those who have overcome a lagging chest
- 01-05-2011, 09:05 PM
those who have overcome a lagging chest
first and foremost.. i only want input from those who have had a weak chest after putting emphasis on it for over 4 years... i dont want to hear what someone does for their chest that has no trouble building a chest.
i've literally tried everything for my chest for the past 8 years. i've tried dropsets.. heavy sets.. high reps.. low reps.. negatives.. pre exhaust.. dumbell.. barbell.. once a week.. twice a week
i've always... always started with incline. yet i have no upper chest. i have no inner chest either.. and yes i know there is technically no "inner" chest.. buy my upper inner chest is terrible. i've been at this for 8 years.. gone from 130lbs to a fat 200 lbs.. i'm currently 180 at around 11-12%..
anyone put years into their chest with no results.. and then stumbled upon something that actually worked?
- 01-05-2011, 10:22 PM
I feel like my chest has always been one of my weakest points. The last 2 years Ive experimented with dozens of different methods and I will share with you what I feel has worked me.
First off I am tall, my arms are a lot longer than most. My first hurdle was weak triceps. They will prevent your chest from having any kind of size because pushing movements are what add size to your chest. I found that doing the big 3 on arm day(close grip presses, dips, skullcrushers) and lighter more simple movements following chest should be the only time you mess with triceps during your split. Also, when your grip is too wide, you short-change what I feel are the two target muscles on chest day by letting your frontal delts get in on the action. I do not believe in doing the same routine until you plateau, I stick with the same excercises but vary everything about them. Ive never done the same workout twice. I also dont go below 6 reps, my rotator cuff doesnt enjoy it and it takes longer to progress in weight. I feel like dumbell presses seem to fill out my chest but dont help as much in the strength department so I alternate with barbell. I try on all sets except my heaviest to take 2-3 times as long on the negative, this has helped me tremendously. I dont see why a drop set at the end of each excercise couldn't stay in my routine forever and I like to REALLY get the most out of the negative once the weight has dropped with a 5 second pause 1 inch from my chest. If your inner-upper is lagging just quit doing flat presses of any kind. I did 20 months ago and my upper chest is STILL not where I would like it to be. Your rotator cuffs will thank you for this also. Take a year off flyes while your at it too and just stick to the mass builders. Some days I will superset all my excersises. Chest is a tricky one for alot of people, it seems like it gets used to routine very quickly and stops growing. For me personally, using advanced training principles and varying my workout literally every chest day, along with a more-narrow grip and focusing on incline presses has really helped. Hope some of this helps you also.
01-06-2011, 09:40 AM
Here's the major problems I see with people who have difficulty developing their pecs, and was my own major problem as well.
The problem is not in the selection of exercises, reps, etc., but rather due to muscular imbalances at the shoulder joint. Much of this results from an over emphasis on chest presses and fly type movements that continually shortens the scapula protractors. Therefore, the scapula are protracted (shoulders pulled forward) due to weak middle traps, rhomboids and posterior deltoids, and as a result, the anterior deltoid is over developed.
Personally, this can be seen on my right side as my ant. delt is larger than my left, however, my right pec is less developed then the left.
Anyhow, we know how important it is to get a "good stretch" when training a muscle, as defined by the length-tension relationship. When the scapula are not pulled back while doing pec movements, the pecs are not able to achieve a large enough length-tension relationship, and thus less force is produced and less overload is incurred, which equals less growth.
So, what to do? A couple things.
First, as Matthersby mentioned above, take a moderate grip on any barbell presses you do.
Second, cut down on flying movements, as these will only exascberate the protracted shoulders.
Third, during any chest movements you do, make certain your shoulder blades are squeezed together throughout the entire movement (this is only correct form).
Finally, and perhaps most important, start strengthening the muscles that retract the scapula with as much, if not more (if your shoudlers are really pulled forward) resolve as you put into training your chest. This means a lot of overhand wide grip supine rows, facepulls, rear delt movements, etc.
01-10-2011, 12:24 PM
Just try some decline BB presses for awhile....that way you're not using your shoulders like you do in flat and incline....
I give a f**K!!
01-10-2011, 04:15 PM
if you been into training for 8 yrs and your above 21yrs try a ph cycle but be sure to study up on it my chest was the ****tys thing ever trained 5 yrs and my max was still 205 until me n my buddy did our ph cycle and now my max is 285 only thing tht worked for me bro.
01-10-2011, 11:49 PM
Considering it's not a lax in training, it's all about how you're built. Some people can do nothing but bench presses and see good chest development, other have to work their asses off to see any change. I fall into the later category.
My chest still isn't as good as my arms or back but in the past couple years I've made some noticeable progress. The funny thing is, I'm not even benching as much poundage as I used to but my chest looks more full than it did back then. Probably has a lot to do with my change in training techniques as well as my body continuing to mature as I've grown older. As far as my natural chest shape, I have a small gap (upside down V) at the bottom of my chest and my upper chest isn't as full as I'd like it to be (the muscle is there, just have a very hard time developing it). Here are some training techniques that have helped me...
* Don't bother with incline BB bench. If you're going to use BBs, keep in mind that you're doing this because with a BB you can use maximum weight. Form is more important here than simply blasting up a set poundage. I never really do decline presses and I really see no point (personally).
* Stick to DBs for your primary mass builders because with DBs you're not set into such a rigid form as with a BB. You can tweak it a little to suit your build. Get a good range of motion.
* DB flyes and DB pullovers work great too, just have them complement your presses rather than take center stage.
* Stretch!!! Stretching is important for helping make a fuller shape. Since I've been stretching a lot after chest workouts my outer chest looks fuller. Before I made stretching a priority, I didn't have a lot of separation between my delts and chest. Now I'm starting to see more.
Overall, the most important thing is consistency. Concentrate on improving techniques rather than worrying about sheer poundages.
01-13-2011, 02:17 AM
just wanna say thanks to everyone for their input. there have been some good quality responses from many of you. just to address a few issues..
lockxxheed- i've tried with ph's before but they all kill my appetite and i make zero .. yes zero gains off them. i've actually posted about this if you're curious.
type 0 hero.. i've never been big into "how much i bench" so poundage never takes priority of form. but i cant strictly use db's because my gym only goes up to 100lbs and i can get those 12-14 times on a good day.
once again thanks for all the input... you will receive reps
01-15-2011, 06:58 PM
Try doing those 100 pounders, just go slower on the negative (at least 3 seconds). I had the same problem at a gym once where the DBs didn't go up to what I would have needed, so I took the heaviest DBs they had and slowed down my negatives and really concetrated on the muscle so that by 8-10 I was pretty much spent (doing the reps normally I could have easily pressed out at least 15 reps). This helped a lot. Since we're definitely stronger on the negative portion of the exercise, it makes sense to use that to our advantage sometimes.
Mind in the muscle, not in the weight. Works wonders!
01-15-2011, 09:20 PM
01-16-2011, 12:44 AM
01-16-2011, 02:34 PM
Another idea for the 100's is to use a very explosive concentric.
Bring the weight down, pause a second, then drive it up as fast as possible. You'll notice fatigue comes quicker in this case too since more force is required per rep then when doing a normal cadence. The set ends when the speed of movement ends.
01-16-2011, 03:26 PM
Great information on here guys. I also suffer with unhappy chest developement syndrome, lol. I have always had a problem filling in my upper chest. I have thrown in some sets of reverse grip flat bench on the Smith machine the last couple of months. The change in the grip has really made it a great upper chest exercise. I go lighter than I would on regular flats, concentrating on slow negatives.
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