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The Big Pec Thread
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Waittz
Level 4

Join date: Nov 2004
Posts: 2652

I remember a little while back someone started a thread asking the boys with big arms to talk about their best techinques principles on building big solid guns. Would like to do the same for pecs as right now I would consider them my biggest issue. They used to be my strength before tearing my left one twice(yup...flat bench press performed first in the workout), now im playing catchup.


So please to all the big guys still around, enlighten us. And in the spirit of the last thread, if you dont have big pecs, dont preach on it. Which is why I will be quiet and listen.

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Professor X
Level 5

Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 51898

Dumbbells brought along way more growth than the bench press ever did...and then machines added onto it.

My advice is, if you want a freaking huge chest...don't get locked into thinking the bench press is always the best way.

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Professor X
Level 5

Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 51898

I don't have any new pics but my chest has improved and I am leaner now. This pic is from about a year and a half ago.

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browndisaster
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Join date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2811

You should take current pics X. It's a great way to assess progress IMO

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jasmincar
Level 3

Join date: Jul 2008
Posts: 3052

Dumbbell Bench and profX is fat.

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Ripsaw3689
Level 5

Join date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1593

browndisaster wrote:
You should take current pics X. It's a great way to assess progress IMO


I agree. I always like to see the progress the big guys are making.

I'm going to second what X said. In high school, I did a lot of flat benching and got some beefy front delts and that's about it. After a nasty snowboarding injury, I had shoulder surgery and was told to not use barbell bench. I exclusively use DB's and machines for my chest and it is growing faster than ever. I pay extra attention to the mmc to make sure I'm fully stretching and contracting my pecs. Otherwise, I tend to compensate with my shoulders.

I've posted this video before, but it really helped me know the mechanics of lifting with my pecs.

About 4:30 mark and on.

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SSC
Level 3

Join date: Mar 2008
Posts: 6955

Well, I get lots of comments on my chest (and girls rubbing on it nomnom,) so I think mine is decent. I agree with X for this one, the bench press is simply not the end-all-be-all. I think it's all about getting blood pumped in, using sensible rep ranges, and hitting the chest from multiple angles. (This is IME, everyone obviously has more or less effective strategies for them.)

For instance, I like to start on pec-decs, high-rep and super strict before I do any pressing. I'll usually then do four sets of low incline dumbbell presses (8-12) with a partial ROM supersetted with low incline dumbbell flyes. This will be ungodly. After that, I may hop on dips and some kind of HS press or something or a few sets and then a finisher. I'll also preach time and time again my perceived importance of extreme stretches... it takes 1-2 minutes tops, and even if it's a disputed method in terms of viability, it takes little time and can only be conducive towards bigger muscles.

Also, in my completely and potentially misguided opinion, I feel like the chest is per person typically an overtrained muscle. For whatever that's worth.

EDIT: "Overtrained muscle" sounds weird. I mean I think most people overshoot how many sets are actually needed for good growth.

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Professor X
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Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 51898

browndisaster wrote:
You should take current pics X. It's a great way to assess progress IMO



I take pictures almost every time I am in the gym.

These pics were just already online.

I already know I made a ton of progress from two years ago.

My avatar shows that...which is about 4 months old itself.

I am about 10lbs heavier than that avatar and a little leaner.

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Professor X
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Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 51898

jasmincar wrote:
Dumbbell Bench and profX is fat.



LOL. That pic is almost two years old.

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browndisaster
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Posts: 2811

Professor X wrote:
browndisaster wrote:
You should take current pics X. It's a great way to assess progress IMO



I take pictures almost every time I am in the gym.

These pics were just already online.

I already know I made a ton of progress from two years ago.

My avatar shows that...which is about 4 months old itself.

I am about 10lbs heavier than that avatar and a little leaner.


lol did not read
you're an absolute buzzkill

anyways, I find that wide grip incline focusing on the bottom half of the motion gave me that cleavage in the collarbones and made my pecs bigger. Actually, any type of press or fly with a wide grip and focusing on the bottom half stretch/contraction made my pecs bigger.

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Professor X
Level 5

Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 51898

browndisaster wrote:
Professor X wrote:
browndisaster wrote:
You should take current pics X. It's a great way to assess progress IMO



I take pictures almost every time I am in the gym.

These pics were just already online.

I already know I made a ton of progress from two years ago.

My avatar shows that...which is about 4 months old itself.

I am about 10lbs heavier than that avatar and a little leaner.


lol did not read
you're an absolute buzzkill

anyways, I find that wide grip incline focusing on the bottom half of the motion gave me that cleavage in the collarbones and made my pecs bigger. Actually, any type of press or fly with a wide grip and focusing on the bottom half stretch/contraction made my pecs bigger.



