T Nation

My Chest Won't Expand!


#1

hey all-
I am currently on Waterbury's get huge in a hurry mass gaining program and it's been 6months(with 1 month break in April). I went from an average weight of 146 to 168(weigh after getting up from bed).

For this site, what is considered a "good" weight at around 5'9 and 18yrs old.

My chest went from being 32.5inches to 36inches(measured from the nipple lvl and around the body not counting shoudler). Although i gained 4 inches, my before and after picture looks almost exactly the same...the only thing that seems to change is my belly size. Is it normal to not see major chances with just 4inchs? Is 4inches on the chest in 6months good growth?

In proportion to my other body parts, my chest seems to be lagging behind. I just cant seem to get it to expand...Any help would be appreciated!
My flat BPx5 is 160. I'm trying to get it way way higher.

(sorry if this post is totally dumb because I'm still "new")


#2

When you can bench 300x5 and squat 400x5 and dead lift 500x5 you will look good and be big.

For comparison, I was 5’10 at 170 pounds when I was 14, before I even touched a weight. You’ve got a ways to go, so keep on trucking.


#3

You really should have been able to gain more than 20lbs in six months. What’s your diet look like?

Keep in mind that you’re measuring around more than just your pecs. Your lats and traps are in there, too.

Define your goals. Be specific. Then research the best way to get there. Building bigger pecs and increasing your bench press are not the same goal. They take different approaches to accomplish them.


#4

JayPierce-My diet hasnt been all that consistent…I slacked off a month of mass eating due to a very busy school schedule. But now with school done, I plan to be much more consistent on my diet and workout(Previously, i havent workouted every time, skipping here and there).

But my diet is:
I dont really count the calories, but rather than grams of protein, carbs, fat, etc. I prlly take around 2500-3000 calories daily.
I usually eat 5 meals a day. Each meal is about 35g of protein, 40g carbs, some fat. Most of the meals are just pork, chicken, or fish with white rich and veggies. My pre and post workout meals are 40g protein shake and a banana. However, one or two days in the week, i wouldnt have time to eat so i just slack off and eat around 2000 calories…could one/two days of not eating alot affect my gain that much?

As for the diff approach for bigger pecs and increase BP, what should i focus on if i want to have wider chest? Thanks


#5

Work your lats and shoulders

The bigger and stronger they are the more you’ll be able to press.


#6

[quote]spacekillers wrote:
JayPierce-My diet hasnt been all that consistent…I slacked off a month of mass eating due to a very busy school schedule. But now with school done, I plan to be much more consistent on my diet and workout(Previously, i havent workouted every time, skipping here and there).

But my diet is:
I dont really count the calories, but rather than grams of protein, carbs, fat, etc. I prlly take around 2500-3000 calories daily.
I usually eat 5 meals a day. Each meal is about 35g of protein, 40g carbs, some fat. Most of the meals are just pork, chicken, or fish with white rich and veggies. My pre and post workout meals are 40g protein shake and a banana. However, one or two days in the week, i wouldnt have time to eat so i just slack off and eat around 2000 calories…could one/two days of not eating alot affect my gain that much?

As for the diff approach for bigger pecs and increase BP, what should i focus on if i want to have wider chest? Thanks[/quote]

Well, if you’re talking about your ribcage, I don’t think there’s anything you can do. But if you’re talking about your pecs, adding mass to the outer portions of the pec should help. DB bench presses and DB flyes are good for it. So is flat bench press in the 8-10 rep range.

But in all honesty you just need to get on a well-rounded program and gain 30-50lbs more muscle before worrying about specifics. I don’t know the Huge in a Hurry program, so I can’t comment on it.

Is that five meals plus the protein shakes? 35g of protien and 40g of carbs for five meals a day = 1500 cals. Quit estimating and nail that shit down. Keep a food log for a week. Measure your food if you have to. You don’t have to have a scale, measuring cups will do.

See, here’s what happens: If you don’t take in enough food, you don’t have enough energy. When you get done with your workout, you’ll feel exhausted and you’ll think you really hit it hard today. But really all you did was run out of gas. Your intensity in the gym will always be lacking if you don’t have energy to drive hard. Giving it everything you got doesn’t mean shit if you’ve got nothing left.

Trust me, I did it for years. Double your diet for the next two weeks and see. You’ll be amazed what a difference it makes in the gym. You know those days when you get done and feel like you could do the same workout all over again? I guarantee you ate more the few days prior.

