Set extensions?

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Frederick Foresight, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. I don't think you can actually change the shape of muscle. If you have a good peak, then you probably have what I think is referred to as long bicep muscle bellies or some such. But you can't create fiber where it doesn't exist. You can only enlarge what you have. And if the bicep is being adequately contracted, then I think you've done pretty much what you can. I think pull-ups and rows adequately address both the back and biceps, as well as the posterior delts to some degree. It may not be "maximizing," but given the reduced recovery ability as we get older, I'd rather focus on the compounds that I have to anyway, and which offer a bigger metabolic bang for the buck. I know opinions vary on this issue, so I'm only stating mine. And I don't mind being corrected if I'm wrong. In fact, if I am, then please tell me.

    As for laterals, yeah, I suppose they address the medial delts well enough. But it is such an unnatural movement, and I had done them for years, so I've had enough for one lifetime. No joy. As I've noted ad nauseam elsewhere, I like the idea of doing movements that have some evolutionary relevance. Apart from story of Icarus (and you know how that ends), I don't know how laterals fit into the scheme of history and evolution. (Of course, the same can be said about curls.)

    #11     Aug 9, 2018
  2. Well I want to enlarge the biceps that I have and I love bicep curls to attack them (bicep has 2 heads) as well as forearms on hammer curls. I have a nice ball shaped bicep on the flex and it is starting to pop even more. I actually have a short bicep muscle which is why I get the nice round shape rather than that long big shape and I like to hit em hard.

    Laterals are important to ME for 1 reason above all else....prevent muscle imbalance. People who are so press heavy usually have that nice round peaked front delta and if they flexed the whole delt like we see in body builder pose it would NOT look like the below:


    Above in a pic from the internet you see a nice balance between front middle and rear dealt (top of photo). If you have only developed the front delt though major presses the muscle imbalance can have a real bad effect on your shoulders pulling them out of alignment and possibly leading to injury. It is the same with Quad whores who forget their hamstrings, major imbalance that leads to tendon injuries.

    The rear delts always get ignored like Surf at a meeting of real traders. Mine are imbalanced as I did lat work and pressing work over the years but not so much rows or similar type of exercises so I have a slight imbalance I am trying to correct. Rear delts and middle delts getting more work now but hitting the medial head is also what gives your upper body WIDTH at the top!

    This guy is an exxageration and I don't have his size but look at the upper width added to the lat width:


    Traps get a lot of workout on the power cleans and snatches and deadlifts so I am ok there but like the shoulder width baby.

    I like that width because as I slim down the middle and work on my lats I want to also fill out the width. For me, shoulder balance also is important for me because I am still an active softball and basketball player. For soccer I just want them to shove into a guy to move them off the ball.
    #12     Aug 9, 2018
  3. I get your point. But the guy in your example is saturated with steroids. Apart from the cartoon proportions, the trajectory of his traps suggest he's neck-free. And among the tells of steroid use are oversized traps and disproportionately large, "3D" delts. I have no doubt that laterals work the medials, but unless you're having what he's having, you might want to lower your sights. :D

    Just my opinion, but I would think that pushing and pulling compound exercises along the vertical and horizontal plane work all of the shoulder heads...sufficiently. It's your call to go the extra mile, and I get that. I'm just wondering how much incremental benefit you will derive. And, to be candid, I don't know.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
    #13     Aug 9, 2018
  4. Ok you are focused on the pic way too much haha. I don't know about the steroids but I am just talking about the symmetry for muscle balance. Imagine a normal person lifting with a good butterfly pattern. My butterfly is a little front heavy.
    #14     Aug 9, 2018
  5. Uh, it came from your private collection...:)

    Aw, come on.
    #15     Aug 9, 2018
  6. My point was to show the butterfly pattern of balance. If you lift regularly without steroids you can still get that pattern which shows you have balanced deltoids. I think you are missing the point, I am not talking about copying a pic on the internet, I am talking about symmetry which can be achieved without steroids (the large size and thickness is form the steroids).
    #16     Aug 9, 2018
    Frederick Foresight likes this.
  7. Fair enough. How long have you been doing laterals in an effort to balance out your medial delts? And have you noticed any improvement in size/balance since that time?
    #17     Aug 9, 2018
  8. Mike Mentzer and HIT come to mind:
    I tried it for a while. However, I didn't have the impression that it was helping me very much. And it is injury-prone due to the heavy loads you are using. I had to be very careful in finding the right balance between using a heavy load and not injuring myself.
    #18     Aug 9, 2018
  9. I don't think the idea is to use a heavier weight than you can safely handle. It is more about exerting yourself to the limit in good form using a weight that can get you there in a suitable number of reps.
    #19     Aug 10, 2018
  10. Reading back I notice that I took the thread a bit off-topic. My message was triggered by @Baron 's message, and especially the sentence he wrote in bold letter font.
    I don't have experience with various forms of set extensions such as drop-sets, negatives or static holds after completing a full set. I have read about these, but haven't applied those techniques.
    #20     Aug 10, 2018