Tuesday, 8 April 2008

The Pecs - Common Myths Unfold

Many people believe that varying the bench press from flat to incline or decline has a huge impact on the shape of their pecs....the truth is that this is a common weight lifting/body building myth.

The Pectoral (chest) muscles are double headed like the bicep, the two muscles that make up the pectoral are the pectoral major and pectoral minor. Due to being made by two seperate muscles many people think you can work one more than the other to build the overall size of your chest differently, this is untrue.

As the pectoral muscle is double headed like the bicep it means that both muscles have the same origin, even if they finish in different places, but this also means that when you complete any bench press exercise both pectoral muscles are involved.

The common myth is that the incline bench press works the upper chest, the decline the lower chest and the flat bench the mid chest....but as it is two muscles working as one to complete the same function you cannot do anything but work these muscles in tandom.

If you carry out the incline all you will do is take some of the emphasis from your chest and put it on the deltoid muscle (rear shoulder). The decline will do the same as the flat bench and work both the pectoral muscles in the same way.

The only time that the change in angle may have a significant difference is if you are of a very large size and every slight movement is making a big difference to your gains.


anette said...

so it isnt any point in doing any other chest excercises than 1, flat bench, is that what you mean?

BT said...

If your thoughts are to improve a certain part of your chest muscles then no, there is no point in carrying out other chest exercises.

The reason why we do carry out other chest exercises in a workout is because its important to change your workout exercises every 6 weeks or so. By changing your workout exercises it will stop your muscles getting too used to a certain movement and will support improvement in muscle gains.

Michael Rivers said...

Wow. I had no idea this was a myth! I do different pec exercises because I like to shake things up. I guess that is a good thing!