BTW, I eat between 4200 and 4500 Cals on training days. 3000-3200 on non-training days. I’ve gained almost 40lbs in the last year, and my pants still fit (getting a little snug, but they fit). Don’t look at it as food, look at it as energy and building supplies.


#7

[quote]JayPierce wrote:
Well, if you’re talking about your ribcage, I don’t think there’s anything you can do. But if you’re talking about your pecs, adding mass to the outer portions of the pec should help. DB bench presses and DB flyes are good for it. So is flat bench press in the 8-10 rep range.

But in all honesty you just need to get on a well-rounded program and gain 30-50lbs more muscle before worrying about specifics. I don’t know the Huge in a Hurry program, so I can’t comment on it.

Is that five meals plus the protein shakes? 35g of protien and 40g of carbs for five meals a day = 1500 cals. Quit estimating and nail that shit down. Keep a food log for a week. Measure your food if you have to. You don’t have to have a scale, measuring cups will do.

See, here’s what happens: If you don’t take in enough food, you don’t have enough energy. When you get done with your workout, you’ll feel exhausted and you’ll think you really hit it hard today. But really all you did was run out of gas. Your intensity in the gym will always be lacking if you don’t have energy to drive hard. Giving it everything you got doesn’t mean shit if you’ve got nothing left.

Trust me, I did it for years. Double your diet for the next two weeks and see. You’ll be amazed what a difference it makes in the gym. You know those days when you get done and feel like you could do the same workout all over again? I guarantee you ate more the few days prior.

BTW, I eat between 4200 and 4500 Cals on training days. 3000-3200 on non-training days. I’ve gained almost 40lbs in the last year, and my pants still fit (getting a little snug, but they fit). Don’t look at it as food, look at it as energy and building supplies.[/quote]

x2

Get onto fitday.com or get some software like VidaOne. Track your food.

Even as it is now I would say you are not getting enough protein. Shoot for 1.5g per lb.


#8

[quote]spacekillers wrote:
hey all-
I am currently on Waterbury’s get huge in a hurry mass gaining program and it’s been 6months(with 1 month break in April). I went from an average weight of 146 to 168(weigh after getting up from bed).

For this site, what is considered a “good” weight at around 5’9 and 18yrs old. [/quote]

There is so much individual variation that there is no answer. Some 18-year olds (not many) will be 200 lb in lean condition at that height with good proportions without ever having lifted a weight. That person is starting from a quite different point. Let’s say he does start lifting but is a goof-off, trains stupidly when he does train, is careless about nutrition and has crappy results, meaning little improvement. Is that good? No, it’s crappy results.

Can we say that you have done nothing good until you’ve reached a point that would be good for him? No, that would be ridiculous.

Could we even say your results aren’t good until you’re within some modest number of pounds, in lean condition,of his starting point? That would be ridiculous as well.

A general figure cannot be specified. People vary.

That is excellent growth. The difficulty is that your starting point was at the small end of the range and so even 4 inches did not make a qualitative change of moving you into a different category. But in fact it’s a very major improvement and now you’ve caught up to what might be the starting point for many others. Building on this will be more obvious.

As mentioned also above, the size of your lats and thickness of your back also has a lot to do with chest size. Don’t neglect that. Actually the back should get about twice as much training as the chest, rather than half the training as unfortunately is so often the case.


#9

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
As mentioned also above, the size of your lats and thickness of your back also has a lot to do with chest size. Don’t neglect that. Actually the back should get about twice as much training as the chest, rather than half the training as unfortunately is so often the case.
[/quote]

really? currently I’m training everything once a week, but I was going to switch to doing chest and shoulders twice a week, with less working sets in each workout compared to back and legs (and what they’re getting right now), since they’re smaller muscle groups (or so I read)… would that be stupid? (i.e. if anything should I be training back and legs twice a week, and chest and shoulders only once? or all of them at the same frequency, as I am currently?)


#10

Dumbbell Bench Presses will work wonders for expanding your chest sideways. Also, don’t forget to pay attention to back muscles, as you will be able to lift more in bench if you have a stronger back.


