T Nation

Chest Development


Disclaimer: I will take anything at this point. Even if you decide to laugh at me or call me a dumbass, or point out my flaws, I appreciate the response.

Idk what to do guys. I'm trying among other things to develop my chest, but no fucking results. Whenever I work it out I hit it bilaterally and unilaterally, flat bench and incline, decline and dips. Pec-deck and even grab a couple of 10lb plates push them together in front of my chest and extend my arms while still pushing them together and holding them like that.

No. Fucking. Results. At the end of the workout my pecs are mad puffed up and "swolen" but the next day they're back to where they were before. The only "part of the pecs" that seems to be growing at least a little bit is the part where it "connects to the shoulder" (for the lack of better terms)
I know I need to hit it more often if I wanna make it look at least decent, but then 2 days after I work it out I'm so fucking sore that I can't lift my hands up up till 5 days after the workout.
I eat but I think I still don't eat enough. Currently around 3500 cal/day and upping it to 3800 soon

What Am I missing? =[


Are you gaining weight?

Are you getting stronger on your chest exercises?


use DB's, low reps(5-7), high sets(5-6) make sure you get a stretch in your chest so when you bring them down the inside of the DB's will be outside of your shoulders. Mix it up between flat and incline and try and stay away from barbells for a month to check your progress. My chest is the one thing i have never had a problem with packing on meat(not that i am anywhere near impressive)

and try and hit your chest every 4-5days

if your shoulder can take it i love incline/decline DB flies(high reps on chest day) and i do weighted pushups(45lbs) on my back/shoulder day for 2-3sets to failure.


Focus on a few key movements and get stronger in them. What do you hope to achieve by squeezing 10 pound plates and pressing them exactly?

What are your movements again? Choose them wisely if you're not able to adjust execution in any particular movement for pec emphasis.

Say, DB incline+weighted dips+HS bench/incline

As far as execution is concerned for pressing movements, make sure to puff your chest out (even if that forces you to arch a bit). This simple adjustment will jack up your chest involvement. Be warned, you may need to move some good weight in overhead movements to adjust for the reduced stimulation (for delts)......

Anyway, pick movements (important unless you're a complete beginner), decide form/execution, and progress + gain body weight.


stick to the basics...bb or db flat/incline bench ...i'd stay away from weird exercises like the plate thing you were talking about...heavy pressing exercises is where you will build size...pick 2-3 chest exercises and stick with them for a long time...train it once a week...

You don't need to do anything special...If you are not gaining weight/strength fast enough then eat more...

Just keep grinding away and over time you will see progress...When you add 50lbs to your working set/s, you will see a size increase in your chest...Stop looking for a special magical chest exercise or routine and start gritting down and lift some weight...

edit - tribunal dude posted before me...we basically said same thing almost


You're still pretty damn small dude. Work on getting your incline up to 315 for reps and by the time you get there, I bet you will either, if nothing else, A) have figured out how to make your chest grow, or B) have a big-ass fucking chest.

Pound down that food (3500 calories? c'mon..), up those various bench poundages, and it'll happen.

EDIT: the two posts above have good info.


Thanks guys. I guess I'm making it more complicated than it really is. Ugh, if I wasn't so sore for so long, that would help.

Tribunaldude- thanks for the tip on involving more chest. I almost always feel like I "bench with my shoulders" and they're even sore a lot after I bench.

Once again guys, thanks for the input.


I would strongly encourage taking a look at your rep tempo scheme.

Not long ago I started incorporating peak contractions (1s-5s) and controlled negatives (usually 2-3s) into my training for each bodypart. It has been so effective I will never, NEVER, train without using these techniques again. I posted something similar to this in the beginners thread recently. And by peaks I mean squeeze the piss out of your chest.

To give you an idea what my chest training looks like right now:

Incline DB 3-4 sets of 3-4 reps with explosive reps (normal tempo...at least normal to me)
Flat Bench Machine 3-4 sets of 5-8 reps (1s peaks) (this machine is unreal...basically a stack loaded bench that feels incredible).
Decline DB Press 3-4 sets of 8-9 reps - 2s peaks
Flat DB Fly 3 sets of 9-11 reps 2-3s negative and 2s peaks.
Cable Crossover 3 sets of 10-12 reps 2-3s peaks

I'll switch the last two movements from week to week, but the general idea remains the same. Maybe it's time under tension, maybe its slowing down causing me to focus more, maybe it's a bunch of shit...but I don't care - it works.



His profile has him listed at 160lbs at 6'1" and some of you are talking about rep ranges and tempo?


Steroids. Lots of em. Duh.

Nah, not really, but seriously.

I fixed my bench form to lift like a powerlifter, and stuck to heavy weight with 4-6 reps, and my chest has grown a lot.


More back work might help if your feeling it in your shoudlers learn how to retract and depress you scapula (shoulder blades)


So diet is the answer?


I think that was only half the point he was trying to make (although I'm sure he'll kick in and correct me if I'm wrong). I think he was trying to say that overall he needs to put on some muscle and considering his untrained nature, bring tempo and rep ranges into it is overcomplicating things unnecessarily when he needs to just keep eating and adding muscle and strength until the point where thinking about tempo and rep ranges would be more productive.

Anyway, for my part, although I do agree with this advice (if this is what he meant), if the OP is eating enough to grow everywhere but his chest then he needs to do something different for his chest. It sounds like he might be killing it with volume.

I would try sticking with fewer, harder sets rather than doing set after set after set. Try picking from these exercises, however your workout is structured:

Flat/decline/incline wide grip barbell bench press
Flat/decline/incline dumbbell bench press
Flat/decline/incline dumbbell squeeze press
Wide grip dips

And like Professor X (presumably) implied, aim to lift a heavier weight the next workout than you did the previous one.

Again, if I made any incorrect assumptions about what PX meant then I'm sure he'll correct me.


pushups to failure
every night
1-3 sets

nothing works better then HFT
for lagging bodyparts


I was wondering this too...

The guy even states in his original post that he doesn't eat enough. The solution to his problem is right there.


eat and put some lbs. on man. i consider my chest lagging...and we're the same height, and i have 60 lbs. on you.


How long have you been lifting?

Lifting consistently?

Diet in check?




I'm not about to give any advice here, but I do have a question that might help the other posters while their giving their own advice.

You say your chest is lagging, and your having a hard time with development. I see from your pictures that you've leaned out considerably. What I can't see (maybe I'm missing it) is how long you've been working on development and what measurable progress you've made in a given period of time. How long have you been working on the chest without seeing results?


HaHaHa!!! Dumbass!!! You're chest isn't lagging; you're whole body is...Hey, you said it was okay to do that in the disclaimer.

Greatly increase your muscle mass and strength. If you still feel you have a lagging chest, deal with it then.


do you squat and deadlift on a regular basis? you're eating plenty of cals IMO but are you hitting at least 240 grams of protein a day?

for chest make sure form is perfect throughout entire duration of excersise, flex your back muscles like youre holding a pencil in between your shoulder blades, arch the back and puff out your chest. Squeeze your chest muscles and don't let them loosen even once during the entire set, otherwise that set has been comprimised. Unless its real heavy, never come close to locking out elbows, keep your chest under constant tension.

Do one set of 20 at the end of your workout to fill your chest with blood. More than 1 set if your need it. (also, make sure you've eat plenty off rich foods beforehand, so your blood has plenty of nutrients.) Hope it all clicks soon.