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

Its 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. #1
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    I made my upper chest grow, relative to my lower chest

    no bs. yes, i have read every piece of text in all of the links in the kid's signature ( the mod/admin guy who has a hulk pic as his avatar). i followed these debates with keen interest, as i have always had a horribly small upper chest relative to the bottom.

    after looking for a way to convince myself it was worthwhile to try to bring out my upper chest, i finally decided to let it go, and realize that the chest is a single muscle, and can only contract one way, adn i coudl not target it. mind you, i was looking at these debates hoping i could find the answer i was looking for (that i COULD target my upper chest), and i came away convinced i couldn't, adn decided not to waste any time on a useless pursuit. i kept training my chest the way i did before (mainly benching and dips, which were probably contributing to the larger lower portion, as dips were a big part of my chest routine).

    anyways, i went as far as speakign with a ex sci professor at my uni, who confirmed that, in fact, you CANNOT target upper chest. i was convinced i was doomed.


    a while later i was reading an interview about some hugely famous trainer (if i hear the name i'll know it, he is notorious), who was asked about this, and although he could not explain it, he said he has brought out the upper chest on many of his clients. after reading this, and a talk with a local bodybuilder who swears he can target his upper chest as well, i decided to try it.


    for the past 4 months, roughly, i have devoted my chest training to changing this imbalance. i have not done a single flat bench movement, and def no decline movements. my chest routine is basically 100% incline db flies/presses. after beginning this workout routine, i would notice that only my upper chest was sore (extremely), and the very bottom of my chest was barely sore at all. this gave me hope.

    i am posting now, about 4 months into this 'shaping' program of mine, to say that i have absolutely changed the upper : lower ratios of chest mass.

    flame away

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    Let's see some comparison pics.
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  4. #3
    Go Heels! MixmasterNash's Avatar
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    No, you made your chest grow, period.

    The only confirmation that you "targeted" anything is if you lose your chest muscle mass and then emphasize your "lower chest" and build up a different pectoral shape.

    The journal / I live here.

    If I were to start from scratch as a young 13 year old again, I would do every press, squat, and perhaps deadlifts, for my entire career with chains. -- Dan John

  5. #4
    Wrecker of Homes d'Anconia's Avatar
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    So Jazer80 why is it, do you think that an incline movement would target the upper chest more? It may or may not target the clavicular head of pectoralis major (which, mind you, has very little potential for growth) but as far as I'm concerned when you switch from flat to incline it just emphasizes the shoulders more (the more the incline, the closer it comes to being shoulder press).
    ...........||High School||.....||July '05||.......||January '09||
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  6. #5
    mrelwooddowd Patz's Avatar
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    It's easily possible that he built up his delts, giving him better chest aesthetics.
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  7. #6
    Senior Member smalls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony
    Let's see some comparison pics.

    That's what I wanna see too.

    Also my "upper chest" looks to have grown every time I bulk because that's where I tend to hold fat. Dont be deceived by the mirror.
    Diet is key, the calorie is king

    "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."
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    "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
    Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination
    alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race."
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  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatrb38
    So Jazer80 why is it, do you think that an incline movement would target the upper chest more? It may or may not target the clavicular head of pectoralis major (which, mind you, has very little potential for growth) but as far as I'm concerned when you switch from flat to incline it just emphasizes the shoulders more (the more the incline, the closer it comes to being shoulder press).
    i agree with you in theory here. again, i definitely cannot explain it, and as i said in my post, i was in full agreement with you guys. the debates seem to favor no way of targeting, and i was fully on the other side of the fence. i wanted to do this sooo bad, but couldn't find any scientific proof it was possible. i found tons of anecdotal evidence, but that is meaningless to me usually.


    then i read that famous trainer saying it, and just thought 'how can he possibly think he's done it hundreds of times, when in fact he really didn't?'. then i spoke with a kid with good shape (in my town), who was fully convinced, so i gave it a shot. i definitely see a difference (haha now i'm one of those people i thought was clueless before. great....)