#11

[quote]w00tage wrote:
Bill Roberts wrote:
As mentioned also above, the size of your lats and thickness of your back also has a lot to do with chest size. Don’t neglect that. Actually the back should get about twice as much training as the chest, rather than half the training as unfortunately is so often the case.

really? currently I’m training everything once a week, but I was going to switch to doing chest and shoulders twice a week, with less working sets in each workout compared to back and legs (and what they’re getting right now), since they’re smaller muscle groups (or so I read)… would that be stupid? (i.e. if anything should I be training back and legs twice a week, and chest and shoulders only once? or all of them at the same frequency, as I am currently?)[/quote]

I meant twice as much, not necessarily twice as often. For example two back exercises per chest exercise, or twice as many sets of the same number of exercises.

At least one back exercise should work on the motion of pulling the arms down – a chinup or pulldown type motion – and at least one on pulling the arms back, that is to say, a row.

However, on frequency, generally speaking in the earlier phases of training one does better to train bodyparts at least twice as week, with three times also often being suitable.

So no I would not cut back to only once per week for chest and shoulders at this point.

It’s possible that it’s revealing that your thought on my saying that back should be trained twice as much as chest was to figure out how you could cut your chest work in half.

Rather than thinking of how to double your back work – or whatever increase would follow – from what it is.


#12

I am currenlty working out 3 times a week(monday, wed, fri) and each workout I try to workout every body part. ex: i do DLs, squats, BPs. i try to keep it to all compound movements.


#13

Well, one general guideline that, while it certainly doesn’t have to be exact to the pound for that matter within even say 10%, is that if a person’s development is balanced he can row as much weight as he can bench, for the same reps.

If that’s the case then maybe you haven’t been neglecting the back.

But even if it is, you will likely need about twice as much back work as chest work to continue developing in proportion.

Look at it this way: there’s one muscle in the chest, the pecs. It has one basic function.

The back, in contrast, has many muscles, pulls from many angles, and the muscles have many functions.

The idea that so many less-experienced lifters have that the back needs no more work than the chest, or even not as much, is wrong.

I suppose one problem is the phrase “chest measurement.” This naturally makes a person think the chest is the key to it. While important, what really is measured is upper torso size. When the “chest measurement” is small, there’s no way the lat development is where it should be either.


#14

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
Well, one general guideline that, while it certainly doesn’t have to be exact to the pound for that matter within even say 10%, is that if a person’s development is balanced he can row as much weight as he can bench, for the same reps.
[/quote]

Yeah, I pretty much can.

The problem with doubling frequency for back is that I don’t want to compromise the integrity of my spine during squats and such on leg day, because I haven’t recovered yet. My grip gets pushed pretty hard on back day too, and since I do shrugs on shoulder day, unless I leave at least a 1 day gap, I can’t push them as hard.

It is also my understanding that smaller muscle groups can be/respond better to being trained more frequently, but the reason I asked about that specific point is that I don’t want to end up out of proportion because I"m training chest 2x as often as back - which would mean more working sets per week compared to back, but less per workout (so overall, more).

The reason I don’t double up my back work is because halfway through back day I’m usually struggling because of my grip, and usually I don’t feel like I need to do anymore.


#15

I’d recommend looking at total volume over the week – or over the number of days in the split rotation – to figure it.

However, if a person is confident his back is keeping up, and that’s objectively verified by things such as strength in the row and pullups, then very good, obviously no major correction is required though potentially training the back in the usual proportion would then result in it really standing out.

Of if it is the case that other major parts are definitely lagging behind it, a key method (IMO) in being able to bring up weaker bodyparts is being able to save work, compared to what would ordinarily be needed, elsewhere and thus have the resources to train the lagging part especially hard.

Btw, I was meaning to refer to lats/midback when referring to volume of back work. Work for these muscle groups really shouldn’t compromise squats. If so something is wrong.


#16

Pretty typical. You just need to eat more. That’s probably not what you wanted to hear but it’s the truth. I use the Huge in a hurry program and i’ve put on 15 lbs in 5 months. I probably could have added more muscle but like you my diet is not quite up to par. When I eat right my lifts and weight go up. When I eat like crap my lifts and weight go down or stay the same.

Try eating more you’ll be suprised at how big a difference it makes.


#17

[quote]w00tage wrote:
The problem with doubling frequency for back is that I don’t want to compromise the integrity of my spine during squats and such on leg day, because I haven’t recovered yet. My grip gets pushed pretty hard on back day too, and since I do shrugs on shoulder day, unless I leave at least a 1 day gap, I can’t push them as hard.

