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    lagging chest


    hi guys. I've been lifting for bout three years and I still have this lagging and week chest. I would say i'm def a hard gainer. I'm 5 10 but my arms tip to tip measure 6 so yea they're pretty long. Any tips on how to bring my chest up. I have really big shoulders and no chest. I just started shorting my rom in order to do more weight. Haven't noticed any changes yet. Advice? I normally start with incline db the flat db. Then i'll do bench then cables or machine

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    Do Inc DB, flat DB bench with elbows out, decline DB/BB bench, and dips.
    I would drop BB bench, machines and possibly cables.
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    I'm guessing you need a bit more weight to develop the chest. 155 lbs for 5'10 is scary skinny; Asian skinny. Gain 10-12 lbs of muscle while hitting that chest from each and every angle and you will see it grow quickly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuppKnight View Post
    I'm guessing you need a bit more weight to develop the chest. 155 lbs for 5'10 is scary skinny; Asian skinny. Gain 10-12 lbs of muscle while hitting that chest from each and every angle and you will see it grow quickly.
    True dat. That is pretty skinny.

    Here'es my idea behind chest routines for building it up:
    -Do lots of bench pressing, bb mainly (it's been around the longest for a reason).
    -Warm up with an incline routine to wear out the triceps to get the most out of the chest.
    -Do some flat bench db work to keep the stabilizer muscles in good shape.
    -Cable crossover and butterflies with db's are always good to help get the inner pec's up.
    -Machine flies with your hands on the pads, and keeping your elbows up (like you were holding db's and doing flies).

    That alone can help you out significantly. Stick with the basics, and work up your weight. Figure out how your body works best (either high rep, or high weight). If you are a high rep guy, try to bump up your weight by 5lbs weekly. If you're a high weight guy, try to bump it up by 10lbs a week. I've seen the best results with this, but it may not work for everyone.

    Most people fall into the category of being either brute force strong, or endurance strong. Find a routine with the basic exercises that fits your muscle type.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hugry4more View Post
    hi guys. I've been lifting for bout three years and I still have this lagging and week chest. I would say i'm def a hard gainer. I'm 5 10 but my arms tip to tip measure 6 so yea they're pretty long. Any tips on how to bring my chest up. I have really big shoulders and no chest. I just started shorting my rom in order to do more weight. Haven't noticed any changes yet. Advice? I normally start with incline db the flat db. Then i'll do bench then cables or machine
    You got long arms, do good pec flies with DB's and you will see shape and growth...
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    Do mostly incline you will grow, i know i did. Fly's also.
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    I seem to have the most trouble with my middle chest. No matter what i seem to not be able to get like the man cleavage go. Its like a big whole. My gym doesn't have a pec dec but it has a fly so i've been hitting that mid workout. Any thoughts on how to get the inner chest. Been doing extra squeezing also to try to fire um up.
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    how many reps, how many sets, how much weight.

    do u know your 1 rep max?

    if u answer these i can easily help u out.

    and hell it could be that all hate full factor. (GENES)
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    i don't kno my one rep max. I pretty much dropped bench press cuz my arms are so long. I norm have been using bout 55 db on incline and 7-10 reps for 4 sets then round 60 on flat db same set and reps. then i hit the fly machine and do bout 4 sets of 12 reps round 100lbs. I also use the incling leverage guided press things not sure there name and will do round 130 bout 8 reps 3-4 sets. I use cable crossovers at end to get a nice pump.
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    my chest hardly grew at all until i started hitting more db bench. I DB bench much more often than i BB bench, and with the added strength of my stabilizer muscles my BB bench increased greatly. when i started doing exercises with medicine balls i also noticed an increase in the size of my chest, whether it be getting nice deep push ups with two balls under my hands and a plate on my back, or you can do the pushups with the ball switching, etc.

