- 08-10-2010, 05:09 PM
I would take all these guys advice, it seems pretty solid. I would also do dips, and lean in when you do them, this will work the chest. When you workout areas that are giving you trouble I like to create a shock circuit. This means you choose 5-6 workouts for your chest, each workout different and working a different area, then slam it! 6-10 reps on each workout rotating all 6 excercises, then repeat 4 times...on the last one do a drop set on all 6, then finish with doing as many pushups as (wide stance) as possible. The fewer breaks the better, and focus on the muscle in the chest, try to feel it working,....people might disagree but if your chest isnt soar the next day, your not doing something right....
- 08-10-2010, 06:10 PM
I have the same genetic issue with my chest. Everything else grows faster even when training is on point. I have to approach chest differently than everything else and really focus on 100% perfect form. Shoulder back, chest out, pinch the shoulder blades together on bench, back arched, press inward on the bar during contraction. If you do this, you will notice you can't lift nearly as much as before, because you are focusing on perfect form for chest and not utilizing delts or stabilizers. Screw trying to press ultra heavy, unless you want to be a powerlifter.
Throw in partials as well, no lockouts, this helps you to increase TUT (time under tension). When bulking, I always throw in partials at the end of everything, for extra pump and to max them out. You will def feel it. DOMS galore... Supersetting partials is great...
08-10-2010, 06:23 PM
biggest size increase IME was BB bp and dips.
I db bped forever and saw more size w/ heavy bb bp and dips in a year than I did with DBs in like 2-3
Serious Nutrition Solutions
08-10-2010, 06:35 PM
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08-11-2010, 03:39 PM
08-11-2010, 08:41 PM
ive been using this new routine for chest days and everday it makes me sore
get everthing set up
bench -try to get 12 reps
incline DB pres- go for 12
flys- go for 12
no rest inbetween exercises go one after another, when you finish with flys, take a 2 minute break then repeat till u get a total of 3 sets each workout.
drop weight a little bit if you have to but "try" to squeeze at least 8 reps in.
this will give you an incredible pump!
" DA pump is better than sex"
08-11-2010, 09:30 PM
08-11-2010, 10:19 PM
If your tris are wearing out on ANY benching movement it is because of either of 2 things. 1.- Your tris are weak.2. Your grip is too narrow. That is all.
08-11-2010, 10:45 PM
Remember, 2 years is nothing in the scheme of lifting weights. This is and always has been a marathon, not a sprint.
08-11-2010, 10:55 PM
I respectfully sort of disagree. Read on.
I am a big fan of using dumbbells, but in my opinion (which isn't humble, btw) a heavy barbell has gotten more big strong guys big and strong. FWIW I use dumbbells as a tool fairly often, but found when my barbell lifts go up, so do my dumbbell lifts. When my dumbbell lifts go up, my barbell lift might go up, stay the same, or even drop. I've found a few exceptions to this but overall, I look at barbell as steak & potatoes, and dumbbell as a REALLY good side dish, maybe even good enough for a meal by itself, but no steak & potatoes.
Side note; ever see someone who claims they can bench more with dumbbells than a straight bar? Show me this guy and I'll show you someone who doesn't use full range of motion with the dumbbells, lol.
Back to regularly scheduled ranting:
Triceps are the pressing weakness in nearly every lifter. So close to nearly, I feel pretty safe saying every lifter. As a competitive powerlifter, I have seen plenty of guys with off the chest weakness, but honestly never seen a guy who didn't have triceps as a weakness. Myself included and I've moved some decent weight on triceps isolation exercises that would leave many here doubting me without a video. I will concede that the importance of triceps weakness changes depending on your goals, but if you follow where I'm going, every lifter has weak triceps. (btw it doesn't matter if your close grip is the same as your wide grip, the tri's are still the weak point).
If you build up the triceps with good pressing capability, your chest will have no option except to catch up.
OBVIOUSLY adding in other pec work is going to be important here, but the point I'm trying to make is that sometimes you guys have one weakness, and try like hell to address it by directly firing at that muscle group. Well... maybe that muscle (pecs, in this case) is weak because your OTHER muscle groups (triceps, in this case) aren't strong enough to push the pec strength/size to a new level, and whatever direct isolation work (flyes, for example) you're doing just isn't as demanding as a heavy compound movement.
That's my thought on the subject.
08-12-2010, 12:44 AM
08-12-2010, 02:49 AM
08-12-2010, 09:58 AM
08-12-2010, 12:17 PM
First of all, I'm currently a competitive powerlifter, but like most people who compete, I've spent some time doing both endeavors. I am qualified, lmao, thank you very much, to have and state my opinion. I work with (and occasionally train with and/or train) a few competitive body builders, and while their training is quite different than mine, at the end of the day we do many of the same exercises and get many of the same results.
