow faster than the pec head doesn't seem like it's not plausible though I'm not sure how one can train to focus on the clavicular head over the sternal head.
    the 'upper' that i'm referring to is the mass along that bone that runs across the top (collar bone?), not right above my nipples. i do not think that i'm targetting that area solely, but think that i am emphasizing the top parts of my chest.


    i've asked this twice so far in this thread but haven't gotten a response:

    Why would you be sore on your upper chest only after a workout with nothign but incline pressing? Also, how does this not show that there was different emphasis in different regions of the chest?

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazer80
    whoa, whoa, whooooaaaaaaaaa..... it was my impression after all my reading that your pec muscles, which contained the major and minor, could only grow uniformly. they can get bigger or smaller, but their dimensions remain the same. did i miss something? is it accepted that you can change the shape, but you're doing it through the aforementioned means (stimulating pec minor better, claviular heads, etc), and not through 'targetting'? is this whole battle a semantic one? please tell me that i was not incorrect in assuming that most veterans believed that the entire shape remains the same, liek if you have 'muscular man-boobs', they will stay that way, you can just go from a's to dd's....

    You cannot change the shape. If you have good genetics and steroids you can exaggerate the shape (sometimes greatly) but the overall shape will remain roughly the same. That's genetics.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazer80
    the 'upper' that i'm referring to is the mass along that bone that runs across the top (collar bone?), not right above my nipples. i do not think that i'm targetting that area solely, but think that i am emphasizing the top parts of my chest.


    i've asked this twice so far in this thread but haven't gotten a response:

    Why would you be sore on your upper chest only after a workout with nothign but incline pressing? Also, how does this not show that there was different emphasis in different regions of the chest?
    It is accepted by some people (I am one of them) that you may be able, through the use of different angles, to emphasize one part of say the chest over another. But it is also accepted that for the genetically average person who is natural, that this will not make a noticeable difference 9/10 times.

    In other words the slightly extra emphasis is not enough to produce significant growth although it may produce soreness. But as we all know soreness means nothing in terms of growth.

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExtremeAnabolic
    You cannot change the shape.
    Quote Originally Posted by ExtremeAnabolic
    It is accepted by some people (I am one of them) that you may be able, through the use of different angles, to emphasize one part of say the chest over another. But it is also accepted that for the genetically average person who is natural, that this will not make a noticeable difference 9/10 times.
    so can you or can't you? i apologize if i am missing something blatently obvious, as i'm pretty intoxicated right now, but are you saying that sometimes it is possible to target upper chest in that second quote?
    Last edited by jazer80; 03-26-2006 at 08:59 PM.

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExtremeAnabolic
    But as we all know soreness means nothing in terms of growth.
    it's my understanding that lactic acid buildup is why you are sore (could be wrong). lactic acid doesn't make muscle grow, but rather the stress of the workout on that particular muscle. wouldn't it make sense then that i was working one part of the muscle with greater force than the rest, as evidenced by higher lactic acid buildup?

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazer80
    it's my understanding that lactic acid buildup is why you are sore (could be wrong). lactic acid doesn't make muscle grow, but rather the stress of the workout on that particular muscle. wouldn't it make sense then that i was working one part of the muscle with greater force than the rest, as evidenced by higher lactic acid buildup?
    You're correct. In that you are wrong.

    Soreness the day of and the day after a workout is usually the result of damage, and it's certainly possible to damage one part of a muscle more than another; this can be caused simply by unfavorable joint angles or excessive stretch. However, damage alone is not enough to cause hypertrophy; the adaptation process is far more complicated and involves quite a few factors. (As I'm sure you know).

    Lactic acid buildup soreness is the "burn" that you feel in a worked muscle, and this will certainly occur across the entire muscle as stores and byproducts are distributed around the various tissues in the area. Acute lactic acid burn doesn't usually last long past the workout, and lactic acid burn during a set will not likely be restricted to one part of a muscle over another. Even if you would be mechanically affecting one part of a muscle more than another, the work being done by all the motor units in a muscle is the same, regardless of which ones are operating in more favorable planes of motion for a given lift.

    Also... as a final point. The clavicular (or clavical) head of the pectoralis major is not engaged any more than the sternal during incline benching. Just because you are moving a weight more in the direction of your head does not mean that the upper part of the chest is any more favorably angled for this purpose. Any change across the sagittal plane requires additional muscles; in the case of incline bench it is the anterior deltoid that provides the necessary vertical "vector" to move the weight from your chest to above your head. The clavicular head of the pectoralis major is simply too small and too poorly positioned to make it a significant contributor to this change in angle.

    And I kinda think your chest looks the same.
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  18. #68
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    As another sidenote we're probably mainly dealing with the pectoralis major here, both sternal and clavicular heads. The pectoralis minor I believe is located underneath the sternal head of pectoralis major.
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  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belial
    You're correct. In that you are wrong.

    Soreness the day of and the day after a workout is usually the result of damage, and it's certainly possible to damage one part of a muscle more than another; this can be caused simply by unfavorable joint angles or excessive stretch. However, damage alone is not enough to cause hypertrophy; the adaptation process is far more complicated and involves quite a few factors. (As I'm sure you know).

    Lactic acid buildup soreness is the "burn" that you feel in a worked muscle, and this will certainly occur across the entire muscle as stores and byproducts are distributed around the various tissues in the area. Acute lactic acid burn doesn't usually last long past the workout, and lactic acid burn during a set will not likely be restricted to one part of a muscle over another. Even if you would be mechanically affecting one part of a muscle more than another, the work being done by all the motor units in a muscle is the same, regardless of which ones are operating in more favorable planes of motion for a given lift.

