T Nation

Opinion on 'Shaping' Exercises?


Well recently i've been reading a lot on these forums that muscles such as the chest work mostly as a whole and will grow depending on your genetics. Basiclly trying to shape your chest is pointless so this made me wonder how about exercises such as dumbell flyes or cable cross-overs? I almost see famous BB'ers incoporate this into their workouts and even Dorian Yates himself said that its a shapin exercise and it helps hit the inner and outer portion of your chest.

I'm just not sure on what to believe . Theres many intelligent people on the site , but how can i go against the word of a proffesional BB'er or 6 time Mr. Olympia champion?and if thats the case wouldn't it be smart to incoporate 3 compound chest movements isntead of 2?


The term "shaping" sucks because you can't change the shape of a muscle - that's genetically determined.

However, you can certainly hit a muscle from multiple angles, with varying types of movements in order to fully develop it. This could be viewed as "shaping" the muscle.

Just poor terminology.


While you can employ angles in your exercise selection to SOME degree (as SOME muscles have multiple insertion points), a muscle will either grow, or it will not. It cannot change shape.