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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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Location Makes a Difference


Researchers found that increased abdominal fat raises the risk of metabolic disease, but additional fat in the lower body (eg. the thighs) appears to lower the risk. The upper and the lower body have different cellular mechanisms that impact the effect of bodyfat depending on where it is located. People with unwanted extra pounds should take note of where bodyfat deposits are and pay special attention to clearing away fat in the midsection. Most trainers aim for a six-pack, and now there is added incentive for better overall health.


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Stubborn Pounds on the Midsection


Step up your cardio with high-intensity training, if you have a few extra pounds that are stubbornly covering your six-pack. A study from the University of Ontario found fat loss to be improved 36% in just two weeks with short-duration, high intensity bursts of exercise. Intense interval training hits the fat stores because your body continues to burn calories and fuel after your training session is over. The after-burn effect is not as high as when you spend the same amount of time in the gym doing low-intensity cardio.