Executive producers: Judith D. Allion & Rob LaZebnik
Supervising producer: Glen Merzer
Produced by Kenneth R. Koch
Producers: Brenda Hampton, Joe Berger
Co-producer: Jonathan Schmock
Association producer: Sally S. Kleiman
The chest varies much less than the biceps in shape, but it’s such a prominent muscle that small differences make a large impact on the look of a physique. Gynecomastia, or gyno for short, can radically change the shape of the pecs due to swelling of the mammary glands. Its causes are, among other things, supraphysiological levels of estrogen, for example as a result of the use of androgenic steroids, and genetics. A considerable amount of people have some degree of gyno. See the picture below for a comparison of pre- and post-surgery to remove the breast tissue.
I agree. Body building has had a steroid problem that they won’t even admit is a problem since the days of Arnold. My advice is to train for practical strength. I think a good initial goal is to be able to lift your body out of any position. For instance, if you had to pull yourself by one arm out of danger could you do it? If you had to restrain someone in your own weight class could you do it? I think a great look is born out of a body that has lots of practical strength. My issue with traditional weights (I’m probably going to anger body building traditionalist but please hear me out) is that they only train you for strength under ideal conditions. Braced joints, on even terrain, lifting very specific amounts of weight all while using economy of structure. What if you are on uneven terrain and need to hold weight in an awkward position that isn’t economical in structure? I think traditional weightlifting techniques definitely have their place but how practically fit are these roided out body builders? I’m betting a seasoned judoka could tie a body builder into knots once he gasses out trying to provide oxygen for those unnatural and inflexible muscles he has. So I think it depends on goals. Do you want to look like a muscle magazine cover model at the expense of endurance, balance and flexibility all while putting your major organs (heart, liver, kidneys etc.) at risk of failure through steroid use? Or would it not be better to develop strength that has practical application? I would stack any military school grad, MMA fighter or boxer or judoka going through a camp, any olympic athlete as more fit than a body builder. I think the term ‘fit’ shouldn’t be applied to body building. With practical strength the good looks will come. Look at Masahiko Kimura in the 50’s. That guy would easily be considered ripped even by today’s standard. So I think pumping iron is basically a waste of time for all but the most vanity obsessed as it offers little practical advantage in physical activity.