T Nation

Shaping Muscles?

now that i think about it, isn’t the whole idea of choosing different exercises to “shape” the muscle kinda irrelevant? I mean if u were to take any old humongous powerlifter with humongous tris and shed him from all of his fat, wouldn’t his tris look symmetrical to some extent?

Im trying to prove that heavy pressing is the best kind of tricep builder, yet many people still do extensions and what not.

I like to do dumbell kickbacks with mom’s rubber coated purple 3 pounders. Sets of 50 let me feel the burn.

But you’re right.

[quote]B.b. in stress! wrote:
now that i think about it, isn’t the whole idea of choosing different exercises to “shape” the muscle kinda irrelevant? I mean if u were to take any old humongous powerlifter with humongous tris and shed him from all of his fat, wouldn’t his tris look symmetrical to some extent?

Im trying to prove that heavy pressing is the best kind of tricep builder, yet many people still do extensions and what not.[/quote]

genetics determine the shape of a muscle. you can only make them bigger.

meat

[quote]maraudermeat wrote:
B.b. in stress! wrote:
now that i think about it, isn’t the whole idea of choosing different exercises to “shape” the muscle kinda irrelevant? I mean if u were to take any old humongous powerlifter with humongous tris and shed him from all of his fat, wouldn’t his tris look symmetrical to some extent?

Im trying to prove that heavy pressing is the best kind of tricep builder, yet many people still do extensions and what not.
exactly

thats what ive wanted to hear man. thx!
genetics determine the shape of a muscle. you can only make them bigger.

meat
[/quote]

[quote]B.b. in stress! wrote:
now that i think about it, isn’t the whole idea of choosing different exercises to “shape” the muscle kinda irrelevant? I mean if u were to take any old humongous powerlifter with humongous tris and shed him from all of his fat, wouldn’t his tris look symmetrical to some extent?

Im trying to prove that heavy pressing is the best kind of tricep builder, yet many people still do extensions and what not.[/quote]

Extensions help them to get bigger. Your fault, like so many others, is to assume that isolation exercises somehow don’t help muscles get bigger. This is false. I do heavy pressing movements. I also do heavy triceps extensions. I don’t get the current trend of believing it is “either or”. It’s BOTH.

Hitting a muscle from different angles with different movements can potentially reach more muscle fibers…which equals a greater increase in adaptation and growth assuming you are eating and resting enough for it to happen.

I beleive that you can “preferentially recruit” different muscle heads. If based nothing else on the fact that the body would not have developed multiple muscle heads if they did not have a purpose.

Many times evolution is smarter than our ability to figure it out. I mean form my own wxperience I can tell you that I had a bottom heavy chest form years of heavy BP. I finally started doing inclines for a awhile and my “upper pecs” developed more.

The results may be minimal and not worth it to an athlete, but for the BBer, I beleive they do exist to a degree.

[quote]B.b. in stress! wrote:
now that i think about it, isn’t the whole idea of choosing different exercises to “shape” the muscle kinda irrelevant? I mean if u were to take any old humongous powerlifter with humongous tris and shed him from all of his fat, wouldn’t his tris look symmetrical to some extent?[/quote]

It depends, but more than likely they’ll have more tricep development down near the elbow than anywhere else. Other movements would be needed to build up the rest of that muscle group.

CT went over this during one of his articles. When he was powerlifting he had bigger legs than he does now, but he had uneven muscle proportions and had to work it out with different movements.

[quote]
Im trying to prove that heavy pressing is the best kind of tricep builder, yet many people still do extensions and what not.[/quote]

For physique transformation, heavy pressing is definitely needed, but shouldn’t be your only elbow extension movement. Extensions can even be a service in powerlifting. Say you plateau on all your pressing movements, and notice your triceps are your weak point. Wouldn’t you want to find a different movement(s) to help bring up that lagging muscle group?

It seems to me that alot of the powerlifters at Westside do a ton of tricep extensions to help their bench,so its not like they got those huge triceps only from benching,maybe primarily but not exclusively.

I also do heavy compounds with iso’s as well. I usually do the isolation movements after the compounds, but not always. I mix up overhead, flat and pulldown versions for tris because the position of the upper arm in relation to the shoulder joint effects the degree to which the 3 heads are emphasized. If this is going to be referred to as shaping then fine, but in the end muscles either get larger or smaller period.

If someone were to do nothing, but incline benches for instance, over time then they would wind up with a funky top heavy looking chest. In the broadest sense I guess this is shaping, but it’s still a function of the same growth process.

In other words if by shaping we mean working one region of muscle or group to a greater or lesser degree than another adjacent one then some shaping is possible. If we’re talking about changing the actual innate “relative dimensions” of a muscle then this has yet to be demonstrated to my satisfaction.

