T Nation

bird chest

eres my beef. iver been working out for about 4 years now and am learning more as i go. i have good development everywhere except for my chest. i have what youd call a bird chest. what type of chest exercuses does anyone suggest to start to properly develop a good chest. i do about 8 sets of5 reps of upper bench press , bench press and a few other exercises, any help would be appreciated

Check the faq for some great chest routines.

You’re on the right track with higher sets than reps. Remember to do bench press, decline bench press and incline bench press.

Sicne you’re having trouble with your chest I’d suggest you try “The Growth Surge Project” or “Militant Hypertrophy” in the search engine. Both programs should breath life into your bench and add some mass to your chest.

Welcome to the forum.

I would look up an article by Chad Waterbury on chest development. I think it’s one of the best articles on bulking up your chest. I’m also assuming that you bench more using your triceps than your chest. You might want to try a wider grip which will involve your chest more than your arms in the bench press. :slight_smile:

Bird chest…better than a cat dick. Heheheh. (See the cat dick thread if you don’t understand). :wink:

I like your appropriately chosen term ‘exercuses’, lol. Is that a hybrid between exercises and excuses?

A) Nothing works for ever. Your body adapts to most stimuli you impose on it at the gym - but it adapts fastest to the rep scheme. After 6 workouts using a particular rep scheme, dump it out the window temporarily. Any further use of the same scheme will result in less muscle fibers recruited, less energy used to accomplish the same task. Result: Strength/Hypertrophy gains stagnate.
Additionally, ATP must be present in abundance for significant hypertrophy to occur. Increased numbers of mytochondria inprove production of ATP in the muscle fiber - to improve these numbers, higher repetitions are required. Alternating a few weeks of higher repetition training with 4-6 weeks submaximal strength training such as yours will improve your gains.

B) Rep Ranges: Sets of 5 repetitions lead to optimal strength gains with considerable hypertrophy. However, if mass gains, e.g. hypertrophy, is your main goal, then 6-12 repetitions will give you better results while improving your strength (albeit not to the same level as 5 reptitions).
Additionally, wave loading patterns have proved very effective for improving maximal loading of the muscle, which will improve any progress you might make.
Aside from alternating higher repetitions with lower repetitions for optimal hypertrophy, using very low repetitions with maximal weights - for 1-3 repetitions - will improve neurological efficiency, which will lead to greater poundages used in a subsequent hypertrophy phase - these in turn will improve gains, considering all other factors are taken care of.

C) Workout length: Workouts kept under 60 minutes length will maximaize Testostreone levels, leading to a more anabolic environment.

D) Specific exercises recruit specific muscle fibers. After 6 weeks of hitting the same fibers in one muscle, you need to change the selection to stimulate optimal muscle fiber recruitment, and thus growth.

E) Imbalances should be adressed. If your chest is too strong in comparison its antagonist muscle groups in the upper back, further hypertrophy could be inhibitted. In the same way muscle fiber recruitment will be inhibitted to a certain degree so as to avoid injury to the shoulder area. The fewer muscle fibers recruited, the less the gains will be.

F) And finally, the MOST OBVIOUS point of em all: Diet. To get big eat big. To get big eat for performance and anabolism. Are you eating enough calories? Enough Protein? Are you sure - do you keep a journal? Whats your post workout drink like? Does it contain simple carbohydrates and Fast-absorbed Protein, such as whey isolate or hydrolisates?

There are many, MANY factors that come into play. From muscle weaknesses/imbalances, to proper workout design, to performance/hypertrophy-geared nutrition, to hormone profile, to supplementation, there’s a lot to tweak to maximize results.
Let me just note that it’s also possible your chest contains an above average proportion of slow twitch fibers, which have less potential for hypertrophy. Additionally, if you have a short shoulder-width, your pecs may simply be naturally smaller.
Longer upper arms may also be a limiting factor, since the triceps will need to do some good extra work to extend the elbows - and longer than average upper arms may become a limiting factor on properly overloading the pecs muscles, and one’s triceps would probably need to be stronger than the average individual ith shorter limbs.