Need Upper Chest Workouts!

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    Need Upper Chest Workouts!


    I can't build my upper chest for the life of me. I dedicate one workout to just the upper chest a week, than five days later I do the whole chest workout again(every part of the pectorials). For the upper chest workouts I usually do incline dumbells, Incline flies, Incline cable press, Incline bench(4 sets on each). Anymore suggestions..?

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    I suggest more rest between chest days, switch up what exercises you do every 6 weeks or so, and it may sound weird, but do more back, like weighted pull-ups. I had plateu'ed on bench weight for what seemed like a year, then someone suggested I lay off going heavy on chest for a while and hit lats harder. It helped me, good luck.
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    Have you ever tried doing bench presses to the neck? I had read about them before and some people swear by them, so I've been trying them during my chest workouts. It's essentially where you lower the bar to about where your clavicle is; normally I lower the bar to about my nipple line. It's a little harder, since it's a different angle and I can feel more (muscular) stress in the top of my chest, but I really don't know exactly what to think of it. So if anyone else has had good results from doing these, let us know!

    I think genetics has a lot to do with how your chest shapes up as it grows. Some say you can't really target the upper areas of the chest (namely the clavicular head), but other people swear by incline presses. Heck, Arnold says you can work the upper, lower, middle, inner and outer pectorals while someone who's studied exercise physiology literature would call him crazy! It's a debatable topic indeed.

    I would simply suggest to focus on overall chest growth, rather than trying to target and isolate specific regions. As your chest grows, your upper chest will naturally grow too, as long as your genetics allows for a full chest shape. Some people are just naturally more apt to have fuller, wider chest than others. For instance, thanks to genetics, I will never have that square chest look. However, I can still work to develop my chest to it's maximum potential. I'm not the type of person to say incline presses are totally useless; I just make the bulk of my chest routine centered around flat barbell presses because it allows me to use maximum weight. After barbell presses I do some incline DB presses and DB pullovers, finishing with some chest dips where I do slow negatives to really stretch the pectorals! I am a firm believer in the benefits of good stretching techniques, before training (dynamic stretches), during the exercises themselves, and after training (static stretches).

    On a side note, I'm really fond of doing supersets with incline DB presses and DB pullovers. On the incline presses I explode upwards with the weight and lower it slowly (2-3 seconds). On the DB pullovers I really concentrate to involve the serratus as much as possible and it's paying off as my serratus are becoming more and more prominent. Just thought I'd share!

    Good luck to all in their quest to develop the illusive upper chest!
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    Weighted Dips and inclined DB presses work the best for me
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    Thanks guys...I appreciate the feedback! I will give it a shot the next time I do chest.
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    Pullovers will expand your ribcage and give you that double barrel chest look. As mentioned above incline benching to the throat has really built the upper chest in my clavicle region. I dont typically like the smith machine but for isolation of the upper chest i havent found a better exercise
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    when ill do arnold military press "turning my palms toward my face on the lower end of the press" it really hits my upper chest.
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    high incline db flyes, and jm presses, which is great for tris too.
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    I just tried that workout you suggested today. Gotta say, I felt the burn! What a great technique! Thanks again for the suggestion!
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    try a reverse grip bench press..thats worked for me when nothing else would
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    Incline bench presses and flies.
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    read somewhere that upper chest muscle fiber activation is virtually no greater on incline bench press than it is decline bench press
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    Quote Originally Posted by allstar504448 View Post
    read somewhere that upper chest muscle fiber activation is virtually no greater on incline bench press than it is decline bench press
    Completely true. I've explained why on numerous threads.
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    DB Incline, flys and cable cross overs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceaston View Post
    I can't build my upper chest for the life of me. I dedicate one workout to just the upper chest a week, than five days later I do the whole chest workout again(every part of the pectorials). For the upper chest workouts I usually do incline dumbells, Incline flies, Incline cable press, Incline bench(4 sets on each). Anymore suggestions..?
    Hi.
    I'm a huge fan of the BB Bench.
    Find your max 10 rep.
    try to do it twice. "With a spot for the 2nd set"
    Really push yourself!!
    Then drop 10 lbs. And do a set of 10.
    Drop 10 more and go for 15 reps.
    Do this for 3 weeks and you will find your self not needing a spot on the 2nd set.