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony
    Let's see some comparison pics.
    i will have my gf take some when she gets back, actually i have a kid coming by to train with me soon so i will have him snap some.

    i am not sure if you'll be able to see in pics, the difference is very minor. here's how i know tho: you know when youwear a wifey, and you can see the upper/inner corners of your chest? i was horribly thin there, soooo little muscle. now, despite having roughly the same dimensions in my lower chest, i have a definite increase up there.

    i know you'll prolly say if you can't see it in a pic then i'm lying, and all i can do is say i'm not. this has only been 4 months, and i'm not doing this more than 2 times weekly. plus i don't grow quickly. i definitely don't have an extra lb of muscle on my upper pecs, but if you stare at yourself in teh mirror every day (you know what i'm talking bout), you notice stuff. and i can see it being in my head if i just 'thought the shape changed', but i was mostly interested iwth the upper/inner, where i was sooo devoid of good muscle, and that area is starting to come in now, so i'll definitely be continuing this way

  10. #9
    Senior Member Jorge Sanchez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony
    Let's see some comparison pics.
    Without pics this is all really quite useless.

    There are plenty of successful bodybuilders who buy into this myth. That doesn`t make it true.
    quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by smalls
    That's what I wanna see too.

    Also my "upper chest" looks to have grown every time I bulk because that's where I tend to hold fat. Dont be deceived by the mirror.
    i have extremely low bf, maybe 6 or 7? you guys will be able to tell by my pics, give me an hour or two and i'll have some up


    here's a pic from a while back, this is while i was in a powerlifting/wrestling phase, so i have actually lost weight (~10) since then, so my chest as a whole is bigger in this one, but i'll do my best to get the upper/inner pics i am talking about.


    i know i sound like a crazy a hole right now, but as i said i am a person who demands evidence, and i hate being the one who is sitting here swearing i'm right when i can prove i'm wrong on paper, but i've been noticing it was working for a bit, and was 100% convinced a couple weeks ago, and realized i should probably share my experience.

    (out of curiousity, have any of you who doubt tried it in the past? i'm sure you ahve not, as why the hellwoudl you try something you knew woudln't work? just a q tho)


    ps, i couldn't get my pics on here cuz they're too big. can someone hook up a SAFE pic resizer? anyways, until i can get them into this thread, i just uploaded them to my fish tank site, so here is hte link, i put 2 pics there. check them quick because i'm sure they'll be erased once a mod sees that they aren't fish tanks

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrelwooddowd
    It's easily possible that he built up his delts, giving him better chest aesthetics.
    i thought that at first when i was encountering the fact that my lower chest would not be sore at all, and my upper chest was very sore. but my the reason i finally believe is because my upper/inner chest is finally developing, and i'm virtually certain that cannot be from my delts

  13. #12
    Wannabebig Member Luke Lippincott's Avatar
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    Maybe the lower part of your pecs are getting smaller thos makeing it look like your upper chest is getting bigger.
    The line has been drawn...
    Only the elite will cross it!

    ..::--><--::..

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  14. #13
    Wannabebig Member Luke Lippincott's Avatar
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    Maybe the lower part of your pecs are getting smaller thos makeing it look like your upper chest is getting bigger, are something like that
    The line has been drawn...
    Only the elite will cross it!

    ..::--><--::..

    Age - 17------------End of March
    Weight - 185----------193
    Bench - 275-----------305
    Squat - 375-----------375
    Deadlift- ???-----------450

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MixmasterNash
    The only confirmation that you "targeted" anything is if you lose your chest muscle mass and then emphasize your "lower chest" and build up a different pectoral shape.
    can you restate that a different way, i'm reading that as you disagree with me, yet acknowledge you can 'build up a different pectoral shape'.

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Lippincott
    Maybe the lower part of your pecs are getting smaller thos makeing it look like your upper chest is getting bigger, are something like that
    maybe, but that woudl presuppose that your chest doesn't grow all at once. ie: i start working upper only****, and because of that lower doesn't grow. fine, but that still means i did upper chest movements, and they didn't hit my lower, which says you can target


    i know this is jsut going to turn into me losing what little respect i may have had in the first place, but i need to get this out. i hope the pics show it, we'll see, he's coming by around 4ish to lift, and i'll snap some. the first ones i jsut uploaded to that site are just full body shots, so i don't know if you will be able to see my upper chest in those close enough to know there is a difference, but we'll see when i get the new ones

  17. #16
    Senior Member seK's Avatar
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    I am guessing the trainer is Tony Little that midget can sell ANYTHING!

