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Basic shape of our delts - how much control do we really have?

Discussion in 'Weight Training/Bulking' started by John Stone, Dec 6, 2008.

  1. John Stone

    John Stone John Stone
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    I was looking at bodybuilding pictures last night, specifically delt development photographs. I noticed that some bodybuilders--in particular Arnold--seem to have the same basic shape to their delts that I have (specifically "sunken" rear delts), while other bodybuilders have more of the classic "canon ball" shape (which I personally find the most aesthetically pleasing).

    Take a look at the basic shape of Arnold's massive delt here--the rear delt in particular. It seems almost identical to the shape of my delt (I'm certainly not trying to compare our levels of muscularity!):
    arnold_john_rear_delts.jpg

    I've been killing myself trying to bring my rear delts up, and I've made good improvement, but I wonder if no matter how hard I work my delts will aways have essentially the same shape to them?
     
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  2. CuTe PoIsOn

    CuTe PoIsOn Active Member

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    What exercises you do for the rear delts?
     
  3. John Stone

    John Stone John Stone
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    I always list my workouts in my daily updates; however, if you re-read my original post, you'll see that what I do (or what anyone does) to work the rear delts is not the point of what I'm attempting to discuss here. :)
     
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  4. CuTe PoIsOn

    CuTe PoIsOn Active Member

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    Yea sorry, but I would agree that the canon ball look is more sought after, Jay Cutlers for example are almost literally canon balls lol
     
  5. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    Actually when I look at the pictures, you and Arnie's rear delts are just about the same size...

    But he has bigger medial and anterior delts plus bigger pecs,biceps and triceps.

    I don't think your problem is rear delts development specifically.
     
  6. stallion16

    stallion16 Well-Known Member

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    I think there may definitely be a genetic aspect to it. Just like some people have a hard time developing big calves...I'm sure the same is true for other body parts.

    Also, the front delt just seems to get worked more, in general. Any kind of pressing or pushing movement seems to "activate" that area (bench, shoulder press, clean and press, dips)...I've even seen some people using their shoulders while cheating on movements like Bicep curls. Plus, in everyday life, we're always stimulating the front delt when lifting objects up.

    That's my best guess.
     
  7. JoeSchmo

    JoeSchmo Well-Known Member

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    I actually think your rear delts look really good .... especially in that pic -- but, with regard to your question, I don't think we can change the shape of our muscles. Alot of that is determined by things like the length of the muscle belly, attachment points etc. On the other hand, (and this is just speculaton), the shape of the delt might be somewhat malleable based on changes in the relative sizes of the three heads -- but where the rear delt sits with respect to the other heads is probably genetically determined (and therefore fixed).
     
  8. Ectomorphic

    Ectomorphic Active Member

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    While I'm sure there's individual genetic factors that make them noticeably bigger in other people, the lack of size/symmetry (with respect to front delts) seems like a usefulness thing to me. Or lack thereof. Rear delts seem like one of those boring, out of the way, underutilized muscles to me (in normal, daily Human activity). Whereas the front ones seem like an order of magnitude more useful and/or necessary.

    So maybe that's the reason. That's my going hypothesis anyways. Of course, I could have no idea WTF I'm talking about, as usual. :p
     
  9. modmaven

    modmaven Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I'm a gal with very different goals. I've been doing more compound work lately but I'll never give up isolations for the rear delt, one of my all time favorite muscles.* But what I love is not a big rear delt but that sexy dimple where the rear delt meets the back. Maybe, John, that's what you mean by "sunken." I don't know. I think your rear delts look fabuolous -- cause of that dimple. Personally I find definition much more appealing than size, the clear differentiation between one muscle group and another.

    My 2 cents.

    * another favorite muscle / defninition area doesn't even have a name: the very front of the arm pit, which is worked really nicely with DB flyes or pec deck.
     
  10. John Stone

    John Stone John Stone
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    I guess I'm broaching this subject more out of curiosity than anything else. It's not like I'm going to stop training my rear delts, after all. :)

    Since I started this thread I've continued to look at pictures of advanced bodybuilders. I've seen quite a few with very full rear delts--Garrett Downing, for example:
    Side_chest_3weeks_out.jpg Quarter_turn_3_13_04.jpg

    ...and also some with delts shaped more like mine and Arnold's.

    So, based on what I've seen since I started this thread, I'm inclined to agree with those of you who believe it's more of a genetic shaping issue than a training issue.
     
  11. dejavued

    dejavued Senior Member

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    am i totally tripping or was there a long post with beast in the forest pics in this thread yesterday morning that mysteriously dissapeared later in the day??? :confused:
     
  12. John Stone

    John Stone John Stone
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    Chicanerous is well-known 'round these here parts for editing his posts dozens of times over a period of several hours, only to delete them. :(
     
  13. dejavued

    dejavued Senior Member

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    i've witnessed the editing part a bunch of time.... but i had no idea you could straight up delete!!
     
  14. Big_D

    Big_D Well-Known Member

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    Mine look more like John's and Arnold's than that huge dude in John's post. One day :dreamy:
     
  15. tyciol

    tyciol Active Member

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    This is a good topic, and I am also curious about it. Has anyone found images of guys with huge rear delts and small front delts? It's not something I can recall seeing.

    Probably even more rare than guys with huge triceps and small biceps.

    As for how hard we need to work them to get equal size, all I can figure is an equal amount.

    So let's say all you were doing for your front delts was a vertical press (let's pretend this is a non-benching guy) in theory shouldn't you be able to do a rear delt row with an equal amount of weight?
     
  16. sudy

    sudy Active Member

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    Hi John :)

    Hmm, I guess I should start by saying I really don't know much on the subject, so I'm writing this for you to consider and dismiss as you see fit. I was just wondering though whether developing your mid delt would form a bridge between the front and rear, giving the illusion of the cannonball shape you want. I don't pretend to know any exercise that isolates the mid delt though but wondered whether an adjustment of your body angle or the angle of your arms on specific lifts would hit that area more fully. Hope that makes sense.
     
  17. Akira-Kai

    Akira-Kai Well-Known Member

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    Going back to the original subject, I personally think we are all born a certain way and they're ain't a whole lot you can do about it.

    I suppose if someone was stuborn enough to train only one muscle group, and leave everything else well alone, then that could make a difference, but as most people around here focus on compound movements, it would be difficult to bring up one muscle group without bringing up all the supporting muscles around it, so making you just look a bigger version of your former self - same overall shape, just bigger.

    For example; I'm sure The Incredible Hulk (pictured below) wished he had bigger pecs. Maybe that's why he's always a little upset.
     
    #17 Akira-Kai, Jan 28, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2012
  18. HevyMetal

    HevyMetal Well-Known Member

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    For rear delt isolation I like the one-arm weighted cable pull.

    You are facing the floor and if it is your right arm, let's say, you start with your arm underneath you right over at the left side. Vice versa for the left.

    This way there is constant tension from the start to right through the total pull.

    Unlike the rear delt fly where your arm basically starts off in the straight down position and you don't get full range of motion. ( Nor do you hit the brunt of the weight until your arm is raised.).
     
  19. Skoorb

    Skoorb Well-Known Member

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    Good point, that is an annoyance of the rear delt fly but you can mitigate a bit by not letting it come all the way down. Of course, what you describe can also be done standing if the pulley is at shoulder height. I may give it a shot today at lunch :)
     
  20. tyciol

    tyciol Active Member

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    Isn't that the ideal physique that Pavel Tsatsouline sometimes advocates? Massive shoulders/traps, slight chest?
     

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