T Nation

Additional Advice on Pecs Routine


#1

I posted on here a few weeks ago about Pecs. I got a lot of great advice and feedback and wanted to update what changes I made and seek opinions/advice again.

I was shooting in the dark, doing my own thing at home - but after reading everyone’s advice, I finally made the decision to join a gym and I also opted for the personal trainer for a few months to help me make sure I am doing things right and on the path to meet my goals. We all have a favorite muscle group. Mine is Pecs. I want huge massive pecs and I am willing to do the work. I don’t expect easy solutions and I am dedicated. That being said, here is where I am at (the pec routine my trainer has set up for me)

I work Pecs 2x a week with the following routine

Dumbbell Press (45 x 15, 50 x 12, 55 x 10, 60 x 8). I started out at 40 pound dumbbells and have pushed to 60 in just two weeks . .and will continue to push the weight up.

Incline Flys: (25 x 15, 25 x 12, 30 x 10, 30 x 8). Trainer said not to go much higher than 35 lb on these.

Kg Ball press (35 x 20, 40 x 20, 45 x 20, 50 x 20)

I know that workout is only part of it, rest, diet, etc is also just as important.

By body fat was 24% a month ago. Weighing 210, with 159 lean mass - according to the scale that they had in the gym. I know BF is probably slightly higher since that really only measures lower body, but at least it’s a starting point to see where I go. Yes, I know that I have some fat to lose too but I am hoping to lose fat while building muscle (This has been working so far for me, as I have lost over 40 pounds and have pretty decent bicep/tricep growth).

I eat about 2,600 calories a day and try to get about 200g of protein. I do drink about 3 or 4 shakes because it’s hard to get 200g in 2,500 cals. . . but I do eat chicken, eggs, fish, shrimp, veggies. Not a whole lot of fruit .but I do get carbs from oatmeal, and other stuff.

Yes, I do a full bodybuilding workout 5 days a week set up by my trainer and we stick to it. We do chest 2x a week because I noted that was my area of most interest.

Any further suggestions? This is for pecs only . . . I am looking for suggestions or pointers on what else I can do.


#2

Hmm.

Progressing on your press should be your focus. Maybe 45 is too easy for you now. 15+ reps with a warm up weight is a waste of energy. Make it your last warm up set (or first?) just not so many reps

There’s a lot of fluff that’ll just pump you up and make you sore in this routine but in terms of working sets I think you can throw in a bit more volume. If you can recover why not. Maybe drop the weight on the presses down again and do another set. e.g 55x10 60x8 then 55 again.

Also all the Kg ball pressing is probably not optimal for you: using up a lot of time, energy and some of your recovery ability for little added growth stimulus. Maybe discuss with your trainer about this.


#3

I wouldn’t count out gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time. If you are relatively new to lifting, start fat or a couple of other reasons you can have both.

At worst you’ll just get stronger while keeping muscle so when it comes time to gain you’ll be much more effective


#4

Whatever routine you do, give it time to do its work. Don’t be forever tinkering with it just because you can. If after 2 months of a particular approach you aren’t seeing results then it might be a time for you to make a strategic change.
Just working harder or doing an extra exercise isn’t always the answer, either.


#5

Good point of not overthinking and being consistent with a program/routine before changing it. Paralysis by analysis and such.

However you’ve given a cookie cutter generic statements that aren’t really helping lol. OP is “looking for suggestions or pointers on what else [he] can do.”

To suggest not adding volume when OP’s routine is nowhere near his maximum recoverable volume is the opposite of what should be done.

More isn’t always better but in this case would be. If are able and willing he should. A greater stimulus results in greater magnitude and rates of adaptions recovery willing. Get bigger stronger faster eh?


#6

Sometimes I think its a good idea to asses the intensity of what you’re doing, I saw a guy squaring while taking a call yesterday… Sure he did more reps than me but I doubt it did him any good. I’m not saying the OP is doing that at all but I think its worth double checking how hard your working before addig more


#7

Hmm.

It’d be relevant if one weren’t working hard enough. In which case working harder or adding more at similar intensity is a form of progression.

High intensity or at least high perceived exertion alone is a bit overrated. You could go in the gym get pumped up, works hard, hits a PR AMRAP at 70% for 12 reps and be drained mentally and physically for the back down sets say 2 sets of 8.

The dude seemingly taking it easy could do 5 sets of 8 at 70% and not noticeably struggle on a single rep but in the end still get in more work. Kinda unlikely scenario but just saying effort/perceived exertion isn’t a substitute for good old volume.


#8

The whole point of RPE is provide tools to fit volume to the lifter. So you get quality volume rather than “good old volume”.

