Best exercises for chest volume?

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    Best exercises for chest volume?


    I have been training for over 1 year and have smal chest. what is the best workout for building volume around the chest?

    Thank's

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    I love any and all pec flies. Really saw my chest explode with dumbbell inclines. If you can keep your arms out of the movement it's money for building a big chest.
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    thank you some other exercises too?
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    Dumbbell hip press is good. I favor dumbbell exercises mainly for their isolation. There's things like bench press but moat pushing exercises bring triceps into play unless you do a wider grip.

    What do your chest days look like? Maybe try and mix in some drop sets or slow down the negative part of the movement to help stimulate your chest.
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    chest is quite flat compared to the rest of the body. what I need is chest and arms.
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    What I meant was what exercises do you do or your chest/ arms and how often?
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    Heavy bench
    Pushups
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    I have experienced increased chest volume from heavy weighted dips and pullovers. Make sure to really contract the chest on the pullovers and on the weighted dips, try the widest grip possible on the bars and lean into the bar slightly excluding all use of momentum.

    Doing the following techniques will wear your chest out so make sure you don't overtrain. It does not take lots of training volume to build a wide puffed out chest, just simple stretch and push exercises performed with intensity.
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    The single best exercises that have really helped me develop my chest would be super sets of seated low cable flyes (8-15 reps) with low incline barbell bench (4-8 reps). ive got a genetically small chest but this really brought up the size
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    I think I really need a whole new program. I want and get the biggest volume possible of the upper body. someone who wants and say what they train and how often? (For volume)
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    Someone?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Preb11 View Post
    Someone?
    look into layne nortons phat training program. works well for me.

    or if u enjoy making your own program just hit chest twice a week. one day heavy with mainly barbell and dumbbell moves. the other day a little lighter with higher reps and some flye type movements added in
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    Ty m8
    The program you do .. Is it building volum ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Preb11 View Post
    I think I really need a whole new program. I want and get the biggest volume possible of the upper body. someone who wants and say what they train and how often? (For volume)
    Ah, the actual excercise is hardly the "key", as if you were doing something completely wrong, or a super secret set of bumbell flies is going to fix it.

    Easy route. Just slip your grip out about an inch on each side when you bench to take more weight on your chest THEN...
    One of 2 things will work:

    Go heavy with sets of 5-6 (worked for me years ago like you wouldn't believe)
    Go 4+ sets of 10 (working wonders for me now).

    lol, go a little wider, and try heavy for a few weeks. If that doesn't work, do more volume with less weight (basically start with the opposite of whatever you've been doing thus far)
    That should go for whatever chest exercises you do.
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    Ty m8 i try
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    BROTHER! use pressing movements... Doing flies usually hitup the center chest (the clevage part). Go for pushing movements like Benching, Machine presses, Pushups then after some time weighted pushups! Make SURE you are doing the exercises correctly i.e feeling the weight right where it needs to be and min secondry muscles involvement! Just keep it simple! PUSH PUSH and PUSH! Eat more. Don't go for isolation movements (yes they feel good as they bring the crazy pump) they won't work like pushing movements, stay away from too much of pec decs and wholy moly flies! Train intense (with less rest time between sets) and train smart (don't focus on just moving the weight, work the muscle fully... Like it should be worked on)!



    OHH and you more water before you train, when you train and after you train.... Water is much much important it plays an important role in makin muscles grow and giving an awesome pump.
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    lots of flies and dips
    T2
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    Nice thread. Now i have an idea on how to have a big chest.
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    Switching from flat bar to dumbbells has saved me. My chest simply would not grow like I wanted and going to dumbbells has not only helped me grow but took my strength up as well. I still do flat bench every week but dumbbells are the main tool for chest for me now. Also a brutal shock to your chest: take a weight you can do 20 times. I if your about to fail on 20 you have the correct weight usually. That is the weight you will perform 10 reps for 10 sets. Take only 45 seconds between sets. You'll get some growth through that as well.
    Hustle harder
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabz
    That is the weight you will perform 10 reps for 10 sets. Take only 45 seconds between sets. You'll get some growth through that as well.
    GVT is garbage.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wygdwicfy

    GVT is garbage.
    Opinion noted.
    Hustle harder
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabz

    Opinion noted.
    Extreme glycogen overcompensation. Strength and size gains that both dissapear when you stop using GVT.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zubda345 View Post
    BROTHER! use pressing movements... Doing flies usually hitup the center chest (the clevage part). Go for pushing movements like Benching, Machine presses, Pushups then after some time weighted pushups! Make SURE you are doing the exercises correctly i.e feeling the weight right where it needs to be and min secondry muscles involvement! Just keep it simple! PUSH PUSH and PUSH! Eat more. Don't go for isolation movements (yes they feel good as they bring the crazy pump) they won't work like pushing movements, stay away from too much of pec decs and wholy moly flies! Train intense (with less rest time between sets) and train smart (don't focus on just moving the weight, work the muscle fully... Like it should be worked on)!



