T Nation

Losing Chest Size

I’m gonna take a lot of shit for this, but fuck it. My lower chest far exceeds my upper chest, kinda like titties, and since summer is coming up, I’m in the middle of a cutting phase, so just building the upper chest is out of the question. So how can I detrain or overtrain the lower chest without sacrificing too much tricep or anterior delt muscle? Larger muscles requires more recovery time, so could I use bench and decline to blast my chest without overtraining my tri’s and delts? Also, how much work does it take to overtrain?

A lot of people always throw a shit-fit when someone wants to lose muscle. I’ll get several dumbass responses like “why don’t you just cut off your legs, that’ll get rid of some muscle.” But the bottom line is I don’t like the way I look. I want a leaner look.

Sorry for rambling on, but I’ve heard some boxers and MMA athletes get their asses chewed for this, so I’m sure I’ll take some heat as well.

Why don’t you just do all incline stuff (barbell, DB’s) and ignore the flat-bench? Maybe stay away from dips, 'cause it’s pretty easy to accidentally involve the lower pecs with those. I wouldn’t advise trying to do anything special to shed the muscle on your lower pecs, I’d say just bring the upper pecs up with excellent heavy training and a good diet. An exercise that has worked wonders for me is the incline DB press with the palms facing each other like a hammer curl. I used to have NO upper chest development until I started doing those religiously. After a couple of months of those, and getting a ton of protein in my diet, I would say that my upper chest is dramatically better. The girlies think so too. :slight_smile:

I have to second Lothario.

Also, for some of us, the lower pecs are just much more suited to growing. I have never trained decline movements, and my lower pecs are still probably a little too large. I think if you tried to overtrain your lower pecs, by doing tons of decline work, you would run the risk of just making your lower pecs even bigger. Even if you went on an incredibly low calorie diet, so that you could not build muscle, your body might decide that with all the work the lower pecs are getting, that will be the one muscle it will try to reserve.

Finally, maybe I have just not overtrained enough, but I have never noticed a muscle getting smaller from over training–they just do not get bigger and they might temporarily get a little weaker (later, when you rest them more, they sometimes get much, much bigger).

You might also try doing standing military presses, with a moderate lean back, before inclines.

There is no such thing as “lower pecs”. You have your pectoralis major and minor. The major is the one “above” the minor (above meaning that it is closer to the skin, not further from your feet). Your pecs are not like your biceps, which have two heads, or triceps with three heads. It is just one muscle for each part (one left major, one left minor, one right major, one right minor). They do not break down into smaller muscles which are upper and lower.

If you don’t believe me, check any anatomy chart.

I wondered when someone was going to point that out.

so if its impossible to train different parts of your chest why do they make incline and decline benches? i say stick to heavy incline movements, i had the same problem and lts pretty simple to fix. i don’t buy into the whole ‘its all the same muscle’ bs

Do you then think that training declines, for example, does not build more of that part of one’s chest which is closer to the feet. Regardless of the anatomy behind it, there seems to be pretty good empirical evidence that some exercises train the “lower” pecs.

Thanks for the replies. I’ll have to try palms-facing DB Inclines. But is it possible to fill out my upper chest while on a cutting phase? I’m getting 1 gram of protein per pound now, doing 5 x 5 and sprints/stairs. Can I bump up the protien intake to help my chest grow without messing up my fat loss?

And Floobadoo, I’m like you, I rarely train lower chest, but its always been one of my better parts.

I see 2 options: follow what was suggested and only do incline movements- and I would suggest to do them using a hypertrophy rep range/method


I would stop heavy chest pressing movements and sub them with push ups supersetted with light incline presses or incline flyes.

Or you could pre-fatigue w/ the light presses/flyes and then do pushups.

Either way, you’ll just have to experiment.