T Nation

No Burn for Chest and Upper Back?

Been at this seriously for 7 weeks now and I’ve had no trouble with getting that good workout feeling burn for almost every muscle group.

With the exception of upper back and chest.

I find that on most of the chest and back exercises I’m doing (Fly’s, machine presses and such, though to be fair all machine work) my arms and shoulders are done long before I feel it in my chest and back.

Is there a better way to isolate these muscle groups or am I stuck until my arms are stronger? Should I drop the weight amount perhaps?

Kinda at a loss on this one. Everything else seems to be going so well.

How many reps are you doing and are you reaching failure on your sets? You may have to lower the weight and focus on the muscle contraction.

Pump isnt neccessary to grow…

…it just feels better than cumming is all

I always found it really difficult to feel my back and chest working for my first year of training. Learning to feel the chest working is hard to do as you normally dont have a great mind muscle connection to it.

Focus on really squeezing the muscles, and try variations such as decline benching that take your arms out of it. I think CT wrote an article about arm dominant guys where he listed variations for really isolating the big torso muslces that you might want to look into.

As a side note what kind of fly’s are you doing where your arms are a limiting factor?

Another tip, remember to keep strict and proper form throughout your lifts, this ensures your using the correct muscles for the movement, and not shifting it on to another muscle.

And when you bench or do a back exercises, try to focus in on that muscle. What i mean is when i sarted i had similar issues, what i did was literaly stared at my chest when i used to bench and do fly’s, i mean really focus in on it, and try to get that connection with it.

Can you flex your chest or back at all? if you cant try doing this aswell, so that connection gets made.

What the other guys stated above will help 2.

I’m doing 3 sets of 10 per exercise. Usually 3 exercises per muscle group. So roughly 90 reps per muscle group per day. The fly’s I’m doing are a basic machine exercise with the extension bars( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GedhLefjzak not me but best I could find). I use the same machine in reverse as a back exercise as well.

I’ll look for that article when I get home on the arm dominant guys. It’s not that my arms are stronger, but I wonder if my form is bad in that I’m using the arm muscles more than I should be.

As far as being able to flex it, chest I can, back I don’t believe so as I’ve never tried.

Intensity of contraction is THE key.

If you’ve learned how to intensely contract/flex other bodyparts, you can learn it with chest/back, and most others.

Push/pull the weight, and focus on a strong squeeze of the pecs/lats during peak contraction - for 1 second or longer. Once you’ve ‘learned’ this with moderately heavy weight, move up.

I never used to feel things working my chest that much, then one day I tried doing some push-ups before starting and I could really feel it.

Maybe try doing a bit more warmup? Dunno if that helps but it worked for me.