    OHH and you more water before you train, when you train and after you train.... Water is much much important it plays an important role in makin muscles grow and giving an awesome pump.
    Its been said before but i'll say it again, muscle fibers on the chest run latitudinally and not up&down. Therefore you cannnot favour one side of your chest to another. This simply isnt physiologically possible, flyes will target the entire pectoral and not just the side closest the clevage (its basically the same movement at the shoulders as a bench press)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiigzz View Post
    Its been said before but i'll say it again, muscle fibers on the chest run latitudinally and not up&down. Therefore you cannnot favour one side of your chest to another. This simply isnt physiologically possible, flyes will target the entire pectoral and not just the side closest the clevage (its basically the same movement at the shoulders as a bench press)
    But the flyes will favour more of the clevage part... I am not saying that they will only target the middle, but they will target the middle more... pressing movement will target the pecs wholy and equally...
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    Good thread !
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    Your body has a natural tendency not to let itself become too unbalanced. Many lifters that struggle with chest volume are not working their opposing muscle groups enough. Do more pull exercises and go heavy on the chest with dumbbells. Get your upper back to the point where it can support a bigger chest and it will fall into place. Lift hard and always go for that next rep until you can't do it-You will grow fast.
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    I've always loved decline bench presses with the widest possible grip.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Preb11 View Post
    I have been training for over 1 year and have smal chest. what is the best workout for building volume around the chest?

    Thank's
    The pattern of flat bench, incline bench, weighted dips and close grip bench (NOT all in the same session) would work wonders.

    Something like this,

    Monday:
    Bench Press: 3X5
    BB Rows: 3x5
    Incline Press: 3x10
    Pullups: 3x10
    Weighted Dips: 3x10

    Thursday:
    Flat Bench: 3x10
    Bent Over Rows: 3x10
    Strict Press: 3x5
    Pullup: 5x5
    Close grip bench: 3x10

    Great upper body workout. Just remember, each session you need to add weight and each week you need to be gaining weight, or else you're not giving your body anything new to grow from. Just doing the workout alone doesn't go very far, you'll need to use principles.
    Former Marine, UT-BSN, NSCA-CPT, NASM-CPT, CSCS
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    Quote Originally Posted by zubda345 View Post
    But the flyes will favour more of the clevage part... I am not saying that they will only target the middle, but they will target the middle more... pressing movement will target the pecs wholy and equally...
    not according to anatomy books its focuses mostly on the pec major, but you cant pick and choose which side an exercise favourse. Just not physiologically possible
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    thread is epic
    lots of people get good info from it
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiigzz View Post
    not according to anatomy books its focuses mostly on the pec major, but you cant pick and choose which side an exercise favourse. Just not physiologically possible
    Suggest me some research for that... an online link or something would be great

    do you agree that compound movements are better than isolation movements for the muscle development? (don't say that isolation movements for some muscles as they don't have a direct compound movement)
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingk0ng View Post
    The pattern of flat bench, incline bench, weighted dips and close grip bench (NOT all in the same session) would work wonders.

    Something like this,

    Monday:
    Bench Press: 3X5
    BB Rows: 3x5
    Incline Press: 3x10
    Pullups: 3x10
    Weighted Dips: 3x10

    Thursday:
    Flat Bench: 3x10
    Bent Over Rows: 3x10
    Strict Press: 3x5
    Pullup: 5x5
    Close grip bench: 3x10

    Great upper body workout. Just remember, each session you need to add weight and each week you need to be gaining weight, or else you're not giving your body anything new to grow from. Just doing the workout alone doesn't go very far, you'll need to use principles.
    I'll have to second this here. I have put much size on my chest based on a program similar to this, except I broke into a third day where I performed Flat/Incline/OH raise on Saturday beginning with 135, 185 and 225 SS/w DB overhead raises (Lying on a flat bench side ways, head hanging lower than body. lowering weight from extended position down below head back to starting position) beginning with 80, 90 & 100. So you perform each lift and rasies and rest 90sec., go on to next set. Adjust the weights accordingly for this third day and you have a high volume plan

    Bench: 135, Incline 135, OH Raise: 80lb for 10 reps
    Bench: 185, Incline 185, OH Raise: 90lb for 10 reps
    Bench: 225, Incline 225, OH Raise: 100lb for 10 reps
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    I would say just train as intensely as you can until you can really feel your chest.Everyone has an opinion on do this exercise for you chest in here but it's not one exercise.It's how intense you make your chest work.

    I get great growth from 6-10 sets a week.As long as I contract I really can feel my chest working.As for what I believe works to stimulate the chest.Different rep schemes.Build strength,muscle and endurance.Whenever I bulk I train 3 sets for 4,8,12 reps.It's difficult to increase the 8 and 12 rep sets but it allows you to really slow the movement down,drop the weight and feel your pecs working.

