I don't feel workouts, please help?

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    I don't feel workouts, please help?


    Please read all of this before replying so you understand my position.

    Okay, so I have an issue that is starting to really make me negative towards certain workouts and I'm starting to feel really unsatisfied in the gym. I am hoping you guys can help me out.

    My problem is, I ONLY feel shoulders, biceps, triceps, traps, and leg workouts. I feel absolutely NOTHING when I do chest, any form of back, lats, etc. This is really discouraging because those are the muscle groups on my body that I really need to target, and I can't get them to grow because I can't feel anything...I can't establish a connection directly to those muscles.

    I have tried a ton of different approaches to this. I have researched a TON on forums just like this, I have watched countless YouTube videos on workouts for these muscle groups, I have asked for help from bigger dudes in the gym, I have tried slow movements while really focusing in the gym trying to get that mind/muscle connection, I have tried activating these muscles with no weight while looking in the mirror(i cant do it), I have tried using really heavy weight for low reps, I have had my friends force me to keep going past the point of failure, I have done countless sets/reps, etc, and after I am finished - I still feel nothing. My posture and form while doing these exercises is good, I make sure of that with every exercise I do.

    For example, say I do dumbbell chest press, 60 lbs x 10 reps, in a really slow, focused fashion - trying really hard to contract my pecs and "pull" the weight up. All I feel is pressure on the back of my shoulder blades from the weight being above me pressing me into the bench, and my biceps/triceps get a little sore. And that's it.

    When I do lats, or back, I feel nothing but stress on my body, nothing gets sore.


    Dunno if it matters, but here are my current numbers, and I am currently on a 5/3/1 workout plan:

    Height: 6'4"
    Weight: 173lbs (I'm thin, trying to get bigger obviously..)
    Bench 1RM: 225lbs
    Squat 1RM: 275lbs
    Deadlift 1RM: 275lbs
    Press 1RM: 155lbs

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    What exercises are you doing for back and chest? Remember soreness is not a good indicator of how good you worked the muscles
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD261985 View Post
    What exercises are you doing for back and chest? Remember soreness is not a good indicator of how good you worked the muscles
    Typically a chest day would consist of bench, incline bench, dumbbell press, flyes, dips, any variation of stuff like that.

    For back, I am doing lat pulldowns, seated rows, db rows, bb rows, pull ups, etc - I have tried all of them but haven't really made a solid back workout yet because I can't decide what is working and what isn't.

    I know that soreness is not a good indicator of how good I've worked my muscles, but I know that I am doing something wrong because my chest is not growing and my back/lats are not getting stronger or bigger either. Everything else is.
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    I'm going to assume you're sticking with a mass building rep range correct? When you do exercises like db flyes are you really feeling that stretch at the bottom? I always feel dumbbell flyes no matter what. Maybe post up some vids of how you do the exercises. Are you sure it's not your form?
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD261985 View Post
    I'm going to assume you're sticking with a mass building rep range correct? When you do exercises like db flyes are you really feeling that stretch at the bottom? I always feel dumbbell flyes no matter what. Maybe post up some vids of how you do the exercises. Are you sure it's not your form?
    Yeah mass building rep range for sure.

    You know what, I actually feel flyes a little, if I squeeze really hard on the reps I can feel my chest contracting, but thats about it. Anything else I don't feel it at all.

    I think it's something about bringing my arms together forces my chest to work.
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    When doing pulldowns you should try one arm pulldowns.
    I also am able to engage my lats better if I do half reps on bent and cable rows.

    As far as chest, try pre exhausting your triceps first and then hop on flat bench with a lower weight and see how your pectorals engage.
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    When doing barbell rows or pull downs, concentrate on trying to "split the bar". Even just picking up a weightless BB, and pushing your wrists out, you should feel a squeeze in your lats.

    Same for chest, except "squeeze the bar together".

    You should feel these immediately, and may need to lower the weight a little at first.
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    I am just going to throw some questions & crap out and see if anything sticks...

