T Nation

Is Shoulder Width Genetic?

How much of shoulder width is genetic?

i don’t exactly have narrow shoulders, but i’d definitely prefer them to be wider. how much of a difference can i make through training?

i’m going to play any hand i’m dealt, but i am curious. were all these massively wide bodybuilders always broad shouldered?

[quote]ZedLeppelin wrote:
i’m going to play any hand i’m dealt, but i am curious. were all these massively wide bodybuilders always broad shouldered?[/quote]

I think it’s more of the typical “creating an illusion” that Thibaudeau mentions often. If you have a huge, extremely wide back, especially your lats, and big delts you will look very wide. Your bone structure figures into this, but you can make yourself very wide through training.

[quote]ZedLeppelin wrote:
how much of shoulder width is genetic?

i don’t exactly have narrow shoulders, but i’d definitely prefer them to be wider. how much of a difference can i make through training?

i’m going to play any hand i’m dealt, but i am curious. were all these massively wide bodybuilders always broad shouldered?[/quote]

IMHO, you could have very developed shoulders, but if your clavicles are narrow you’ll never look truly wide.

That being said, Larry Scott and Mike Mentzer are two examples of bodybuilders with narrow clavicles that still built impressive shoulders.

If you do a search for Larry Scott you’ll see how narrow he was before he emphasized his shoulder development.

Your bone structure is genetic and can’t be changed.

Your muscle development is not genetic and can be changed.

It helps to have naturally wide bone structure, but you can certainly overcome narrow shoulders by developing your delts.

[quote]YourXLNS wrote:
That being said, Larry Scott and Mike Mentzer are two examples of bodybuilders with narrow clavicles that still built impressive shoulders.
[/quote]

This is the kind if thing that makes me wanna go apeshit. Some “expert” makes an incorrect statement and then a bunch of his acolytes keep parroting his words.

Mentzer did NOT have narrow clavicles — just an extremely large melon. I’ve you’ve seen the VHS or DVD versions of his seminars, you would see how his shoulder width engulfed the podium he was using. That effect would not possible for someone who packed a bunch of meat on a set of narrow shoulders.

[quote]simon-hecubus wrote:
YourXLNS wrote:
That being said, Larry Scott and Mike Mentzer are two examples of bodybuilders with narrow clavicles that still built impressive shoulders.

This is the kind if thing that makes me wanna go apeshit. Some “expert” makes an incorrect statement and then a bunch of his acolytes keep parroting his words.

Mentzer did NOT have narrow clavicles — just an extremely large melon. I’ve you’ve seen the VHS or DVD versions of his seminars, you would see how his shoulder width engulfed the podium he was using. That effect would not possible for someone who packed a bunch of meat on a set of narrow shoulders. [/quote]

I agree. This is the first I’ve heard that Mentzer had “narrow clavicles”. Compared to whom?

[quote]Professor X wrote:
simon-hecubus wrote:
YourXLNS wrote:
That being said, Larry Scott and Mike Mentzer are two examples of bodybuilders with narrow clavicles that still built impressive shoulders.

This is the kind if thing that makes me wanna go apeshit. Some “expert” makes an incorrect statement and then a bunch of his acolytes keep parroting his words.

Mentzer did NOT have narrow clavicles — just an extremely large melon. I’ve you’ve seen the VHS or DVD versions of his seminars, you would see how his shoulder width engulfed the podium he was using. That effect would not possible for someone who packed a bunch of meat on a set of narrow shoulders.

I agree. This is the first I’ve heard that Mentzer had “narrow clavicles”. Compared to whom?[/quote]

You have to remember that it wasn’t that long ago that someone came on here and discussed Arnold’s “poor” genetics.

There are many ‘FOOLS’ on this site.

Way to many speak what they have read or heard elsewhere. Far to few actually know what they are saying

i’d like to point out that i’m not looking for any excuses. if i have narrow clavicles, so be it, i’ll work with what i’ve got.

any way to measure these shoulder/clavicle widths? has anyone here noticably widened themselves?

[quote]sasquatch wrote:
Professor X wrote:
simon-hecubus wrote:
YourXLNS wrote:
That being said, Larry Scott and Mike Mentzer are two examples of bodybuilders with narrow clavicles that still built impressive shoulders.

This is the kind if thing that makes me wanna go apeshit. Some “expert” makes an incorrect statement and then a bunch of his acolytes keep parroting his words.

Mentzer did NOT have narrow clavicles — just an extremely large melon. I’ve you’ve seen the VHS or DVD versions of his seminars, you would see how his shoulder width engulfed the podium he was using. That effect would not possible for someone who packed a bunch of meat on a set of narrow shoulders.

