T Nation

Lagging Chest, 3 Years of Frustration

Hey guys, I’ve been a long time lurker of T-Nation and I’ve finally decided to join because I can’t seem to find the answers to my biggest problem.

I’ve been hitting the gym for over 3 years. I am 5’10, 180 lb, 23 years old, and overall, I am very well structured. However, I have one glaring weakness and it is my lagging chest. Every portion of my body has developed very nicely. I follow a 2500 - 3500 calories per day, with lots of protein and all the good stuff.

I have tried all sorts of programs, from working out with only heavy weights to triple drop sets to 15 rep sets, etc. etc. 2 months ago, I have decided to give Christian Thibaudeau’s HSS Chest Specialization Program a shot. I have gained an inch on my chest but overall, it is still lagging far behind everything…

I follow a very strict and proper form to ensure that my chest gets a good workout. I retract my shoulder blades, force my pecs to do all the work and after every workout, my chest gets swollen and red, thus, confirming to me that I had a good workout. I even change my program once every 2 months. However, after 6 months, my chest will still be the same, which is very frustrating.

Any tips or feedbacks will be greatly appreciated.

why change every two monthS? find what works and keep doing that(with continual progression).

have you experimented with changing frequency?

Obviously something in CTs program worked for you. You have to figure out what it was.

[quote]freexing wrote:
Hey guys, I’ve been a long time lurker of T-Nation and I’ve finally decided to join because I can’t seem to find the answers to my biggest problem.

I’ve been hitting the gym for over 3 years. I am 5’10, 180 lb, 23 years old, and overall, I am very well structured.
[/quote]

I stopped reading there. You’ve been a lurker here for a long time, you’re 5’10" 180lbs and are dissatisfied with how much size you have on your chest, and you don’t already know what the answer to this question is going to be???

Hint: it’s basically going to be something that involves eating a lot more and lifting heavy things intensely.

I had a lagging chest when i tried to train it heavy and hard. Its not until i raised the volume, focused on form+ mind - muscle connection, and focused on full rom that my chest became the best part of my body.

Volume and possibly grip placement. My chest lagged behind until I widened my grip on all movements, brought my rep range above 10 at all times, and focused on the muscle contraction. I do still lift explosively though. Slow lifting doesn’t do much for me.

I had the same problem even while benching 330 lbs until I tried gironda dips. hands 32" wide on parallel bars. Chin on chest. back rounded while holding feet slightly out in front of your head. Flare out elbows as wide as possible. Focus on pulling yourself up with your chest (you’ll get what I mean after you try it). That and the guillotine press made my pecs come up better then flyes, cable crossovers, and incline, decline and flat bench which I was doing before. Now I only do guillotine press and gironda dips while throwing in another exercise every few months for variation

Pre-exhaust every set of bench pressing with plate or DB squeeze press. I did this within CT’s programming and it did more for me than anything else. Great way to develop the MMC. Even if your actual work sets on bench press are below 10-12 reps, the added volume from the pre-exhaust work will give you plenty of time to feel the pecs at work.

[quote]ElevenMag wrote:
I had the same problem even while benching 330 lbs until I tried gironda dips. hands 32" wide on parallel bars. Chin on chest. back rounded while holding feet slightly out in front of your head. Flare out elbows as wide as possible. Focus on pulling yourself up with your chest (you’ll get what I mean after you try it). That and the guillotine press made my pecs come up better then flyes, cable crossovers, and incline, decline and flat bench which I was doing before. Now I only do guillotine press and gironda dips while throwing in another exercise every few months for variation[/quote]

I really wish I had healthy shoulders to do this type of chest training (wide dips-guillotine press). My shoulders hurt just reading this.

HEAVY dips

DB Press with slow negatives and pause at bottom

HEAVY dips

Eat more

HEAVY dips

Be consistent

Did I say HEAVY dips yet?

FREEXING
have a look here ,waylander 3ead,about chest…

" Thanks again, guys.

Chest/delts/calves today

-Chest-
low Incline DB press: 60x15, 80x12, 80x12, 80x12
low incline DB fly: 40x10, 40x10, 50x10, 50x10
Incline BB press: 135x12, 185x8, 185x8, 185x6
Unilateral Decline HS: 80x10, 80x10, 80x10,80x10 (each arm)
Cable flies: 4 sets of whatever to failure. I just try to get a good squeeze and stretch on these

You’ll notice I use really “light” weights, and that works better for me. Even when I could get a few reps with 405 on BB incline and 8-10 reps with it on flat bench my chest didn’t grow because my shoulders and arms take over in a heartbeat.

Nowadays I keep my negatives very slow, get the stretch at the bottom and really make sure I feel my chest working throughout the entire movement. If you do it right, using such a low % of my max weights will still destroy you. (just don’t try this if you’re a beginner plz)

"

bench 4 plates

How long have you been at 180lbs for? your chest aint going to get any bigger unless you gain weight,so gain weight!

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
bench 4 plates[/quote]

No way, that would be too simple and proven

[quote]RePz wrote:
I had a lagging chest when i tried to train it heavy and hard. Its not until i raised the volume, focused on form+ mind - muscle connection, and focused on full rom that my chest became the best part of my body.[/quote]

You have a habit of constantly preaching AGAINST heavy weight. I am not sure why. You would be a minority i your chest LAGGED because you trained it with heavy weight. Mine grew like crazy because of it. yes, volume is necessary too…but the reason my chest stands out like it does is because I worked on getting damned strong while I got bigger.

Gained an inch in a month on CT’s program. Sounds like you’ve found what works for you. Keep doing that and come back in a few more months when it stops working.