It is also my understanding that smaller muscle groups can be/respond better to being trained more frequently, but the reason I asked about that specific point is that I don’t want to end up out of proportion because I"m training chest 2x as often as back - which would mean more working sets per week compared to back, but less per workout (so overall, more).

The reason I don’t double up my back work is because halfway through back day I’m usually struggling because of my grip, and usually I don’t feel like I need to do anymore.[/quote]

If grip is holding you back you should start using straps. Don’t let something like grip limit your back strength.

In the mean time you can work grip separately at the end of session once or twice a week with some grip specific exercises if you really want to.

Here are some grip specific exercises:

You could add in one-handed deadlift as well which is great for grip:
http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2009/04/goerners-deadlift-variations-brooks.html

EDIT Heres another great grip article:


#18

[quote]Bill Roberts wrote:
I’d recommend looking at total volume over the week – or over the number of days in the split rotation – to figure it.

However, if a person is confident his back is keeping up, and that’s objectively verified by things such as strength in the row and pullups, then very good, obviously no major correction is required though potentially training the back in the usual proportion would then result in it really standing out.

Of if it is the case that other major parts are definitely lagging behind it, a key method (IMO) in being able to bring up weaker bodyparts is being able to save work, compared to what would ordinarily be needed, elsewhere and thus have the resources to train the lagging part especially hard.

Btw, I was meaning to refer to lats/midback when referring to volume of back work. Work for these muscle groups really shouldn’t compromise squats. If so something is wrong.[/quote]

Yeah, it’s because I tend to associate back day with deadlifts - it doesn’t occur to me that I could just… not do them.

No idea what I’m going to do yet - or if I’m going to even change anything. Thanks for the input.


#19

[quote]wushu_1984 wrote:
w00tage wrote:
The problem with doubling frequency for back is that I don’t want to compromise the integrity of my spine during squats and such on leg day, because I haven’t recovered yet. My grip gets pushed pretty hard on back day too, and since I do shrugs on shoulder day, unless I leave at least a 1 day gap, I can’t push them as hard.

It is also my understanding that smaller muscle groups can be/respond better to being trained more frequently, but the reason I asked about that specific point is that I don’t want to end up out of proportion because I"m training chest 2x as often as back - which would mean more working sets per week compared to back, but less per workout (so overall, more).

The reason I don’t double up my back work is because halfway through back day I’m usually struggling because of my grip, and usually I don’t feel like I need to do anymore.

If grip is holding you back you should start using straps. Don’t let something like grip limit your back strength.

In the mean time you can work grip separately at the end of session once or twice a week with some grip specific exercises if you really want to.

Here are some grip specific exercises:

You could add in one-handed deadlift as well which is great for grip:
http://ditillo2.blogspot.com/2009/04/goerners-deadlift-variations-brooks.html

EDIT Heres another great grip article:

Nah, I pretty much refuse to use straps, and other such equipment (i.e. belts). I might change my mind on that later on, but for now, I’m not using them. I have absolutely no problem with other people using equipment (I’m not a “you’re cheating” person).

Thanks for the grip articles, I’ll definitely be trying some of that stuff out and adding it to my regular routine. Not sure if I believe that Goerner stuff though, sounds kind of completely bullshit.


#20

[quote]w00tage wrote:
Bill Roberts wrote:
I’d recommend looking at total volume over the week – or over the number of days in the split rotation – to figure it.

However, if a person is confident his back is keeping up, and that’s objectively verified by things such as strength in the row and pullups, then very good, obviously no major correction is required though potentially training the back in the usual proportion would then result in it really standing out.

Of if it is the case that other major parts are definitely lagging behind it, a key method (IMO) in being able to bring up weaker bodyparts is being able to save work, compared to what would ordinarily be needed, elsewhere and thus have the resources to train the lagging part especially hard.

Btw, I was meaning to refer to lats/midback when referring to volume of back work. Work for these muscle groups really shouldn’t compromise squats. If so something is wrong.

Yeah, it’s because I tend to associate back day with deadlifts - it doesn’t occur to me that I could just… not do them.

No idea what I’m going to do yet - or if I’m going to even change anything. Thanks for the input.

[/quote]

It doesn’t have to be a matter of not doing them, but rather arranging things in a way where deadlifts still allow both your squat and lat/midback work to be done well.

Now in your case, it may well be that the lat/midback work is already taken care of sufficiently. I don’t know. But on the general matter of getting it all fitting together, the above might hopefully be helpful to someone.