    As for movement I thin fly's are bs.All they do is remove the tricep from the movment.The same stimulation can be accomplished with incline and flat presses.
    Incline Barbell and then Flat DB Presses are the way to go.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zubda345 View Post
    Suggest me some research for that... an online link or something would be great

    do you agree that compound movements are better than isolation movements for the muscle development? (don't say that isolation movements for some muscles as they don't have a direct compound movement)
    I have a few books, Strength Training Anatomy 3rd Edition, being one of them which demonstrate what I am referring to,

    http://www.flashmavi.com/weight_trai...e_system_chest
    http://www.thesportjournal.org/artic...ctoralis-major
    http://www.google.co.nz/imgres?q=Ana...9,r:4,s:0,i:83

    This has also been discussed in the Exercise Science thread, however I cant find it.

    But from those links you'll see what I am referring to, the last is a picture of how the muscle fibers run (latitudinally) and demonstrate that you cant favour the clevage side, to the outer side as one fiber runs the length of the muscle. You cannot just train one half of a muscle fiber, once a fiber is activated, it activates the entire fiber, from one end to another.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jiigzz View Post
    I have a few books, Strength Training Anatomy 3rd Edition, being one of them which demonstrate what I am referring to,

    http://www.flashmavi.com/weight_trai...e_system_chest
    http://www.thesportjournal.org/artic...ctoralis-major
    http://www.google.co.nz/imgres?q=Ana...9,r:4,s:0,i:83

    This has also been discussed in the Exercise Science thread, however I cant find it.

    But from those links you'll see what I am referring to, the last is a picture of how the muscle fibers run (latitudinally) and demonstrate that you cant favour the clevage side, to the outer side as one fiber runs the length of the muscle. You cannot just train one half of a muscle fiber, once a fiber is activated, it activates the entire fiber, from one end to another.
    You sir, are completely correct.

    The bench press may be the most popular and widely used exercise used for developing the chest (Thompson, 1994). But go into any gym today and you will see quite a few different variations being done. There’s the decline, the incline, the flat bench and to make things even more complicated, all of these can be done with dumbbells. Is one better than the others? Which one should you use and what does each develop?
    Well, this is where we must begin to separate popular ‘gym myths’ from reality. First let’s look at the claims of many bodybuilders. Most believe the angle of the bench has lots to do with what part of the chest you will use. So it is a pretty common belief among weightlifters that the decline bench targets the sternocostal head of the pectoralis major (the lower pecs) and the incline bench hits the clavicular head of the pectoralis major (the upper pecs). So obviously the flat bench must hit a little of both. What about the grip position? Should we use a wide grip or is a narrow grip? I’m sure most of us have heard that a wide grip uses more chest and shoulders and a narrow grip uses more triceps.


    Is this common advice just another fine example of the ‘gym myth’ or is there actually some science to back these anecdotal claims? Before we attempt to answer this burning question let’s first take a look at what really happens when the bench press is performed. As most of us are aware the major muscle used in the movement of the bench press is the pectoralis major. While the pectoralis major is actually one muscle, it has two heads -- the clavicular head and the sternocostal head. The clavicular head or the upper pecs originate at the middle part of the clavicle. The sternocostal head or lower pecs originate at the costal cartlidges of the first six ribs and the adjoining portion of the sternum. Both heads span the chest and eventually join and insert on the humerus or the bone of the upper arm. It is pretty much accepted by sport scientists that the upper pecs are responsible for shoulder flexion or moving the arm upward and the lower pecs are responsible for shoulder extension or moving the arm downward (Lockhart 1974). So at this point it still seems logical to believe that the decline position may actually hit the lower pecs and the incline will hit the upper pecs.


    But wait...before we draw any conclusions, let’s take a quick look at some of the other muscles involved in moving the bench press. First we have the triceps brachii. The major function of the triceps is to extend the elbow and shoulder joints. The triceps brachii actually consist of three heads (long, lateral, and medial). The medial and lateral heads attach to the upper arm and elbow performing extension of the elbow joint while the long head attaches to the scapula to extend the shoulder.


    Next we have the deltoids. While the deltoid is only one muscle it actually attaches in three places giving it three distinct heads (anterior, lateral, and posterior). While the posterior and lateral heads are used as stabilizers in the bench press we are only going to be concerned with the anterior or front deltoids (McCaw, 1994). The front deltoids are responsible for flexion, by moving the arm upward and horizontal adduction, which is moving the arm toward the chest.


    The last muscle we will take a look at is the latissimus dorsi or the lats. The lats in this case, act as an adductor by pushing the arm toward the midline of the body. The lats however, are thought to play only a very minor part in the actual moving of the bench press. They have been shown to be effective just prior to the bottom phase of the lift (Barnett, 1995).


    Now what does science have to say about the effectiveness of all of these variations in the bench press? As many of us are aware, when a muscle contracts it produces electrical energy. The higher the electrical energy the more work the actual muscle is producing. By attaching electrodes to the skin over the bellies of each of these muscles this electrical energy can be measured and read using an electromyograph (EMG). EMG studies can be then be performed on subjects to determine which muscles each of these variations in the bench press may effect. In a recent study Barnett et al (1995) examined the EMG activity of the upper pecs, the lower pecs, the triceps, the front deltoids and the lats using the decline, flat and incline bench press. This study will be quite useful in shedding some light on this confusing subject of pectoral development. So let’s get started!


