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Thread: chest shape

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004

    Unhappy chest shape

    Hi all,

    I'm new to weight training, and to this site - looks like you guys might be able to help me with my first question, so please help if you can....

    For years and years, I've been quite chubby, and now I've finally got rid of most of the fat, through cardio. My main problem has always been man-breasts. They were never that bad, but still, annoying, huh?

    Now that I'm starting to get into weight training, I want to work on my chest, but in a specific way. I'm worried about ending up with big old man-breasts again, but made out of muscle instead of fat! (Although I know it would still look better).

    What I want to aim for is the double-square look, i.e. each side of the chest is defined at the inner and bottom edge, with a clear valley down the middle, making it look like two squares next to each other. I'm not at all fussed about overall size - anywhere from fairly small to fairly large will do fine! What I don't want is to end up with big, anonymous-shaped muscles sitting on my ribcage.

    SO.... What exercises should I do to get this square shape? I guess from reading the forum that many of you will say it's all genetics, which might well be true, but is there ANYTHING I can do to help myself?

    Thanks everyone!


  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Coquitlam, B.C
    well yes, its mostly based on genetics.
    but here are benchpress exercises that might help you understand what muscles are worked

    decline bench - lower chest
    flat bench - middle chest
    incline bench - upper chest

    wide grip decline bench - outter lower chest
    wide grip flat bench - outter middle chest
    wide grip incline bench - outter upper chest (near shoulders)

    flyes (the valley maker as you would put it)

    inclined flyes - upper inner chest
    flat flyes - middle inner chest
    decline flyes - lower middle chest

    hope that helps ...
    just dont do them all on one workout .... split it up.
    but your genetics will be the main factor ... look at any 3 guys chests and they will all be different.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Little Rock, AR
    When it comes to chest shape, the very last sentence in Stalefish's post is the only one that really determines it. Unfortunately all the rest is just muscle magazine myth. You can't alter the shape of a muscle by working it from different angles. Variation is sometimes good for boredom, or recruit a slightly different set of support muscles, but it can't change the shape of the muscle. Same goes with all of your body parts. You can't change the shape of your biceps by going from a dumbbell curl to a preacher curl. Your muscle shape is pre-determined by the set of code your parents pass on to your body. Sorry to rain on your parade, but that is just the cold hard truth. If you want to see the shape on your chest better, along with working out it might behoove you to examine and possibly change your diet. You can certainly see the shape of the muscle better if it doesn't have a layer of bodyfat on it.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Baton Rouge
    Can I get an AMEN?!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004

    help me to

    i got a problem like that to. I am a beginner at working out and will like to know how to get ride of my slight "man boob" chest i want know how often should i work my chest out a week cuzz i need extra help....and should i use push ups?

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    So Cal
    Push ups will help out the most because it's not just a chest exercise. The easiest and most effective way is to do a set or two every hour throughout the day.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Thumbs up You can't change the shape of your biceps by going from a dumbbell curl to a preacher

    Quote Originally Posted by jpfitness View Post
    You can't change the shape of your biceps by going from a dumbbell curl to a preacher curl.
    You address a crucial point here!

    The biceps is a fusiform (spindle-shaped) muscle whose fibers all run end to end in the same direction. And since a muscle fiber contracts on an all-or-nothing principle, you cannot selectively develop your "lower biceps" (I can assure you, those words sound like the stupidest ever to someone with a medical degree).

    Not only that, but serious weight training NECESSARILY engages muscle fibers equally all around the biceps, so that you cannot selectively develop the long or the short head of your biceps. Regional recruitment is possible only at ridiculously low intensities that don't cause any hypertrophic change in the muscles.

    Accumulation of biceps mass will make it top higher and by hitting the brachialis underlying it, you can push the lower half of the biceps slightly up. That's about all what can be done. You cannot change the shape of a muscle. Only make it bigger. But the good news is that you can change the way your upper arms look.

    Likewise, from a scientific point of view AND practical experience, you can't develop "outer chest" or "inner chest". Because there is no such thing! Apparently, though, you can in theory try to put more emphasis on the sternal or the clavicular head, as they have opposite functions (shoulder flexion vs. shoulder extension). But in practice, it's very questionable whether or not it works at all.


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