    Again this is what worked out for me to get my chest up to par with the rest of my body. I too have long arms like you. Try switching up your routine a bit, thats my 2 cents.
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    in your finale sets, if your reps dont start to diminish, im sorry but your not getting the most out of your workout.

    your job is to fatigue the muscle. move the weight up a little bit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Fires View Post
    in your finale sets, if your reps dont start to diminish, im sorry but your not getting the most out of your workout.

    your job is to fatigue the muscle. move the weight up a little bit.
    Exactly! If you are doing the same amount of reps or more for any of your chest exercises, your not destroying your chest.
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    guess i should have mentioned that the fly machine and cable crossovers i go till i can't go anymore, then drop the weight.
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    my chest lags too. as an example i do:

    2 sets babrell (4-6 reps)
    2 sets incline DB
    1 set dips

    Just keep at it, over time it will catch up. sucks to hear that but it is the truth. no magic bullet when it comes to weight. Good form, increase the weights and time
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    I like to pick one MAIN exercise per group, for chest atm I am doing decline BB. I then smoke the crap out of myself on that exercise, and then do all the auxillaries I have planned for the day. Like tomorrow is chest/back. I am doing decline bb/chins supersetted, then incline db fly and db rows, then flat bench and t bars. I may swap tbars for machine or cable flies though, as I feel my chest is lagging a bit also.
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    you can try this its working for me at better overall chest development that just big lower chests. i had pecs just wasnt very well developed overall.

    stopped doing reg. BB press. started doing neck press. same movement just bring the bar down where neck meets chests and collar bone. really focuses on more overall chests. i even gave up incline for the most part. i go about 5 sets. working my way up the pyramid then back down. 135,185, 205, 220, 190. you will lose some strength with neck press vs. standard bench but dont worry bout it. then i do decline either BB/cables, flat DB, flyes, pec dec, maybe even machine bench. i just alternate diff. exercises around. stay fairly low volume, about 12-14 sets and hit it 2x a week. its working like a champ for me right now. im sure ill be changing some things at some point soon but ill keep the neck press over reg. BB press unless im maxing maybe
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuppKnight View Post
    I'm guessing you need a bit more weight to develop the chest. 155 lbs for 5'10 is scary skinny; Asian skinny. Gain 10-12 lbs of muscle while hitting that chest from each and every angle and you will see it grow quickly.
    I'm asian and so is volcom
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    Man, my chest lags too. For me it's more of a genetic thing than a lack of training. One thing I've found out though is that technique is really important. I suppose the most basic advice would be to lift real heavy with the best possible form so you get the most out of training the chest for mass. If your form is sloppy the chest muscles might stop doing less than optimal work while other muscle groups (namely the triceps and deltoids) make up for it. I say this even though a few years ago I could bench press more than I can at the moment yet my my chest looks a little fuller than it did back then. I think though this is mainly a result of neck presses because they actually do hit the upper chest a lot more than incline presses (for me anyway). I developed my upper chest a little more than it was and it made my whole chest look more full. My chest may or may not have been a little thicker back then, though. I can't really remember. But if you need more mass you have to lift heavier weights.

    Look into an exercise called neck presses. Read up on them, try them and see if they're for you. I wouldn't recommend doing a lot of weight on these though. You can do them with dumbbells too. Form is really important.

    Good luck
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    Weighted dips while leaning forward really made mine grow and fill out.

    I do in order
    flat BB bench 3x5
    weighted dips 3x8
    Incline DB bench(30 degree incline as opposed to higher degree) 3x8
    Flies 3x8

    Also, yes. If you can do 3x8 all the way through you aren't pushing yourself. I like to keep it so when I go up in weight I can barely finish 8 the first set, then it's usually 6 reps the second set and 4 the last. As soon as I can do all 3x5, 3x8 I move up the weight and start the process over.
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    Heavy Decline BP or dbp, Heavy incline dbp followed by heavy as you can handle Arnold flys. Add dips in every other workout and proceed to flex chest in mirror.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hugry4more View Post
    hi guys. I've been lifting for bout three years and I still have this lagging and week chest. I would say i'm def a hard gainer. I'm 5 10 but my arms tip to tip measure 6 so yea they're pretty long. Any tips on how to bring my chest up. I have really big shoulders and no chest. I just started shorting my rom in order to do more weight. Haven't noticed any changes yet. Advice? I normally start with incline db the flat db. Then i'll do bench then cables or machine
    Avoid doing the exact same workout twice. For example go 12 reps every set and the next time go 8, but be sure to reach fatigue.
    Super set push-ups after some bench exercises to burn out after the set(on chest day I usually do about 100 push-ups)
    and if your not already, start hitting chest 2x per week.

    oh....and don't EVER sacrifice form for more weight, what are you a power lifter?
    Quote Originally Posted by madds87 View Post
    Im not to fond of taking serm's for long periods of time....
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    Use full range of motion.

