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Best Pec Exercise?


I have been having a really hard time adding mass to me chest. Everything else is going great except for this area. Dips seemed to really work when I first started training but now I feel like they hardly work my chest at all.

I also started doing a really wide griped bench and focusing on lifting from my upper chest.

Are there any exercises I should consider, or a program that really targets the chest?

Right now I am on Art of Waterbury but I would really like to bulk up my chest.


Personally, I always found that DB bench (whether flat or incline) worked best for chest thickness for me.


Flys, flys, flys.....of all kinds. Db, cable (high to low, low to high, horizontal, lying) etc...


If you can't bulk up your chest doing dips, then your not doing them right. Try weighted dips and in a Vince Gironda stlye(Wide grip 33" apart V-bar pec dip), elbows out and try to pull the bars together with your hands dont press up...your only using your triceps

when i do a proper dip i feel nothing in the tricep at all.

or theres always a weighted push up, or try this routine.....i recomend this anyone and feel free to prove me wrong

try any routine you want Vs mine....and i'll win in chest size increased in 3 weeks(try it on yourself)

my routine for blasting the chest is this

3 times a day (Gironda Dips)1 set each done to 90% failure
3 times a day (weighted push up between chairs)1 set each to 90% failure

6 total sets everyday for 3 weeks, no rest.....plenty of time to rest when your dead

and after 3 weeks is up take a week off and go back to a strength, hypertrophy split


try this in your kitchen tonight and tell me what you feel.....do a push up between 2 chairs and have your feet elevated up on the table....you will feel a range of motion like you have never felt before........you will go so deep into this your traps are gonna get stuck together in the middle, you might even crack open that sternum

if you too whimpy to do these or the gironda dips

heres a bench press atlernative

my guess is that your not benching right either

90% of the people on this site think a bench press is a chest exercise
guess what? its not.

its an upper body strength exercise

its a delt, tricep, and pectoral exercise

if you wanna build pecs with it , you have to make it a chest exercise

do 4 things:

1- retract your shoulder blades, and take them out of the movement
2- bring your legs up off of the floor and cross your ankles, you cant work the chest arching your back and pushing with your legs
3- lower the weight to the atoms apple, not the chest
4- how to move the weight.....explode up and contolled up......do partial burns at the bottom of the movement, and stay out of the top of the movement, thats all triceps up there, your not doing anything but resting, cheating and defeating the purpose of building a chest.

i dont even use a bench press as a chest exercise....i use it as an upper body strength builder a little but thats it.

Its amazing to me that people think a bench press is a chest exercise, and they wonder why thier chest doesnt grow from the improper form on an upper body strength builder.

Time for my nap


Second. Partially because I train alone and would rather not have a barbell on my neck, I almost exclusively use dumbbells.

You can get a better stretch, and you can try a cool little tweak: hold the 'bells parallel to your body (instead of perpindicular).


your gonna get all kind of answers on exercises of what people think works, but thier gonna give you the wrong answers

anything works, you can build a chest with deadlifts

hers the right answer, you need to concentrate on working that muscle, using good form, isolating it, stay awy from the pressing movements unless they are bodyweight because your only going to be doing them with your shoulders and triceps
(sounds to me like you have the same problem i had)....trust me i know how to fix it

first learn about the pec and its function

then learn how to incorporate that into an exercise
then try to establish the mind-muscle connection

benching 300 will build absolutely zero pecs when your using these muscle to bench that 300 with[triceps, delts, traps, quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, flexors, extensors, biceps, etc etc......oh yeah and the pecs, you get the point

try an Arnold Fly, use a barrell hugging motion and stay out of the top of the movement when doing this fly, use the botton 2/3rds of the movement

cable fly......get lower than the cables and and bring your elbows and wrists together

or try my fly, i do a decline dumbell Pressing fly(i use so much weight and a tremendous stretch itts impossible to fly the weight up so i press it up in a wide fly arc and fly back down and get the negative

From Larry Scoot(do partial 1/4 burns on every set 4-6 reps)

these are the things you need to incorporate if you want a chest

exercise is exercise, just do it , and do it right

forget heavy, and forget weight, just do whatever you need to tear the muscle apart.

if i can tear more muscle apart using a 15 lb dumbbell then you can using a 300 lb barbell... my efforts would surely be more beneficial

just do what i have listed, should not be a problem......pick an exercise and perform it properly

good luck!


I don't know what kind of benching you're doing, but it must look funny if you're using some of those muscles listed.

Look, any chest press or chest fly exercise is perfectly good, the mistake comes when someone feels that there is only one right way. There is no exact best exercise, they all can have their place in developing a nice chest.

I'm more of a fan of DB chest exercises, but that's just my preference.


CT had a good routine for a chest only program on "Da Thib Zone" thread.


Scroll down to around the seventh message for more on this.