Bit bizarre to make up a fictional scenario involving a single workout where someone completely FUBARS an RPE style workout, call it unlikely and then use that as evidence of one style being superior to another LOL


#9

I guess my point was… is the OP getting gains from the routine? how much of a chance has he given the routine? If he is getting gains then he doesn’t need to do anything else for the short term, the routine was a success, and he didn’t actually need any advice.
If he hasn’t given it at least 2 months then he should still give it a chance, then make an assessment. Any adjustments mightn’t be an extra exercise(though it could), but it could be as little as changing the rep range, increasing or lowering weight lifted or a change in technique. I’ve seen plenty of times and even done it myself when I was younger you keep adding exercises before you know it you’re training like a professional bodybuilder on steroids. Just doesn’t work well for most people, especially if you’re not on steroids. Sounds like the OP is getting positive results from training in general, so keep doing it until it stops. Consistency is much more important .
Even if a person is on steroids the gainz just don’t happen overnight, it still can take a couple of months on a cycle before you see the results.

ps. OP could take steroids, or get pec implants, that would help him get massive pec’s quick(it would work but I’m not really being serious).


#10

@kuyaromeo1 this post is a reply to strongmangoals on RPE which you don’t have to worry about right now. Have a read of all the posts and if it interests you have a google or ask a question.

Hmm I think we have different understandings of RPE. Isn’t it basically how hard a particular set felt or when prescribed how hard a set should be? This fits/regulates intensity to the lifter. Not volume. Separate variables. RPE is not a descriptor of volume.

Perhaps you meant that it is a tool to ensure that volume done is at the desired intensity i.e. quality volume? Tools such as fatigue percentages fit volume to the lifter not RPE.

Sorry if I’m talking semantics here lel

Was trying to put together a scenario to demonstrate that painter27’s assertion while probably correct in the situation he described could very well be incorrect in context, seemingly valuing intensity over volume.

The example may have been rubbish tbf. Was attempting to give an example of why perceived exertion alone is not indicative of how effective a workout is when volume is not matched or controlled.

The comparison made wasn’t in the style of workout but the comparing the volume between workouts. In this respect one of the workouts was objectively better and a better potential stimulus of hypertrophy.

This relevant to the OP in when he said that he will continue to push the weight up I assumed that his RPE, which shouldn’t matter anyway considering the rate of gains he is making, was in a good place. Under this assumption OP would benefit by an increase in volume.


#11

OP is getting gains on his current routine.

Is asking for suggestions to be more effective in building big titties.

Volume bump = probably faster gains

If you can get the same results a bit quicker by growing a bit faster why not?

Pec Implants and Steroids tho… actually good suggestions. Very effective


#12

The workout you’ve written doesn’t look terrible so do what the trainer tells you especially if he’s coaching you in real life. Stick to what you are doing, evaluate results after a period of time, then decide on the next course of action. If some things aren’t optimal at the moment, so be it. Over the long run this will give you a better understanding of your body and you will eventually find what is optimal for you.


#13

Volume is only one variable, OP already has 3 exercises and is hitting it more often (volume isn’t that low)
I’m also assuming he’s newer to the gym so he’d be better off getting quality volume before he ends up with some ridiculous number of sets just for the sake of volume=better
@khangles


#14

sounds to me like you’re doing everything pretty much right so far. Your weight is dropping, strength is going up, what more do you need? Just need to be patient now and trust the process.

Personally, I don’t particularly like that routine for your chest. I’d rather see a heavier barbell press in there, or even a machine press. Really, any kind of press apart from that stupid ball press thing.

Other than that, sounds like all you need now is time.


#15

How about one more set?


#16

Haha I’m not against more volume really, I’ve just seen some guys down the gym doing 30 sets of bench variations.
As long as progress is being made that’s all that really matters


#17

Fair enough. brb doing Phil Heath’s Olympia Prep Chest Workout. All kindz of gainz…all kindz

Have you ever tried upping volume until you couldn’t recover? Actually handy to know.


#18

Hey Yogi, I don’t particulary like the sound of the ball press much either. I have never done them before so I can’t comment on their effectiveness as a pec builder. I guess it could be alright if someone hasn’t developed a good idea of pec contraction. Trainers vary in skill, maybe this guy knows something that I don’t so I’d recommend sticking with the programme for the moment, evaluate the results later.


#19

yeah I know what you mean; if you’re going to hire a trainer then you should follow their advice to the letter rather than questioning their shit the whole time (I actually was a personal trainer for a few years so I know how annoying that is!).

Still, pressing a ball isn’t going to be anywhere near as practical as pushing a barbell/dumbbell/machine, purely because of the mechanics of it, but if it’s working for the dude then that’s all that counts.


#20

Have you tried dips?