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Bigger Bench = Bigger Chest?

I have always been told that a bigger bench will make you have a bigger chest.

I guess it depends on how you get there, if you get stronger with low reps, will you build any chest size at all?

Can a person bench 400 and have a small chest?

My bench has gone up about 100lbs since I first started lifting. My chest isn’t really any bigger. I primarly used low reps to gain my strength.

Would I probably have a bigger chest if I gained my strength using higher reps?

Can two guys bench the same amount and have a drastic difference in their chest sizes?

I don’t like high reps, so I am wondering if the size will eventually come as my strength goes up, perhaps another 50lbs gain on my bench will do it.

Or do I have to break down and do some high reps for the chest?

I’m sure since you’ve been reading this site since you posted this question that you’ve figured out that benching primarily works delts and triceps?

I have the opposite- weak bench but adequately sized chest- its just something that naturally comes out on me

How do you set up for bench? Arched, tucked, and a low touch? Or flat, elbows out, and touch mid chest? It all depends really. While I bench Arched, tucked, and I touch low I still get/have got a lot of hypertrophy in my chest. It may be from high intensity coupled with near overtraining like volume. If you are after chest mass, I would lower the weight used and bring the bar straight down until it hits right about collarbone level. I would start with lighter weight until I get used to this exercise. Do you use dumbells regularly? Hammer strength upright bench machines are pretty good too.

[quote]StevenF wrote:
I’m sure since you’ve been reading this site since you posted this question that you’ve figured out that benching primarily works delts and triceps?[/quote]

Where did you read this, I would like to read the info.

I have always felt the effects of benching primarily in my chest. But I am intrested to hear about this idea that it is mostly delts and tris.
Building strength with high reps? Also if you could talk about how you are benching. Just how high are you talking about. Also while your bench went up and your chest stayed small did the rest of your body make gains? You didnt mention eating, no matter how good your training is if you wherent eating enough your not gonna make gains in size. I think knowing this will let us be able to answer your question better.

[quote]basementD wrote:
I have always been told that a bigger bench will make you have a bigger chest.

I don’t like high reps, so I am wondering if the size will eventually come as my strength goes up, perhaps another 50lbs gain on my bench will do it.

Or do I have to break down and do some high reps for the chest? [/quote]

Do you like doing the work? Try another exercise. Bench press and curls are not the only things you can do in a gym you know. Personally, I have used atleast 7 different exercises for the chest alone, not done during the same session mind you(it does take time)
I would imagine that my chest has developed well, if girls come up and squeeze YOUR tits after a workout, must be doing something right…
Incline press, pullovers, cable crossovers, machine assisted flies, inc. flies, flat flies just to name a few.
Check out some of the routines by Chad Waterbury, he has helped me…
Best of luck…

I think the hand placement, spacing, is the issue with this. If you use a close grip, the tri’s will get fried more easily. Don’t forget to use a full range of motion too. It don’t do you no good to use 250lbs but only move it 4-5 inches…

quote]StevenF wrote:
I’m sure since you’ve been reading this site since you posted this question that you’ve figured out that benching primarily works delts and triceps?[/quote]

Benching works primarily the pectoralis group. While both the tri’s and front delts are involved, the primary mover is the pecs. This can be altered by hand placement as well as incline/decline, but doesn’t change the fact where most of the stress is placed. All of your pre 1980 bodybuilders built there chests with some typr of benches.
In answer to your question
vary your rep schemes as well as your angles and see what happens. As said above, there are also many types of other exercises that directly or indirectly hit your chest that could help.
Or maybe you’re some genetic freak who will be able to bench 500lbs and still have a ‘small’ chest. Let 'em laugh until you load up the bar

I bench to the upper abdomen area. I only arch when going for a max.

I hear that there is a way to bench that works the pecs more, so I will try benching a different way.

I am leary of benching to the upper chest because I think it is supposed to be dangerous for the shoulders, but maybe if I am careful it will be okay.

I weighed 155 when I started lifting, today I weigh 200. Obviously all of the gain isn’t muscle, but I have packed on some size all over.

My chest looks more defined than when I started, but it hasn’t really gained any size.

I workout at home, so I am limited in the chest exercises I can do.

You have to figure out which exercises makes your muscles grow, which is not necessarily what makes them strong. You can see plenty of exmaples of Bodybuilders with big muscular chests and not have big bench, or have a guy with a big bench and have a relatively flat chest.

