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Having Trouble Hitting Chest

Hey guys, I’ve been having some trouble really feeling my chest workouts in my chest. Also the left side of my chest is larger than the right and it annoys the hell out of me. I’ve been using dumbells for my presses and lowered the weight, made sure I was breathing right.

I tried pre exhausting with flys and I also tried doing some tricep work before chest. If anyone has any input on this or what helps them I would really appreciate it, I’ve searched online and read other threads but nothing I do seems to help.

A few questions, what are your rep ranges, set counts, and routine EXACTLY? I use to lift in lower reps for chest, got it decently strong but it was VISIBLY smaller. These days, I lift (relatively) lighter, but with many intensity techniques that help to allow the contraction and focus of the muscle.

What is your ROM like?

When you pre-fatigue, do you really pre-fatigue? As in… keep immaculate form on the Pec Dec (shoulders tucked back, deep and wide flye range of motion,) with lighter weight for like 15-20+ reps? 3-5 sets of this? I can barely believe that doing this with good form wouldn’t FORCE you to feel the chest better when pressing.

Do you round your shoulders when benching?

this is something i struggle with as well

i would say find the movments where really feel your chest working, weather it be machines presses, smith presses, dumbell flys, cable flys, barbell press, dumbell press etc—and work the hell out of those…consequently, throw away any movements where you dont start to feel a great pump coming on within a few warmup sets.

what happens is on my right side I feel it in my shoulder and tricep towards the end of the set and it gets very frustrating to me and i stop the set when I know I’m not hitting my chest to prevent the size difference from getting worse. I used to do heavy chest all the time but I do not care so much about strength anymore, I want to grow my chest.

I read that if your shoulders and triceps are dominant the heavier weight you use the more your body calls on the dominant muscles to complete the movement so I try to do about 12-15 reps in my sets. And yes I do very strict pec dec for 3-5 sets exactly like you said to start my workouts. I then go to incline,decline,and flat bench and finish my workout off with some press machines. Not quite sure what you mean about rounding my shoulders.

How is your technique on the presses.

Do you press with your elbows in or your elbows out?
Do you press to lockout, mean you touch chest then press up until your arms are fully extended and elbows lock.

Try doing partial reps on the bench. Chest to mid range.

Do 10 reps of 10 sets with 45 seconds to a minute rest in between each set. All 10 sets on the same movement. Flat, incline or decline you choose which one you feel your chest more in now and apply that to the 10x10.

Well, first I’d probably suggest doing the inclines last if I were you (also, make sure you are using a low incline) if you tend to be a shoulder and triceps dominat bencher. Generally the higher the incline the more the deltoids become the prime movers. I’d start with flat (since you’re pre-fatiguing them with peck decks they should be plenty warm by then), then choose either a slight incline (if your upper chest needs more work), or a slight decline bench (if your lower chest needs more work).

As far as not rounding your shoulders, that is referring to the fact that your shoulder blades should remain retracted (squeezed back together behind you) and depressed throughout your bench pressing. Your shoulder blades should never be allowed to roll “forwards” or come off the bench.

[quote]curls4thegirls wrote:
Hey guys, I’ve been having some trouble really feeling my chest workouts in my chest. Also the left side of my chest is larger than the right and it annoys the hell out of me. I’ve been using dumbells for my presses and lowered the weight, made sure I was breathing right.

I tried pre exhausting with flys and I also tried doing some tricep work before chest. If anyone has any input on this or what helps them I would really appreciate it, I’ve searched online and read other threads but nothing I do seems to help.

[/quote]

Try stopping a little above the chest when weight is coming down. You may be using too much ROM and instead of stretching your chest you could be stretching your shoulders.

Between sets you should flex and stretch your pecs. Flex them during the day too. This is to develop that mind muscle connection.

As fasr as training you might benefot from moving most of your work to the cables and using the power flies for your DB stuff.

The power fly is great…stretch at the bottom like a fly but the strength of a press.

Just an example…actually what i did today

Pec deck
incline cable fly,incline cable press
incline power fly
Flat power fly
upper chest crossover

To add to the good advice given so far I think a lot of this problem is caused by a lack of mmc with your pecs.

Try to think of it from your elbows down, like anything above that point, forearms and hands, are just accessories. Imagine your arms have been chopped off at the elbow.

Just reading this back it sounds like crazy talk but I hope you understand what I mean

[quote]lemony2j wrote:
To add to the good advice given so far I think a lot of this problem is caused by a lack of mmc with your pecs.

Try to think of it from your elbows down, like anything above that point, forearms and hands, are just accessories. Imagine your arms have been chopped off at the elbow.

Just reading this back it sounds like crazy talk but I hope you understand what I mean[/quote]

shit like that totally makes a difference. Not sure why but it definitely does

Try doing Flat or Incline DB bench press one arm at a time…great exercise if you are having trouble with MMC.

That’s because it’s your own chest. Hit a pair belonging to someone else and report back.

Good advice in here so far. Lots of good tips.

One thing that I like to do as a finisher that is virtually all chest is single arm peck deck. That extra 2-4 inches of ROM you get by going single arm makes all the difference IMO.

Gets my pecs harder than a diamond in an ice storm. Feels so good.

[quote]curls4thegirls wrote:
Hey guys, I’ve been having some trouble really feeling my chest workouts in my chest. Also the left side of my chest is larger than the right and it annoys the hell out of me. I’ve been using dumbells for my presses and lowered the weight, made sure I was breathing right.