    Keep changeing the weight.
    And don't cheat your self.
    Works for me bro.

    JP.
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    this may surprise some of you but I actually get more out of benching flat than incline......with an incline, I feel it in my shoulders.....I too have sub par pecs and much better shoulders..... so it could also be a matter of not keeping my chest arched

    but I always feel my front delts the day after an incline session.

    flat bench.....push ups with feet elevated and also decline press seems to give my pecs a full pump......hard to believe maybe.....but true!!!
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    oh......almost forgot......I also love flat dumbbell presses but with a hammer grip.....I have had shoulder trouble over the last few years and seem to get less strain in the shoulders with the hammer grip (palms facing each other).
  18. yea!!!!!
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    try increasing # of sets on presses,.... more like 6 sets. Go strict and DEEP on flys...
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    Quote Originally Posted by allstar504448 View Post
    read somewhere that upper chest muscle fiber activation is virtually no greater on incline bench press than it is decline bench press
    I dissagree, if soreness is any kind of indicator that muscle fibers have been "activated", then heavy incline press day definitely "activates" my upper chest more than the days that I do only flat or decline presses. Just in my experience, but everyone is different.
    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 timmmah View Post
    I dissagree, if soreness is any kind of indicator that muscle fibers have been "activated", then heavy incline press day definitely "activates" my upper chest more than the days that I do only flat or decline presses. Just in my experience, but everyone is different.
    Everyone feels 'muscle soreness' in varying locations. This does not disprove his claim. The reason being is that there are branches of muscle fibers which are innervated by ONE motor neuron. These muscle fibers are not clustered together--yet randomly separated (reason why some people have great upper pec development and some do not). When the golgi tendon organ (GTO) senses tension on a muscle it sends information to the CNS to recruit the needed amount of motor units. Once a motor neuron creates an action potential and depolarizes it fires ALL the muscle fibers in which it innervates and this contraction is throughout the WHOLE muscle fiber. Therefore it is IMPOSSIBLE to target a specific region.
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    Quote Originally Posted by russy_russ View Post
    Everyone feels 'muscle soreness' in varying locations. This does not disprove his claim. The reason being is that there are branches of muscle fibers which are innervated by ONE motor neuron. These muscle fibers are not clustered together--yet randomly separated (reason why some people have great upper pec development and some do not). When the golgi tendon organ (GTO) senses tension on a muscle it sends information to the CNS to recruit the needed amount of motor units. Once a motor neuron creates an action potential and depolarizes it fires ALL the muscle fibers in which it innervates and this contraction is throughout the WHOLE muscle fiber. Therefore it is IMPOSSIBLE to target a specific region.
    I dunno Doc, I think many would disagree.
    I know one cannot isolate the upper from lower chest in a press exercise. but I'm saying one can put an emphasis on one region (upper) which will be utilized more than the other (lower) region, therefore developing that area in general.
    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 timmmah View Post
    I dunno Doc, I think many would disagree.
    I know one cannot isolate the upper from lower chest in a press exercise. but I'm saying one can put an emphasis on one region (upper) which will be utilized more than the other (lower) region, therefore developing that area in general.
    I just explained to you why that's impossible. When on an incline less motor units in the pectoralis major are recruited and more are recruited in the anterior deltoid. This shift in mechanics is the reason why incline press is more difficult to perform than flat press.

    This is a widely accepted idea among exercise physiologists--myself included. Much research has been done, as well as anatomical slide studies under a microscope of motor units to prove what I have mentioned.

