T Nation

Chest Shaping

I’ve been working out about 6 months now, and everything is coming into shape EXCEPT my chest. Sure, it’s big and muscular… But, It’s not shaped smooth. It’s like 2 large balls of muscle! How do Imake it smooth? I know this sounds stupid but, I’d really appreiate the help!

dude, you are refering the the make believe term of “toning”. If you have a big chest,and a low bodyfat(below 12) you should see your pecs.
if you wanna sculpt, go to richard simmons website, not t-mag

You make it smooth with synthol.

Try going on a cutting cycle. You may have too high of a body fat percentage.

Also, some lower-rep, higher intensity training (read, 5x5 or related program). The residual tension will help “tone” the muscle. Another option would be to use a bench press powerlifting program–something Soviet flavored with a lot of sets, and very few reps. Um… Charles Staley wrote an article on two such peaking programs on T-mag. Do a search.

Actually, never mind. Here.

Other options feature:
Anti-bodybuilding Hypertrophy by Chad Waterbury (or basically ANY of Chad’s programs featuring low reps) or “Ripped, Rugged and Dense” by Joel Marion (or his hypertrophy progam featuring low reps) or “Maximal Weights” by Charles Poliquin. OVT is also a possibility.

I could go on, but I won’t. Do low reps with heavy weights, and suddenly, definition will appear.

Dan “I know this goes counter to the ‘common knowledge,’ but so does a lot of good training advice” McVicker

I’ve read overhead cable work brings out striations. Also how the fuck did you to manage to post from 11/24/01? This is freaking me out. Time for more coke.

Hmm… Synthol, hahahah. That’s a good one.

Whan you say smooth, I’m not quite sure what you mean. If you mean skin soft as a baby’s bottom, probably use Veet and vaseline. I assume mean an overall development as opposed to a particular area of the muscle only.

Seriously, though, when you say you’ve been training for 6 months you need to be a bit more specific, since there are a shit load of excersises you can do for your chest. What exactly did you do?

Depending on what you do, the shape of the muscle will change. I think you may have been doing a lot of one particular king of bench press. Try rotating between flat, incline and decline bench press as well as dumbell presses and flys. The incline emphasises the top of the pec more (near where it joins the shoulder) and the decline emphasises the bottom more. By using dumbells for this you change the angle of your wrists, which changes the emphasis on the triceps, and also the contraction arc. Flys are cool for a big stretch, but I don’t see a lot of big guys doing them at my gym.

Also, striations (wavy ridges on the muscle surface) are normal if you have a very low body-fat percentage. On the other hand, if you have too much body fat it will look like you have breasts.

Wow, very helpful there guys. You’ve been working out six months. It sounds like you need to get your diet in order. The general rule is that you can either work on bulking or cutting, not both at once. Since you seem to have the mass, get to looking here at the Previous Issues and find a good diet to stick with. If you like, you can post a pic in the appropriate forum for some constructive criticism that may give you more help.

You’re right, it does sound stupid.


Dan “George Romero” McVicker

shoot a load or three on it. that will really smooth it out.

Hahaha, I was wondering if anyone would notice this post is two years old.

another factor in addition to diet could be your posture. Overdeveloped lats and pecs can cause a rounded shoulder forward head posture. This results in less resting tension on the pecs which makes them look baggy and soft. If you want to experiment with this slump your shoulders forward and put your fingers in the area between your front delt and pecs. You will feel they are very soft and flacid. Now throw your shoulder blades together and stick your chest out. You will find that area now has a high level of resting tone. Do the low rep programs as said before and put yourself on a cutting diet. Then do specific work for your scapula adductors and external rotators. Charles poloquin wrote a great article on strength percentages for muscle balance. look his name up in the search engine for and article on achieveing uppper body balance. Then look up some articles on how to strengthen the rotator cuff and external rotators . Follow those articles and you should be fine.