Lagging Chest?

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    Lagging Chest?


    So this is actually for a friend of mine. His stats are: 6'5'' and 185lb. We went to the gym on wed. lifted arms, he hasn't lifted in about a year, he was pretty solid on most of the lifts for bi's and tri's, decent strength. So yesterday/Sunday he decided to get a gym membership and tag along for my chest workout. We started with a warm up set of flat bench dumbbell presses. He grabbed 2 50lb. dumbbells and proceeded to attempt to lift it for 12-15 reps. To my surprise he got one in and hit a sticking point attempting the second rep. We dropped the weight to 30 lb. and was barley able to get 7 reps in and unable to go low enough to break a 90 degree angle with his arms. His form is bad IMO and when he presses he goes really wide and is unable to keep the weights very stable. I had him attempt a push up to see how he positioned himself for that and again very wide and was unable to go more than half way down without dropping to the ground. We worked through the rest of the lifts with minimal weight for him focusing on form more than anything. Talking with him afterwards he let me know that he had never worked out his chest and just blew it off because once he hit puberty, he had and still has some bad gyno, and was worried a bigger chest would make it more pronounced under his shirt and he didn't want to be made fun of. Like I said his lifts all around on other body parts seem to be decent given his height and size, but his chest strength is almost non existent. My questions are other than focusing on strict form is there anything I can do to help him out or any medical reasons that come to mind for the lack of strength?

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    He needs to just put the work in on the chest. You said it yourself that he purposefully neglected working chest due to his self-image.
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    chest is a pretty responsive muscle. in a few weeks he'll be doing the 50lbs dumbbells
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    Since there are a lot of different chest builds, there are a lot of different ways to train the chest. I don't have a full square shaped chest, so I don't train my chest like someone who has that build does. They'd try to tell me, do lots of bench presses, but I've found that I respond better to a mix of dips, incline DB presses and flyes. That's all I need to develop my chest to it's fuller potential. Barbell bench presses do NOTHING for me as my shoulders tend to do more work than I'd like. DB presses, due to me being able to control form better, are way more beneficial.

    So, I say start trying to find exercises where you can really establish that feel. Don't worry about really heavy poundages, especially at first. Better to lift lighter weight with great technique than just heaving weight as if that's the goal.

    Add some form of flyes to the workout. Incline flyes work best for me. Really concentrate on squeezing at the top, go kind of slow on the negative.

    If barbell benches don't work, do DB, or vise versa. Or if you can get something out of both, switch it up.

    If you can do dips, do dips. They're good for general pressing strength.
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    thx for the advice I'll pass it along, just feel so bad for him and was so shocked. Will keep working with him and hopefully it will come around.
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    Just remember, weight is a means to and end, not the end itself. I see people trying to heave up weight they can't handle because I guess it boosts ego? I on the other hand never really lift heavy, though I look like I could lift more than a lot of guys who outweigh me by 20+lbs.

    Technique is EVERYTHING if you want to improve your build.

    If all you care about is size and strength, that comes pretty easy if your genetics allow it.
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    I'm echoing Type O with the technique work.

    At 6'5 185 it sounds like your friend has a lot of potential to fill out. He also has a lot of learning potential when it comes to performing the exercises correctly. Its not his pecs, per se, that are the issue. Its his entire motor programming that results in the movement. Take a good 4 weeks to just work the movement with very light weight for moderate reps. this is not light weight burning out, this is working the movement...like practice. Practice the movement, then when he has the coordination and control to do it right, then start adding on weight.

    Basically, you need to treat your friend like a 12 or 13 year old who is first learning to lift.

    Br
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    i agree with type o and red. in addition i would like to add that standing military press has done more for my chest than anything. focus on form, leave the ego at the door and hit a lot of reps. for me i have found that volume is the key. i military press twice a week with a 6x6 heavier weight followed by a 6x8 with 10-20 percent drop in weight. i have been doing this for 1.5 years and my chest is now one of my best features where before it was always behind my arms and back.
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    A lot of people can't activate there chest muscles the way they need to, I,ve been training people for 3 years now, and a lot of guys tell me they can't feel there chest even when doing perfect form reps, I actually had this problem when I started out as well. Your friend at 6'5 prob has some long arms wich doesn't help. But through selective exercises he can still get great results, Cable flys and presses work great, I find a lot of people get better response with decline press also, cable or smith machine, I'm not saying typical barbell and dumb bell exercises aren't good but if you can't feel your chest work your wasting your time and energy! Once you start building a better mind muscle connection with your chest you will find you start feeling the typical BB and DB exercises. Practicing the "pec pop of love" is also a good way to enhance the mind muscle connection. Good luck
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoyalT81 View Post
    A lot of people can't activate there chest muscles the way they need to, I,ve been training people for 3 years now, and a lot of guys tell me they can't feel there chest even when doing perfect form reps, I actually had this problem when I started out as well. Your friend at 6'5 prob has some long arms wich doesn't help. But through selective exercises he can still get great results, Cable flys and presses work great, I find a lot of people get better response with decline press also, cable or smith machine, I'm not saying typical barbell and dumb bell exercises aren't good but if you can't feel your chest work your wasting your time and energy! Once you start building a better mind muscle connection with your chest you will find you start feeling the typical BB and DB exercises. Practicing the "pec pop of love" is also a good way to enhance the mind muscle connection. Good luck
    good advice, will pass it along. Thx
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    You have opposing goals that, although both can be achieved over time, you will have to prioritize and focus on one goal at a time.
    If your chest is not growing but your bench has not stalled, then you simply aren't eating enough. Increase calories to fuel muscle growth. You should be very close since you report growth in other areas. Do it in stages (200 calories per week at a time). Monitor results. Adjust as needed. There is no magic. A lack of growth means a lack of calories.

    But then you mention you feel your body fat % is too high. This requires a calorie deficit from your daily maintenance. Start with 10 to 15% below maintenance. Aim for about a pound a week. This should optimize fat loss while trying to preserve as much muscle as possible. Monitor results. Adjust as, well, you know the drill.
    This will be in conflict with trying to get your chest to grow but over time, you can do both. Just pick an immediate goal and work on that first.
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