    The Sternocostal Head


    One of the most common assumptions in the world of iron is that the decline bench is the best for developing the lower pecs. However, this familiar premise may be nothing more than another unfounded gym myth. According to the Barnett EMG study, the flat bench produced much more electrical energy in the lower pecs than did either the decline or incline positions. "I agree with this research" says NPC National Champion and pro bodybuilder Jay Cutler, "The flat bench is much better for lower pec development than the decline."


    But what is the best grip to use? EMG studies have also shown that when doing the flat bench, the muscle fibers of the lower pecs are activated the most when using a wide grip. "This is very much true," adds Fred

    "Dr. Squat" Hatfield, Ph.D. "A wide grip with the elbows out will cause much more lower pec activation." However, whether you choose to use a wide or narrow grip, we can assume that using the decline position to target the lower pecs is just not justified. Eddie Robinson, IFBB pro bodybuilder states, "I feel the flat bench press, with a wide grip is best for over all pec development, but you do not want to go so wide with the grip that you over stress the shoulders."


    The Clavicular Head



    Now we all know that the incline bench hits the upper pecs. Right? Since the upper pecs seem to help to raise the arm, this would make sense. The incline position would put the arm in more of a flexed position than either the flat or decline positions. According to EMG studies this advice seems to be pretty much true. The Barnett study tells us that the incline position produces just slightly more electrical energy in the upper pecs that either the flat or decline positions. However, the flat bench was found to be very close. While the difference between the two was considered insignificant, the slight advantage of the incline over the flat bench in upper pec activation may be just what some of us need to further develop the upper pecs. "This is all very true," says Robinson. "There is no doubt the incline bench hits the pecs more than the flat bench."


    Cutler agrees and says, "I personally feel upper pec development is very important for a bodybuilder. So I concentrate more on the incline bench that I do the flat bench." While the incline position may provide slightly greater upper pec stimulation Hatfield contends, "The same thing can be accomplished by using the flat bench. I would suggest lowering the bar to the upper pecs instead of the lower pecs (as normal), using a wide grip with the elbows out."


    Nevertheless, if you are going to use the incline position to target the upper pecs, a narrower grip has been shown to best activate them. Professional bodybuilder Mike Francois agrees and says "A grip that is just a little bit wider than shoulder’s width really hits my upper pecs best." But Sal Arria, D.C., founder of the International Sport Science Association and former powerlifting champion warns: "Using a wide grip can involve too much front deltoid and can cause the deltoids to slam against the acronium process, causing trauma to the muscle."


    The Triceps Brachii



    I’m sure most of us have been told that a narrow grip hits more triceps than the wide grip. The close grip bench is widely used by powerlifters to develop strength in the triceps to accomplish those massive bench press attempts. According to the EMG study this is very true. The narrow grip when done in a flat position, produced more electrical energy than the incline or decline positions. It should be noted though, that the decline position was pretty close. Cutler explains, "While the decline may be close, I prefer to target the triceps using the flat bench with a narrow grip." Professional bodybuilder Mike Francois agrees, "The flat bench with a narrow grip is a great mass builder." "A narrow grip means your hands should be at your body’s width," Dr. Arria warns, "If you want to create a permanent wrist injury, go with a extremely narrow grip."


    The Anterior Deltoid



    Since the front deltoids are used for flexion of the arm, it makes since that the incline bench would activate the deltoids much more than the flat or decline positions. Once again our EMG study agrees. The incline bench press with a wide grip produced more electrical energy than the narrow grip. Francois remarks, "I agree! The greater the incline of the bench the more the front delts will be activated." Dr. Arria adds: "While the narrow grip is a stronger position, the wider grip produces more stress to the muscle."


    The Latissimus Dorsi



    Many of us were probably unaware that the lats were even involved in the bench press. However, EMG studies do show that the lats are activated for a short period of time just prior to the start of the bottom phase of the lift. Robinson states, "There is no doubt in my mind that the lats are used to help get the weight moving off the chest." However, while the lats are activated briefly in the pressing movement, it should be noted that this activity is considered to be very small when compared to that of the other muscles used in the bench press. In any case, the decline bench seemed to activate the lats much more that either the flat of incline positions. Also the wider the grip the greater the activation of the lats. "While the lats are not so much directly related to the push motion of the bench press, they are directly related to the stabilization of the torso," says Dr. Arria. "This is very important because greater trunk stabilization means that the dynamic load on the muscle is more specific."


    While the lats appear to help get the bench moving off the chest and provide stabilization, no variation of the bench press should ever be considered to be a good exercise for developing the lats. But that in no way means that good lat development is not important for optimal chest development. Francois agrees and says, "The lats are definitely a factor in the movement and stabilization of the bench press, but there are certainly much better ways to develop good lats."