A lot of these things are dependant on how your central nervous system is firing. For some people like me the bench fires my chest very hard but i get very little in terms of arms and delts. But my friend is the opposite, very small chest and his arms dominate all pressing movements. It’s a trial and error process with no single one size fits all formula. You may want to use a pre exhaust technique like the fly and bech immediately after.

[quote]Gregus wrote:
You have to figure out which exercises makes your muscles grow, which is not necessarily what makes them strong. You can see plenty of exmaples of Bodybuilders with big muscular chests and not have big bench, or have a guy with a big bench and have a relatively flat chest.

A lot of these things are dependant on how your central nervous system is firing. For some people like me the bench fires my chest very hard but i get very little in terms of arms and delts. But my friend is the opposite, very small chest and his arms dominate all pressing movements. It’s a trial and error process with no single one size fits all formula. You may want to use a pre exhaust technique like the fly and bech immediately after.

[/quote]
Thanks. If an exercise pumps up your chest is it a sign that the exercise is probably going to be a growth inducer?

Benches don’t cause my chest to pump up at all.

[quote]basementD wrote:
I bench to the upper abdomen area. I only arch when going for a max.

I hear that there is a way to bench that works the pecs more, so I will try benching a different way.

I am leary of benching to the upper chest because I think it is supposed to be dangerous for the shoulders, but maybe if I am careful it will be okay.

I weighed 155 when I started lifting, today I weigh 200. Obviously all of the gain isn’t muscle, but I have packed on some size all over.

My chest looks more defined than when I started, but it hasn’t really gained any size.

I workout at home, so I am limited in the chest exercises I can do. [/quote]

I have two suggestions for you.

The first one you have already brought up, try benching to your upper chest with your elbows out. I would also take a 1 or 2 second pauses in the bottom position to protect your shoulders. In my experience most of the injuries that occur in the weight room happen during the change of direction in a lift. Just institute a pause and it will go along way in keeping your shoulder healthy and your weight honest.

My second suggestion should be applied only if the first does not bring about any improvements in chest size. As some have alluded to already some people use more triceps and shoulders when they bench than pectorals. Most of my clients and colleagues, who have well developed shoulders and triceps, have relatively small chest and vice versa. If you prove this to be your case I would emphasize flyes and dips for chest development.

Hope this helps

[quote]basementD wrote:
I bench to the upper abdomen area. I only arch when going for a max.

I hear that there is a way to bench that works the pecs more, so I will try benching a different way.

I am leary of benching to the upper chest because I think it is supposed to be dangerous for the shoulders, but maybe if I am careful it will be okay.

I weighed 155 when I started lifting, today I weigh 200. Obviously all of the gain isn’t muscle, but I have packed on some size all over.

My chest looks more defined than when I started, but it hasn’t really gained any size.

I workout at home, so I am limited in the chest exercises I can do. [/quote]

Bring the bar up higher on your chest and flair your elbows out to 90 degrees from your body–powerlifters call it “pec pressin”. As long as you keep your shoulderblades back and down shoulder problems shouldn’t be a problem. Also mix up some rep schemes in there.

It can be, but it is not the sole indicator. Some days I don’t get any kind of pump, and others it feels like someone is blowing me up with an air compressor. Hard work, good technique, great nutrition, and plenty of rest. Your genes will do their best. Or elsr get a good plastic surgeon.

I saw an article about big chest/or big bench–I think by CW, and the two exercises in it were
pushups done on towels on a slippery surface and a cable movement. Try to find the article–it may be just your ticket to what you are looking for

[quote]bamit wrote:
basementD wrote:
I bench to the upper abdomen area. I only arch when going for a max.

I hear that there is a way to bench that works the pecs more, so I will try benching a different way.

I am leary of benching to the upper chest because I think it is supposed to be dangerous for the shoulders, but maybe if I am careful it will be okay.

I weighed 155 when I started lifting, today I weigh 200. Obviously all of the gain isn’t muscle, but I have packed on some size all over.

My chest looks more defined than when I started, but it hasn’t really gained any size.

I workout at home, so I am limited in the chest exercises I can do.

I have two suggestions for you.

The first one you have already brought up, try benching to your upper chest with your elbows out. I would also take a 1 or 2 second pauses in the bottom position to protect your shoulders. In my experience most of the injuries that occur in the weight room happen during the change of direction in a lift. Just institute a pause and it will go along way in keeping your shoulder healthy and your weight honest.

