Arm and Shoulder Definition

I will pose a question that I think could spark some good conversation.

When it comes to having well defined muscles in the arms and shoulders, how much is muscle size vs leanness vs exercise selection vs genetics?

What has helped you to get good separation?

[quote]davidtower wrote:
I will pose a question that I think could spark some good conversation.

When it comes to having well defined muscles in the arms and shoulders, how much is muscle size vs leanness vs exercise selection vs genetics?

What has helped you to get good separation?[/quote]

I lack good separation in my arms but my shoulders have all three heads showing along with separation in my traps and that pec-delt tie in. Most of that came from overall size. To get more definition in my arms will require me to drop more body fat.

I have seen similar in many other trainers.

Build huge shoulders if you want good separation. You have to have enough meat there for that area to really pop out.

Good arm definition is mostly just a factor leanness alone. You can have really small biceps and still have good separation.

to get good definition always leanness combined with muscle size. How striated they are is also a thing of genetics. I dont think exercise selection plays a role here.

[quote]Mr.Jeannay wrote:
to get good definition always leanness combined with muscle size. How striated they are is also a thing of genetics. I dont think exercise selection plays a role here.[/quote]
Basically this.
Leanness will show definition and separation.
Exercise selection doesn’t really matter IMO.

I would say exercise helped me in the sense that when I did “compounds only,” parts like my medial delts and lateral/long triceps were tiny. that boils down to a size issue I guess

this might be an obvious one but higher reps, 15+, and a lot of isolation work has helped me with definition and shape of the muscle.

I honestly believe lower reps will give you the size, but higher reps not only burn more calories during your workout(IE decreased BF), but they also give the muscles a rounder, fuller look.

So, after your key lifts, throw in some higher rep work and isolation work to add separation,

PS: obviously this works best when your BF is low

Genetics + exercise selection will determine muscle shape. Size will force the muscle against the skin and lead to more detail. Leanness will obviously reveal what’s there. For what it’s worth, my delts always look bigger when I’m leaner.

Depends on muscle shape and fat storage. I’ve known guys that just don’t store fat in their arms and shoulders. They can have a big belly and plenty of arm/shoulder definition.

Genetics…all else being equal.

Definition in arms and shoulders definitely require isolation moves IMO. I think it was pretty much uncontested that size plays a role in this, and as mentioned before you wont acquire this with your big compounds alone.

That being said when working with smaller muscle groups really blast em. Drop sets, mechanical dropsets, stripsets, supersets and all that really shine here. Go for the pump, it doesn’t make much sense to do 1RM delt raises.

Although genetics and torso vs arm dominance means alot too. Delts are one of my best features and I do relatively little overhead pressing as it aggravates my subacrimonal stuff, however I’m an arm dominant presser so shoulders and tries put up alot of the work in any kind of push.

Also lower bodyfat is a given, unless you carry none in your arms anyway, but as far as striations go, Im in the camp that big stretches whilst holding a pump helps build seperation in certain areas. In a poor attempt to explain, I imagine you want to have big muscles pressing against skin with little fat in between, but what about the fascia sheathe that holds the muscle in? Stretching that out might allow for some more growth and allow for striations to be seen if the muscle isnt squeezed together too much. I could be wrong.

A guy at my gym who did his first show not too long ago led me to believe this, and he does big ROM with awkward hand positions in dips and pulls and whatnot and big cable stretchs for pecs/back/shoulders. He has great upper body seperation and that methodology has helped my chest perk up a bit too.

One more thing, I love training delts, and one thing I’ve always done was unilateral front and side raises using a lighter weight long-bar (20-40lbs). Something about the added rotational inertia of the geometry always made it feel better to pull on, allowing you to pull it real hard and keep it travelling straight up.

Building up massive shoulder can really help your arms appear bigger, given that you are relatively lean and have some solid mass in your arms.

[quote]BlueCollarTr8n wrote:
Genetics…all else being equal. [/quote]

You realize you could say that about any of the variables in question, right?