    Don’t Forget the Dumbbells!

    Does the use of dumbbells in chest training change any of the rules? Absolutely not! "The rules we have discussed absolutely do not change when dumbbells are used, but what the use of dumbbell in training does is enable the lifter to have a much greater range of movement," claims Dr. Arria. "Further growth can be stimulated from these deep ranges of movement." Cutler agrees and says, "I think you should expect the about the same results with the use of dumbbells except it is much easier to isolate the pecs."

    "Another important factor to be considered," says Dr. Arria, " Is because you are using the arms independently dumbbells will require a little more stabilization. This means more activation of the synergistic muscles in the shoulder used to stabilize the load." Francois adds: "I like using the flat dumbbells to isolate the chest and build more mass. I feel that dumbbells allow me to get a better stretch at the bottom and more of a contraction at the top."

    Partial Movements

    Do partial movements stimulate particular muscles better than full range movements? Perhaps some of the prime movers are used more during different phases of the lift. Elliot et al (1989) used an EMG to answer this question and reported that prime movers of the bench press (pectoralis major, anterior deltoid, triceps brachii) achieved maximal activation at the start of the concentric phase of the lift and maintained this level throughout the upward movement of the bar. So while many still use partials to selectively target specific muscles Hatfield contends, "Overloading the upper ranges of the movement may work, but training partial movements is for those who haven’t learned the secret of compensatory acceleration. "I agree with Hatfield," says Robinson. "I don’t use partial movements at all, I feel they increase you chances for injury."

    While partials may not be so great for targeting specific muscles, they do seem to be useful for exhausting the muscle. Cutler states, "I use partial movements at the end of a set only to further exhaust the muscle." Francois agrees and says, "Partial ranges of movement are great for further fatiguing the muscle after your full range of movement has failed." However, Dr. Arria again cautions: "While partials do further exhaust the muscle, you have to remember that chances of injury to the muscle are much greater as you reach the point of fatigue." So the use of partial movements should be done with discretion.


    In conclusion, most of could benefit greatly by just depending on the flat bench to gain mass in the upper and lower pecs. However, you must custom tailor your training to meet specific goals. If you have a particular body part that needs further development you must find an exercise or angle that will stress that particular area even more. Therefore, variations in the angle of the bench and the grip are important to optimal development of muscles of the pecs, shoulders and triceps.


    References:
    Barnett, C., Kippers, V., and Turner, P. (1995). Effects of variations of the bench press exercise on the EMG activity of five shoulder muscles. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 9(4): 222-227.
    Elliot, B.C., Wilson, G.J., and Kerr, G.K. (1989). A biomechanical analysis of the sticking region in the bench press. Medicine, Science, Sports and Exercise. 21(4): 450-462.
    Lockhardt, R.D. (1974). Living Anatomy: A Photographic Atlas of Muscles in Action and Surface Contours, 7th ed. London: Farber & Farber.
    McCaw, S.T. and Friday, J.J. (1994). A comparison of muscle activity between a free weight and machine bench press. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 8(4):259-264.
    Thompson, C.E. and Floyd, R.T. (1994). The shoulder joint. In: Manual of Structural Kinesiology, 12th ed. Smith, J.M. Ed. St. Louis, MS: Mosby-Year Book.
    Former Marine, UT-BSN, NSCA-CPT, NASM-CPT, CSCS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Preb11 View Post
    I have been training for over 1 year and have smal chest
    If you're natural, 1 year is nothing, give it time

    Quote Originally Posted by Preb11 View Post
    I think I really need a whole new program. I want and get the biggest volume possible of the upper body. someone who wants and say what they train and how often? (For volume)
    it doesn't work like that. You want a big chest? Granted that genetic plays a role (you say you have small chest compared to the rest
    of the body) train your back and legs, hard and heavy.
    Getting a big chest ain't happening if you have a small back, back is the base of all your pressing movements,
    do your deadlift and get your back thick and wide.

    When working out chest you involve delts and tris too and more often than not, they fail before your chest,
    you can use pre-exhaustion exercises but that's not enough. If you have small and weak shoulders all your chest
    exercises will suffer from it and most likely you'll be facing injuries. Same goes for tris, you need them big and strong,
    not only to support, again, press movements but also because they are 2/3 or your arm: want big arms? Get big tris.

    Training your legs (squats) will make your arms big. Yes, you read it right. Squats and deads are what you should focus on
    if you want to add size, thickness and strength to your body, in the meantime you will experiment with isolation
    exercises to understand what works best FOR YOU, because we're all different, and we react to exercises, volume, weight
    and training frequency differently. There's no "fool proof formula" for big chest, no secret exercise, especially since you've been
    training for just a year.
    Chest for me is all about form and concentration more than weight.
    Presses, flys, weighted dips and pushups, they're all good, some will work better for you depending on
    your structure, you need to figure that out, listen to your body, look for the best stimulation not the biggest weight.
    ..:: ENHANCED BODY FORMULATIONS ::..
    Recompadrol & AAV2 - PM me with any questions

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    Quote Originally Posted by AutoKal47 View Post
    If you're natural, 1 year is nothing, give it time



    it doesn't work like that. You want a big chest? Granted that genetic plays a role (you say you have small chest compared to the rest
    of the body) train your back and legs, hard and heavy.
    Getting a big chest ain't happening if you have a small back, back is the base of all your pressing movements,
    do your deadlift and get your back thick and wide.