I would suggest my specialization approach of training your weak muscle group 3x per week and training the rest of the body over 1 or 2 other sessions. A nice approach would be:

A. Incline bench press
6 x 4-6 reps

B. Flat dumbbell press
5 x 6-8 reps

C. Decline bench press
5 x 6-8

A1. Incline bench press 1/2 reps
(from chest to short of lockout to keep tension on the pecs)
5 total sets: 12/10/8/6/30

A2. Dumbbell flies 1/2 reps
(stretch low and lift short of lockout)
5 total sets: 15/15/12/12/10

A1 and A2 are a superset

B1. Dips
(bend the trunk forward, tuck your chin, bring your legs forward... in other words your body should form a "C" during the whole movement)
4 x max reps

B2. Cable cross-over
4 x 10-12

B1 and B2 are a superset

C. Pec deck machine extreme drop set
Perform 6-8 reps with a heavy weight. Upon reaching failure drop the weight just enough to perform 2-3 more reps and rep out. Drop the weight again so that you can complete 2-3 more reps and rep out. Do this until your muscle literally cannot contract anymore. At that point hold the handles in the fully squeezed position as long as you can.

Only perform 1 set.

DAY 3.
A1. High incline dumbbell press
4 x 6-8 reps

A2. Low incline dumbbell press (same weight)
4 x max reps

A3. Flat dumbbell press (same weight)
4 x max reps

A4. Push ups
4 x max reps

A1 through A4 are a giant set.


your another who doesnt understand the bench press, Dave Tate could explain it to you better than i could, he only benches about 600 and wouldnt call a bench press a chest exercise either, i believe Dave feels that in his triceps more than anything last time i read an article of his

and your comment was exactly my point....i dont bench press at all for my chest, its not a chest exercise

i use dips and push ups and my primary chest builders

but i do see 100's of people in the gym benching using exactly all those muscles i have listed and trying to build a chest with it.
your probably one of them, hope not for your sake


Please explain to me then the biomechanical difference between a pushup and a bench press? It's the same movement just flipped from prone to supine, and the pushup involves stabilizing the body.

I'm not saying the bench doesn't work the triceps and shoulders as well, but to say the chest isn't involved is suspect.


no problem....#1 push up has a greater range of motion and a more natural movement plus its not a fixed position movement, so its easier for me to target the pectorals by manipulating the angle also there is no gripping of a barbell in this movement and the bodyweight movement incorporates more motor neurons in the pectoral area for there is a body thru space movement

both use the chest, both use plenty of other muscles as well


i hope were not gonna debate over a push up and a bench press, at least pick an arguement that you can win......you are ready are defending an inferior exercise to the push ups

any bodyweight movement will always be superior to its equal replica in a machine or fixed barbell position due to (body thru space ) and ROM alone. Let alone the added resistance


Plenty of great answers on this thread. I have a question if you don't mind answering it: Do you have long arms and more of a "shallow" chest?

If so that would mean that you are more of a "deltoid" Bench Presser and thus your chest development would take a back seat.


Bullshit! By using different bars and/or dumbbells you get the same rom that you would if you did a pushup between 2 chairs and feet up and went past the level of your hands. If you did a pushup on the floor there is zero difference between the rom of using a barbell and LESS than what could be used with dumbbells. And in a pushup you're using your back, abs, quads, hamstrings, tris, delts, traps, and your pecs etc.....


By this quote I'm lead to believe that this is now a joke! HAHAHA! Good one!


Thank you ZEB.....most likely yes, thats his problem, i can already tell he said his whole body was strong

thats usually the indicator that hes doing the presses with his delts/tri's

i have a 32" reach from the armpit to the end of the fist and i'm 5'11"

so with my long arms, without doing about 6 things to the bench press i can't lift it with my pecs.

i have some of the cures for the long arm disease, but i had to defend push ups for some reason with some troll, i mean T-Nation member


Maybe it's the way I'm built, but the bench is The best chest execise for me. I put my ring fingers on the rings [slightly outside of shoulder width] and concentrate on flaring my elbows. I also like to do low reps at a high intensity with "alot" of volume. 10x3, 8x3, 8x4 etc... Also seems to get me strong, FAST. Thanks Waterbury.


Now it is a JOKE....but its all on you

how are you gonna get the range of motion in a fixed position holding onto something

first of all.....i've never heard of dead benches, or fingertip benches, or anyohter way to manipulate a push up to change the movement or the range of motion in it to your likings. Since this is a "FREE" movement, that should clue you in that its gonna have a greater range of motion than a fixed movement.

This conversation is over. This is like talking to roof shingles.



HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! You're not talking about ROM you're talking about different positions and different hand positions. Keep doing your finger-ups and building your chest and I'll stick to flys (primary), incline, dips and flat variations to build mine.

You CANNOT get a larger range of motion doing a pushup comapared to a dumbbell bench or cambered bar bench. You're right, this conversation is over.....