T Nation

Chest

I’ve been doing only flat bench pressing mostly for 2 years, and recently added dips. My friend says I should add flyes to “stretch” the muscle so I have a wider chest but anatomically it doesn’t seem to make sense to me.

He also recommends 3-4 chest exercises and I have only been doing one so far with 5x5. I do however get most growth in front delts and lower chest, any advice how I can change this aesthetically. Can I get a bullshit call on his advice, thanks in advance.

PS: only got access to freeweights.

[quote]ill wrote:
I’ve been doing only flat bench pressing mostly for 2 years, and recently added dips. My friend says I should add flyes to “stretch” the muscle so I have a wider chest but anatomically it doesn’t seem to make sense to me.

He also recommends 3-4 chest exercises and I have only been doing one so far with 5x5. I do however get most growth in front delts and lower chest, any advice how I can change this aesthetically. Can I get a bullshit call on his advice, thanks in advance.

PS: only got access to freeweights.[/quote]

Your daily volume must be in concert with your weekly volume. In other words, how often per week do you hit chest? This will determine how many sets/reps you should be performing.

Front delts usually can be addressed with proper form. Tight arch, shoulders blades pinched, shoulder width or slightly narrower or wider depending on anatomical structure–should put the focus on the chest.

There is nothing wrong with flyes. I don’t know about the ‘stretch’ but I do some type of flye once a week or so. And I am in a 3x a week routine right now. I prefer the cable version. Take a pronated grip and keep your arms slightly bent-but barely-now focus on touching your elbows. Bring the weights to center, squeeze do again.

It’s definitely time to switch things up if all you’ve been doing is the flat bench press for 5x5 for the past two years.

If you want to get stronger in the bench press, the real secret is to bench more!

If you are looking to develop your chest (asthetically), then you will want to use 2-4 exercises for 2-4 sets of various rep ranges to target the entire chest.

Look up some of Christian Thibaudeau’s articles (Bulk Up, Cut Up and his Chest specialization program) for some ideas on how to incorporate more movements and various rep ranges into your training program.

Maybe this will help you.

[quote]Ian King Wrote:

Bench Press: Dumbbells vs. Barbell

I’ve been using dumbbells almost exclusively for about a year for the bench press for lack of a training partner. Now I have one and my barbell bench press sucks! I can rep hundred pound dumbbells with no problem but with a bar I’m lifting like a girl. What’s up with this? Did I screw myself up by using dumbbells too much? I thought they would be better because of greater range of motion. Any advice?

The bilateral (bar bench press) and semi-unilateral (dumbbell bench press) lifts can be significantly different in their adaptation as you’re finding out! One of the many difference is the line of movement. Dumbbell bench pressing tends to have a narrower line of pressing. It allows you to rely more on your triceps. If you’ve been doing this, you may have lost a bit of pec strength and size. Unless you’re benching with a grip that’s similar to this line of movement, this may explain why you’re struggling.

If this is the case, you aren’t alone. Many with superior tricep strength fall into a trap by using the closer grip bench press too often during their training year. In fact, some even use it as their primary lift! It certainly builds great triceps, and you can develop quite impressive stats this way (arm circumference and load lifted), but I feel it’s not the best for chest development.

To balance chest development, I believe you need to spend as much time with an extra wide grip as you do with the extra narrow grips, which is where wide grip benching and cambered bar benching come in (don’t go wide grip on a cambered bar though!) Those with strength in close need humility to train bench with a wider grip, which is often absent!

If I’m on the money, you have nothing to be egotistical about in the bar bench anyway, so go wide. Over a number of stages, bring the grip width back. In fact, in the beginning use dumbbell flyes as a pre-fatigue to your wide grip bench pressing.[/quote]

http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=189metal2

[quote]Nate Dogg wrote:
It’s definitely time to switch things up if all you’ve been doing is the flat bench press for 5x5 for the past two years.

If you want to get stronger in the bench press, the real secret is to bench more!