You state, and are correct, that the big are not always very strong. I agree 100%. They are all strong though. I've never, not even once, seen or heard about a guy who is considered "big" who wasn't moving respectable weights. Unless you've got a very small frame, a 200 lb bencher just isn't going to have that much musculature. It comes with the territory; having a bigger muscle will generally result in more weight being moved. Likewise a 450 lb bencher might be a 165 lb guy, but that's near world record levels, and just not typical. The original poster is a somewhat new lifter, it is very unlikely that he'll look substantially better with regard to muscle size without getting significantly stronger.
If you reached a point where you did more on dumbbells than a straight bar, it pretty much had to be a form issue. Maybe you did the barbell much more strict, maybe your dumbbell range of motion wasn't that great, maybe your bar path on bench was very much sub-optimal and your dumbbell pressing path was perfect. I'm not specifically trying to argue with you here, but I've NEVER seen an exception to this without form being an issue. You are correct that the body will adapt to certain training loads, but there is only so much you can do to change stabilization/etc.
Most people do not realize the importance and role of triceps in pressing. Just because your triceps don't "feel" more pumped doesn't mean they aren't relatively weak compared to your pecs and holding you back.
I am very much well aware of the difference between close grip and regular grip bench. I am also aware that they engage different muscle groups. Follow me here...
1: My argument is that with most lifters, the triceps are a significant weakness that in my opinion, holds back weights used and development of associated pressing muscles.
2: Since I already believe that triceps are a weakness on something like regular grip bench, moving over to close grip bench, which will tend to put MORE emphasis on the triceps will expose the same weakness.
Does that make sense to you?
As far as your statement that genetics play the big role in size vs strength.. well... sure... but that's pretty much on every lift. I would still go through the same basic motions.
One philosophy that I employ is that everything is weak and needs to improve. At 157 lbs I figured his goal would be to get larger and stronger, but maybe I shouldn't have made that assumption.
The bottom line is that my opinion for the OP is that he should concentrate on gaining some overall size and strength before worrying too much about ratios and proportions. Don't major in the minors. Of course I think he should ensure that he's properly performing the exercises, and of course I think he should put a little extra into areas that he believes are lagging. If I were him I'd work that close grip incline, get some extra calories, and make the numbers go up, both on the bar and the tape measure.
08-12-2010, 05:01 PM
I know many bodybuilders who use weights that I consider puny. It happens all the time. I would wager your experience is limited. One of my best men never touched a weight in his life and had pecs almost as large as mine. Gifted? Yes. Not common? Not really. That is my point about genetics. Some people will grow off anything, some won't. It's variable. My arms are an example. I had "16 biceps(no tris) before I even started weight training. I was an upper armed popeye. I had little to no chest though and no legs. These required extra hard work to bring them up. Strength is relative anyway. What I consider strong may not be what others do, it could be more or less.
I agree that the easiest and probably most beneficial way to increase size, is to increase the weight we use overall using compound movements. It is not everyones goal though. Some people want to stay the same size they are now and refine and that is possible and a reality. The OP said "I've been lifting for bout three years" He is not a beginner, and most likely from what he has written does not want to gain any more overall size, and just wants some added size to his pecs for balance. I too would want to be bigger if I was him but our goals are not his and thus a program tailored for him alone is what he needs.
My form on DB's is full ROM and always has been. Your explanation again proves that you have never done solely DB exercises for any length of time. You will adapt. Its nature. If you do not do any barbell work and solely train DB you will out pace your BB work. I have done it and seen it done time and time again.
I know what your saying about triceps weakness. I just don't agree, if only for myself. For instance my shoulders are much weaker in proportion to my tris. Yes CGBP will expose the same weakness but if you want to bypass it and if you want overall strength use a wide grip, flair your chest, plant your feet and push. Use CG on tri day or as an assist. Your bench will go up and so will the strength of your tris. If you want a balanced push and development use a regular grip which will incorporate the muscle groups in a more uniformed manner, although if you do have a lagging bodypart it will not always "catch up" using this method.
There are many types of athletes around, pigeon holing them into what is a linear way to strength,mass AND balance is just bad science IMO. I can't argue with you though if all your clients and yourself have balanced physiques head to toe and are all strong for their size. It's just I know what works for hardgainer, genetically deficit people. So I am unmovable in my views. I like the discussion though, so don't take offense to what I say. I am just speaking form my own varied and broad experience.
08-12-2010, 09:57 PM
No offense taken. Everyone is an expert on the internet anyway, and I realize that goes both ways.
I have had (and seen) the opposite experience as you with dumbbells. To each their own I guess. I would love to see what you're doing differently, but unless you live in the northeast part of the country, that's not likely to happen. Let me know if you are near Southern Maine/New Hampshire.
Balanced? LOL! I'm a powerlifter, and don't worry too much about balance from an aesthetic point of view. Functionally... yes, for injury prevention and performance, but you know how that goes with your history.