    6' 4" and #175 you are most likely at present, (this can change, as I was quite thin myself) more linear and have long muscles that might need a bit more time under the weights, along with some eating.

    Next, I think everyone can feel or pump the smaller muscles or feel isolation exercises better, or the limbs, somewhat better than a compound exercise, torso work etc. that uses a few different body mechanics and does not have a huge contraction and extension ROM.

    Can you flex you pecs, or make them hard by squeezing you upper arms inwards or together?

    Can you tense your lats?

    Are you carb restricting?

    Do you feel you might squeeze the bar exceptionally hard?

    Have you tried straps on say rows and just concentrated on pushing an invisible object backwards, using your elbows to get more feeling from the rowing motion?
    At times I will do seated low rows and at the end of a set just shrug the lats back for about 5 -10 reps and I can feel them more than the initial set of fuller ROM reps.

    How often do you train?

    Are you eating enough to gain BW?

    I think the bottom line is to follow the strength and weight progression as you eat and see if in a few months, there isn't some kind of improvement. Try not to get to bunged up on not really feeling it, as if you are gaining strength, you will most likely be gaining size too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RegisterJr View Post
    When doing barbell rows or pull downs, concentrate on trying to "split the bar". Even just picking up a weightless BB, and pushing your wrists out, you should feel a squeeze in your lats.

    Same for chest, except "squeeze the bar together".

    You should feel these immediately, and may need to lower the weight a little at first.
    By "split the bar" do you mean like pretend to pull the bar apart, like if I was trying to tear something in half? And "squeeze the bar together" is the opposite?

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulBlack View Post
    I am just going to throw some questions & crap out and see if anything sticks...

    6' 4" and #175 you are most likely at present, (this can change, as I was quite thin myself) more linear and have long muscles that might need a bit more time under the weights, along with some eating.

    Next, I think everyone can feel or pump the smaller muscles or feel isolation exercises better, or the limbs, somewhat better than a compound exercise, torso work etc. that uses a few different body mechanics and does not have a huge contraction and extension ROM.

    Can you flex you pecs, or make them hard by squeezing you upper arms inwards or together?

    Can you tense your lats?

    Are you carb restricting?

    Do you feel you might squeeze the bar exceptionally hard?

    Have you tried straps on say rows and just concentrated on pushing an invisible object backwards, using your elbows to get more feeling from the rowing motion?
    At times I will do seated low rows and at the end of a set just shrug the lats back for about 5 -10 reps and I can feel them more than the initial set of fuller ROM reps.

    How often do you train?

    Are you eating enough to gain BW?

    I think the bottom line is to follow the strength and weight progression as you eat and see if in a few months, there isn't some kind of improvement. Try not to get to bunged up on not really feeling it, as if you are gaining strength, you will most likely be gaining size too.
    1. I can't flex my pecs without squeezing my upper arms together or inwards. If I squeeze my arms together or move them inwards then yes, my pecs will flex. But I can't just stand there and bounce them around like some people do lol.

    2. Yes I can tense my lats.

    3. No.

    4. I don't squeeze the bar very hard at all.

    5. Yeah, I've tried to imagine by hands as hooks, and using my back to "pull" the weight

    6. I train 4 times a week

    7. I eat a ton, but my diet will be cleaning up immensely starting next week (new job that isnt so hectic, more time to eat)
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    You say you are eating a ton, have you gained overall BW from say, when you started?

    Do you have any pics for some comparisons to averages of builds and BW?

    Routine layout?

    As I and other have said before, the pump, is not necessarily a marker for getting bigger and stronger, so maybe you are just overthinking some of this at this point.
    I might be inclined to just keep at it for a bit and see how you progress.
    Sure you may feel your limbs are the only thing that is showing progress, but I doubt that the entire body (ie: torso/groups, is not being effected too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stryfe View Post
    By "split the bar" do you mean like pretend to pull the bar apart, like if I was trying to tear something in half? And "squeeze the bar together" is the opposite?
    Exactly.

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