lagging chest

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  1. 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"
    -Arnold-


  2. Quote Originally Posted by Jake Fires View Post
    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"
    -Arnold-
    Hate to sound like I read too many magazines...... BUT: I did notice, personally, that incline benching is better for wearing down the triceps, then moving over to a flat bench to finish them off, as well as getting your pecs to work harder. Don't worry about your normal flat bench weight dropping. I say, "If you care about what you bench so much, become a power lifter and compete. If you're trying to go for strength all around, why care about your bench press weight more than anything else?". I don't know, just me. I noticed way more development in my triceps AND chest overall when doing 4-5 higher rep, light sets of incline, then 5-6 lower rep, heavy sets of flat bench. Just mess around with the order. Give each routine a couple weeks for any results to show. Move onto another routine, and repeat. Also, don't go by what just seems to get the best look, go with what feels like your body gets the most out of. Don't go by the "pumped look", go by how trashed your pecs feel.
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  3. Quote Originally Posted by nynone View Post
    Hate to sound like I read too many magazines...... BUT: I did notice, personally, that incline benching is better for wearing down the triceps, then moving over to a flat bench to finish them off, as well as getting your pecs to work harder. Don't worry about your normal flat bench weight dropping. I say, "If you care about what you bench so much, become a power lifter and compete. If you're trying to go for strength all around, why care about your bench press weight more than anything else?". I don't know, just me. I noticed way more development in my triceps AND chest overall when doing 4-5 higher rep, light sets of incline, then 5-6 lower rep, heavy sets of flat bench. Just mess around with the order. Give each routine a couple weeks for any results to show. Move onto another routine, and repeat. Also, don't go by what just seems to get the best look, go with what feels like your body gets the most out of. Don't go by the "pumped look", go by how trashed your pecs feel.
    INDBP stimulates the pecs almost as much as decline pressing(DDP is also a good alternative for dips). Much more than flat bench does. Some food for thought as I have posted these before.
    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.


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  4. Quote Originally Posted by bkoguy07 View Post
    Thats a big ass difference. I don't think a lot of people could legitimately handle that kind of change in under 2 years honestly. Not many people have the frame to hit 315 for a set of 10 on incline.


    BUT i do agree with you, the size difference from some one hitting 185 10 times on incline and 315 on incline is drastic!
    I am well aware at the difference between 185 and 315. I used a slightly extreme example to prove my point. Just moving from 185 to 225 for a set of 10 will make quite a difference, and in my not-humble opinion, it's not that difficult to do. Before anyone gets upset, I mean compared to going from 275 to 315, etc. Earlier gains are easier gains. You'd be suprised what one can progress with once you have increased expectations and a good coach. Yes, it still takes time, but much less time.

    Remember, 2 years is nothing in the scheme of lifting weights. This is and always has been a marathon, not a sprint.

  5. Quote Originally Posted by TheLastRonin View Post
    INDBP stimulates the pecs almost as much as decline pressing(DDP is also a good alternative for dips). Much more than flat bench does. Some food for thought as I have posted these before.
    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.

    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.
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  6. Quote Originally Posted by CJPopovich View Post
    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.
    If one can move more weight with a straight bar then with a pair of dumbbells in the same exercise, wouldn't it be because along with the ability to lift more, additional muscle groups are also being used?
    Quote Originally Posted by madds87 View Post
    Im not to fond of taking serm's for long periods of time....

  7. Quote Originally Posted by CJPopovich View Post
    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.

    It's not about being big and strong. The OP wanted his chest to catch up in size..as in bodybuilding and not power lifting. As in stimulation of the muscle fiber for growth...not strength. Yes the strong are usually big but the big are not always incredibly strong.
    Steve Reeve's favorite Chest exercise was the IDP for a reason. It works. Its not about overall strength and size, he want better pectorals. The science is in the article I put out there. The proof is in my own chest, which suffered from exactly the same problem as the OP when I was starting out.

    BTW When I focused on only DB training I grew to lift much more than what I was on the bench. As humans we have the ability to adapt to specific work loads or jobs. I imagine you have never done this at any great length.


