T Nation

Increasing Chest Strength

Hi everyone,
I was reading the article about releasing your brakes and the part about the chest strength vs triceps strength applies to me. My triceps are stronger than my chest (I can go heavier on board presses relative to regular bench) and its taking away from my bench ability. The article doesn’t say how to fix this particular problem. What is the best way to get chest strength up? Pushup variations? or just keep benching?

You should always be able to board press more than regular bench. That’s likely why no one else has replied. A board press has a smaller ROM. As far as tricep dominance, It won’t hurt your benching, it will just make it so your chest does less work. If that’s what you’re worried about, do an exercise to pre-exhaust your triceps so that your chest will take more of the load. hope that helps.

Do you bench with elbows in or flared out?

Try pre-exhausting the triceps before benching.

if you flare your elbows on a bench press, you will be forced to use more pec then tri/delt.

Bench with a wide grip in order to minimize triceps and delt load. Keep back flat on bench when benching and work on strict from. Lower amount of weight being used (even if ego says no) and build benching weight back in this manner. Also, switch up with deep stretch dumbbell work on both flat and incline.

D

Press off the pins (have them an inch or two off the chest, but you can use PL setup with a little less arch and should to save your shoulders and bi tendons… You can stay lower on the traps than usual, perhaps, and keep the elbows in a more flared-out position… Doesn’t have to be 90 deg though.) from a dead stop each rep.

thanks guys. i bench elbows in, so ill give flared-out a shot. i was going to start benching off pins just above the chest as well. mix that with a wide grip and i think i should be ok. thanks again!

I know it’s a pain in the ass, but working out the smaller muscles in your shoulders (rotator, ac, etc.) can really help you bust through both chest and shoulder plateaus, not to mention save you from injury. They were tedious for me, but made a huge difference, try it.

[quote]WestCoast7 wrote:
I know it’s a pain in the ass, but working out the smaller muscles in your shoulders (rotator, ac, etc.) can really help you bust through both chest and shoulder plateaus, not to mention save you from injury. They were tedious for me, but made a huge difference, try it.[/quote]

cool thanks. i have had some shoulder issues in the past but i started seeing a physio for it and they are slowly getting better (push press shot up just after three weeks of shoulder rehab). I find YTLW’s are good for warming up the entire shoulder girdle as well. Any other suggestions for those smaller muscles?

Have you tryed benching the way that was in the T-Nation video with Dave Tate? The one were he talks about when you bring the weight down you keep elbows in and when going up your Flare out? I have been benching like that for sometime and its worked wonders

[quote]optheta wrote:
Have you tryed benching the way that was in the T-Nation video with Dave Tate? The one were he talks about when you bring the weight down you keep elbows in and when going up your Flare out? I have been benching like that for sometime and its worked wonders[/quote]

Good to hear. i’ll give it a shot next week

My 2 cents …

The most logical approach given my own personal experiences was such that speed work, rack lock-outs, 2 & 3 inch board press and 1r max’s all contributed to a greater loading tolerance relative to my chest.

In short, I simply copied what power lifters would do. I believe power lifting technique works wonders towards increasing lifts.

I also prefer to come in with my elbows towards my lats. Feels tighter, as if I can explode on the bar more so.

It’s all been done I’m sure.

Best of luck.

My bench sucked royally - you know what worked for me?

NOT doing it.

Honestly, give it a rest while bringing up your presses in the other exercises and when you return you will have improved.

Do this 3x over the next year and you will have added a significant amount of weight to the lift.

[quote]J-J wrote:
My bench sucked royally - you know what worked for me?

NOT doing it.

Honestly, give it a rest while bringing up your presses in the other exercises and when you return you will have improved.

Do this 3x over the next year and you will have added a significant amount of weight to the lift.[/quote]

I wanted to focus on my military press so I guess this is a good reason and time to start!

Thanks :smiley:

[quote]optheta wrote:
Have you tryed benching the way that was in the T-Nation video with Dave Tate? The one were he talks about when you bring the weight down you keep elbows in and when going up your Flare out? I have been benching like that for sometime and its worked wonders[/quote]

That form really isn’t meant for benching for reps.

[quote]Josh Rider wrote:
That form really isn’t meant for benching for reps.[/quote]

And why is that? I always flat bench with that form.

[quote]TK52 wrote:
J-J wrote:
My bench sucked royally - you know what worked for me?

NOT doing it.

Honestly, give it a rest while bringing up your presses in the other exercises and when you return you will have improved.

Do this 3x over the next year and you will have added a significant amount of weight to the lift.

I wanted to focus on my military press so I guess this is a good reason and time to start!

Thanks :smiley:
[/quote]

No…

I didn’t mean you stop training your chest. You drop the exercise you want to improve and continue to train the muscle group with other moves, cycling in the lift you want to progress in.

[quote]Josh Rider wrote:
optheta wrote:
Have you tryed benching the way that was in the T-Nation video with Dave Tate? The one were he talks about when you bring the weight down you keep elbows in and when going up your Flare out? I have been benching like that for sometime and its worked wonders

That form really isn’t meant for benching for reps.[/quote]

No one expects you to be able to stay super-tight when doing a set of 10 that way. So what? It’s still infinitely nicer on the shoulders than the regular scare-crow thing.

And if you pay a little more attention to your scapulae while doing back work, you may even be able to stay pretty tight throughout a mid to high rep set.