I agree. This is the first I’ve heard that Mentzer had “narrow clavicles”. Compared to whom?

You have to remember that it wasn’t that long ago that someone came on here and discussed Arnold’s “poor” genetics.

There are many ‘FOOLS’ on this site.

Way to many speak what they have read or heard elsewhere. Far to few actually know what they are saying[/quote]

Hey interesting trivia. did you know Arnold’s old man thought Arnold was a runt who would never amount to anything. the old dude was all love and nuts for the older brother, had no appreciation for “little Arnold”

Kinda crazy huh!

[quote]ZedLeppelin wrote:
i’d like to point out that i’m not looking for any excuses. if i have narrow clavicles, so be it, i’ll work with what i’ve got.

any way to measure these shoulder/clavicle widths? has anyone here noticably widened themselves?[/quote]

Dude, no offense, but any bodybuilder who is now much larger than they were before has “widened” themselves. The question makes me wonder why anyone would even ask it. Have you simply not paid attention to anyone as they gained muscular body weight? Do you simply not know anyone who has gone from skinny to extremely developed?

I would think I am much “wider” now than I was 100lbs ago. My shoulders have grown a bit without me worrying about measuring my clavicles.

[quote]simon-hecubus wrote:
This is the kind if thing that makes me wanna go apeshit. Some “expert” makes an incorrect statement and then a bunch of his acolytes keep parroting his words.

Mentzer did NOT have narrow clavicles — just an extremely large melon. I’ve you’ve seen the VHS or DVD versions of his seminars, you would see how his shoulder width engulfed the podium he was using. That effect would not possible for someone who packed a bunch of meat on a set of narrow shoulders.

Professor X wrote:
I agree. This is the first I’ve heard that Mentzer had “narrow clavicles”. Compared to whom?[/quote]

Yeah, one of the authors spouted this BS in one of their articles a few months back.

[quote]YourXLNS wrote:

That being said, Larry Scott and Mike Mentzer are two examples of bodybuilders with narrow clavicles that still built impressive shoulders.
[/quote]

You could go into hiding, but with only 30 posts invested I would change my screen name and avatar. j/k :wink:


Why anyone would feel the need to Photoshop Mentzer is beyond me.


Real shot?

[quote]Professor X wrote:
I would think I am much “wider” now than I was 100lbs ago. My shoulders have grown a bit without me worrying about measuring my clavicles.[/quote]

I read about a “scientific” study in another thread that shows you can only gain so much width as a natural bodybuilder. Just measure your head circumference and the length of your xiphiod process and you’ll get a number you’ll never attain no matter how much you eat or how hard/intellegently you train.

Really kids, don’t aim too high. It can only lead to frustration.

[quote]derek wrote:
Why anyone would feel the need to Photoshop Mentzer is beyond me.[/quote]

I agree. It looked funny but still got the point across.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
ZedLeppelin wrote:
i’d like to point out that i’m not looking for any excuses. if i have narrow clavicles, so be it, i’ll work with what i’ve got.

any way to measure these shoulder/clavicle widths? has anyone here noticably widened themselves?

Dude, no offense, but any bodybuilder who is now much larger than they were before has “widened” themselves. The question makes me wonder why anyone would even ask it. Have you simply not paid attention to anyone as they gained muscular body weight? Do you simply not know anyone who has gone from skinny to extremely developed?

I would think I am much “wider” now than I was 100lbs ago. My shoulders have grown a bit without me worrying about measuring my clavicles.[/quote]

yes, you’re right, i haven’t really known anyone that’s gone from skinny to extremely developed.

come to think of it there isn’t much use to this question at all. i’ll just have to get my weight up and have a look for myself.

[quote]Professor X wrote:
derek wrote:
Why anyone would feel the need to Photoshop Mentzer is beyond me.

I agree. It looked funny but still got the point across.[/quote]

Clarification;

I just want to add that I didn’t mean to say that you did it or anything. I saw both pictures on Google Images.

[quote]ZedLeppelin wrote:

yes, you’re right, i haven’t really known anyone that’s gone from skinny to extremely developed. [/quote]

Are you serious? No one around you lifts weights seriously? Not even the people at the gym? Or is it you just assume that every larger lifter you see was always like that?

I love this place because everything has to be turned into an argument.

The fact that I said that an impressive physique can be built despite having narrow clavicles doesn’t seem as important to some as the examples I used.

And for the record, Larry Scott does have very narrow clavicles (compared to top bodybuilders) and Mike Mentzer has a poor hip to shoulder ratio that gives him the impression of having narrow(er) shoulders compared to other top bodybuilders. (Unless, of course, you insist on using photoshopped images)