Chest Won't Grow
- 05-22-2013, 12:32 PM
Chest Won't Grow
I am 43, I have been working out since I was 15 and have had trouble developing my chest my whole life. I have tried every work out; mid range reps of 10-6, low reps of 2-6 and recently high reps of 10-16. I have even super setted my chest and once tri-set it; but nothing. I have done bench press, incline bench press, dumbbell presses, flyes cable cross overs and nothing.
A few years ago I discovered that I had a gap or valley in the middle of my left pec. It was noticeable only when I was working my chest and it was pumped. My left side has always been weaker than my right and I know I could do at least 2 or 3 reps more with my right if my left didnít hold me back. I went to the doctor to see what was up and he said at some point in my life I had ripped my left pec and it healed that way. He said surgery was no guarantee it would fix the problem. Recently I have been skeptical of this and have come to believe that my left pec is just congenitally smaller and slightly deformed causing it to be weaker and holding back over all progress of my right pec. I say this because I believe that ripping a muscle is a serious thing and I wouldíve been in extreme pain plus had a black and blue and I donít remember either.
Despite this, my max bench for 1 rep is 265 lbs. thatís when I was 26. Iím 43 now and I can max 1 rep at 235 lbs. I currently am doing a rep 4 sets of 6 and am stuck on 210 lbs. now for two weeks. If my left pec is congenitally smaller and slightly deformed is any work out going to help?
- 05-22-2013, 01:26 PM
Ramp up your weight by going for doubles & triples. Start with 5 x 5 for a while to see where your strength is at, then start going for heavier sets (going up 5 lb at a time) until you're doing doubles & triples. You won't increase your strength unless you challenge it, doing sets of more than 5 will not do that efficiently.
So you think you can bench from EFS
05-22-2013, 01:28 PM
05-22-2013, 01:42 PM
You didn't mention dips. Maybe mixing in dips and hitting chest twice a week can help you make improvements
05-22-2013, 01:43 PM
05-22-2013, 01:54 PM
i think you should drop all the random iso work and switching it up bull**** and hit a strength routine for a couple months. i see your bench is holding you down because your squats and deads are exceptionally good. i think you should read up on 5/3/1 or madcows 5x5, and focus your attention on the bench press progression. then try to implement it into your routine. or just straight up switch over if you dont mind dropping volume for super high intensity workouts
edit: is your bench form more of a bodybuilder bench press, or power lifter bench press?
05-22-2013, 02:01 PM
05-22-2013, 02:14 PM
its hard to say without a video for form, but that could be the reason your bench is being held down. a bodybuilders bench press is a whole lot harder to progress in when compared to the powerlifters form. reason being that powerlifting bench uses the entire body.
and to answer your question earlier, yes strength = size. and for a bodybuilder, strength is a means to an end because you need that strength as your base for hypertrophy training. dont think powerlifting will make you fat as hell. only the highest weight classes get large like that because they only care about their numbers, not their looks. not like you intend on raw benching 500 lbs one day anyways right?
05-22-2013, 02:23 PM
So when that guy said to do doubles and triples he meant 2-3 reps? About 7 weeks ago I tried high reps for the first time in my life. I did 10-16 reps for 4 weeks, very little strength gains or mass but sore as hell. For the past 3 weeks I have been doing a 6-4-2-6 routine and currently am doing 6-6-6-6; but I will try doing the 2-3 reps. How should I progress with the weight and how many sets?
05-22-2013, 02:33 PM
a good easy linear progression for strength is something like 2.5% per week. and for strength, youll want to stay in the 3-6 rep range as thats primarily works the cns and atp system. so just think of adding 2.5lb plates to each side every week
if you hurt your lower back benching, you probly wernt pushing your gut out at the bottom of the lift. imagine pushing your abs out your groin area. it stabilizes the lumbar
05-22-2013, 02:36 PM
Chest is tough for some people. The BB route (focusing on TuT, negatives, different assistance exercises, ect.) doesn't seem to work well for everyone. Hell if it did every bro in the gym would have a huge chest because that's all they do, but no you see huge biceps and front delts with crap pecs. IMO long term chest development will be strength based. Add 50lbs to your 1RM and you'll surely have gains. I realize not all of those 50lbs is coming from increased mass, most is from better technique and increased fiber recruitment and the like but you'll have to see something.
05-22-2013, 04:32 PM
05-22-2013, 07:30 PM
Don't forget your decline benching. Decline stresses the most amount of fibers in the chest of all benching movements
05-22-2013, 07:33 PM
Fwiw, I'm 39; as my dead lift and squat went up, so did my bench and so did my pec growth. I'm also partial to overhead push press with emphasis on the negative portion. Find a program and stick with it for 8 weeks and it will work.
05-28-2013, 09:47 AM
What do your front delts look like? Are they well developed? If that is the case (its hard to tell from your avatar) then it might not be your pecs, but an issue with scapular retractors being so weak that your pecs cannot function correctly. I've wrote about this ad nauseum on nearly every post about issues with increasing chest size.
05-28-2013, 10:08 AM
05-28-2013, 03:27 PM
05-28-2013, 05:05 PM
I haven't wrote an article on it....yet.
Scapula retractors are the muscles that pull your shoulder blades back. The length tension relationship is such that when the scapula are retracted during chest pressing movements, there is constant tension on the pecs (due to them being in a constant state of 'stretch') and their recruitment and force output is increased. Once the scapula come forward (either due to poor technique or the pec major and minor overpowering the scapula retractors) that relationship is lost and the anterior delts dominate the movement.
I think if you search my username and pecs you will see many of the threads I have wrote more deeply about this in.
05-28-2013, 05:46 PM
05-28-2013, 07:05 PM
Facepulls, prone DB shrugs, wide grip pulley (or bent over) rows to the chest, etc.
05-29-2013, 12:33 PM
05-29-2013, 12:50 PM
I would perform those movements at least 2x per week.
Your posture will improve, you'll feel it more in your chest when you press. Make sure you are stretching and foam rolling your pecs and pec minors, otherwise you will not get the full effects.
Related articles I wrote:
05-29-2013, 12:52 PM
05-29-2013, 02:12 PM
No, not the very next workout...not likely. But over time, as your shoulders set better and your scap retractors become stronger, you will see improvements. This is something you need to stick with over the course of 3-6 months, not an over night fix.
05-29-2013, 03:06 PM
05-31-2013, 12:03 PM
I started the exercises for the scaps. Hopefully in 3-6 months I will have the sexy meaty chest I have always wanted. I may never leave the house and just have sex with myself.
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