    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.

    As a competitive PL you are not qualified to give advice on bodybuilding techniques. You are qualified to give advice on PLing, besides,you do not understand my point. IF your triceps are being worked more than your chest overall, as in wearing out first, you have weak triceps. IF you feel the movement more in your triceps than in your chest YOUR GRIP IS TOO NARROW, it is a fact.
    I am not comparing triceps on their own in general strength to other body parts in a compound lift as to being the stronger muscle group. My triceps never feel pumped or tire out more quickly than say my shoulders or the pecs themselves(not since my first year of training), from full ROM bping or incline DBPing. Ever. My chest does though.
    As I have trained in both endeavors I can say for a certainty that I am correct and you are not.


    (btw it doesn't matter if your close grip is the same as your wide grip, the tri's are still the weak point).

    Ever heard of close grip bench pressing? Different grips will activate the triceps to a different degree, so you are just plain wrong.Triceps remain the weaker muscle group that is all.

    If you build up the triceps with good pressing capability, your chest will have no option except to catch up.

    Maybe in strength, not in size, sorry.Genetics and technique play major roles.

    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.
    I agree that heavy compound work should be the basis of every workout. I stand by that. Hypertrophy training is much different than PLing style though and should be utilizing many facets and methods to achieve the goal of muscle growth. The OP did mention that the only body part lacking was his chest. This is mainly genetics. It can be overcome with specific hypertrophy training in conjunction with compound movements. I liken these scenarios to squats..most people say squat big and you will get big calves. I squatted big and never saw growth until I added BBing routines for them into my PL workout. The combination is the key.

  8. Quote Originally Posted by timmmah View Post
    If one can move more weight with a straight bar then with a pair of dumbbells in the same exercise, wouldn't it be because along with the ability to lift more, additional muscle groups are also being used?
    no, you cant lift as much with DB's because it requires alot more simultaneous stabilization.

  9. Quote Originally Posted by TheLastRonin View Post
    I agree that heavy compound work should be the basis of every workout. I stand by that. Hypertrophy training is much different than PLing style though and should be utilizing many facets and methods to achieve the goal of muscle growth. The OP did mention that the only body part lacking was his chest. This is mainly genetics. It can be overcome with specific hypertrophy training in conjunction with compound movements. I liken these scenarios to squats..most people say squat big and you will get big calves. I squatted big and never saw growth until I added BBing routines for them into my PL workout. The combination is the key.
    Ok ok.

    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.

  10. Quote Originally Posted by CJPopovich View Post
    Ok ok.

    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.
    Well my background was first competitive PLing and then Bodybuidling. I built a large base and was very strong but lacked the size I wanted in my chest. I refined until I found what works. I also used to train athletes from marathon runners to bodybuilders. I know my beans, and count them very well.

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Quote Originally Posted by CJPopovich View Post
    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.
    lol well thats kind of how it goes. After 3 years of training I was very, very strong for my weight class. It shows how we all develop differently. I agree about his experience though, I definitely wouldn't put him in the same category as someone with 10 solid years experience either and would also classify him as most likely an intermediate..just not a greenhorn rookie heh.

    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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. The best advice for the poster is to eat more. Eat like a horse and that chest will grow!

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Quote Originally Posted by fueledpassion
    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
    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!!!

  19. Quote Originally Posted by UGHQTempus View Post
    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.
    I have had the same experience. I love to work the incline.It is a great way to develop mass. Great post I think everyone can benefit from taking your approach.

  20. Quote Originally Posted by fueledpassion View Post
    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
    Have you tried changing the order of the exercises? Another suggestion would be the variation of grips, with dumbbells can stimulate growth. Instead of wide grip db press. Turn the grip parallel, it will work the interior of the chest. Decline push ups , and weighted dips. Mix it up to max out.

