T Nation

Chest Press Advice Requested

I am age 45, height 6ft 2inch, and have been lifting since ~2 years (with no previous experience…). Also pretty new to T-Nation.

Currents stats include:
Weight~196lb (down from 210 about a month ago)
Chest~44.5 inch
Bicep~16.5 inch
Forearm~13.75 inch
Waist~35 inch

Example current weights:
Incline dumbell press ~80lb each hand
Bench press ~242lb
Lat pull down ~220lb
Cable row ~240lb
Barbel curl ~120lb
Lying triceps ext.~100lb
Leg press ~ 500lb

My questions are:
(a) my favourite chest exercise is incline dumbell press. However, after doing my 5x 8-10reps, I cannot do so much on either a flat barbell bench press or dumbell press. And vice-versa.
In order to develop in the best way, what is the recommended sequence, or should I just alternate?

(b) I don’t know about others, but it is a bit of a challenge to get the dumbells up in the air and in position, even when trying to launch them with my knees. Does any one have any good tips on ‘getting them up’?

Thanks for any help!

I have the same issue. I normally ask bigger guys at the gym what they do and the greater part of the group I’ve asked said to switch it up

change exercises and the order of them frequently, work your shoulders and tris more. drop reps and increase weight, take more time between sets. do more compound exercises. you should put up your complete workout to get better advice (ie frequecy/sets/reps/days/rest etc). welcome aboard.

Alternation of exercises with each session is the usual method of keeping your lifts balanced.

Getting the DBs into position is always the challenge. Having two training partners to hand them to you in the ready position is the optimal solution, but I have to knee-kick 'em into position myself since I train alone.

I find swinging them up gets them there better than using the knees. Do you have access to an incline barbell setup? I’d alternate those in with the dbs. BTW, looking pretty good for only 2 years training.

Vary your exercises and I just bought a pair similar to these.

they are called power hooks.

I bought a pair of those. Not bad for people with normal sized hands. I have dinky little cat paws so I found them difficult to use once the strap is wrapped around the dumbbell, but they really do make the liftoff a lot easier and save a lot of energy.

[quote]wasBr0k3n wrote:
change exercises and the order of them frequently, work your shoulders and tris more. drop reps and increase weight, take more time between sets. do more compound exercises. you should put up your complete workout to get better advice (ie frequecy/sets/reps/days/rest etc). welcome aboard.[/quote]

My full chest work out does vary a bit in terms of exercise sequence, but as an example, what I did yesterday, all in ~50mins (so quite short rests, hi focus):

incline dumbell press: 5x8 (80,80,80,80,65)
flat dumbell press: 3x8 (80,80,65)
bench press: 2x8 (140)
pec deck m/c: 3x10 (230)
cable cross-overs: 3x10 (90-220)
incline press-ups: 3x10
ab-crunch m/c: 3x10 with 130lb
situps on floor: 3x10

Frequency: I would aim every 5 days to hit chest.
On other days, I do arms, back, legs with a similar frequency.

that seems like a lot of sets/reps to me. it will probably give you bulk and definition, but if u want more power then id drop the reps and increase the weight. i never do flat bar and flat dumb on the same day, but that is just me.

i used to have a routine chocablock with sets and reps like you. i got a good pump, but then a guy smaller than me would come in and throw up more weight.

now i do a few warm up sets and do a total of 7-8 sets for my chest workout. i only am doing 5-6 reps for those sets, but they are heavy weight - pretty much to failure each set. it is a lot easier for me to keep my focus and intensity with less sets.

using this type of routine, u will need to increase your rest period. my new routine has my chest feeling blasted - which hasnt happened in a long time - and i am moving more weight than before.

it really boils down to what your goal is - to bulk or to get more power. in some situations, u can do both simultaneously. how long have u been doing this style of routine (high reps/sets)?

your doing well for 2 years of lifting and no prior exp btw. keep up the good work.

Actually, normally I would not do flat dumbells + bar on the same day - my arms felt too knackered to to more dumbell lifts, so I dropped the weight to “finish off” from a flat pressing view.
My goal is definitely more on the bulk/size side. I cannot see me competing with the young guys throwing up big bench weights, but hey as long as I look “big” who knows outside the gym :slight_smile:
I have been using this knd of set/reps since the start 2 years ago. The general consensus I thought was higher reps (as opposed to say 5-6 were better for tall, thin guys…
I alawys feel a bit nervous about trying “new” ideas, since I do not want to waste a few months finding it is no better…