    Try pre-exhausting, etc. This is really all for nothing though, as for you to actually get some decent pec develpment you have to gain weight. I realize that you're not a powerlifter nor do you want to be, but the pursuit of strength is in line with your current goals.

    I see a lot of people out there who tell me that they just want to look big, they don't care about strength... well... I've never seen a truly impressive physique on a guy who didn't have some substantial strength. Powerlifter levels? Not necessarily. Just strong. You know it when you see it. If you're incline pressing 185 for a couple of sets of 10 and you raise that to 275 or 315 for 10 reps... I promise you that you will look like a totally different person.

    If that's not what you want to hear, then just try some variety some as pre-exhaustion, lots of flyes, etc. I think you'll find that you'll make small but noticable changes like that, for head turning changes you would need to do something more drastic. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJPopovich View Post
    Use full range of motion.

    Try pre-exhausting, etc. This is really all for nothing though, as for you to actually get some decent pec develpment you have to gain weight. I realize that you're not a powerlifter nor do you want to be, but the pursuit of strength is in line with your current goals.

    I see a lot of people out there who tell me that they just want to look big, they don't care about strength... well... I've never seen a truly impressive physique on a guy who didn't have some substantial strength. Powerlifter levels? Not necessarily. Just strong. You know it when you see it. If you're incline pressing 185 for a couple of sets of 10 and you raise that to 275 or 315 for 10 reps... I promise you that you will look like a totally different person.

    If that's not what you want to hear, then just try some variety some as pre-exhaustion, lots of flyes, etc. I think you'll find that you'll make small but noticable changes like that, for head turning changes you would need to do something more drastic. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint.
    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!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Type O Hero View Post
    Man, my chest lags too. For me it's more of a genetic thing than a lack of training. One thing I've found out though is that technique is really important. I suppose the most basic advice would be to lift real heavy with the best possible form so you get the most out of training the chest for mass. If your form is sloppy the chest muscles might stop doing less than optimal work while other muscle groups (namely the triceps and deltoids) make up for it. I say this even though a few years ago I could bench press more than I can at the moment yet my my chest looks a little fuller than it did back then. I think though this is mainly a result of neck presses because they actually do hit the upper chest a lot more than incline presses (for me anyway). I developed my upper chest a little more than it was and it made my whole chest look more full. My chest may or may not have been a little thicker back then, though. I can't really remember. But if you need more mass you have to lift heavier weights.
    Look into an exercise called neck presses. Read up on them, try them and see if they're for you. I wouldn't recommend doing a lot of weight on these though. You can do them with dumbbells too. Form is really important.

    Good luck
    The bold x2

    And no such thing as targeting/isolating the "middle pecs"... you have to increase hypertrophy of the enitre group of fibers- they all contract together
    Suffer now.. and live like a champion later.
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    You could try pre-exhausting your pec's in your training session.

    You could also try cutting back on the amount of weight, and concentrating on really slowing down the eccentric portion of your lift. Maybe 1-2sec up, and 3-4sec down.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hugry4more View Post
    hi guys. I've been lifting for bout three years and I still have this lagging and week chest. I would say i'm def a hard gainer. I'm 5 10 but my arms tip to tip measure 6 so yea they're pretty long. Any tips on how to bring my chest up. I have really big shoulders and no chest. I just started shorting my rom in order to do more weight. Haven't noticed any changes yet. Advice? I normally start with incline db the flat db. Then i'll do bench then cables or machine

    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....
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    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...
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    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
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gutterpump View Post
    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...
    EXACTLY. If you want to target a specific body part, TARGET IT. Make sure you have the perfect form to really utilize your chest and get a goooood stretch. Make it almost tingle a little, that's one of my favorite feelings in the gym. Also, get back on that BB bench. I think it's key in adding mass to your chest. Take a wide grip and really squeeze it out.
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    wide grip really built my chest. It feels weird to do a regular grip now.
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    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-
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    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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    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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    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.
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    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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    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....
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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