    When working out chest you involve delts and tris too and more often than not, they fail before your chest,
    you can use pre-exhaustion exercises but that's not enough. If you have small and weak shoulders all your chest
    exercises will suffer from it and most likely you'll be facing injuries. Same goes for tris, you need them big and strong,
    not only to support, again, press movements but also because they are 2/3 or your arm: want big arms? Get big tris.

    Training your legs (squats) will make your arms big. Yes, you read it right. Squats and deads are what you should focus on
    if you want to add size, thickness and strength to your body, in the meantime you will experiment with isolation
    exercises to understand what works best FOR YOU, because we're all different, and we react to exercises, volume, weight
    and training frequency differently. There's no "fool proof formula" for big chest, no secret exercise, especially since you've been
    training for just a year.
    Chest for me is all about form and concentration more than weight.
    Presses, flys, weighted dips and pushups, they're all good, some will work better for you depending on
    your structure, you need to figure that out, listen to your body, look for the best stimulation not the biggest weight.
    Thank you for saying that-When people ask chest questions all that is ever said is press, eat, lift heavy, etc........People never look at the bigger picture of weight training which leads to a tendency of focusing mainly on the "mirror muscles." The key to a big chest is a big back, big triceps, and other suporting muscle groups that all work together to make heavy pressing movements possible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisrob05 View Post
    Thank you for saying that-When people ask chest questions all that is ever said is press, eat, lift heavy, etc........People never look at the bigger picture of weight training which leads to a tendency of focusing mainly on the "mirror muscles." The key to a big chest is a big back, big triceps, and other suporting muscle groups that all work together to make heavy pressing movements possible.
    I thought I am the only one who thinks that, YES back is a key for a big chest! but everything needs to be done thou... it dosen't mean one should focus more a specific muscle group... every muscle group should be focused...
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingk0ng

    You sir, are completely correct.

    The bench press may be the most popular and widely used exercise used for developing the chest (Thompson, 1994). But go into any gym today and you will see quite a few different variations being done. There's the decline, the incline, the flat bench and to make things even more complicated, all of these can be done with dumbbells. Is one better than the others? Which one should you use and what does each develop?
    Well, this is where we must begin to separate popular 'gym myths' from reality. First let's look at the claims of many bodybuilders. Most believe the angle of the bench has lots to do with what part of the chest you will use. So it is a pretty common belief among weightlifters that the decline bench targets the sternocostal head of the pectoralis major (the lower pecs) and the incline bench hits the clavicular head of the pectoralis major (the upper pecs). So obviously the flat bench must hit a little of both. What about the grip position? Should we use a wide grip or is a narrow grip? I'm sure most of us have heard that a wide grip uses more chest and shoulders and a narrow grip uses more triceps.

    Is this common advice just another fine example of the 'gym myth' or is there actually some science to back these anecdotal claims? Before we attempt to answer this burning question let's first take a look at what really happens when the bench press is performed. As most of us are aware the major muscle used in the movement of the bench press is the pectoralis major. While the pectoralis major is actually one muscle, it has two heads -- the clavicular head and the sternocostal head. The clavicular head or the upper pecs originate at the middle part of the clavicle. The sternocostal head or lower pecs originate at the costal cartlidges of the first six ribs and the adjoining portion of the sternum. Both heads span the chest and eventually join and insert on the humerus or the bone of the upper arm. It is pretty much accepted by sport scientists that the upper pecs are responsible for shoulder flexion or moving the arm upward and the lower pecs are responsible for shoulder extension or moving the arm downward (Lockhart 1974). So at this point it still seems logical to believe that the decline position may actually hit the lower pecs and the incline will hit the upper pecs.

    But wait...before we draw any conclusions, let's take a quick look at some of the other muscles involved in moving the bench press. First we have the triceps brachii. The major function of the triceps is to extend the elbow and shoulder joints. The triceps brachii actually consist of three heads (long, lateral, and medial). The medial and lateral heads attach to the upper arm and elbow performing extension of the elbow joint while the long head attaches to the scapula to extend the shoulder.

    Next we have the deltoids. While the deltoid is only one muscle it actually attaches in three places giving it three distinct heads (anterior, lateral, and posterior). While the posterior and lateral heads are used as stabilizers in the bench press we are only going to be concerned with the anterior or front deltoids (McCaw, 1994). The front deltoids are responsible for flexion, by moving the arm upward and horizontal adduction, which is moving the arm toward the chest.