If you are looking to develop your chest (asthetically), then you will want to use 2-4 exercises for 2-4 sets of various rep ranges to target the entire chest.

Look up some of Christian Thibaudeau’s articles (Bulk Up, Cut Up and his Chest specialization program) for some ideas on how to incorporate more movements and various rep ranges into your training program.[/quote]

The thing is I have off atm for 3 months and can train as much as possible. I have read very many conflicting books, articles etc, that I am confused what would give most strength. 3-4-5-6-7-8 times benching a week? I’ve heard theories for them all.

Aesthetics come second to strength for me. What program is recommendable (that also might target my lagging upper chest)?

21 6"2
1rm benchpress 210
1rm military 165
12 dips @ weight 230

I am pretty sure I bench correctly (had some oldtimers look at form). I do have long arms though.

[quote]ill wrote:
Nate Dogg wrote:
It’s definitely time to switch things up if all you’ve been doing is the flat bench press for 5x5 for the past two years.

If you want to get stronger in the bench press, the real secret is to bench more!

If you are looking to develop your chest (asthetically), then you will want to use 2-4 exercises for 2-4 sets of various rep ranges to target the entire chest.

Look up some of Christian Thibaudeau’s articles (Bulk Up, Cut Up and his Chest specialization program) for some ideas on how to incorporate more movements and various rep ranges into your training program.

The thing is I have off atm for 3 months and can train as much as possible. I have read very many conflicting books, articles etc, that I am confused what would give most strength. 3-4-5-6-7-8 times benching a week? I’ve heard theories for them all.

Aesthetics come second to strength for me. What program is recommendable (that also might target my lagging upper chest)?

21 6"2
1rm benchpress 210
1rm military 165
12 dips @ weight 230

I am pretty sure I bench correctly (had some oldtimers look at form). I do have long arms though.[/quote]

There is NO magic number. Get off the magic number carpet ride. Bench more weight. Bench more volume. Upper chest?–use incline pressing. Why waste your time doing 12 dips? Add some weight. You want to get stronger right?

Progressively overload your muscles. Eat. Sleep. Progressively overload your muscles. Use speed lift techniques. Geez this ain’t really rocket science. To get stronger you have to lift more weight more times.

[quote]sasquatch wrote:
There is NO magic number. Get off the magic number carpet ride. Bench more weight. Bench more volume. Upper chest?–use incline pressing. Why waste your time doing 12 dips? Add some weight. You want to get stronger right?

Progressively overload your muscles. Eat. Sleep. Progressively overload your muscles. Use speed lift techniques. Geez this ain’t really rocket science. To get stronger you have to lift more weight more times.[/quote]

Relax I have been training like that for 2 years now. Everything is going fine except for chest. Nothing wrong with changing routines and listening to what people have to say with more experience, considering my chest progress hasn’t exactly been great.

ive been struggling with 50lb dbs and i rep with 80lb dbs so i have taken 2 weeks of lifting off.so dont progressively add more weight too often.

I would use dbs,i love them.I can’t really feel it in my chest until the 3rd set on a bar,with dbs i feel it after one.you could also fatigue your triceps before hand to see if they are doing most of the work

This sorta fits in here:

What are your guys db/bb numbers respectivly?

I can take the 100’s for about 10reps.

I can bench 225 for around 10.

Do you think 100lbs dbs = 225lbs bench?

If strength is your main goal then I wouldn’t waste time on flies. Keep the bench as the core of your training and add a few sets of incline dumbbell or barbell presses as assistance work.

Keep the reps under 6 most of the time and start thinking of 8 reps as a high rep day if your serious about maximizing strength.

Dips are a great exercise especially for triceps but if you want to maximize strength while using bench press as your main lift I wouldn’t use them.

Inclines will add more carry over as an assistance lift and for triceps heavy board presses, ground presses, or bench presses in a power rack that limits the range of motion to the top few inches are better for the same reason.