T Nation

building chest

Hi, I’m new to the forum and have a question concerning building up my chest. I know genetic factors play into whether your triceps or chest take a larger role in chest exercises and some people’s chest’s blow up like a balloon to where they have small arms and an oversized chest and the opposite as well. My triceps like to take the force of my chest exercises. Does anyone know what exercises or have an order for the chest exercises that I can do to emphasize the chest over my triceps and get my chest to catch up with my triceps? Thanks.

You could do some benching with a wider grip to get emphasis on the chest.

As well as imcorporating iso. movements such as flys. I would save these for after your regular bench work as to not effect your bench.

Dips with a forward lean put a greater emphasis on your chest.

Boy i dont know, there are so many choices.

Straight arm over head pulls.

I would say to start, begin to vary your grip on bench between normal and extra wide. This will allow some extra stimulus the the chest and stiil gibe the tri’s some work.

Hope this helps

Welcome! Ian King wrote once that if you’re a triceps bencher, take a wider grip in the bar to take out the tri’s a little.

You may also want to pre-fatigue the tri’s. Christian Thibaudeau has written about this in a recent T-mag article. Check the previous issues section.

This is a tip that I’ve heard a few times that makes your pecs do most of the work in pec exercises. When you’re lying back on the bench, roll your shoulder blades back and down. Keep them in this position throughout the exercise. This is supposed to keep your shoulders and arms from taking over the lift.

try pre fatiguing the triceps before you bench. I prefer to do heavy compound excercises like the bench and then do isolation excercises like dumbell or cable flyes. laters pk

Build a Bigger Chest in Six Weeks by Chad Waterbury

The best kept secret in bodybuilding.

Bench Press is not a chest exercise!

On barbell bench, how wide is your grip? The width of your grip will help determine how much of an impact your triceps have on your chest routine.

You lucky fucker! I have exactly the opposite prob. My pecs get big with hardly any impetus while my triceps struggle to get to a ‘decent’ size. Back before I knew about my propensity to grow on my chest I used to do incline dumbell presses, decline bench, cable crossovers and some flat fly work. Put all that into a sequence with some standard benching and your chest will get beat up by a bunch of angles and should grow pretty quickly. Avoid close grip bench stuff if you’re specifically trying to get your chest to ‘catch up’ with your tri’s as that might blow your tri’s up while you’re not looking, although from my standpoint that would be a miracle. And as I am sure others will say, “stick with basic movements, benchpress and rows to put on real size that’s balanced, and eat!” which I am sure would do the trick as well. Goodluck.

Fish is right on that one.

I focus on doing that while I’m doing inclines. As for flat bench, kicking your grip out would be my best advice.

Are you working with a partner? If so, for the last set, set your goal then get 2-3 more repetitions with he or she spotting you. You might be only working within yourself and not gaining because of it. Pushing your chest beyond it’s percieved limit will give you results. Promise.

cant add much to the good suggextions so far only to say I have a similar problem, my tris are extremely strong so I have to pre-exhaust to hit the pecs.

I have the same problem and it’s been driving me F’n crazy…I don’t know if there’s anything out there I haven’t tried! When I e-mail experts for help I get a whole range of answers, but haven’t found one to help me yet. A few people recomended massage work and chiropractic work, but I’m just a college kid tryin’ to get by and there’s no way I have the time nor, especially, the money for that!

Tom H,
The last time i checked, i felt my pecs working while i was benching.

I second Tom H’s opinion. If you want more hypertrophy in the pecs then check out Chad Waterbury’s Build A Bigger Chest In Six Weeks! It has a program centering around two exercises designed to hit the pecs more than benching, flys, crossovers, etc.

Benching aint gonna do it. READ THIS ARTICLE.

Excellent ideas. Thank you for all the feedback. My grip on the bench is index fingers on the rings. Thanks to everyone, I’ve read Christian’s article, but have forgotten some keys points. Will go back and re-read it.

FYI - here’s my routine (will be switching it up after my cycle of Tribex) - any thoughts on switching?

Bench - warm-up/3 sets 6 reps 245lbs
1 set 3reps 275lbs
DB incline press - 4 sets/6-8 reps 90lbs
Weighted Dips - 3 sets 10 reps with 70lbs added
Cable flyes - 3 sets 8 reps 100lbs

To a certain, albeit small, degree there is some truth to this article. However, there are a hell of a lot of people in the gym that have HUGE chests and its becuase of their chest exercises, including all the various forms of barbell and db movements. I for one have a big chest, 49" at 250lbs and 5’10.5". Your chest will develop when you incorporate different exercises. Which is exactly what chad does in his article, however, doing barbell, db, and cable movements all help, not to mention pushups of various degrees, flat, decline, and incline.

I second Tom H’s opinion. If you want more hypertrophy in the pecs then check out Chad Waterbury’s Build A Bigger Chest In Six Weeks! It has a program centering around two exercises designed to hit the pecs more than benching, flys, crossovers, etc.

Benching aint gonna do it. READ THIS ARTICLE.<<

The trouble I find is that I don’t have the equipment needed for the Low Pulley Press at home.


Outlawkayak, I would train upper body every 96 hours as suggested in ABBH.
Besides barbell bench press, I would suggest the db bench press described In CT’s “Violent Variations 2” and V-bar dips going up in inclined position and all the way down. As set, reps, loads I would suggest ABBH.

rderieux, I would try the slide push-up suggested in the article.

Cwick0, most people acknowledge that the bench press is primarily a Tricep builder as the Triceps role as extensors make up the bulk of the movement.

Any chest activation occurs at the bottom of the movement when the pec muscles have to rotate inward to begin pressing the bar upward but by mid way your Tris take over.

Of course you will feel a pump in your chest but bench pressing is just not the best method for pec hypertrophy. Try Chad Waterbury’s Chest Routine and you will see what I mean.