  21. hey hungry4more, i had this problem in my early years of lifting, one thing you might want to try is the mind/muscle connection, it is where you use a wieght where you resist the wieght on the way down and contract your chest muscles all the way up, this method is mostly used with dumbells and cable and machine work, if you find yourself using more of your arms and back and not resisting and contracting the musce group you are trying to work and get bigger your probably using too much wieght, although heavy weights are good at times for a change of pace and to shock the muscle from time to time, using the mind/muscle connection with the muscle group is very important, using heavy wieght all the time can lead to injury and your just gonna build your arms and shoulders rather than your chest, also remember your nutrition, this is equally important to build up those muscles. change your routine from time to time, lke doing your incline dumbell presses, falt bench presses but change the last exercise with dips, flyes, cable crossovers, pullover,etc. or change from starting with incline presses first to flat bench presses first and alternate from each workout, leave your ego at the front door! dont go into the gym just to lift the heaviest things possible! your just gonna waste your time! yeah its impressive but your not gonna get anywhere but tired. i woud like to post my email to talk to you more in depth and to keep in touch withyou more to track your progressand try to help you out as much as possible but my rep power isnt high enough.

  22. If you have large shoulders and a small chest, your problem is purely bench form. You should be pinching your shoulder blades into the bench, using a grip a few inches outside your shoulders, and make sure you keep your elbows tucked in toward your body at roughly 45 degrees. If you are flaring your shoulders out, then not only are you incorporating more deltoid, but your putting your rotator cuff under alot of stress, which is prob why you started the other thread regarding your rounded back.

    You need to re-learn how to bench press is my best guess, once I did this personally, my chest blew up

  23. Quote Originally Posted by Movin_weight View Post
    If you have large shoulders and a small chest, your problem is purely bench form. You should be pinching your shoulder blades into the bench, using a grip a few inches outside your shoulders, and make sure you keep your elbows tucked in toward your body at roughly 45 degrees. If you are flaring your shoulders out, then not only are you incorporating more deltoid, but your putting your rotator cuff under alot of stress, which is prob why you started the other thread regarding your rounded back.

    You need to re-learn how to bench press is my best guess, once I did this personally, my chest blew up
    I agree completely. Work on the form , and the growth will follow. I took my son off the bb flat bench and went dumbells exclusively until his form got better. Now his chest is blowing up and he sees the results.

  24. Quote Originally Posted by musclehead24
    hey hungry4more, i had this problem in my early years of lifting, one thing you might want to try is the mind/muscle connection, it is where you use a wieght where you resist the wieght on the way down and contract your chest muscles all the way up, this method is mostly used with dumbells and cable and machine work, if you find yourself using more of your arms and back and not resisting and contracting the musce group you are trying to work and get bigger your probably using too much wieght, although heavy weights are good at times for a change of pace and to shock the muscle from time to time, using the mind/muscle connection with the muscle group is very important, using heavy wieght all the time can lead to injury and your just gonna build your arms and shoulders rather than your chest, also remember your nutrition, this is equally important to build up those muscles. change your routine from time to time, lke doing your incline dumbell presses, falt bench presses but change the last exercise with dips, flyes, cable crossovers, pullover,etc. or change from starting with incline presses first to flat bench presses first and alternate from each workout, leave your ego at the front door! dont go into the gym just to lift the heaviest things possible! your just gonna waste your time! yeah its impressive but your not gonna get anywhere but tired. i woud like to post my email to talk to you more in depth and to keep in touch withyou more to track your progressand try to help you out as much as possible but my rep power isnt high enough.
    Thanks man good stuff just pm me if ur Rep isn't high enough

  25. Quote Originally Posted by Movin_weight
    If you have large shoulders and a small chest, your problem is purely bench form. You should be pinching your shoulder blades into the bench, using a grip a few inches outside your shoulders, and make sure you keep your elbows tucked in toward your body at roughly 45 degrees. If you are flaring your shoulders out, then not only are you incorporating more deltoid, but your putting your rotator cuff under alot of stress, which is prob why you started the other thread regarding your rounded back.

    You need to re-learn how to bench press is my best guess, once I did this personally, my chest blew up
    Thanks man really appreciate all ur posts. It's nice to talk to people who actually have a wealth of information under there belt. I can't even tell you how many successful trainers I talked to that could tell me Jack. So I think with all this new information and tips I'm finally on to the right path.
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