Stronger 24/7 - Stronger Everyday
Stronger 24/7 Forum
ChestSplit Advice

Targeting parts of a muscle!4206

brian12 private msg quote post Address this user
There has been sooo much talk about whether or not one can target for example the upper chest/lower chest/ lower abs etc. Some believe that the muscle operates as a whole and that it is thus futile to try and emphasize growth in one area. I have always believed that you can target an area and by doing so, create a greater rate of growth in the targeted area than the rest of the muscle.

Anyway, here is a good read... ENJOY!

EK might not like this

clickable text


Part of the article:

"All or None" Confusion
You may have heard of the "all or none" principle of muscle contraction. Essentially, here's what it means: When stimulated, a muscle fiber will either contract or it won't.

Some people have erroneously adapted the all-or-none principle to mean that an entire muscle will either contract or it won't. These confused individuals will go on to tell you that exercise variations are practically pointless when training the chest because the entire pectoralis major will either contract or it won't.

This is some seriously misguided logic to say the least.

For starters, although still considered part of the pectoralis major, the clavicular pectoralis is actually a separate muscle with a separate nerve innervation.

Although the entire sternal head of the pectoralis major does share a common nerve innervation, the angle of the muscle fibers varies tremendously from top to bottom. For that reason, the line of pull is different throughout different areas of the muscle.

Luckily for us, your body (or brain rather) will recruit or call upon the portion of the muscle that's best suited to perform the movement in question. So if you were to do a movement in which the lower fibers of the pectoralis major are in the best mechanical advantage to execute the movement, then those will be the primary fibers recruited to do the work —thank goodness!

So yes, you can emphasize different sections of the chest from top to bottom. But notice I said emphasize, not isolate!
Post 1 IP   flag post
The Dark
Knight
eknight private msg quote post Address this user
I don't know what to tell you. This is wrong. I stopped reading when I got to the part that said, "For starters, although still considered part of the pectoralis major, the clavicular pectoralis is actually a separate muscle." This is utter bullshit. Your pectorals is one muscle. I will take the word of my anatomy textbook and thousands of doctors who agree on this point over one incorrect doctor of indeterminant knowledge trying to stir the pot on TNation. Can you turn on only part of a lightbulb? Full stop. -EK
Post 2 IP   flag post
Dexdbest private msg quote post Address this user
One doesnt know what to belive anymore
Post 3 IP   flag post
seansm10 private msg quote post Address this user
ek - if said lightbulb was in parallel circuit and you closed a switch it would dimmer, does this count?

notsrs
Post 4 IP   flag post
Adiaz10x private msg quote post Address this user
EK- is absolutely right. Having dissected cadavers and learning about nerve fiber innervation to muscles in the upper body during dental school. There is no way you can target a specific part of a muscle (ie lower chest vs upper chest)
Post 5 IP   flag post
Popeye25 private msg quote post Address this user
i dont know what to believe anymore. i think its just trial and error. call me a bro but its true.
i mean i know i feel my upper chest on inclines and sore upper chest the next day. if i do no inclines , the next day my "upper chest" isnt sore.

i still cant disagree with facts
Post 6 IP   flag post
THE GODFATHER wannabemuscular private msg quote post Address this user
When I'm cut I have clear separation in my pectoralis. There is a line that runs across the upper middle and one that runs uppward and across to the inner/middle portion of the clavicle. This appears as 3 distinct regions. (Can't wait til I'm cut enough to show this!)

Maybe some of us have different genetics that allow more specific activation of the regions of the muscle.

Also, when I do overhead barbell press my upper chest at the clavicle gets activated, but none of the rest of the pec.
Post 7 IP   flag post
THE GODFATHER wannabemuscular private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by seansm10
ek - if said lightbulb was in parallel circuit and you closed a switch it would dimmer, does this count?

notsrs


Further, say you had 3 lightbulbs wired in parallel and the entire unit was activated by one switch and we called it "the bathroom vanity light". Then, unscrew two lightbulbs and leave just one. The one lightbulb is still turned on by the one switch while the others stay off.
Post 8 IP   flag post
MrMailliw private msg quote post Address this user
@wannabemuscular
I don't think you can make that last claim without having actual tests for EMG activity done on you whilst doing OHP.

I think EMG activity is the right thing I mean. My bad if I am wrong.
Post 9 IP   flag post
The Dark
Knight
eknight private msg quote post Address this user
But you don't have three lightbulbs. You have one. The superficial chest is composed of ONE muscle. One. Only one. Never more than one. Ever. I have no idea why this concept is so hard for people. There is no "inferior" and "superior" pectoralis major. There is the pectoralis major; that's it. -EK
Post 10 IP   flag post
brian12 private msg quote post Address this user
Some interesting posts.

I think we can all agree that the muscle either contracts or it doesn't. But why does that mean we cant activate more muscle fibres in one region by doing a lift that recruits those fibres as the primary means of lifting..

For me, it is logical. I know that when I do semi incline dumbbell press, I feel it more in my upper chest, and I am more sore in that region the following day. Logic follow that I ths must have recruited more of the upper chest fibers in that exercise.

