T Nation

Chest Thickness


Okay, now I'm a powerlifter/football player, but I also enjoy looking pretty good. Anyways, I've noticed that my chest is a bit lacking thickness compared to some other parts of my body. So I was wondering what I could do to fix that? Should I switch up some exercises? Really, the only chest exercises I do are flat and incline DB bench. Should I start doing some flyes or dips as well? Thanks in advance.



I don't think this is as much a matter of exercise selection as much as it is a matter of diet.


Well, here's what my diet looks like.

Between 4,500-5,000 calories
200-250g Protein
400-500g Carbs
100-150g Fat

I know, it's fairly wide open. It just depends on what's going on the day and whenever I get to eat. I know my carbs are probably way too high. Correct?


If your actively playing football I don't think your carbs are too high.

You need to increase your protein. Make that 200-250 into a 275-300.


Thanks, man. Adding another 25-50g shouldn't be too hard. Thanks again!



i think it's a time thing, as well as finding what your body responds to. my chest has been a weak bodypart of mine for awhile, but i've really been hammering away with it and changed up my exercise selection and have made improvement


I've noticed my best chest development has come after dropping bench from my routine and adding more incline DB/HS movements focusing on the upper chest, some sort of fly for the inner chest and an extremely wide grip movement to focus on the outer chest.


I always focus on getting stronger in all rep ranges from 1-3 to 12+ on both the flat bench and incline bench. It's pretty much foolproof as long as I'm eating well enough. I also recommend that you give heavy floor presses with pauses a try. I also bench or do one of its variations 2-3 times a week.


Guillotines are a great movement, slow and stopping at the bottom (i do these always in a smith cage to ensure i feel safe about bringing the bar down and damn near touching my neck), Full rom DB flys, where you hit parallel/sub parallel to the floor while stopping prior to reaching Arms perpendicular to the floor, And Dips.



OP, you mentioned that you are a powerlifter. It is generally accepted that the powerlifting-style bench press is not optimal if what you are after is pec hypertrophy. I myself have recently incorporated bodybuilding-style benching into my workouts and have found that this has improved my pecs. This, as you probably know, involves using lighter weight, higher reps, no arch, no leg drive, and bringing the bar to mid chest - basically making your pecs do the lifting. I also don't lock out at the top in order to keep constant tension on my pecs. Of course, this is assuming that you don't have shoulder issues. I personally find that as long as I don't grip the bar too wide when I bench this way my shoulders are OK.


Yeah, I know exactly what you mean with PL style benching. It's mostly my triceps and my lats doing the work, so yes, it isn't the best for getting better pecs. I will probably end up doing what you have done, that is, incorporating bodybuilding-style benching. Thanks for your suggestions everybody.



All the best Luke!


How much do you weigh and how strong are you? A lot of "thickness" issues are fixed quite readily by getting much more muscular. If you add 100 pounds to your bench-for-reps I predict much of the thickness issue going away.


I'm between 180-185 lbs and my best bench is 260 touch 'n go. I'm 16 as well.



Right, so when you are 23, weigh a solid 215-220 and are repping 345 your chest will be significantly thicker. There is a reason you dont see 16 (or 26) year olds winning the Mr. Olympia or just generally sporting thick musculature - This game is all about consistency, progression, and TIME.


Well I'm obviously not going to have a chest like Mr. O, but ya know, just a little more thickness is all. I'm not trying to become something I can't at this age, just looking for a little boost.



Pretty sure you missed his point if that was your response.


Sounds like something a dude said to me in the gym one day...

"I see you bustin' your ass day in, day out man. Let me know if you need a little boost... I'll give ya some juice,"


Unfortunately, there will never be a quick fix. It sounds like chest isn't a dominant muscle group for you, regardless.

Keep hammering away on the heavy bench pressing initially; keep getting stronger. You're doing well for 16. Do two exercises with as many sets as you can do while still recovering on time that directly hit your chest. Don't worry about numbers initially, find out what exercises you can progress well on while actually stimulating the chest. Whether this is incline DB and flyes, just variations of different presses, whatever. You just have to find out what works best for you, none of us can tell you that.


Decline DB press, Incline BB press, and weighted Dips in that order have been making a difference for me in overall chest development.