A largely semantic discussion which is marginally useful at best in my opinion. Preoccupation with this kind of minutia will distract all the, but the most advanced lifters from aspects of training that would do them much more good also in my opinion.

this is true. listen to meat.

[quote]B.b. in stress! wrote:
now that i think about it, isn’t the whole idea of choosing different exercises to “shape” the muscle kinda irrelevant? I mean if u were to take any old humongous powerlifter with humongous tris and shed him from all of his fat, wouldn’t his tris look symmetrical to some extent?

Im trying to prove that heavy pressing is the best kind of tricep builder, yet many people still do extensions and what not.[/quote]

why do you think that you must choose to do pressing OR extensions? like professor x already replied, you can do BOTH.

personally, i rarely, if ever, do isolation movements. maybe for abdominals and calves, but that’s about it. however, there are countless EFFECTIVE ways to incorporate isolation training into a program.

depending on one’s current conditioning, he she can incorporate an appropriate amount of isolation training to add tolerable volume to certain muscles to help them grow faster.

i.e. some arm curl motions, some tricep extension motions, etc…

again, i do very few isolation movements, and i do notice that most people in the gym don’t learn how to get the most out of basic compound movements and make isolation movements that backbone of their routines while yielding minimal results, but i’m not gonna knock on isolation exercises. if you know what you’re doing, you can incorporate all types of exercises into an effective routine to achive your goals.

good luck.

actually, i lied.

i love dumbell lateral raises, standing dumbell hammer curls, and lying one-legged hamstring curls.

but other than that, it’s virtually compound ALL THE WAY. but hey, that’s me. i know enough jacked up dudes who use a lot of isolation, and again, if you know what you’re doing, that are all sorts of effective routines out there to help you achieve your goals, using isolation movements.

[quote]hueyOT wrote:
actually, i lied.

i love dumbell lateral raises, standing dumbell hammer curls, and lying one-legged hamstring curls.

but other than that, it’s virtually compound ALL THE WAY. but hey, that’s me. i know enough jacked up dudes who use a lot of isolation, and again, if you know what you’re doing, that are all sorts of effective routines out there to help you achieve your goals, using isolation movements.[/quote]

I’d guess I’m about 70/30 compounds/isolation. I do specific exercises for lateral delts, bi’s, tri’s, abs and calves at the moment. I have a general routine that I follow, but it remains subject to revision based on how I see my progress in specific groups as well as how I feel that day.

ughh…

i keep forgetting, “everything in moderation”

i heard that extensions were actually bad for ur elbows: http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=06-155-training

read tip #2

i just think that if theres a better tricep builder, im gonna stick with that one and choose very little if not any other exercise. maybe i should rethink this though

[quote]B.b. in stress! wrote:
ughh…

i keep forgetting, “everything in moderation”

i heard that extensions were actually bad for ur elbows:
read tip #2

i just think that if theres a better tricep builder, im gonna stick with that one and choose very little if not any other exercise. maybe i should rethink this though
[/quote]

Yes, you should. What bothers me more than little else is to see beginners latch onto this one website as if it is the beginning and end of all training knowledge and that they should get everything they need to know from this one resource. That’s a great way to get led anywhere someone else pleases. Never get all of your info from one place.

Beyond that, many trainers experience elbow pain from LYING TRICEPS EXTENSIONS. I often get pain from that movement and any other than causes me to bring a weight from behind my head. That is why I do triceps extensions using a cable and kickbacks. You have taken one passage in one article as absolute truth without understanding the details.

Could you make a bigger mistake?

[quote]Professor X wrote:
Extensions help them to get bigger. Your fault, like so many others, is to assume that isolation exercises somehow don’t help muscles get bigger. This is false. I do heavy pressing movements. I also do heavy triceps extensions. I don’t get the current trend of believing it is “either or”. It’s BOTH.

Hitting a muscle from different angles with different movements can potentially reach more muscle fibers…which equals a greater increase in adaptation and growth assuming you are eating and resting enough for it to happen.[/quote]

Exactly. Your triceps don’t know whether you are pressing X lbs or doing extensions with 1/3 or 1/4 that weight.

There is a lot to be said for compound movements that stimulate several muscle groups at once, but there is just as much to be said about stimulating each muscle group individually and directly.

In addition, compounds hit different muscles more or less during different portions of th ROM. Presses, for example, hit your pecs best in the bottom half and triceps much more near the top. A properly performed extension will stimulate your triceps throughout the ROM.

[quote]Doug Adams wrote:

It depends, but more than likely they’ll have more tricep development down near the elbow than anywhere else. Other movements would be needed to build up the rest of that muscle group.

[/quote]

you can’t build up your triceps exclusively around the elbow area. certainly some exercises place more stress on certain heads that others, but you can’t emphasive a region of a head more than another region.

although i do believe in using some isos and not just exclusively compounds, i found this article extremely interesting: forums.menshealth.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f
/855109121/m/626103323?r=803107723#803107723