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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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Creatine Monohydrate (CM)


Next to whey protein, no supplement has received as much scientific support as creatine monohydrate. In fact, there’s over 15 years of unquestionable support from peer-reviewed research and athletes. Studies demonstrate that creatine increases strength, power, lean body mass and muscularity. Its mass-promoting effects are achieved by several mechanisms that upregulate when creatine monohydrate ingestion is combined with resistance training. Most current research shows creatine ingestion and exercise significantly blunt myostatin levels better than exercise alone. Myostatin is a recently discovered catabolic regulator of muscle mass and consequently acts on skeletal muscle as a growth inhibitor. In addition, recent studies indicate that creatine augments highly anabolic IGF-1 levels in skeletal muscle, providing a potent signal for sustained muscular growth. Finally, creatine ingestion results in increased muscle cell volume by driving water into cells. Not only does this action make your muscles look bigger, but it also provides another stimulus for anabolism.

Before your workout mix 5-10 grams of creatine monohydrate with your pre-workout whey protein isolate drink.

After your workout, mix 5-10 grams of creatine monohydrate with your post-workout whey protein isolate shake.


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Relying on Shakes/Protein Supplements Instead of Whole Food


A bodybuilder relying on multiple shakes per day in place of whole food will have a very different physique from one who eats more whole food. The natural digestion process is important and you can only get that with whole foods. Protein powders are broken down so much that they do not digest and get absorbed like food. It is better to add specific amino acid supplements to a meal than to replace a meal with a shake. However, we do not live in a perfect world and because of work or family obligations we may end up missing meals. In such situations, shakes can be used. But when you are dieting, would you rather have a protein shake made with water or a grilled chicken breast and sweet potato?


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Whey Protein Isolate (WPI)


High quality whey protein isolate should be the top priority supplement for everyone at all levels of training. WPI is ideal for bodybuilders because it is low in fat and carbohydrates and has a very high amino acid content. Supporting research has accumulated over the past 20 years showing that ingestion of whey protein isolate ensures a sustained steady stream of amino acids that enter the blood quickly. The resulting rush of branched-chain amino acids and glutamine make WPI a potent anabolic activator and powerful anti-catabolic agent. Research has unequivocally illustrated that ingesting whey protein isolate before training and immediately post-workout results in more rapid increases in strength and muscularity. After training, WPI has shown to increase growth hormone release as well as augment insulin sensitivity and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) secretion, all of which create the perfect anabolic environment for growth and recovery.

Before your workout drink one shake contacting 30-40 grams of WPI 30 minutes before training.

After your workout drink an additional shake containing 30-40 grams of WPI immediately after training.