My second suggestion should be applied only if the first does not bring about any improvements in chest size. As some have alluded to already some people use more triceps and shoulders when they bench than pectorals. Most of my clients and colleagues, who have well developed shoulders and triceps, have relatively small chest and vice versa. If you prove this to be your case I would emphasize flyes and dips for chest development.

Hope this helps
[/quote]

bamit,

Thanks for the advice. I appreciate the tip on pauses to prevent shoulder injuries. I will try benching the way you suggested.

[quote]timmwwaa wrote:
basementD wrote:
I bench to the upper abdomen area. I only arch when going for a max.

I hear that there is a way to bench that works the pecs more, so I will try benching a different way.

I am leary of benching to the upper chest because I think it is supposed to be dangerous for the shoulders, but maybe if I am careful it will be okay.

I weighed 155 when I started lifting, today I weigh 200. Obviously all of the gain isn’t muscle, but I have packed on some size all over.

My chest looks more defined than when I started, but it hasn’t really gained any size.

I workout at home, so I am limited in the chest exercises I can do.

Bring the bar up higher on your chest and flair your elbows out to 90 degrees from your body–powerlifters call it “pec pressin”. As long as you keep your shoulderblades back and down shoulder problems shouldn’t be a problem. Also mix up some rep schemes in there.[/quote]

Thanks for the info. I definitely want to learn “pec pressin” my anterior delts and tris are decent, but my chest has been left behind.

I just wanted to let you all know that I tried benching to the upper chest area with a pause and this time I felt it in my chest.

Hopefully working out like this will eventually get my pecs caught up to my shoulders and tris. Thank you all for your help.

A bigger bench means shorter arms! That is to say that if you have shorter arms and a barrel chest you will have a bigger bench which means you will grow your chest even more (arms will stay the same length sorry…:).

I think that most who find great success making their chest larger by benching are blessed in the two above traits. Others, like you and I it seems get larger delts and tris if we bench. We also eventually get shoulder problems, but that’s anothr thread…:slight_smile:

There have been many coaches such as Vince Gironda (he turned out champs like Larry Scott, Don Howorth, Bill McArdle etc. Even the great Arnold trained under Vince for a while) who have believed that benching works the pecs in a secondary fashion, unless of course you are blessed with the two traits above. The chest will work when you bench no question, but the delts and tris more so for many of us.

If you want a larger chest change up your rotuine. For example, stop benching and do Dips, wide weighted push-ups, maybe some dumbbell benching with a low stretch, and (Cough) flys! Yes…Flys…There are many (Arnold being only one) who think that Flys build the chest better than any movement. The actual function of the pectoral muscles is to move your arms across the front of your chest. Now let’s see what movement does this? Oh yes FLYS! Do them heavy and deep, try it, what have you got to lose?

Finally, if you want your chest to grow, and it hasn’t grown stop what you are doing! You and I both know that one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results!

Forget what your friends say. Forget the age old question “how much can you bench?” Be a freakin rebel and experiment! This might even mean GASP…not benching for a while. Figure out what works for you! Forget all the clones who will tell you that you have to bench.

If results for you mean trying other ways to work your chest then go for it!

Best To You,

Zeb

[quote]basementD wrote:
I just wanted to let you all know that I tried benching to the upper chest area with a pause and this time I felt it in my chest.

Hopefully working out like this will eventually get my pecs caught up to my shoulders and tris. Thank you all for your help. [/quote]

Good to see that the bench technique is working out for you. Zeb gives some good advice. Let us know how you progress.

Regards,
bamit

[quote]ZEB wrote:
If you want a larger chest change up your rotuine. For example, stop benching and do Dips, wide weighted push-ups, maybe some dumbbell benching with a low stretch, and (Cough) flys! Yes…Flys…There are many (Arnold being only one) who think that Flys build the chest better than any movement. The actual function of the pectoral muscles is to move your arms across the front of your chest. Now let’s see what movement does this? Oh yes FLYS! Do them heavy and deep, try it, what have you got to lose?
[/quote]

Dips is the exercise that I feel my chest working the most, but I don’t have dipping bars, I will get them one day though.

I feel my chest with pushups, but I don’t know how to add weight effectively, on a side note I heard there was a powerlifter that built his benching strength with weighted pushups.

I don’t feel flyes in my chest, but instead in my delts, I know my technique must be wrong.

I would hate to give up benching, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. Thanks for the info.