    Also... as a final point. The clavicular (or clavical) head of the pectoralis major is not engaged any more than the sternal during incline benching. Just because you are moving a weight more in the direction of your head does not mean that the upper part of the chest is any more favorably angled for this purpose. Any change across the sagittal plane requires additional muscles; in the case of incline bench it is the anterior deltoid that provides the necessary vertical "vector" to move the weight from your chest to above your head. The clavicular head of the pectoralis major is simply too small and too poorly positioned to make it a significant contributor to this change in angle.

    And I kinda think your chest looks the same.
    Great post overall. But the first part made me LOL.
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  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    As another sidenote we're probably mainly dealing with the pectoralis major here, both sternal and clavicular heads. The pectoralis minor I believe is located underneath the sternal head of pectoralis major.
    And is even smaller. In the average individual each strand is about the diameter of a child's pinky. You can only enlarge it so much.
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  21. #71
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    All I see is that your chest got bigger, and not much shape difference, but nevertheless, you are doing well. I think your chest as a whole is growing, because the top isn't just growing.
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  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belial
    Soreness the day of and the day after a workout is usually the result of damage, and it's certainly possible to damage one part of a muscle more than another; this can be caused simply by unfavorable joint angles or excessive stretch. However, damage alone is not enough to cause hypertrophy; the adaptation process is far more complicated and involves quite a few factors. (As I'm sure you know).
    Damage is a BIG part of the adaption process. A bigger and stronger muscle takes less damage, right? Therefore, getting bigger and stronger is part of an adaption to muscle damage/micro trauma/metabolic toxin buildup or whatever you want to call it. Its not the only part, but its significant. If not, no one would do slow negatives and no one would utilize a full range of motion.

    If you can damage one head of a muscle more than another, that head is obviously doing more work. If it is doing more work, the stimulus to get bigger and stronger is greater comparatively. Case in point? You can hit the anterior head of your deltoids more effectively than the posterior head with overhead presses. Yet the deltoids all origionate from the same general area(like pecs).

    Also... as a final point. The clavicular (or clavical) head of the pectoralis major is not engaged any more than the sternal during incline benching.
    There is no proof for this... ZERO. Until you find proof, this argument holds no more weight than the counter-argument.

    Just because you are moving a weight more in the direction of your head does not mean that the upper part of the chest is any more favorably angled for this purpose.
    Considering that the clavicular head inserts HIGHER and further over on the shoulder than the sternal head, and that it attaches HIGHER on the sternum than the sternal head, it makes perfect sense that any motion involving pulling the arms together in line with where the clavicular fibers attach and origionate would utilize the fibers that have the favorable line of pull most, as opposed to the fibers that have a favorable line of pull when pulling your arms together downward across your chest/abs.

    Any change across the sagittal plane requires additional muscles; in the case of incline bench it is the anterior deltoid that provides the necessary vertical "vector" to move the weight from your chest to above your head. The clavicular head of the pectoralis major is simply too small and too poorly positioned to make it a significant contributor to this change in angle.
    That's a ludicrous statement. That's assuming everyone has the same biomechanics and everyone uses powerlifting bench press form on incline bench presses. If you cock your elbows out, arch your back, and maintain that form the pecs are very active in incline lifts. Are the deltoids more involved in incline lifts than flat or decline lifts? Sure, a little. Does that mean they aren't a great pec exercise? Hell nah.
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  23. #73
    Baby Seal Clubber ElPietro's Avatar
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    My thoughts on the pics:

    You appear every so slightly leaner in the first pic. You also seem to be more tanned in the second pic. The first pic you are in a pose that would somewhat de-emphasize the chest. Overall, I do not see anything conclusive on the chest shape, maybe a little bit on size, but hard to tell with different poses, different skin tone, and bright flash in the first pic versus nothing in the second.

    On your thoughts of targeting. I personally don't believe in this theory, however, if you had been sticking to only flat bench, and dips for a very long duration, simply changing your routine after an extended duration, may have allowed for a bit more growth. If you were completely accustomed to those two previous movements, perhaps something new may have lessened the involvement of some muscles and added the involvement of other smaller muscles and caused some change. However, I'm a firm believer that as you increase the incline, you are simply placing more emphasis on the delts.

    If I had to theorize, I would say any results might be attributed to adding flyes to your routine, as they are an isolatory movement. With your flat bench, dips and incline even, you can be training chest in some minimal way while your tris/shoulders are overpowering. So perhaps this isolation movement finally enabled you to load up a bit more directly on chest without reliance on other muscle groups.

    Just my thoughts.
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  24. #74
    Wrecker of Homes d'Anconia's Avatar
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    I think this kinda settles the debate:
    http://www.angelfire.com/tx/APATX/ar...nch_Press.html
    "The Barnett study tells us that the incline position produces just slightly more electrical energy in the upper pecs that either the flat or decline positions. However, the flat bench was found to be very close. While the difference between the two was considered insignificant, the slight advantage of the incline over the flat bench in upper pec activation may be just what some of us need to further develop the upper pecs."
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  25. #75
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    1 study cannot solve this debate, but it seems that is contradictory to what you believed earlier (have you switched sides?)

    if that study says, indeed, that there can be different emphasis, i'd say that makes me right. if they concluded it as insignificant or not is *kind of * irrelevant. what matters is that you can actually emphasize one part, which flies in the face of the 'chest works as a whole, no emphasizing parts' argument. and although they found it to work, but be insignificant, doesn't mean that it couldn't be significant for someone else

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