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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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One-Arm Low (Or High) Cable Crossover


One-Arm Cable Crossover

Targets:
Pecs, with emphasis on the upper and middle chest fibres.

Best In Workout:
You can use this move as a pre-exhaust exercise preceding the compound presses necessary for mass, or you can put this last in your workout to flush and pump the muscle full of water, blood and nutrients.

Sets & Reps:
Perform 3-4 sets with 15-20 reps

D-Handle:
Grasp a D-handle attached to the low cable and place your non-working hand on the same-side hip. Similar to the single-arm overhead press, using only one side of the body will help engage and recruit more stabiliser activity than you typically experience. As your core fatigues, you can hold the opposite handle in the non-working hand, helping you anchor and balance yourself.

Stance:
Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and tighten your abs. Standing halfway between the two low cables with a wide stance provides a stable foundation.

Slight Bend:
Stand up straight and keep your working arm slightly bent. You should work to keep that slight bend in your elbow fixed throughout the entire set. Doing so will help focus the attention on the chest fibres. If you open and close the bend in your arm, you will lessen the effectiveness and shift some of the focus off the chest and onto your arm.

Range Of Motion:
Pull the handle up and across your body. Bring the handle all the way across so that at the end of the range of motion, the handle is in front if the opposite shoulder. During the typical cable crossover, the handles meet in front of your chest or face, but working one side at a time allows you to cross your body, engaging more pec fibres for a longer ROM before returning to the start position and repeating.


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Balanced Training Recommendations


1) Perform an equal number of exercises with the same relative intensity between opposing muscle groups (eg, back and chest, hamstrings and quads, biceps and triceps). If you already have a deficit, try to do more sets on the weaker/disregarded bodyaprt until you have achieved better balance. Then train bodyparts equally.
2) To bring your training into balance, focus on isolation (single-joint) exercises while also modifying the compound movements that target the various muscle groups. For example some exercises, such as the squat and leg press, are generally regarded as quadriceps moves, even though they absolutely involve the hamstrings and glutes. However, by altering foot placement (wider, higher on platforms etc.) you can shift the emphasis to the less involved hamstrings.
3) If you have an existing deficit between opposing muscle groups, spend some extra time stretching the stronger muscle group and strengthening the weaker one.
4) If you find a specific bodypart to be particularly stubborn at responding to an adequate training stimulus, consider adding an extra day (or two) specifically dedicated to working the stubborn bodypart until it catches on.


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What is a good intensity technique for mass and how do you use it?


Heavy incline barbell presses are a well-known chest-builder, but they can be dangerous if you are training alone. Done in the Smith machine, they will hit your upper pecs through a full range of motion with less risk of injury. You can work in some partials to train weaker parts of the movement. Finish off with a set of incline presses with a huge drop set, removing plates and getting right back under the bar each time you hit failure. This technique flushes the muscle with blood and takes you well past failure. Partials and drops on the incline Smith should help your chest a great deal.


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Angle Pairings for Optimal Pre-exhaustion


Here is a list of the bodyparts and the first (isolation move) and second exercise (compound move).

Legs – Leg extension and Squat
Lying Leg Curl and Leg Press
Back – Decline Pullover and Close-grip Pulldown
Shoulders – Cable Lateral Raise and Overhead Press
Triceps – Pressdown and Bench Dip
Chest – Cable Crossover and Decline Bench Press
Biceps – Dumbbell Curl and Chin-up (underhand grip)

The biceps is generally not thought to have a compound exercise, although the chin-up is as close to being a multi-joint movement for the biceps as possible.

https://veefitness.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/pre-exhaust-training/