    Read this article, specifically on motor units: http://www.dls.ym.edu.tw/ol_biology2...t/Muscles.html

    View this slide of a motor unit, note the terminal branches are in a random order: http://www.histology-world.com/photo...nmjunction.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by close grip View Post
    oh......almost forgot......I also love flat dumbbell presses but with a hammer grip.....I have had shoulder trouble over the last few years and seem to get less strain in the shoulders with the hammer grip (palms facing each other).
    If you have that more muscle soreness in your shoulders than pecs, try varying the angle of the bench one notch at a time until you find one that doesn't bother your shoulder. I have same issue with hurt shoulder. It is very picky about the angle of the bench so I do light warm up sets to determine what doesn't aggravate it. If I feel my shoulder clicking or popping during warm up, I adjust it up or down, usually down, until it doesn't do it. It took me quite a while to get it healed enough and learn the "signs" of what was going to hurt if I continued on or not. I decided that it wasn't worth it to tough it out and stay hurt all the time, so I had to get better at targeting the chest and removing as much shoulders as possible during the lift. By the way, my shoulder doesn't like incline presses on smith machine because the plane of motion is locked in and I can't really adjust if I need to like I can using dumbbells.
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    Quote Originally Posted by russy_russ View Post
    I just explained to you why that's impossible. When on an incline less motor units in the pectoralis major are recruited and more are recruited in the anterior deltoid. This shift in mechanics is the reason why incline press is more difficult to perform than flat press.

    This is a widely accepted idea among exercise physiologists--myself included. Much research has been done, as well as anatomical slide studies under a microscope of motor units to prove what I have mentioned.

    Read this article, specifically on motor units: http://www.dls.ym.edu.tw/ol_biology2...t/Muscles.html

    View this slide of a motor unit, note the terminal branches are in a random order: http://www.histology-world.com/photo...nmjunction.jpg
    Instead of the usual switching up of angles for chest day, what do you recommend for a complete chest workout?
    My day usually goes as such:
    Flat bench barbell
    Incline dumbells
    Wide-grip incline barbell
    High-rep seated press
    Cable Crossovers.
    But I switch it up every few weeks
    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 timmmah View Post
    Instead of the usual switching up of angles for chest day, what do you recommend for a complete chest workout?
    My day usually goes as such:
    Flat bench barbell
    Incline dumbells
    Wide-grip incline barbell
    High-rep seated press
    Cable Crossovers.
    But I switch it up every few weeks
    Flat barbell press
    Flat dumbbell press
    Cable cross or flat flyes
    Weighted/Unweighted dips

    The reason is that on a flat surface the mechanics is at an optimal position to generate the most force thereby recruiting more motor units. These are for a standard lifter, an athlete would obviously do different exercises depending on sport/position.
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    Cool


    So your saying that incline press is an obsolete exersise? Are you taking into consideration, that peoples pectorals attach to front delts in different places, making certain pressing movements more effecient than others? Arnold wwas an advocate of incline pressing. I myself never acheived a broader chest than i did when i began to exclusively incline bench. Just my 2 cents.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedlifter1 View Post
    So your saying that incline press is an obsolete exersise? Are you taking into consideration, that peoples pectorals attach to front delts in different places, making certain pressing movements more effecient than others? Arnold wwas an advocate of incline pressing. I myself never acheived a broader chest than i did when i began to exclusively incline bench. Just my 2 cents.
    Ok, first I never said they were 'obsolete'. They have their place (i.e basketball player, football player, etc.) that movement specific to the sport/position. Arnold lifted weights in the 70s, science has far advanced since then. Do you not read anything I say, or does it go over your head? I said GENETICALLY some people are predisposed to clusters of muscle fibers close together at the same motor neuron giving the appearance of a more developed chest than others.

    BTW: The pectoralis major does not insert at the anterior deltoid, but on the humerus.
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    Quote Originally Posted by russy_russ View Post
    Ok, first I never said they were 'obsolete'. They have their place (i.e basketball player, football player, etc.) that movement specific to the sport/position. Arnold lifted weights in the 70s, science has far advanced since then. Do you not read anything I say, or does it go over your head? I said GENETICALLY some people are predisposed to clusters of muscle fibers close together at the same motor neuron giving the appearance of a more developed chest than others.

