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Help Growing My Pecs! Pic Attached


Hey Guys,

I know this has been covered 698,058,4927 times on these forums but I am a pretty avid reader here and really respect all of your opinions. Especially you vets and mods.

Problem I am having is over the past few years I have made progress in both size and strength with every body part with the exception of my pecs. I just cannot get them to grow and they are lagging badly. In fact, I can barely bench my own body weight at 170 and this is after like 7 years of avid training! I have tried x reps, high rep, low heavy reps, all sorts of things over the years and nothing. Many times my anterior delts get far more fried than my chest does after a workout and that's keeping shoulders back with a slight arch in my lower back. I come from a gene pool of flat chested males but I know I have more potential than this.

Right now I have been doing:
Incline DB Press x 4
Fat DB Press x 4
Decline BB Press (on Smith Machine) x 4
Finish off with a drop set or 2 of flies

I have been doing this routine for the past few months and no progress to speak of. I have tried the less is more approach by doing 3 sets of each, doing far less and just doing incline and flat, doing high volume of 6 sets each, training chest twice a week, once a week, everything leads me back to square one. As stated, my chest lifts haven't moved in probably 2 years. I've tried all kinds of cookie cutter routines online and they haven't seemed to help either and I always make sure I give each routine 2-3 months to try it. Any ideas you guys have would be greatly appreciated!

5' 7"
170 lbs
Maint Cals - 2600
Eating - 3200 Cals
I eat 2 grams/lb of protein


You're not going to like to hear this, but you simply need to grow more overall.

Your chest looks fine to me at your current level of development. You seem to have a good head on your shoulders and are training pretty hard, so I would just keep adding weight to the bar/scale and watch your chest improve as your entire body gets bigger.


Not at all. I enjoy hearing it. I'm not the typical "newb poster that already knows what they want to hear and gets upset when they don't hear it." Feel free to say whatever you feel is needed. That's why I'm on here bro. I'm flat out saying what I have been doing is obviously wrong so any feedback is much needed and respected.

I actually think my chest looks decent in that shot (go figure lol). But I can tell is is definitely under par. What would you suggest then? Just keep sticking to the big basic compounds with no real emphasis on it?


Well, it's not that you aren't putting special emphasis on it, you just don't need to do anything special just yet. Just keep crushing compound lifts (incline presses, flat presses etc) and adding in the appropriate hypertrophy work to go along with that and you'll be happy with your progress.


you can prioritize chest first, or earlier, in the week if you want.


Yeah, that's what I am doing now actually. My current split is as follows:

Mon - Chest
Tues - Legs
Wed - Back
Thurs - Off
Fri - Delts
Sat - Arms
Sun - Off

But I'm wondering if I even need to be splitting like this? I mean, I have been working out for several years so I just do different exercises and when I combine groups I tend to fatigue and can't always give my 110% blood and sweat. But maybe I need to cut some things out and split this up differently with more power/compound moves and less focus on certain groups? I don't know...


I posted my current split above. Do you think that's sufficient for my current physique? Or am I going about this all wrong and I need to be doing nothing but compounds in a totally different kind of split? Really, I want more size everywhere so this post certainly doesn't have to apply to just my pectorals.


Change something up. If this is true, "I have been doing this routine for the past few months and no progress to speak of" then you are doing something wrong or have pulled as much out of it as you can.
Have the weights gone up? Where do you currently place your chest work in your weekly routine or however you split it up?


I listed my routine in a reply above. I work it first of Mon and I have Sunday off so it's always fresh and ready to go. Honestly, my lifts for chest haven't really gone up in close to 2 years. That's another reason I know I am definitely doing something wrong. I check my ego at the door but when you weigh 170 and are maxing out on 80's by 4 on DB press it gets frustrating.


Don't give up


Hmm, well I might recommend utilizing a split that has you hitting everything twice/week since you can prob afford it at this point in training.

A traditional Push/Pull/Legs off Repeat might work well or something like Layne Norton's PHAT, or any 3 way split that you can find on the search function/in other threads.


What do you do for shoulders? Triceps?
What rep range do you use? Have you always?
If you aren't getting a lot of return on your time investment, simplify the shit out of your training.
Someone may come in here with complexity suggestions such as chains, partial reps, mystical magical tempo and complex mathematical crap, and you can try it, because it is fun, but if you aren't getting stronger, the likelihood of getting bigger is not good.
Have you considered doing a strength cycle?


What do you're other lifts look like, especially overhead press?


As to what JP said, I had been training pretty consistently (I'm a high school football player) for hypertrophy for close to a year, and i saw some pretty good progress. But after football season ended I decided that I wanted to power lift, and after following a WestSide Format for close to 1 and a half months i feel that I've seen almost as much progress in this month than the past couple. A strength cycle could be exactly what you need... it worked for me.


I will definitely check that split out. I have a lot of respect for Lane as well. If I was to utilize a split such as that what are your thoughts on the volume of work performed during each training session?


Shoulders is pretty basic. After a quick warm up it is pretty much as follows:
Standing barbell press x 4
Arnold press x 4
Behind the neck pull downs (very strict) x 4
Side lateral raises (usually performed in 5 x 5 fashion)

Triceps routine is usually:
Close grip bench x 4
Push downs x 4
French press x 4
Dips to failure

For rep ranges over the years I have tried it all over the place. Recently I am back to doing the standard 12-15, 8-10, 6-8 and then a heavy failure set at 4 or so. As soon as my reps move up, I increase the resistance weight but it doesn't happen that often.

How does that look to you?

I have actually never done a strength cycle and that has been something I have contemplated as of late. I was actually considering asking some power lifters what methods and techniques they utilize.


things arent lookin too bad. i wouldnt worry too much about it.

try pre-exhausting if you cant feel your chest working. try hammerstrength machines, they're a good change of pace and the chest variations are pretty awesome. finally, try hitting chest twice a week. maybe try a straight chest day and then do incline stuff on shoulder day.


  1. Behind the neck pulldown are not a shoulder exercise, obviously the shoulders get involved. Swap these for rear delt raises, wolfe face pulls, rear delts on peck deck
  2. Lat raises - up the reps, less weight - for me at least

You've got a good attitude, consistency is what you need with eating and training - this journey takes years for most of us


Here some some basic ones for you. It's kind of odd because they vary greatly when considering where some of them should be.

Leg press - 590 x 6 reps or so
T-bar row - 140 x 4-6 reps
DB flat bench - 80 lb dumbs x 4-5
BB curl - 120 x 6 or so
DB Shoulder press - 50 lb dumbs for 4-5

I used to keep a log with my lifts for each session but I decided to stop. I like to move around the order in which I work as to keep things fresh and not grow accustomed to a certain routine. I also like to switch between different grip positions and things and all of those factors play a role in your lift numbers so I found just knowing what numbers I am at by heart and then going by how I feel that day on that workout and on that set adding or removing weight. But I always try and better myself. I always look and focus on that next stack or that next plate and think to myself how bad I want it.

As I said earlier, I always check my ego at the door but I do know that my lifts should be much higher. More so considering I have been training hard and consistent for the past 5 years and about 7 total.


Thanks Action. I have been trying that as of late. I start off with a few sets of high reps on the pec deck and get a really good pump going and then move in from there. Incline on shoulder isn't a bad idea. It never fails that at the end of my chest routine my shoulders are pumped and sometimes feeling as if they were taking the beating the whole time even though I try and focus on keeping them out of the movement as much as possible. Perhaps move my incline to shoulder day at the end so that my shoulders are already exhausted and therefore maybe placing more emphasis on the upper pectorals?