T Nation

Chest Routine


Does anyone incorporate barbell and db presses in their chest routine I'm currently doing

Barbell bench
Incline barbell
Dumbell incline or hammer strength flat bench
Flat dumbell flys or incline dumbell flys I switch up every other week

Does anyone else incorporate dumbell presses or hs with barbell I don't see it alot that's why I'm asking it's usually the typical presses and a lot of fly movements


what stage are you??? if you are beginner to intermediate i think focusing on getting stronger on presses would be ideal.....you can just substitute incline press and use dumbbells every other workout if you want.


My routine used to be
Barbell press
dumbbell press
cable flyes

I did that for years until I got 405. Then, around that time I switched to more dumbbells.

I, along with many other lifters, feel that the barbell bench LIMITS progress over the long term because it locks you into that plane of movement.

I saw way more growth after I quit worrying about my bench and moved to other exercises with a focus on getting stronger.


My ideal chest exercises are whatever I can progress on for now. When I'm more advanced I may be able to spot weaknesses easier but I try and hit all the fibres through doing a standard press, deadstop press, and an incline fly variation (in my case power fly). I am toying with the idea that those focus on mainly incline work tend to have more aesthetic pecs, but if your shoulder dominent, this might actually be opposite of the case. So whatever feels like its working for you..


My chest didn't really blow up until I started training my upper chest like a separate body part.

After about two years of that, I had a top shelf on my chest.


It's definitely something worth taking in, I wouldn't like to have to play a huge amount of catch up for upper once my lower chest is "developed". I do like that incline press, and will be using it again regularly soon enough. What are your best reccomendations for upper chest PX? I'm still not too sure inclining the flyes makes a huge deal of difference, but the weights don't take much of a hit and it doesn't hurt my shoulders. Is this a case of there being some excellent HS machines for this purpose?


Hammer Strength inclines and dumbbells.

The only other movement I used to do was the smith machine press on an incline...but I don't like the feel of it anymore.

That's it. Nothing magical. Just lots of heavy weight, food and time with a huge focus on getting stronger.

I see so few on this site even coming close to a 405 bench lately. It is like some believe it is impossible.

No one builds a massive chest with baby weights.


I'd say if you don't already have a fairly well developed chest, it'd be a good idea to do two movements for upper chest with one of them definitely being incline dumbbell press (most people that don't get good results from these could fix that by tweaking their technique a bit, in my experience). Personally, for chest, I like working from an incline to a decline, essentially "hitting all the angles."

For a while, my chest routine was incline dumbbell, lo incline dumbbell, flat dumbbell, decline dumbbell with 1 set to failure for each and chest growth was GREAT. I'm obviously biased towards dumbbells (Madtitan does mostly dumbbells IIRC as well and he has the most ridiculous chest on this site) but you get the idea. Use whatever movements work best for you.

FTR early last year, my chest was a weak point.


On both of your guys advice I'm going start including incline DB work once my current chest training stagnates (going too well atm to drop), in terms of the HS machines I'm still low in strength on my compounds to justify it as my main movement, but I think the great thing about them is the fixed plane of movement would allow me to do decent HS work after my other sets and before a fly variation.

Something like:
Incline BB x 3 sets
Incline DB x 2 sets
Set of lower incline x 1 set
Set of flat x 1 set
HS incline x 2 sets
Fly variation x 3

It would be more exercises then I'm used to but could still make it <12 sets easy enough.

KB- your chest is great, mine has flared outwards with growth but still lacks upper/central thickness. Not disputing it's probably just the muscles being too small though..


I started playing around with some HS machines at this other gym, and I must say X, it's no wonder why you like them. They feel awesome.


Everyone who makes fun of me for them has a smaller chest than me.


Thanks, man. If you're doing to do incline dumbbell and incline barbell in the same workout, I'd say do incline dumbbell first and get that mmc going with some squeezes at the top of the movement then when you get to incline barbell it should be more effective at stimulating your upper chest. It's broscience, but it makes sense to me, lol.


No I do get you, probably the most impressive guy 'bodybuilding-look' wise in gym who's lean likes to do all his DB work, which is either from flat to incline or incline to flat THEN standard bench press, presumably for this reason too. When I lift at my University gym again in late September, I might set myself a goal to max out the DBs as quick as possible- they only go up to 50kg/110 but as it stands I would probably struggle with 40ks/88? The thing about that challenge is how far to take it, full DB shoulder press with 110s is pretty heavy imo.. like the sound of it though


The incline one is nice but the lateral one kinda sucks for me.


I wish I could say something but ProfX nails the subject to the wall while its still alive, screaming and bleeding.


Prof X, when you say you trained them like a seperate body part, did you have two seperate days for eart part of the chest?


Yes. One day was lower chest and triceps, the other day was upper chest alone.

It was done that way because for lower chest, I started focusing more on dips and declines, both using the triceps more.


From the chest press machines, I like the flat versions more. The incline-high-incline machines don't feel so "chesty" for me, though I love incline db presses.

I don't know what's the take on smith machine presses, they definitely hit the chest more than regular barbell bench, but I've found that they punish the shoulders too much if one is not careful. But cutting out the stabilising part and the greater feel of safety helps to focus on chest more.

I must admit, I rarely use them anymore, nowadays the smith machine is for attaching blast straps for doing chest flies...