Lagging Chest

GdaddyGains

Member
Heavy barbell work has always pack on dense muscle for me but for some reason barbell chest press doesn’t seem to put much muscle on my chest. I find my front delts respond much better.

I am going to switch to DBs and weighted chest dips. Anyone had the same struggle? What did you change to bring it up?

I don’t get much from high rep fluff and pump work and super sets for larger muscles. It just doesn’t feel like I am stimulating anything.

Smaller muscle groups like arms and shoulders are a bit different.
 

jJjburton

Member
AnabolicLab.com Supporter
Heavy barbell work has always pack on dense muscle for me but for some reason barbell chest press doesn’t seem to put much muscle on my chest. I find my front delts respond much better.

I am going to switch to DBs and weighted chest dips. Anyone had the same struggle? What did you change to bring it up?

I don’t get much from high rep fluff and pump work and super sets for larger muscles. It just doesn’t feel like I am stimulating anything.

Smaller muscle groups like arms and shoulders are a bit different.
Yes for me I was doing 12 reps and pump work for chest. Then saw this one guy really going to failure heavy 8-11 Reps at least on 2 dumbell presses. So i was debating that for a while and seeing that really just made me do that too.

It worked. So for flys I do less heavy. But the first 2-3 chest exercises I litterally try a weight for dumbells where I fail at 8-11 reps. First on flat then to incline.
 
99% chance that it's a form issue. How much are you flaring your elbows? The more you flare them the more stress that gets concentrated on your delts instead of your chest. Excess flare also leads to touching too high on the chest which can cause shoulder issues.

Chest high, scapula retracted and lats engaged, push the bar back and up.
 

Rival

Member
Mine is form issue I’m still working on. I found that trying to bend the bar or pull it apart while staying as tight as possible really helped. Also making sure your feet are behind your knees to keep tightness. Pausing slightly (1-2 seconds) Before raising the bar really helps me feel it in the chest.
 
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Rival

Member
99% chance that it's a form issue. How much are you flaring your elbows? The more you flare them the more stress that gets concentrated on your delts instead of your chest. Excess flare also leads to touching too high on the chest which can cause shoulder issues.

Chest high, scapula retracted and lats engaged, push the bar back and up.

mark bells slingshot helped me with the elbow flare issue. Forces your elbows in at about 45 degrees
 

MuscleFreak

Member
Heavy barbell work has always pack on dense muscle for me but for some reason barbell chest press doesn’t seem to put much muscle on my chest. I find my front delts respond much better.

I am going to switch to DBs and weighted chest dips. Anyone had the same struggle? What did you change to bring it up?

I don’t get much from high rep fluff and pump work and super sets for larger muscles. It just doesn’t feel like I am stimulating anything.

Smaller muscle groups like arms and shoulders are a bit different.
had same problem,i got very strong on barbell press repping 400lbs so could never really connect with target muscle with chest,they would grow but also arms,delts etc ...now i just do it sometimes and if i do it is when i already pre exhaust the chest with maybe machine fly.
my go to is dumbbell press and dumbbell flys very slow and control,sometning like Roman Fritz does,giving my best to do exercise perfect and focus on contractions and not just move the weights...german precision haha
 

GdaddyGains

Member
99% chance that it's a form issue. How much are you flaring your elbows? The more you flare them the more stress that gets concentrated on your delts instead of your chest. Excess flare also leads to touching too high on the chest which can cause shoulder issues.

Chest high, scapula retracted and lats engaged, push the bar back and up.

I thought flaring elbows and keep them a little below parallel to the bar helps open up your chest. And keeping them tucked in would be more tricep
 

Barny

Member
Since rupturing my left pec off, always found dumbells, incline, flat, decline and flies the most efficient way to pack on size, also cables. With a good weight and a tonne of reps!!…. May be just me as I still find it awkward and painful to press using bench, lost a lot of range of movement in the left side.
 
I thought flaring elbows and keep them a little below parallel to the bar helps open up your chest. And keeping them tucked in would be more tricep

That's true to an extent. But excessive flare and a wide grip also kills your ROM. The other problem with elbow flare is that the more extreme it is the worse it is for your shoulder joints.

Honestly, though, benching at around a 45 degree and doing a slight pause at the bottom is the way to go. The pause will force you to engage your chest more.

I like the idea of throwing in weighted chest dips. They're such an underrated pec exercise.
 

GdaddyGains

Member
Thanks for the advice. I’ll make sure to pay attention to my elbow position.

I completely agree weighted chest dips can put on so much size I never see anyone doing them, especially as a primary builder. I’ll see some guys use it at the end of a workout to burn out. That is pointless IMO.
 

LeoTC

Member
Suicide grip and push-ups to really help me feel pecks are the biggest helpers for me.

I can't even Press dumbbells with a closed grip now. Feels...weird.
 
Since rupturing my left pec off, always found dumbells, incline, flat, decline and flies the most efficient way to pack on size, also cables. With a good weight and a tonne of reps!!…. May be just me as I still find it awkward and painful to press using bench, lost a lot of range of movement in the left side.

I like using db’s as well. Had a partial pec tear years ago and went primarily to db’s. Every now and then I’ll throw in some barbell slight incline work.
I’ve found that hex presses engage my chest quite a bit throughout the entire movement.
 
I had something similar. Saw a video of Seth Feroce on Youtube where he basically says that he needs to warm up first for a solid 20-30 minutes. I warm up, but not for as long, and my chest pumps have been absolutely great and the pump starts from my very first set and not mid-way. I've started two week ago, so it's too early to say if it's working, but my chest feels fuller.
 
For me anything with chest over 15 sets I start to shrink and get weaker. I try to stick between 5-10 reps with bench pyramiding to the first working set at 5 reps.
My chest workout example:
Flat bench: 5/8/10/12
Incline bench: 8/8/12/12
Incline cable fly: 10/12/12/15
Close grip bench: 10/10/12
Not including shoulder and triceps I hit in between and such, I don’t hit failure every set either only the top set. Then I force myself to go home other wise I’d be there all day. Sucks but works for me
 

Barny

Member
I had something similar. Saw a video of Seth Feroce on Youtube where he basically says that he needs to warm up first for a solid 20-30 minutes. I warm up, but not for as long, and my chest pumps have been absolutely great and the pump starts from my very first set and not mid-way. I've started two week ago, so it's too early to say if it's working, but my chest feels fuller.

Yeah, since getting that injury I've made damn sure I warm up properly. Going in relatively cold was a bad idea, weights got me like "bite the pillow I'm going in dry"... hurt like f**k... The warm up 100% gets a good pump going!!
 

SUGARBEAR

Member
Chest press is more deltoids and triceps. flyes, pec dec, and cable crossovers are more natural for fiber direction.
 
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