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Big Back, Big Shoulders, Small Chest?
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geoti99
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Join date: Aug 2007
Posts: 17

Could this be the reason that my chest is far inferior?

I have a very strong thick wide back..and my shoulders are very developed too...


i'm thinking i'm using good form during my chest workouts
-back flat, feet firmly on the ground, no arching... bringing the weight and bar close to my chest (inch away) and not locking my arms out


my chest workout on most days would be something like

incline barbell
5 sets, 10-10-8-8-failure

flat dumbell
4 sets 10-10-8-failure

hammer strength wide chest press
4 sets 10-10-8-failure

incline/flat dumbell flyes
4 sets 10-10-10-failure

lying overhead dumbell extension
3 sets 10-10-10

typically my last set of incline is 215 for 6
dumbels: 90's for 8
however my flyes are very strong compared to my bench 70's for 8

could i be using my stronger back/shoulders to cheat without knowing it? my triceps also seem overly developed...

also, my older brother, a lot bigger, does not have a body builder's chest, but can still rep 405, 6 times..

could this be genetics? or possibly from form?

i am baffled by this..

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Dave_
Level 1

Join date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1495

I think you look reasonably well proportioned. You just need to get bigger, if that's your thing.

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Bill Roberts
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Join date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8669

Yes, it seems to me that your perception that your chest is not in proportion to shoulders and back, is off. There seems a reasonable and most-certainly normal balance between chest and shoulders, and -- though of course back can't be judged very well from that shot -- I wouldn't guess that the back is far ahead of the chest.

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geoti99
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Join date: Aug 2007
Posts: 17

see i dunno if my arms and shoulders are oversized in relation to my body or is my chest just underdevloped?

i have no upper chest mass, yet i feel i can move a decent amount of weight compared to other guys my height and weight

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Professor X
Level 5

Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 51898

Overly developed? I didn't see anything in that pic that was "overly" developed. Yes, you could be using your shoulders more during pressing movements, but more than anything is the fact that you simply need more overall size on you before you start nitpicking areas like that. I don't see any glaring deficiencies other than that you need to fill out more.

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bdennis
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Join date: Dec 2008
Posts: 107

First off I dont think your shoulders and back are out of proportion with your chest. Dave is right if you want to get bigger they could all afford some more size. With that being said if you are looking to hit your chest more try some pre exhaust techniques. Hit flat flyes or incline flyes before you press. Get your body to feel the mind muscle connection in your chest and then hit your presses.

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Professor X
Level 5

Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 51898

geoti99 wrote:
see i dunno if my arms and shoulders are oversized in relation to my body or is my chest just underdevloped?

i have no upper chest mass, yet i feel i can move a decent amount of weight compared to other guys my height and weight


Are you even reading these responses?

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bdennis
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Join date: Dec 2008
Posts: 107

Professor X wrote:
geoti99 wrote:
see i dunno if my arms and shoulders are oversized in relation to my body or is my chest just underdevloped?

i have no upper chest mass, yet i feel i can move a decent amount of weight compared to other guys my height and weight

Are you even reading these responses?


Haha

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geoti99
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Join date: Aug 2007
Posts: 17

Professor X wrote:
geoti99 wrote:
see i dunno if my arms and shoulders are oversized in relation to my body or is my chest just underdevloped?

i have no upper chest mass, yet i feel i can move a decent amount of weight compared to other guys my height and weight

Are you even reading these responses?



yea i haha. though i may appear otherwise...

what i meant by overly developed is that sometimes i feel like my back and shoulders are doing the work even if i try focusing on my chest all the way through my ROM

i've never tried pre-exhausting with flyes before, i read another user post that and i was expecting him to get flamed...he never did, now thats 2 people who have said it.... is this a common thing? i've read everything i can over the past 8-9 years i've been working out and never have heard that.

i guess i need to get out more

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Bill Roberts
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Join date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8669

(Unnecessary post given your most recent reply. I had taken your describing your arms and shoulders as "overly developed" according to the ordinary meaning of the words, but now you have made clear what you meant.)

