T Nation

Graininess vs Seperation


#1

I was recently listening to a breakdown of the recent Arnold Classic by Chris Aceto, and in explaining his problem with a certain BBer's placings, he stated that he has a problem "when graininess is placed ahead of seperation."

It's been my experience that some athletes are able to get that nasty grainy look we all reference back to Dorian in his day, while others, no matter how diced will just never appear in such a manner.

Is it genetic? Is it a diuretic thing? (not sure because Yates looked exactly the same the year they tested the Olympia for diuretics)....

What's your take on achievability, or even how/if it should be rewarded by the judges?

S


#2

Not to take it there so soon, but I always thought graininess was largely due to certain compounds being used.

Edit: Eh, a quick Google search seems to think it’s mostly genetic… oh, well… lol


#3

Honestly i prefer deep cuts striations and vascularity over graininess if i had to choose. But i want them all!


#4

I’m lucky that my genetics allow me to stay veins-in-the-lower-abs lean fairly easily, and I think that means I’m either single digit body fat or close to it.

But there is no graininess to my physique whatsoever. Striated, yes. Vascular, yes. But not grainy in the slightest!

It really pisses me off because I love that granite skinned, grainy look. It’s the holy grail as far as I’m concerned.

I always thought it was an age thing, but you do see some young bodybuilders with it, so I dunno.

So in short: I dunno where the graininess comes from, but if anybody works it out I’d appreciate them letting me know.


#5

Can someone provide some examples of graininess vs separation, I’d like to follow the conversation, but have no idea what you’ll are talking about…


#6

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
Can someone provide some examples of graininess vs separation, I’d like to follow the conversation, but have no idea what you’ll are talking about…[/quote]

x2. I’m curious what this is all about, I don’t follow bodybuilding closely but this seems interesting.


#7

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
It’s been my experience that some athletes are able to get that nasty grainy look we all reference back to Dorian in his day, while others, no matter how diced will just never appear in such a manner.

Is it genetic? Is it a diuretic thing?[/quote]
I always thought that was related to the training itself more than definition or diuretics. Like heavier, lower rep training helped to develop a more solid/deeper looking physique compared to relatively lighter weight/higher rep work.

Except for some true genetic freaks that will have the look no matter what, I’d say most guys from the Golden Era and guys like Levrone, Johnnie Jackson, and yeah Branch too, had/have a slightly different-looking “finished product” compared to Flex (Wheeler, not Lewis), Rhoden, or Kai.

Guys that built a base of significant strength before getting into bodybuilding and/or who regularly incorporate legit heavyass weights along with “traditional bodybuilding” seem to bring that little something extra once they diet down. Maybe the whole “sarcoplasmic vs myofibrillar hypertrophy” concept has some merit after all?!? But hey, that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong. :wink:


#8

Unless I’m just misinterpreting “grainy” (I’m not the pro bodybuilding judge here, ahem), this is the best I could come up with.

Flex’s arms and legs, especially, just seem softer than Levrones. Is it genetics? Probably not in this case, as Flex is considered one of the most “natural” (for lack of a better term) bodybuilders ever. Was he just holding water? I don’t know, but his back, abs, and quads were still detailed at that show so maybe not. But Levrone was known to throw around big weight even pre-contest, while I don’t think was quite on the same strength level.


#9

In my opinion, the best example of graininess I’ve seen is Meadows/


#10

Graineness i would say branch and raymond. Seperation…hmmm heath and wolf. Wolf is pretty grainy also.


#11

Meadows definitely.
I always thought Mentzer had that density/graininess to him as well.


#12

[quote]CxTucker wrote:
In my opinion, the best example of graininess I’ve seen is Meadows/ [/quote]
JM trained at Westside 20 years ago before becoming a pro and had a 700+ squat and 600+ deadlift. I’m just sayin. :wink:


#13

The grainy look is achieved by genetically thinner skin and vascularity. The only things gear can contribute to this would be increased vascularity, dryness and the ability of the muscles to hold more glycogen so the skin is stretched.

A picture of everyone’s favourite bodybuilder to illustrate hahaha.


#14

Skin becomes thinner with age.

To show it’s not just da roids, here’s my favorite action star in his 60s.


#15

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]CxTucker wrote:
In my opinion, the best example of graininess I’ve seen is Meadows/ [/quote]
JM trained at Westside 20 years ago before becoming a pro and had a 700+ squat and 600+ deadlift. I’m just sayin. ;)[/quote]

There’s a fact I didn’t know; appreciate that one Chris.


#16

[quote]dt79 wrote:
Skin becomes thinner with age.

To show it’s not just da roids, here’s my favorite action star in his 60s.[/quote]

I was actually going to use Clint Eastwood as an example


#17

not grainy


#18

grainy


#19

Separation.


#20

Perhaps the grainiest ever.