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“Shaping” Muscles

April 17, 2010


A guy I’m working with is concerned about his biceps.  He wants it to stand taller when he flexes his arm, i.e. he’d like to have a higher or more pronounced “peak”, kind of like Arnold Schwarzenegger.  He wondered what exercises he might do to make his biceps peak more.  Biceps curls will help him, but he will probably never have a peak similar to Arnold’s because his (my friend’s) biceps do not appear to be shaped such that he will have a tall peak.  In other words, it’s just not in the genetic cards for him.

Somewhat similar to the friend mentioned in the previous paragraph, some women want to develop a “long and lean look”, and are drawn to certain fitness products that promise to “lengthen” the muscles of the physique.  Don’t believe the hype.  The length of a person’s muscles is genetically determined and set.  It cannot be changed via exercise.

However, despite genetic limitations to “shaping” or “lengthening” a muscle, when we lose fat and build muscle it may appear that we’ve lengthened and/or shaped our muscles.  Why?  Because when a person becomes thinner, that person will generally appear “longer”.  Also, when a person builds a muscle, the built up muscle may appear to be shaped differently, particularly if the muscle had previously been covered by a thick layer of fat.

So, it’s not necessary to buy a particular product to lengthen or shape a muscle.  A regular exercise habit and healthful eating will cause excess pounds to melt away, revealing nicely maintained muscles, and leaving you with what will appear be a longer looking, leaner, better shaped physique.

Darryl

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2 Responses to ““Shaping” Muscles”


  1. When I used to work out with weights at the gym, I had several women comment to me that they would NEVER do that because they didn’t want to look like the female body builders on the cover of the muscle magazines! It was difficult to keep from laughing at them. They talked as though the female body builders look like that by accident. Not only does it take years of work, dieting, etc. but as you say, genetics plays an important part too.

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  2. Hi Darryl,

    Thank you for providing that reality check about what is in our genetic cards for fitness goals. I remember in “Pumping Iron,” one of my BF’s all time favorite movies, Arnold comments that he knew how to sculpt his body to create the look he wanted. I’m sure there is a factor of that, as well as the reality of what you are telling us. Good to know for health and fitness goals.

    Happy Dating and Relationships,

    April Braswell
    http://www.aprilbraswell.com/BoomerDating.html
    Single Boomer Dating Expert

 

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