    The last muscle we will take a look at is the latissimus dorsi or the lats. The lats in this case, act as an adductor by pushing the arm toward the midline of the body. The lats however, are thought to play only a very minor part in the actual moving of the bench press. They have been shown to be effective just prior to the bottom phase of the lift (Barnett, 1995).

    Now what does science have to say about the effectiveness of all of these variations in the bench press? As many of us are aware, when a muscle contracts it produces electrical energy. The higher the electrical energy the more work the actual muscle is producing. By attaching electrodes to the skin over the bellies of each of these muscles this electrical energy can be measured and read using an electromyograph (EMG). EMG studies can be then be performed on subjects to determine which muscles each of these variations in the bench press may effect. In a recent study Barnett et al (1995) examined the EMG activity of the upper pecs, the lower pecs, the triceps, the front deltoids and the lats using the decline, flat and incline bench press. This study will be quite useful in shedding some light on this confusing subject of pectoral development. So let's get started!


    The Sternocostal Head

    One of the most common assumptions in the world of iron is that the decline bench is the best for developing the lower pecs. However, this familiar premise may be nothing more than another unfounded gym myth. According to the Barnett EMG study, the flat bench produced much more electrical energy in the lower pecs than did either the decline or incline positions. "I agree with this research" says NPC National Champion and pro bodybuilder Jay Cutler, "The flat bench is much better for lower pec development than the decline."

    But what is the best grip to use? EMG studies have also shown that when doing the flat bench, the muscle fibers of the lower pecs are activated the most when using a wide grip. "This is very much true," adds Fred

    "Dr. Squat" Hatfield, Ph.D. "A wide grip with the elbows out will cause much more lower pec activation." However, whether you choose to use a wide or narrow grip, we can assume that using the decline position to target the lower pecs is just not justified. Eddie Robinson, IFBB pro bodybuilder states, "I feel the flat bench press, with a wide grip is best for over all pec development, but you do not want to go so wide with the grip that you over stress the shoulders."


    The Clavicular Head

    Now we all know that the incline bench hits the upper pecs. Right? Since the upper pecs seem to help to raise the arm, this would make sense. The incline position would put the arm in more of a flexed position than either the flat or decline positions. According to EMG studies this advice seems to be pretty much true. The Barnett study tells us that the incline position produces just slightly more electrical energy in the upper pecs that either the flat or decline positions. However, the flat bench was found to be very close. While the difference between the two was considered insignificant, the slight advantage of the incline over the flat bench in upper pec activation may be just what some of us need to further develop the upper pecs. "This is all very true," says Robinson. "There is no doubt the incline bench hits the pecs more than the flat bench."

    Cutler agrees and says, "I personally feel upper pec development is very important for a bodybuilder. So I concentrate more on the incline bench that I do the flat bench." While the incline position may provide slightly greater upper pec stimulation Hatfield contends, "The same thing can be accomplished by using the flat bench. I would suggest lowering the bar to the upper pecs instead of the lower pecs (as normal), using a wide grip with the elbows out."

    Nevertheless, if you are going to use the incline position to target the upper pecs, a narrower grip has been shown to best activate them. Professional bodybuilder Mike Francois agrees and says "A grip that is just a little bit wider than shoulder's width really hits my upper pecs best." But Sal Arria, D.C., founder of the International Sport Science Association and former powerlifting champion warns: "Using a wide grip can involve too much front deltoid and can cause the deltoids to slam against the acronium process, causing trauma to the muscle."


    The Triceps Brachii

    I'm sure most of us have been told that a narrow grip hits more triceps than the wide grip. The close grip bench is widely used by powerlifters to develop strength in the triceps to accomplish those massive bench press attempts. According to the EMG study this is very true. The narrow grip when done in a flat position, produced more electrical energy than the incline or decline positions. It should be noted though, that the decline position was pretty close. Cutler explains, "While the decline may be close, I prefer to target the triceps using the flat bench with a narrow grip." Professional bodybuilder Mike Francois agrees, "The flat bench with a narrow grip is a great mass builder." "A narrow grip means your hands should be at your body's width," Dr. Arria warns, "If you want to create a permanent wrist injury, go with a extremely narrow grip."


    The Anterior Deltoid

    Since the front deltoids are used for flexion of the arm, it makes since that the incline bench would activate the deltoids much more than the flat or decline positions. Once again our EMG study agrees. The incline bench press with a wide grip produced more electrical energy than the narrow grip. Francois remarks, "I agree! The greater the incline of the bench the more the front delts will be activated." Dr. Arria adds: "While the narrow grip is a stronger position, the wider grip produces more stress to the muscle."


    The Latissimus Dorsi

    Many of us were probably unaware that the lats were even involved in the bench press. However, EMG studies do show that the lats are activated for a short period of time just prior to the start of the bottom phase of the lift. Robinson states, "There is no doubt in my mind that the lats are used to help get the weight moving off the chest." However, while the lats are activated briefly in the pressing movement, it should be noted that this activity is considered to be very small when compared to that of the other muscles used in the bench press. In any case, the decline bench seemed to activate the lats much more that either the flat of incline positions. Also the wider the grip the greater the activation of the lats. "While the lats are not so much directly related to the push motion of the bench press, they are directly related to the stabilization of the torso," says Dr. Arria. "This is very important because greater trunk stabilization means that the dynamic load on the muscle is more specific."