I tried pre exhausting with flys and I also tried doing some tricep work before chest. If anyone has any input on this or what helps them I would really appreciate it, I’ve searched online and read other threads but nothing I do seems to help.

[/quote]

Like many others on here, I still battle with chest symmetry. I have had much success with a lot of tips people are offering here. To add I would suggest doing pushups in front of an angled mirror and watch how your shoulders are positioned during the movement. It is easy to involve shoulders and if one pec is already lagging your shoulder may be naturally compensating. Also when using dumbbells for pressing when you lock out force your palms or thumbs, depending on ROM you use, and acually squeeze the weights together and focus on the chest contraction for a second or two before starting your next rep this will help reset your shoulder positioning.

-Builder

[quote]dmachine wrote:

[quote]curls4thegirls wrote:
Hey guys, I’ve been having some trouble really feeling my chest workouts in my chest. Also the left side of my chest is larger than the right and it annoys the hell out of me. I’ve been using dumbells for my presses and lowered the weight, made sure I was breathing right.

I tried pre exhausting with flys and I also tried doing some tricep work before chest. If anyone has any input on this or what helps them I would really appreciate it, I’ve searched online and read other threads but nothing I do seems to help.

[/quote]

Try stopping a little above the chest when weight is coming down. You may be using too much ROM and instead of stretching your chest you could be stretching your shoulders.[/quote]

If someone has a history of shoulder issues or abnormally long arms then I can understand telling them to stop short of the chest. But your understanding of biomechanics is flawed if you don’t think the pecs or being stretched at the bottom of a bench press.

Actually, many people find that only focusing on the bottom 1/2-2/3 of the ROM (from the chest up) helps them feel their chest the most.

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:

[quote]dmachine wrote:

[quote]curls4thegirls wrote:
Hey guys, I’ve been having some trouble really feeling my chest workouts in my chest. Also the left side of my chest is larger than the right and it annoys the hell out of me. I’ve been using dumbells for my presses and lowered the weight, made sure I was breathing right.

I tried pre exhausting with flys and I also tried doing some tricep work before chest. If anyone has any input on this or what helps them I would really appreciate it, I’ve searched online and read other threads but nothing I do seems to help.

[/quote]

Try stopping a little above the chest when weight is coming down. You may be using too much ROM and instead of stretching your chest you could be stretching your shoulders.[/quote]

If someone has a history of shoulder issues or abnormally long arms then I can understand telling them to stop short of the chest. But your understanding of biomechanics is flawed if you don’t think the pecs or being stretched at the bottom of a bench press.

Actually, many people find that only focusing on the bottom 1/2-2/3 of the ROM (from the chest up) helps them feel their chest the most.[/quote]

By saying stretching the shoulders instead of chest I should’ve mentioned that doesn’t mean the chest is completely out of the equation. Understand though, that some people do have a problem with too much shoulder activation at full ROM and rely heavily upon delts when pressing after fully compressed.

It was merely situational advice, and may not work for this particular user.

[quote]dmachine wrote:

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:

[quote]dmachine wrote:

[quote]curls4thegirls wrote:
Hey guys, I’ve been having some trouble really feeling my chest workouts in my chest. Also the left side of my chest is larger than the right and it annoys the hell out of me. I’ve been using dumbells for my presses and lowered the weight, made sure I was breathing right.

I tried pre exhausting with flys and I also tried doing some tricep work before chest. If anyone has any input on this or what helps them I would really appreciate it, I’ve searched online and read other threads but nothing I do seems to help.

[/quote]

Try stopping a little above the chest when weight is coming down. You may be using too much ROM and instead of stretching your chest you could be stretching your shoulders.[/quote]

If someone has a history of shoulder issues or abnormally long arms then I can understand telling them to stop short of the chest. But your understanding of biomechanics is flawed if you don’t think the pecs or being stretched at the bottom of a bench press.

Actually, many people find that only focusing on the bottom 1/2-2/3 of the ROM (from the chest up) helps them feel their chest the most.[/quote]

By saying stretching the shoulders instead of chest I should’ve mentioned that doesn’t mean the chest is completely out of the equation. Understand though, that some people do have a problem with too much shoulder activation at full ROM and rely heavily upon delts when pressing after fully compressed.

It was merely situational advice, and may not work for this particular user.
[/quote]

Fair enough, everyone is different, so I’m sure there are some people who that would apply to. Most people who I’ve heard complain of feeling the bottom a lot in the shoulders though were benching with improper form.

Give those 3 second Squeeze Presses a try. I started these during a Thib’s program here and if those don’t light up your chest, nothing will! Also, pair them with a flye or wide grip bench…you will be screaming bloody murdah!

About the 5:00 mark Ben Pakulski goes into a detailed demonstration on contracting the pecs.

I honestly wouldnt do tris that work for chest just seems like a bad idea this is why: I tried lre exhaust on my chest day, not only did it not help my chest grow, I suffered by it. Tris and delts are acccessory muscles when your pecs go first, the front delts and tris will assist in the work as back up. What I did with my chest is contraction holds with crossovers. Light weight with 2 second holds on top and bottom 3 sets about 20. Then ill do 2 sets flat or incline bench w bar only for 15-20 reps. The key with that is vary the rep tempo, some fast, some slow and and pauses. Stretching helps that mmc to me. I warm up this way usually and my chest is tight and full of blood.