But...some of you guys don't have big pecs.

Not trying to be a buzzkill. Just noting the obvious.

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gregron
Level 4

Join date: Oct 2009
Posts: 13490

Professor X wrote:
browndisaster wrote:
You should take current pics X. It's a great way to assess progress IMO



I take pictures almost every time I am in the gym.

These pics were just already online.

I already know I made a ton of progress from two years ago.

My avatar shows that...which is about 4 months old itself.

I am about 10lbs heavier than that avatar and a little leaner.


In 4 months you gained 10lbs of BW while getting leaner?

Damn

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Professor X
Level 5

Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 51898

gregron wrote:
Professor X wrote:
browndisaster wrote:
You should take current pics X. It's a great way to assess progress IMO



I take pictures almost every time I am in the gym.

These pics were just already online.

I already know I made a ton of progress from two years ago.

My avatar shows that...which is about 4 months old itself.

I am about 10lbs heavier than that avatar and a little leaner.


In 4 months you gained 10lbs of BW while getting leaner?

Damn



Yep. You know me...just clueless and making progress by accident.

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Ripsaw3689
Level 5

Join date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1593

X, what is your rep ranges when training chest?

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NikH
Level 1

Join date: Feb 2011
Posts: 500

Professor X wrote:
gregron wrote:
Professor X wrote:
browndisaster wrote:
You should take current pics X. It's a great way to assess progress IMO



I take pictures almost every time I am in the gym.

These pics were just already online.

I already know I made a ton of progress from two years ago.

My avatar shows that...which is about 4 months old itself.

I am about 10lbs heavier than that avatar and a little leaner.


In 4 months you gained 10lbs of BW while getting leaner?

Damn



Yep. You know me...just clueless and making progress by accident.


Gotta love those supplements ;)
Ps. Did you know gorillas eat 18kg vegetation per day yet have nice muscle mass?

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gregron
Level 4

Join date: Oct 2009
Posts: 13490

Why wouldn't you throw up new pics if you were visibly leaner but up 10lbs? That would be an impressive set of pics compared to your last one.

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Professor X
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Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 51898

Ripsaw3689 wrote:
X, what is your rep ranges when training chest?



I currently do way more than I used to. Most of my training life I kept it around 10 reps just working on the weight used. I now do more reps and sometimes do as many as 20 or more on that last set. I also sometimes go to my heaviest weight and then drop to a weight I can do faster and higher reps for.

Overall, I go for strength first and then work on getting more of a pump until "fatigue" or "failure".

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Spidey22
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Join date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3992

I think Decline Bench is underrated. I know in the last few months, since focusing on it, my chest has made improvements (I've gotten multiple comments on it). I think it's best for those with long arms or who are naturally delt dominant. It's one of the few movements that I feel EXCLUSIVELY in my chest.

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Professor X
Level 5

Join date: Oct 2002
Posts: 51898

Spidey22 wrote:
I think Decline Bench is underrated. I know in the last few months, since focusing on it, my chest has made improvements (I've gotten multiple comments on it). I think it's best for those with long arms or who are naturally delt dominant. It's one of the few movements that I feel EXCLUSIVELY in my chest.



I agree if you are "delt dominant". Otherwise, I think most would benefit from more incline work.

I do decline every so often but it is usually because one of my more favorite movements is occupied by another lifter.

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SSC
Level 3

Join date: Mar 2008
Posts: 6955

Professor X wrote:
Spidey22 wrote:
I think Decline Bench is underrated. I know in the last few months, since focusing on it, my chest has made improvements (I've gotten multiple comments on it). I think it's best for those with long arms or who are naturally delt dominant. It's one of the few movements that I feel EXCLUSIVELY in my chest.



I agree if you are "delt dominant". Otherwise, I think most would benefit from more incline work.

I do decline every so often but it is usually because one of my more favorite movements is occupied by another lifter.


Interesting, for whatever reason (biomechanics, grip, who knows,) I've found decline movements to allow me to really hit the lower portion of the pec like no one's business - and I'm delt dominant on pressing. Inclines, anything higher than a fairly low incline (~30 degrees?) is pure delts for me, no matter the range of motion and grip. .02

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Ripsaw3689
Level 5

Join date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1593

SSC wrote:
Professor X wrote:
Spidey22 wrote:
I think Decline Bench is underrated. I know in the last few months, since focusing on it, my chest has made improvements (I've gotten multiple comments on it). I think it's best for those with long arms or who are naturally delt dominant. It's one of the few movements that I feel EXCLUSIVELY in my chest.