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geoti99
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Join date: Aug 2007
Posts: 17

yea i just recently started my first cycle, i've been lifting hard for 8-9 years, longest break was 7 months while i was in the military, i'm 24, 5'7" 185...clean diet, 250 + grams protein a day... 4000 + carbs...

maybe i'll be able to tap into some bigger slabs of muscle


appreciate the input, dont usually post do to idiotic fear of seeming like a troll

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Itchy
Level 3

Join date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1123

geoti99 wrote:
Professor X wrote:
geoti99 wrote:
see i dunno if my arms and shoulders are oversized in relation to my body or is my chest just underdevloped?

i have no upper chest mass, yet i feel i can move a decent amount of weight compared to other guys my height and weight

Are you even reading these responses?


yea i haha. though i may appear otherwise...

what i meant by overly developed is that sometimes i feel like my back and shoulders are doing the work even if i try focusing on my chest all the way through my ROM

i've never tried pre-exhausting with flyes before, i read another user post that and i was expecting him to get flamed...he never did, now thats 2 people who have said it.... is this a common thing? i've read everything i can over the past 8-9 years i've been working out and never have heard that.

i guess i need to get out more


Your chest looks pretty much on par with everything else. Just keep adding size.

And yes it's a common thing.

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geoti99
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Join date: Aug 2007
Posts: 17

Bill Roberts wrote:
(Unnecessary post given your most recent reply. I had taken your describing your arms and shoulders as "overly developed" according to the ordinary meaning of the words, but now you have made clear what you meant.)


yes, overly developed, as in, let off the back/shoulders and let the chest catch up...if i felt i was "overly developed" muscle wise... then i would be a tool, and have no right posting in this forum, let alone website

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Bill Roberts
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Join date: Mar 2003
Posts: 8669

geoti99 wrote:
Bill Roberts wrote:
(Unnecessary post given your most recent reply. I had taken your describing your arms and shoulders as "overly developed" according to the ordinary meaning of the words, but now you have made clear what you meant.)

yes, overly developed, as in, let off the back/shoulders and let the chest catch up...if i felt i was "overly developed" muscle wise... then i would be a tool, and have no right posting in this forum, let alone website


Um, no, I was then, in the follow-up taking your meaning of "overly developed" according to your statement of:

"what i meant by overly developed is that sometimes i feel like my back and shoulders are doing the work even if i try focusing on my chest all the way through my ROM"

Since I'm not there for your training and you are, and not even seen a video or anything, I wouldn't remotely presume you incorrect that you feel like your shoulders are doing the work in the bench press. That might be.

However, as for an idea that you should let off training back and shoulders, by no means.

Yes, learning how to target exercises so they really are doing what you want, really are working towards achieving your goal, is very important and I think you are wise to recognize that they may be a problem area for you with chest. But that doesn't mean arm, shoulder, or back training need to be compromised for the chest to come up.

The only time that might be the case would be if really excessive training effort was being put into back, shoulders, and arms presently, leaving very little time and effort available for chest. In a case like that, it wouldn't be a matter of leaving off back, shoulder, and arm work, but just getting them to a more reasonable proportion (if they were getting too much of a lion's share in the first place. Which I doubt is the case here actually, there is no sign of it and it's hard to find those that train back too much compared to chest, but it could happen with another person.)


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juice82
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Join date: Dec 2008
Posts: 173

I don't think you are at a point where you should be letting off anything. Keep training everything and train hard.

Many have said that what you need to add is overall mass but you do not seem to be reading those posts.

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adamhum
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Join date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1417

I think your shoulders and tri's are dominating your chest exercises. Try using less weight and really focus on your chest. Also prioritize incline bench and dips (leaning forward)...

Maybe try pre-exhausting your shoulders and tri's as a last resort..

I had a similar issue...

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bdennis
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Join date: Dec 2008
Posts: 107

adamhum wrote:
I think your shoulders and tri's are dominating your chest exercises. Try using less weight and really focus on your chest. Also prioritize incline bench and dips (leaning forward)...

