Articles by Vince Gironda
I've never understood why male bodybuilders want
to build hige, bulbous chest muscles. The pectorals
or "pecs" run across the top of the
rib cage and should be slablike in appearance,
not bulging and hanging from sheer weight.
You have to add muscle in the proper places.
Slap it on where it counts.
Wide Grip Gironda "Pec" Dips
(IronMan Magazine Jan 1977 Vol. 36 No. 2)
For those of you who are not familiar with this exercise
I will explain it as Vince Gironda describes in his course
"The Vince Gironda Workout Bulletin."
Use a parallel bar set up which permits you to have a spacing
of 33" wide. Remember that the elbows must be wide
and straight out from the shoulders. The head is down chin
on chest and the back rounded forward. The feet are under
the face or slightly in front. Dip as far down as possible
and return as high as you can.
Never change this position as this isolates the pectoral
muscle and does not bring the triceps into play as in the
elbows back style.
Wide-grip Neck Presses
Another Gironda favorite was wide-grip neck
Essentially, a bench press but with a wider-than-shoulder
width grip on the bar, but instead of the bar being lowered
to the lower or middle of the pec area, it is lowered to
the base of the neck.
Many people don't do this exercise because it's much more
difficult to handle heavier weights compared to a standard
bench press, but the movement involves much more pec than
shoulder and is extremely effective.
DIPS AND CHINS
by Vince Gironda
I do not think I have seen six men in my life do a chin
properly. Don Howorth was one of them. Don pulled up with
his chest high and touched his chest to the bar almost as
low as his low Pec line. His elbows were drawn down to his
sides, touching his lats, and with the chest high and the
shoulders down and back, he contracted his lats to the maximum.
If you look up the function of the lat in any Kinesiology
book, it will show that the lat ? in the fully contracted
position ? the shoulders are drawn down and back! Round
the back and shoulders forward, and you shift to the Teres
major muscles. Also, if you do not arch your back to full
contraction, you will not develop any of the fibres across
the back that attach to the spine. This will give you a
flat underdeveloped look with no thickness.
This is how you do the chin: Reach up and grasp the chinning
bar, but not too wide?closer than you ordinarily do them,
because the lats are partially contracted in a wide grip.
Next, stand on a box so that you can jump up into the contracted
position and hold at the top for a split second. Now, lower
your body and stand on the box (Do singles). Jump up again
and touch your low pec to the bar and arch the back. Most
important ? elbows must touch the sides in the top or contracted
position to achieve maximum contraction.
The next most abused exercise is the parallel dip for pec
development. The average bodybuilder does this exercise
with his elbows back and his chest up and the back arched.
Also, he does not drop down low enough, plus his body usually
swings due to excessive speed in pec forming the exercise.
The proper way to dip is as follows: Hands should be 32?
wide, elbows straight out to the sides (never back), and
chin on chest. Chest must be concave and back rounded, feet
forward under the head. In short, the body is in a crescent
shape. The bottom of the dipping movement is the most important
part of the dip; the first 8-10 inches are very isolated
pec and most important dipping receives less help from
the deltoid than any other pec exercise. Bench Press plus
Incline Dumbell Press knuckles not facing each other but
forward, about 90 percent assistance from delts. The wider
the parallel bar, the wider the stress on the pec where
the pec disappears under the front deltoid. This gives the
chest a greater illusion of width.
Here, in Vince's Gym, we have V-shaped parallel dip bars
and by just moving your hands back you get a wider portion
of the pec. By the way, if you hump up your back at the
top of the movement, you work the Serratus muscles very
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