I agree if you are "delt dominant". Otherwise, I think most would benefit from more incline work.

I do decline every so often but it is usually because one of my more favorite movements is occupied by another lifter.


Interesting, for whatever reason (biomechanics, grip, who knows,) I've found decline movements to allow me to really hit the lower portion of the pec like no one's business - and I'm delt dominant on pressing. Inclines, anything higher than a fairly low incline (~30 degrees?) is pure delts for me, no matter the range of motion and grip. .02


Have you tried to keep your hands outside of your elbows at the bottom of the rep? This helped me out.

I have been rocking incline bench only for my heavy pressing. I always liked decline, but never do it. Might be the awkwardness of being spotted..

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paulieserafini
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Join date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1491

My chest is not soooo spectacular, but I get comments on occasion. It's wide and has good shape, just lacking that good thickness.

My chest is probably also my weakest body part.

But I second the DB thing as well as incorporating machines like the Hammer strength Decline.

Back to the DBs....
More so if you kinda combine your dumbbell presses with a fly type movement, dumbbells far apart at the bottom with elbows flared and wrists directly line with the elbow and coming closer as your push almost touching at the top.

But After doing strictly DB for a while going back to barbell I can feel it in my pecs more rather than my front delt. When I was a beginner sometimes my front delts would get DOMS way more than my chest after a bench workout.

MMC is a beautiful thing and sometimes things that don't work very well right now can be very effective at other times in your future lifting endeavors.

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browndisaster
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Join date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2811

Professor X wrote:
browndisaster wrote:
Professor X wrote:
browndisaster wrote:
You should take current pics X. It's a great way to assess progress IMO



I take pictures almost every time I am in the gym.

These pics were just already online.

I already know I made a ton of progress from two years ago.

My avatar shows that...which is about 4 months old itself.

I am about 10lbs heavier than that avatar and a little leaner.


lol did not read
you're an absolute buzzkill

anyways, I find that wide grip incline focusing on the bottom half of the motion gave me that cleavage in the collarbones and made my pecs bigger. Actually, any type of press or fly with a wide grip and focusing on the bottom half stretch/contraction made my pecs bigger.



But...some of you guys don't have big pecs.

Not trying to be a buzzkill. Just noting the obvious.

but I do, and some of us here are strapped

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Fuzzyapple.Train
Level

Join date: May 2011
Posts: 630

SSC wrote:
Professor X wrote:
Spidey22 wrote:
I think Decline Bench is underrated. I know in the last few months, since focusing on it, my chest has made improvements (I've gotten multiple comments on it). I think it's best for those with long arms or who are naturally delt dominant. It's one of the few movements that I feel EXCLUSIVELY in my chest.



I agree if you are "delt dominant". Otherwise, I think most would benefit from more incline work.

I do decline every so often but it is usually because one of my more favorite movements is occupied by another lifter.


Interesting, for whatever reason (biomechanics, grip, who knows,) I've found decline movements to allow me to really hit the lower portion of the pec like no one's business - and I'm delt dominant on pressing. Inclines, anything higher than a fairly low incline (~30 degrees?) is pure delts for me, no matter the range of motion and grip. .02


Dorian Yates is well quoted in saying that decline bench is the best exercise to develop overall chest. However, you are correct biomechanically in that it hits the lower portion of your chest and it is due to the line of pull from insertion to origin of the chest.

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kingbeef323
Level 3

Join date: Apr 2009
Posts: 924

Nothing has worked better for me (as well as my clients and training partners) for chest than all angles of dumbbell presses with elbows tucked coming all the way down until the dumbbells touch the sides of my chest, then pushing all the way up and getting a squeeze at the top. Most people that don't see much success with dumbbells go too wide and use too much shoulder. People are always surprised by how much harder it is and how much they have to lower their weights when they press the way I describe but in every case it's resulted in better chest growth for the people that adhere to it for an extended period of time.

I've tried mixing barbells/machines back in from time to time and it just doesn't make sense to me considering I feel those movements so much less in my chest.

Do the exercises that you feel the most in the target muscle group, get as strong as possible on them using good technique conducive to feeling that muscle work and that muscle will get big. It's not about lifting the absolute most weight possible, it's about lifting the heaviest weights you can handle under the aforementioned parameters... IME

Current chest routine:

Flat dumbbell press - 4x8
Incline dumbbell press - 4x8
Lo Incline dumbbell press - 3x10
Decline dumbbell press - 3x10

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