Maybe try pre-exhausting your shoulders and tri's as a last resort..

I had a similar issue...


You are right about shoulders dominating his bench but if he wants to focus on his chest he needs to pre exhaust his chest. If you exhaust your shoulders and tris you wont be able to use nearly enough weight to stimulate your chest.

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belligerent
Level 1

Join date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2408

your chest is proportional to the rest of your body

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matsm21
Level 5

Join date: Mar 2005
Posts: 954

You're not really out of proportion dude. Maybe start doing more incline work, to bring up the upper chest area, though a little more mass all around would probably give you the look you're going for.

Stupid question...do you touch the bar to your chest on BP?

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tdrink
Level 10

Join date: Dec 2005
Posts: 118

bdennis wrote:
adamhum wrote:
I think your shoulders and tri's are dominating your chest exercises. Try using less weight and really focus on your chest. Also prioritize incline bench and dips (leaning forward)...

Maybe try pre-exhausting your shoulders and tri's as a last resort..

I had a similar issue...

You are right about shoulders dominating his bench but if he wants to focus on his chest he needs to pre exhaust his chest. If you exhaust your shoulders and tris you wont be able to use nearly enough weight to stimulate your chest.


Totally agree with this. Pre-exhaust should be for the muscle you are trying to target, not the dominant muscle (shoulders, tri's). Therefore try some isolation movements for your chest (flyes, pec deck, etc) and then try benching, dips, etc.

I also agree with prioritizing incline over flat bench. As someone who is arms/shoulder dominant it made a big difference in my chest development. Good luck.

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joeypolo84
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Join date: Feb 2007
Posts: 26

Pre-exhaust with far away cable flyes on a bench, one arm pec dec, or employ suspended isometric push up holds to really "feel" your chest working.

I think everything is fairly proportionate, you just need to pack on a little bit more size.

And like one of the posters said above, dipping with a forward lean (if you have healthy shoulders - no impingement) is a great chest exercise.

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adamhum
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Join date: Feb 2006
Posts: 1417

I forgot to mention stopping an inch before touching your chest on bench press...It's hard to get used to losing all that bounce momentum but it keeps the stress on the chest the whole rep.

Also don't lockout at the top...You may even want to try partial reps...(21's)

I'm willing to bet your form isn't as good as you think it is...My form as improved leaps and bounds, but i still don't feel like I'm 100% there...Like you, my shoulders are very dominant..

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Professor X
Level 5

Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 51898

adamhum wrote:
I forgot to mention stopping an inch before touching your chest on bench press...It's hard to get used to losing all that bounce momentum but it keeps the stress on the chest the whole rep.

Also don't lockout at the top...You may even want to try partial reps...(21's)

I'm willing to bet your form isn't as good as you think it is...My form as improved leaps and bounds, but i still don't feel like I'm 100% there...Like you, my shoulders are very dominant..


I agree with all of this. I do not touch my chest or lock out. I also get sick of people way smaller and weaker than me telling me I am doing it wrong.

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icehawk
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Join date: May 2008
Posts: 93

adamhum wrote:
Maybe try pre-exhausting your shoulders and tri's as a last resort..


That would only make things worse.

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matsm21
Level 5

Join date: Mar 2005
Posts: 954

Professor X wrote:
adamhum wrote:
I forgot to mention stopping an inch before touching your chest on bench press...It's hard to get used to losing all that bounce momentum but it keeps the stress on the chest the whole rep.

Also don't lockout at the top...You may even want to try partial reps...(21's)

I'm willing to bet your form isn't as good as you think it is...My form as improved leaps and bounds, but i still don't feel like I'm 100% there...Like you, my shoulders are very dominant..

I agree with all of this. I do not touch my chest or lock out. I also get sick of people way smaller and weaker than me telling me I am doing it wrong.


I'm going to disagree on this one. At least for myself, I didn't get much chest development from bench press until I started touching my chest(not bouncing, just touching). My chest doesn't engage fully except for maybe the bottom 4 inches of the lift. higher then that all I really hit is delts and tri's.

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