The same goes for ABS. If I lie on a decline bench with a weight behind my head and do semi crunches (not lifting to my knees, just lifting a few inches off the bench and contracting with an arched back). I feel it in the top of my abs. I am sore in this region the next day. Logic once again follows that I must have recruited more muscle fibers in the upper ab region when compared to the whole muscle.

So, to me, it is just logical that we can stimulate one region of a muscle more than the rest (the extent to which we can do this is up for debate, and would depend on the muscle in question). However, we can of course not fully 'isolate' a region.

I think we should give DWATSON some homework. I am very curious to know if Layne would agree or disagree with what I am saying...?

Post 11 IP   flag post
AKK private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabemuscular
When I'm cut I have clear separation in my pectoralis. There is a line that runs across the upper middle and one that runs uppward and across to the inner/middle portion of the clavicle. This appears as 3 distinct regions. (Can't wait til I'm cut enough to show this!)

Maybe some of us have different genetics that allow more specific activation of the regions of the muscle.

Also, when I do overhead barbell press my upper chest at the clavicle gets activated, but none of the rest of the pec.


how do you know it activates? because it moves rofl?
Post 12 IP   flag post
NorIda private msg quote post Address this user
Lol, way to try and drag Dwatson into this.

This is all broscience.
The real person we should be asking for advice on this topic is Greg Plitt. He would def set the record straight.
Post 13 IP   flag post
brian12 private msg quote post Address this user
Nope. I think its bro science to think that you can only hit one muscle using all muscles fibres equally. When the truth is most likely that you can place more emphasis on different portions of the chest.. Im still curious as to What Layne Nortons take on this would be..
Post 14 IP   flag post
Adiaz10x private msg quote post Address this user
Again EK is right. The pectoralis major (the superficial chest people see) is just one muscle that fans from your sternum up to your clavicle and inserts near the shoulder girdle. The reason you may feel like you are activating the upper chest during say incline is because of the greater activation of the shoulder muscles (front deltoid), and less pectoralis muscle. This may give the illusion of only working out the upper chest
Post 15 IP   flag post
brian12 private msg quote post Address this user
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adiaz10x
Again EK is right. The pectoralis major (the superficial chest people see) is just one muscle that fans from your sternum up to your clavicle and inserts near the shoulder girdle. The reason you may feel like you are activating the upper chest during say incline is because of the greater activation of the shoulder muscles (front deltoid), and less pectoralis muscle. This may give the illusion of only working out the upper chest


We are all in agreement that the chest is one muscle. But the debate is about activating a larger percentage of muscle fibers in one area of the chest. It seems rather obvious that you can.

Here is a nice link:

clickable text


While there are no "upper" and "lower" chest muscles, its a physiomechanical matter of course that different exercise and working angles will stress ascending, descending and lateral fibers to a different degree. So, while it may be impossible to isolate certain fiber strands, it is well possible to shift the main workload from one strand to the other by selecting appropriate exercises.
Post 16 IP   flag post
Dexdbest private msg quote post Address this user
Lol, feeling it = it is activated. When i do gironda dips i feel this sharp pain surge through my neck, so that would mean that gironda dips isolate the muscles in my neck. Just saying
Post 17 IP   flag post
Dexdbest private msg quote post Address this user
However to be fair, the chest is one muscle but there are ways to place more emphasis the clavicular head BUT also activates more fibres in the chest as a WHOLE....
From wikipedia:
actions: Clavicular head : flexes the humerus
Sternocostal head : extends the humerus
As a whole: adducts and medially rotates the humerus . It also draws the scapula anteriorly and inferiorly.
A variety of resistance exercises can be used to train the pectoralis major, including bench pressing (using dumbbells , barbells or machines at various angles such as decline, incline and flat where the hips are above, below and level with the head respectively), push ups , flyes (using dumbbells or machinesat either flat or inclined angles), cable crossovers or dips . Multi-joint press exercisesare better for building muscle mass, while fly and crossovers are more suited for shaping and increasing striations [ citation needed ] . This muscle is often said to consist of four portions (upper, lower, inner and outer) but the pectoralis actually contracts evenly across all heads during most exercises and as such no portion can be 'targeted' [ citation needed ] .
The pectoralis can also be trained through a variety of sports as well as by all four Olympic styles of swimming, i.e. the butterfly , backstroke , breaststroke and front crawl . The anaerobic work capacity of the pectoralisis a major determinant of swimming speed, whereas swimming endurance is more influenced by the aerobic capacity of the deltoid muscle (apart from overall cardiopulmonary aerobic capacity ).
And from bodybuilding.com these are the best chest exercise according to EMG studies.
*Decline dumbbell bench press - 93%
*. Incline dumbbell press - 91%
*. Decline bench press - 89%
*. Flat dumbbell bench press - 87%
*. Flat barbell bench press - 85%
Inclines activate more fibres in ENTIRE chest than flat bench, doesnt isolate anything.
Post 18 IP   flag post
340762 18 18
destitute