FWIW, I consider 3 years of training if not a beginner, fresh into intermediate. Ha, 3 years in I don't think I was even at a 200 lb bench yet and thought of 315 as territory of the gods, lol. Beginner, intermediate, advanced... that's just semantics and it doesn't matter, however, it was only because of this classification that I pigeon holed him into what I did, I would not recommend the same for someone with, say, 10+ years of training experience.
Seems like you have plenty of valid experience. I get the feeling that if we were talking in person we may agree more than disagree. Most of the successful body builders, strength coaches, and powerlifters that I've spoken with or know all tend to believe fairly similar things. Regardless, to each their own.
08-13-2010, 03:29 AM
I might make it to Maine to try some Lobster sangys one day
I also agree with your main tenements as our personal goals are more similar than the OP's. Personally if I was under 220 I would feel anorexic haha. One thing that neither of us can argue with is results...we need to lock this guy in a lab cage for a while
08-13-2010, 10:35 PM
I feel like my chest has really just started filling out. For a long time I was mostly a flat bencher. After getting to 315 for 3 sets of 10 and still not seeing the size I wanted, I dropped all my normal chest stuff and just starting hitting incline work. Only incline work.
I have 3 exercises I love - incline BB, hammer strength incline and smith incline.
Every chest workout I pick two of them. I rock the first one for as long as I can. 5-10 sets usually - lots of time under tension. I've found that 30-45 seconds with a much weight as I can handle is the way to go. For me that means slower rep speed instead of more reps but I believe (no research to support this) that genetics - specifically muscle fiber %s and limb size - dictate the best way to reach that time under tension.
Second exercise I just up the reps and drop the weight and rest time. 6-10 sets, really really light weight (like 185 on the bar), and 60-90 seconds rest.
Thats it. I started getting comments from coworkers after 2 weeks of doing this.
08-16-2010, 10:56 AM
Sounds great. Keep up the good work. I'm glad i learned about doing incline first earlier on when i was lifting. After first doing it i just stayed doing mostly incline and did flat bench mostly just for stability and for a wider grip, plus i did lower weights and just did 3 sets of reps between 12-15.
08-17-2010, 04:34 PM
08-17-2010, 10:31 PM
Despite all this good information and experienced opinions, I have yet to see anyone give him some tips in form. Form is what (is currently) changing everything in my chest development. In fact..my shoulders were getting huge (for my size), and my chest started to seriously lag behind. I had to do something quick before this problem got outta hand. So this is what I did - I changed my form on the bench.
Typically, I would have a normal to wide grip on the bench in any case - flat, incline or decline. When I completed my press, I noticed my shoulders would extent a few inches past my chest and my arms would have a light lockout at the elbows. Basically, because of this particular form - I initiated the outer edges of my pecs, ALL of my front delts, and the last few inches of the press were completely using delts and tri's. Therefore, my arms are 15"+ and shoulders look like bowling balls yet my body weight is only 157lbs or so..(I'm 5'4") Yet my pecs were only decent at the edges near the pit. The inner pecs both lower and upper were pathetic IMO. So I researched and made some changes. To get extra development in the other areas of my chest, I did this:
1) Instead of wide grip I went to shoulder width grip. This will allow the inner/mid pec zones to be used during the press.
2) I deliberately pressed my shoulders into the bench as I did the presses. To do this your chest will naturally stick out a little more, creating an arch in your back. ( Not a huge arch tho)
3) I don't lock out my arms at the elbows. The "lockout" so to speak happens with my pecs by making an ultra-squeeze near the end of the press. All the while, focusing hard on keeping my shoulders below my chest throughout the whole press.
So there you have it. Narrowing the grip engages parts of the pecs not commonly used on bench. Sticking your chest out and drilling your shoulders into the bench put less emphasis on the delts and more emphasis on the pecs. And finally, refusing to lockout at the elbows saves some gas in the tank for your triceps and again..puts more emphasis on the pecs rather. Try it! I actually use this technique for ALL my chest routines now. Crap I don't need bigger delts! They're good til I hit at least 165lbs, lol. So give it a whirl and let me know how much it pumps your pecs up buddy! My last chest routine was 3 days ago and I'm still very sore from it now. Here's what it looked like:
Wide-grip Hammer Strength Machine (Heavy) 3x10
Decline Bench 3X10
Flat DB Bench 2x8
Decline DB Flyes + Presses - Burnout set
Lying Stay Ball Cable Flyes 2X15, 1x10
08-18-2010, 11:56 AM
You are correct, but scapular retraction (pinching shoulder blades together) should be done regardless of goals, benching without doing that is begging for an injury. I should have mentioned it, very few people actually lift like that, especially beginners/intermediate. Good catch on your part and good post.
12-20-2011, 06:59 PM
Thumbs up n thanks to everyone. This turned into a really great thread. So much information. Sorry for late response just started using Am again n loving it!!!Originally Posted by fueledpassion
12-21-2011, 09:13 AM
12-21-2011, 09:20 AM
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