T Nation

Flyes vs Presses


#1

I've noticed a lot more chest stimulation and soreness when I do flyes instead of bench presses. Not surprising, since flyes are an isolation exercise. Just wondering what people think about a program using flyes exclusively for chest, and doing separate isolation work for tris.

Has anyone tried this? I obviously wouldn't do it permanently, but seems like it might be good for a change of pace.


#2

I get a great contraction on the pec deck but never got any growth from it :frowning:

Since i switched it for declines im noticing better strength and weight gains.


#3

I don't think anyone has built a big chest not doing a heavy compound movement.


#4

I think its a fine idea. But I would still throw in a few sets of pressing at the end.


#5

Thanks for the feedback. I've noticed my biggest gains come from switching things up, and think I'll try an isolation-heavy phase for a while.


#6

what about W presses?


#7

You might want to read up on Pre-exhaust techniques. Stu from the boards here uses them quite often and likes them. Essentially you do an isolation exercise before the compound exercise. The weight will have to be lowered on the compound obviously, but it helps to target the muscle that you use in the first exercise on the 2nd one.


#8

I'm not familiar with W presses, but I think wide grip presses would be a good fit for an isolation-heavy routine.

Lonnie, good point on doing the isolation lifts first, I'll keep that in mind.


#9

Have you considered that maybe you are "feeling" your chest work more when doing flyes then when doing presses because you get a deeper strech when doing your flyes..?

Are you keeping constant tension on the chest by not going the full way in your pressing movements?

If I do full reps on the bench I wont feel my chest working nearly as much as if I do 2/3 reps with dumbells and really focus on getting my elbows as "low" as I can and really stretch the shit out of those 2 little pecs


#10

Flyes feel better for me too, but they work like shit and I don't gain mass off them. The only reason I would do flyes is at the end of the workout to get blood flowing into my chest(or as a pre-exhaust like that one guy said). The best thing is to do a compound movement and at the top of the rep, flex your chest for a moment. You will feel it then, you may need to go down a little in weight but it works well.


#11

how does your current chest session look like and how do you plan to make it look like? If you want to focus in isolation I'd start off by doing flyes as a pre-exhaust to whatever press you like doing, so instead of doing your presses first, you'd be doing your flyes first. While this would keep the volume for presses and flyes relatively the same as before it places an emphasis on flyes


#12

Interesting that most think isolation chest exercises won't cause as much growth as lifts involving the tris. Why is that?

It's possible that greater ROM is part of the reason I feel more sore after doing flyes, but I also think part of it is from forcing the pecs to do all the work in the lift.


#13

Interesting that most think isolation chest exercises won't cause as much growth as lifts involving the tris. Why is that?

It's possible that greater ROM is part of the reason I feel more sore after doing flyes, but I also think part of it is from forcing the pecs to do all the work in the lift.


#14

I for one began to see much better chest growth withe the bulk of my routine being heavy fly movements, I still do 3 working sets of HS incline but aside from that? All flies


#15

It's because of the load involved. Flies you rarely see someone working above 160lbs total, whereas someone who can reach that top weight on flies is likely benching at the very least in the mid 300's. For a lot of people that aren't tricep dominant benchers, the overall stress placed on the chest by that larger load overcomes the increased tension you get from doing flies. At least, that's my interpretation of it. (by this argument, tricep dominant benchers likely would get a lot more growth out of fly motions than heavy presses)

It's somewhat like leg extensions vs squats. Most people, unless their glutes, hips, or hamstrings take the brunt of the load when they squat, are going to get a lot better quad growth off squats than leg extensions.


#16

Load, simple as that. How heavy can you go on flyes? Not nearly as heavy as bench, obviously. Muscle needs heavy loads to grow, which is why you'll never find a bodybuilder who's built a huge chest by doing flyes.


#17

It depends solely on the person. If pressing doesnt hit the pecs well it doesnt matter how strong your bench gets.

Mind muscle connection is more important than the weight used


#18

I think flies can be > pressing for chest development especially if the person is a shoulder/tri dominant presser. I feel like they help a lot with mind muscle connection as well.

Can we let the theory of more weight = better exercise die for bodybuilding.


#19

Wouldn't it be better for a shoulder/tri's dominant presser to find ways to become more chest dominant at pressing first?


#20

x2