    While the lats appear to help get the bench moving off the chest and provide stabilization, no variation of the bench press should ever be considered to be a good exercise for developing the lats. But that in no way means that good lat development is not important for optimal chest development. Francois agrees and says, "The lats are definitely a factor in the movement and stabilization of the bench press, but there are certainly much better ways to develop good lats."


    Don't Forget the Dumbbells!

    Does the use of dumbbells in chest training change any of the rules? Absolutely not! "The rules we have discussed absolutely do not change when dumbbells are used, but what the use of dumbbell in training does is enable the lifter to have a much greater range of movement," claims Dr. Arria. "Further growth can be stimulated from these deep ranges of movement." Cutler agrees and says, "I think you should expect the about the same results with the use of dumbbells except it is much easier to isolate the pecs."

    "Another important factor to be considered," says Dr. Arria, " Is because you are using the arms independently dumbbells will require a little more stabilization. This means more activation of the synergistic muscles in the shoulder used to stabilize the load." Francois adds: "I like using the flat dumbbells to isolate the chest and build more mass. I feel that dumbbells allow me to get a better stretch at the bottom and more of a contraction at the top."

    Partial Movements

    Do partial movements stimulate particular muscles better than full range movements? Perhaps some of the prime movers are used more during different phases of the lift. Elliot et al (1989) used an EMG to answer this question and reported that prime movers of the bench press (pectoralis major, anterior deltoid, triceps brachii) achieved maximal activation at the start of the concentric phase of the lift and maintained this level throughout the upward movement of the bar. So while many still use partials to selectively target specific muscles Hatfield contends, "Overloading the upper ranges of the movement may work, but training partial movements is for those who haven't learned the secret of compensatory acceleration. "I agree with Hatfield," says Robinson. "I don't use partial movements at all, I feel they increase you chances for injury."

    While partials may not be so great for targeting specific muscles, they do seem to be useful for exhausting the muscle. Cutler states, "I use partial movements at the end of a set only to further exhaust the muscle." Francois agrees and says, "Partial ranges of movement are great for further fatiguing the muscle after your full range of movement has failed." However, Dr. Arria again cautions: "While partials do further exhaust the muscle, you have to remember that chances of injury to the muscle are much greater as you reach the point of fatigue." So the use of partial movements should be done with discretion.

    In conclusion, most of could benefit greatly by just depending on the flat bench to gain mass in the upper and lower pecs. However, you must custom tailor your training to meet specific goals. If you have a particular body part that needs further development you must find an exercise or angle that will stress that particular area even more. Therefore, variations in the angle of the bench and the grip are important to optimal development of muscles of the pecs, shoulders and triceps.


    References:
    Barnett, C., Kippers, V., and Turner, P. (1995). Effects of variations of the bench press exercise on the EMG activity of five shoulder muscles. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 9(4): 222-227.
    Elliot, B.C., Wilson, G.J., anded Kerr, G.K. (1989). A biomechanical analysis of the sticking region in the bench press. Medicine, Science, Sports and Exercise. 21(4): 450-462.
    Lockhardt, R.D. (1974). Living Anatomy: A Photographic Atlas of Muscles in Action and Surface Contours, 7th ed. London: Farber & Farber.
    McCaw, S.T. and Friday, J.J. (1994). A comparison of muscle activity between a free weight and machine bench press. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 8(4):259-264.
    Thompson, C.E. and Floyd, R.T. (1994). The shoulder joint. In: Manual of Structural Kinesiology, 12th ed. Smith, J.M. Ed. St. Louis, MS: Mosby-Year Book.
    Super boss. You apparently deserve the name King Kong.

    Thank you for droppin that knowledge.
    My parents created my body, in which I create my mind. I will honor them, by developing both to their utmost potential.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Preb11 View Post
    I have been training for over 1 year and have smal chest. what is the best workout for building volume around the chest?

    Thank's
    Quote Originally Posted by Preb11 View Post
    I think I really need a whole new program. I want and get the biggest volume possible of the upper body. someone who wants and say what they train and how often? (For volume)
    Quote Originally Posted by zubda345 View Post
    I thought I am the only one who thinks that, YES back is a key for a big chest! but everything needs to be done thou... it dosen't mean one should focus more a specific muscle group... every muscle group should be focused...

    Yes, but the point is, we gotta train smart.
    We all react differently to different protocols and training,
    we have different frames, CNS, and structure but that's not it.

    Our bodies change as we train and most likely we'll have to adjust the focus
    depending on goal and needs. The body is as strong as its weakest link
    ..:: ENHANCED BODY FORMULATIONS ::..
    Recompadrol & AAV2 - PM me with any questions

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