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Chest Just Wont Keep Up???

Hey guys. So I am a newbie when it comes to lifitng. I have lifted many times in the past, but this is my first time that I have consistently stuck to a program, accompanied with a proper diet.

I’m 6 foot even, 155lbs. with 11% body fat. My Diet is in check (about 3500 calories everyday, lifting and rest days). I have been following CW’s “Big Boy Basics” program to a T. I missed only two workouts in the past 5 weeks. And that was done on purpose (I will explain later on).

So here’s my question. In these past 5 or 6 weeks I’ve been eating and lifting, I have gained about 10 pounds and my progress is amazing. Amazing in every muscle group except the chest. Every exercise he has me doing has improved dramatically. Legs, shoulders, arms, back, etc. So I’m wondering why my chest just inst going anywhere. I started my bench with 125 and struggled on my first day. (I know thats not much, but thats my reason for coming to the site.) Now for the past 3 weeks I have been stuck at 145 /155. I can get 155 for my first 5 sets, then I just completely fail. So I drop it to 145 and struggle on the last 3 sets. So I thought Id stick to 145 and get that down perfectly. SO last week I did 145, with no spot for 9 sets instead of 8. So that means that I should be able to bump the weight up a bit, but last night i tried 155 again, and it just wouldn’t go up.

So whats going on here. Everything else is amazing me, but my chest just wont go anywhere.

Back to taking my two days off. I took my last two lifting days off last week in hopes that the extra rest might get me somewhere. But it did not. Please help. Thank you.

Hey man. I’ve got more or less the same issue. You might want to see if any of the advice works for you that I got. I haven’t tried it yet (tomorrow night will be the first) so I can’t tell you what worked, but it might spark some ideas for you.

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1369974

[quote]double_a wrote:
Hey guys. So I am a newbie when it comes to lifitng. I have lifted many times in the past, but this is my first time that I have consistently stuck to a program, accompanied with a proper diet.

I’m 6 foot even, 155lbs. with 11% body fat. My Diet is in check (about 3500 calories everyday, lifting and rest days). I have been following CW’s “Big Boy Basics” program to a T. I missed only two workouts in the past 5 weeks. And that was done on purpose (I will explain later on).

So here’s my question. In these past 5 or 6 weeks I’ve been eating and lifting, I have gained about 10 pounds and my progress is amazing. Amazing in every muscle group except the chest. Every exercise he has me doing has improved dramatically. Legs, shoulders, arms, back, etc. So I’m wondering why my chest just inst going anywhere. I started my bench with 125 and struggled on my first day. (I know thats not much, but thats my reason for coming to the site.) Now for the past 3 weeks I have been stuck at 145 /155. I can get 155 for my first 5 sets, then I just completely fail. So I drop it to 145 and struggle on the last 3 sets. So I thought Id stick to 145 and get that down perfectly. SO last week I did 145, with no spot for 9 sets instead of 8. So that means that I should be able to bump the weight up a bit, but last night i tried 155 again, and it just wouldn’t go up.

So whats going on here. Everything else is amazing me, but my chest just wont go anywhere.

Back to taking my two days off. I took my last two lifting days off last week in hopes that the extra rest might get me somewhere. But it did not. Please help. Thank you.[/quote]

This might not be an option but most gyms have 2.5 lb plates for a reason…

Try 150 for a while; ten pounds is big jump when your bench is still that low.

If you don’t have 2.5 plates, make some out of chain or something. Incrementalize, my friend.

If your chest isn’t “keeping up” chances are it’s not your chest that is the problem. Take a look at your technique. Here is just one link with an idea.

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=983174

It could also be you need to increase your overall musculature in order to bench more. Sounds obvious, but to some it isn’t.

Also- are you starting your routine with chest or does it fall somewhere in the middle?

How long have you been lifting? It sounds like you might be confusing your first plateau/stagnation with the fact that there is something wrong with your chest. You need to mix up your set-rep schemes and use dumbells for a bit. You also of course want to make sure your form is fine.

I dunno I think that 10 and 5 weeks is a little early to be worried. Stay at it for 6 months or so then start looking at other options if your chest isn’t progressing.

On a side note, even though I train most for performance these days when I am trying to gain size I typically don’t use the bench as I primarily use my triceps when benching. Instead I’ll go with heavy dumbell presses or even something like a hammer strength pressing machine…

So to sum in all up keep benching for a while and if your not progressing them think about switching it. 5 weeks really isn’t that long in the overall scheme of things.

First off, I would worry more about one muscle’s progress after gaining about 30-40 more pounds.

that said, I’ve definately had spots like this where a lift will stagnate. As some have said before, switching it up and using dumbells instead will benefit, and of course, remember to switch up your reps. do something like 4x6 one week, 3x8 the next, and don’t forget to throw in 2, 3, 4 reps in occasionally to see where you are at. Its a marathon, not a sprint.

Thank you guys for the responses.

Well I’m not sure if you guys have ever checked out the Big Boy Basics program, but it switches up your rep/set scheme, and it also uses an incline dumbell press. So I know im getting a good mix there. Im just very unsure as to why my squats, pullups, rows, shoulder presses, etc have gone up soo much in comparison to both chest exercises.

I believe my bench is done with proper form. When I lift, my spotter is a very experienced lifter/director of the YMCA i lift/work at. ANd I’m sure he’d let me know if Im screwing up something.

Im not so worried, its just that compared to everything else, there has been little to no gain with my chest. Im kinda shocked I guess.

As far as working my chest and not just my triceps, that is possible. My triceps are fairly strong for my size, but I was aware of that before, and I try to imagine benching like doing flys - pulling my arms together.

Just to give you an idea of the difference in gains here.

I started out at 125 for 8 sets of 3 on bench and Im now struggling with 155 for the same set/rep scheme. I started with 135 with squats, and im now at 225 for 3 sets of 8. I know legs are a much larger muscle, but these numbers, and visible size difference in muscles are way of to me.

I have 3 weeks left of Big Boy Basics, does anyone have any suggestions on where I should go from there, to try and build up my chest a bit more?

Thanks again.

Its not a relevant comparison, to compare the bench and the squat. I know what your getting at but the squat is much more difficult movement, so once you get more accustomed to doing the movement its going to be alot easier to add weight.

Your early difficulty when squatting may very well have been just because it takes a while to get to used to a certain movement pattern. Just give it some time. Keep training for atleast a few more months and if the problems persist then come back and we’ll see what we can do…

Btw I would go to ABBH or TBT from Big Boy Basics

Yea, ABBH was gonna be next, just thought Id ask. I think, I will continue to do as suggested (lift for another couple months), and then reevaluate the situation.

Thanks for the advice guys.

By the way. I lift at two different Y’s and I didnt see the 2 1/2lbers before, at the one I lift at most of the time . However, tonight I looked for them, and found them.

You may also want to try Thibs Chest Specialization program.