    BTW: The pectoralis major does not insert at the anterior deltoid, but on the humerus.
    First of all, there is no need to be insulting. I read what you wrote, and it didnt go over my head. I was just trying to say, that incline, for some people, builds their chest better than flat. Maybe it doesnt target the upper pecs like you say, but because of their body type, the muscle responds more to that movement. I am one of those people. Again, its just a personal observation, and i dont appreciate your sarcasm. As far as where the pectoral connects, you are right, im sure. My point was, that often times genetics play a role in how effective a particular movement is, thats all.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedlifter1 View Post
    First of all, there is no need to be insulting. I read what you wrote, and it didnt go over my head. I was just trying to say, that incline, for some people, builds their chest better than flat. Maybe it doesnt target the upper pecs like you say, but because of their body type, the muscle responds more to that movement. I am one of those people. Again, its just a personal observation, and i dont appreciate your sarcasm. As far as where the pectoral connects, you are right, im sure. My point was, that often times genetics play a role in how effective a particular movement is, thats all.
    I wasn't insulting nor being sarcastic--my apologies if I have. I asked a simple question because apparently I have to repeat myself many times. And, like I said to recruit the MOST muscle fibers in the pectoralis major it will be on a flat bench. Perhaps you do a lot of incline presses so your shoulders are well developed? Lastly, yes everyone has different insertion points giving them an advantage/disadvantage (i.e biceps brachii inserts on the radial tuberosity, but the further down towards a proximal segment it inserts on the radius the more torque that muscle can generate from the increased force arm to the point of rotation given a constant force).
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    Quote Originally Posted by russy_russ View Post
    I wasn't insulting nor being sarcastic--my apologies if I have. I asked a simple question because apparently I have to repeat myself many times. And, like I said to recruit the MOST muscle fibers in the pectoralis major it will be on a flat bench. Perhaps you do a lot of incline presses so your shoulders are well developed? Lastly, yes everyone has different insertion points giving them an advantage/disadvantage (i.e biceps brachii inserts on the radial tuberosity, but the further down towards a proximal segment it inserts on the radius the more torque that muscle can generate from the increased force arm to the point of rotation given a constant force).
    Ok, i understand your logic, and the science is evident. Is there a real world study that flat bench will visibly increase pectoral size over incline? The reason i ask, is because my father competed, my uncle competed at the professional level, and both had massive pecs and really only did incline. My chest grew the most doing incline. I had a shoulder injury 6 years ago which prohibited me from flat benching. When my strength returned, all i did was incline. My pecs were notably bigger after two years of incline, versus all my previous flat work. I am only speaking from personal experience. Is your argument based on personal experience, or a study done somewhere? Im not trying so sound sarcasic.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dedlifter1 View Post
    Ok, i understand your logic, and the science is evident. Is there a real world study that flat bench will visibly increase pectoral size over incline? The reason i ask, is because my father competed, my uncle competed at the professional level, and both had massive pecs and really only did incline. My chest grew the most doing incline. I had a shoulder injury 6 years ago which prohibited me from flat benching. When my strength returned, all i did was incline. My pecs were notably bigger after two years of incline, versus all my previous flat work. I am only speaking from personal experience. Is your argument based on personal experience, or a study done somewhere? Im not trying so sound sarcasic.
    How much previous flat bench did you do? Was your routine different? Was your diet different? How was your execution? Your fiber typing / fiber arrangement could be another possibility and is where genetics comes into play.

    I speak from personal experience, training experience, and research / education experience.
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    Quote Originally Posted by russy_russ View Post
    How much previous flat bench did you do? Was your routine different? Was your diet different? How was your execution? Your fiber typing / fiber arrangement could be another possibility and is where genetics comes into play.

    I speak from personal experience, training experience, and research / education experience.
    I know my form was spot on, and i did definately make gains with flat. My routine was a basic 5x5 (prior accident) After accident, my routine changed around, but nothing drastic except for no more flat. Then i continued no flat, even when i could, i think because of fear of re-injury. I think its agenetic thing, my old man and uncle were only really built by incline. My father used to say that chest was his weakest point, and would probably be mine as well, and that has come to fruition. My pec just responds more to incline.
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    DORIAN YATES says 25 degree incline
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