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Pec Striations


My pecs are thick from heavy bench presses and dips, but I don’t have any striations. Yet I’ve done hundreds of sets of crossovers over the last year or so. What’s wrong?

You could do thousands of sets of crossovers over many years and still see no striations in your pecs. Alternatively, you could no crossovers whatsoever yet still see striations. (Similarly, you could do countless sets of crunches yet never see your abs.) The key issue is your bodyfat percentage. No matter how large your pecs are, and no matter how many crossovers you do, if your bodyfat percentage is too high you will never see your pec striations. (Similarly, no matter how much ab work you do, if you have too much fat over your abs you will never see your six pack.)

If you want your pec striations to be visible, gradually reduce your bodyfat percentage to under 10% – sufficiently under to produce the required visibility.

Also don’t do crossovers thinking that they will build big pecs. They may help you to build some additional detail in your pecs, which you would see only if you are very lean, but they won’t build a lot of muscle, at least not if you are a typical, natural bodybuilder.


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What Is The Best Way To Get A Good Pump in Your Arms? Supersets? Extended sets?


Biceps and triceps supersets, in which you alternate biceps and triceps exercises without rest, work really well. A good, basic superset for arms is the barbell curl alternated with the cable triceps pressdown. Take the barbell to the cable machine, that way you eliminate any rest between sets. This really helps to maximise the blood flow into your arms. A lot of bodybuilders have built great arms doing this kind of superset.


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Having Trouble With Shoulder Growth and Getting Them Sore? Here Is An Effective Technique For Training Delts


Shoulder muscles

The delts are more like the endurance muscles you see with calves or forearms and they can handle more reps. Some athletes who are really gifted can do heavy barbell or dumbbell presses and just grow easily. If you have problems gaining size try giant sets (where you combine 4-5 exercises and complete them consecutively with no rest between). It is really intense and you will feel a killer pump on your shoulders. Do a giant set with dumbbell lateral raises, dumbbell shoulder presses, upright rows and bent-over lateral raises for 10 reps each exercise, or 40 reps to total. If your shoulders are not responding from heavy training, this type of advanced supersetting will really work.


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Added Some Muscle Over The Last Few Months and Want to Start Working on Details, Particularly For Your Legs? What Is a Good Way to Shock My Quads and Hams?


If you want good separation between your quadriceps and hamstrings, first make sure you are concentrating and that you’re really feeling weight on each rep. That is how you will create more detail. If you lift with explosive contractions, you won’t really fell the muscle, just the weight. You will get bigger but not necessarily better separation. For legs, use high repetitions on drop sets to fully engage and fatigue the muscles. Aim to do more than 15 reps per set so that you feel the burn. Plus, high rep training for legs helps to burn through more glycogen (stored sugars in the muscles) and total calories to help you get leaner overall.


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I have been doing straight-sets training for a while now and I think my body is getting used to it. How do I know if I’m ready to start using more advanced techniques?


This all depends on how long you have been training for. Basically, advanced techniques like forced reps or drop sets can be used about 3 months after you have started training because that is when you typically hit a plateau. So if you feel like you need something changed, if strength or muscle gains have come to a halt, then advanced techniques may be good for you to try. Forced reps, where you have a training partner help you through a few additional reps after hitting initial failure, are a good place to start as long as you do not overdo them.