T Nation

Are Your Mirror Muscles Lacking?


This is going to sound strange, but out of all of my muscles my "mirror muscles" are the ones lacking. T-Nation has been responsible for putting on pounds and pounds of muscle on me and has increased my knowledge quite a bit. Every workout plan I've done in the past 5 years I have gotten from this site. Most of the workouts incorporate a lot of squats and deadlifts.

I have a pretty decent back and legs but I have noticed my chest (especially and arms severely lacking from the rest of my body, particularly my chest. Does anyone else have this issue at all?


I thought he defined your "mirror muscles" as your posterior chain and the like? So then your lacking in chest and arms would be your "beach muscles?"


No. Mirror muscles are the same as beach muscles. The muscles you see in the mirror. Shoulders, biceps, chest, abs, quads.

Im guilty of neglecting the mirror muscles as well. In highschool i was the typical bench, biceps, abs, calves guy, which led to some interesting imbalances.

Then when I started training more seriously, and found T-Nation, i pulled a Costanza and did the opposite. I think this was a great choice, but I took things too far, and am now trying to play catch up with my mirror muscles.

The thing with T-Nation, is that most of the articles are catered to average joes, weekend warriors, and athletes. For these people, developing a strong posterior chain is a very good idea, and doing something like 60:40 posterior to anterior is a good idea. But for someone interested in bodybuilding, it doesn't make much sense to neglect the mirror muscles.

For the first group, a bigger chest and biceps might be nice, but isn't really that important, while a posterior chain is definately a priority. And for a bodybuilder, a strong posterior chain is beneficial, but not as necessary as a big chest, biceps and shoulders.


Well, that is what you get for listening to personal trainers who literally HATE bodybuilding.

It isn't like we didn't tell you.


What are your measurements?


I'd say my chest/shoulders/arms are lagging compared to my back/legs too.

I think it's just because doing lower body 2x a week hampers your recovery for your upper body...


Which begs the question, "why the fuck would you train that way?"

I mean, are some of you guys serious???? You follow programs designed by people who HATE bodybuilding and then act surprised when you have lagging body parts. Is it that you all thought we were lying when we said that does not sound right?



Exactly. I mean, sure, alot of the programs on here are great, but some are not specifically for bodybuilding. Like 5/3/1, the WS4SB series, Starting Strength etc.... Those programs are more inclined towards strength and not primarily for BBing. Some genetic freaks might pull it off, but more often than not, if you follow strength/PLing workouts, you won't exactly look stage ready.

Or, maybe check your diet buddy.


"Face away from the full-length mirror and use the smaller mirror on her compact to eyeball your backside â?? your entire backside from the top of your shoulders to several clicks south of Glutesville... What you don't see gets ignored, and the "mirror muscles," the muscles you can only see by using a mirror, are a sobering example." - From the "mirror muscles" article. Just pointing out that these are the muscles you can only see using a mirror, whereas chest, biceps, etc, you can just look down. Semantics really.

Everyone knows what you were in fact talking about- but its Friday and I wanted to win SOMETHING before the week is up.

And in regards to the topic at hand, there needs to be balance in everything. Denying your chest or arms has an effect on your backside, as does the reverse. However, in my neck of the woods, I have NEVER seen someone lacking in arms or chest that have a substantial posterior chain, so congrats on that!


I just want to get as strong as possible on squat/bench/dead/m.press/bb curl along with the accessory exercises I do with them. I'm not avoiding any muscle groups.


Out of boredom and curosity I tried changing my workouts to squats,BP,deads of all kinds,weighted chins, and no arm work or direct delt work. I decreased my volume to as low as 25 total reps per movement with enough rest between sets to be fully recovered. Because of the decreased workload my appetite decreased. After a good 2 yrs I became a lot stronger and gained weight, some muscle but more fat. My traps, glutes, lower chest, and hamstrings were bigger but my delts, arms, upper chest and lat width shrunk. I definitely felt more of a CNS drain than a muscle fatigue. My joints were killing me, especially lower back and carpal tunnel syndrome in my wrists.

I know I might have been training wrong somewhere and my negative experience with anti-BB or "functional" training does not mean everyone else will experience the same thing.But when I finally went back to higher volumes and hitting each muscle from as many angles as I could get into an hour twice a week I started to fill back out in my arms,delts, and middle/upper chest while looking leaner.Joints feel better too. People on this site might call me "pussy", "wimp", or just wrong but I don't give a S**T.


i can see the potential for the issue the OP has been having, but i have experienced quite the opposite... my arms and chest have improved since i stopped training like your typical bodybuilding pussy. and my joints feel much better due to decreased number of sets. other people may respond differently to a compound-dominant program, but my body could not handle a bodybuilding regimen much longer, not to mention the amount of time it required.

my emphasis on pull-ups has improved my biceps, weighted dips have improved my triceps, and deadlifting/static holds/farmer's walks have improved my forearms. i still do a little accessory work after i do the compound movements, which i suppose could be helping.


For fuck sake.


This a BB forum so I am assuming you are a non-competive or soon to be competive BB who would assess your progress with pictures. I think it would be of great value to all T memebers if you could post a recent pic of your progress.
Thanks in advance


LOL nice. A VERY SUBTLE call out.


It is apparently a lot easier to talk the talk on the internet than walk the walk.


Yeah, definitely.

My back and legs are by far my strongest point. Arms and chests lagging. Shoulders are alright thought.

I had the "You don't have to work arms directly" plague for most of my period training.


They let you live by yourself?


Haha notice he calls bodybuilders pussy's and then says his body couldn't handle a bodybuilding program. Oh the irony!

I'm interested in a pic as well.


a) His camera is broken but he's almost saved up enough for a new one so he'll post pics in 2 months, honest.

b) He has lost his charger for his camera.

c) His parents took away his camera because he stayed up late last week.

d) There isn't anyone around RIGHT NOW to take pictures and his camera doesn't have a self timer.

I bet d, feel free to add more predictions.