    I have discovered that most of the shape my chest takes is very dependent on how hard I work the surrounding muscle groups.

  18. #17
    aka Latman harv's Avatar
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    Jazer...don't bother.
    You can post pics and they still won't believe you.
    Been there...done that.
    http://wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=62905
    34 y/o, 5-10", ~210 lbs, natural
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  19. #18
    Go Heels! MixmasterNash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by harv
    Jazer...don't bother.
    You can post pics and they still won't believe you.
    Been there...done that.
    http://wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=62905
    Again, the fact that your upper chest gets bigger does not mean that you can emphasize your upper over your lower chest. It is simply how the chest has grown.

    Again, the only way to prove that it is possible is for one person to develop their chest differently in two different cycles, one emphasizing upper, and the other lower, and losing the muscle mass between cycles. I doubt anyone wants to drop their muscle mass to give it a shot, but again, it's the only way to demonstrate such a theory.

    The journal / I live here.

    If I were to start from scratch as a young 13 year old again, I would do every press, squat, and perhaps deadlifts, for my entire career with chains. -- Dan John

  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by MixmasterNash
    Again, the fact that your upper chest gets bigger does not mean that you can emphasize your upper over your lower chest. It is simply how the chest has grown.
    i have less total chest mass now, yet i have a larger upper chest


    i'll have pics up as soon as i finish my workout, give me like 1 hr

  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MixmasterNash
    Again, the fact that your upper chest gets bigger does not mean that you can emphasize your upper over your lower chest. It is simply how the chest has grown.

    Again, the only way to prove that it is possible is for one person to develop their chest differently in two different cycles, one emphasizing upper, and the other lower, and losing the muscle mass between cycles. I doubt anyone wants to drop their muscle mass to give it a shot, but again, it's the only way to demonstrate such a theory.
    that would definitely explain an increase in upper chest mass only, but in my case i can rule that out, as my chest was bigger than it is now when i had the upper/lower balance issue. i lost 10lbs since then, and now that i've been training my upper only, i'm correcting hte imbalance, and i have still not hit my old weight (165, i hover around the mid 150's now)

  22. #21
    Go Heels! MixmasterNash's Avatar
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    Are you measuring at the same bodyfat levels, particularly around the chest?

    The journal / I live here.

    If I were to start from scratch as a young 13 year old again, I would do every press, squat, and perhaps deadlifts, for my entire career with chains. -- Dan John

  23. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by harv
    Jazer...don't bother.
    You can post pics and they still won't believe you.
    Been there...done that.
    http://wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=62905
    i feel obligated to post because i was on the other side of this like 5 months ago, then i decided it couldn't hurt to give it a shot for a little while, and it worked. i know the science is against it, but we don't know everything about everything, and once in a while somethign can happen that doesn't really make sense on paper, but it does. the body is complex and as much of it as we know, we don't know it all. i know this puts me on the other side of the fence by posting against commonly held truth, but i feel like a dick not doing it, because now that i realize it works, it has totally changed how i have been/will train forever.


    the trainer was charles glass, i believe he is a respected trainer, but i dunno much about that part of the bb industry.

  24. #23
    T.J.W. nhlfan's Avatar
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    quick, dumb question. if you cant train the upper chest, what is the points of incline bench press? and decline, for that matter?
    -Matt
    gym lifts: squat: 341lbs, deadlift: 374lbs, bench: 275lbs
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  25. #24
    Go Heels! MixmasterNash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nhlfan
    quick, dumb question. if you cant train the upper chest, what is the points of incline bench press? and decline, for that matter?
    To (de)emphasize the deltoids.

    The journal / I live here.

    If I were to start from scratch as a young 13 year old again, I would do every press, squat, and perhaps deadlifts, for my entire career with chains. -- Dan John

  26. #25
    Senior Member Jorge Sanchez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jazer80
    i have less total chest mass now, yet i have a larger upper chest


    i'll have pics up as soon as i finish my workout, give me like 1 hr
    Are you sure it's actually larger, or does it just look relatively larger because your whole chest is smaller?

    Also, the increased definition resulting from decreased bf might appear to make your upper chest bigger when in actuality it is just more defined.
    quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur

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