T Nation

Overcoming flat chest problem.

I?ve been training for fifteen years, I?m 6 feet, 210 pounds, 12%BF on maintenance diet, I have wide, big rounded shoulders and very good and complete back and arms development but it seems that my chest is always flat, if you see it by the front is ok, see it by the side is awful. I tried a lot of exercises and techniques over the years with poor results. I?m resigned to poor chest muscle genetics. What can I do? Experts: What type of training do you recommend?

Give us more exercise description? What have you tried, rep and set schemes, programs,etc.?

are you talking thickness up top? try and elaborate…If so try more incline to slight incline work with varying grips…also do you do much dumbell work on the bench?

Give weighted dips a try. Worked for me.

Me Solomon Grundy

here is my best chest routine that always blasts me: incline bench press 5 reps followed immediately by 5 rep incline flyes. make sure the weight of the flyes is close to 1/2 the weight of the press or as much as you can. Do 3 supersets on the incline, 3 on flat, 3 on decline. Use 60-90 second rest between supersets. Repeat this workout every 4 days with emphasis on increasing total weight. i would suggest doing front deltoids and triceps after this workout and not having another workout for them so that your recovery ability is up to par so you can go heavy again on your chest day. The goal is to push up as much weight as you can in the press and then to isolate the pecs as much as possible with the flyes. try it and give me a hollar. laters pk

lots and lots of soy could round out your chest pretty well… :slight_smile:


Before we go any further, why do you think that your chest is flat? Flat compared to what? I am curious as to your expectations of how a chest should look.

Ok; I?ve tried barbells and dumbells both flat,incline and decline in different sets/reps schemes . It seems that barbell work tends unavoidable to hit most my front delts, so I end with a very good front delt workout instead of a chest workout specially when I?m training heavy. And yes I?m talking about overall thickness of chest muscle.

Maybe it’s a strength problem? What is your max flat BP?

Also, your shoulders and tri’s could be overpowering your pecs, may have to retrain the muscle - hard to say.

maybe you can put up a pic, for better judgement



seems to me you may be going a bit too heavy. Maybe you should focus on getting maximum stimulation insted of ego gratification.


I’m 6’1" 205 lbs and a little more bf than you after my last bulk cycle. I can empathize with you man. My smallest muscle group is my chest. My wife tells me about it constantly. I have big wide shoulders that overpower my pecs. I don’t even work them out anymore. I’ve tried dumbells, barbells, flyes, flat, incline, and decline bench at different rep/set schemes and my chest is still relatively small to the rest of me. What depresses me more is that you say you have this problem after a lot of years of lifting whereas I’ve lifted consistently for a little over 2 years. Am I resigned to this chest the rest of my life? Are there breast implant operations for men too? Or is there some way to beef up the thickness and size of my chest? It’s depressing to even talk about.


Try this: http://www.t-mag.com/nation_articles/255chest.jsp

Very different that any other chest program I’ve seen, which might be just what you flat chest guys need.

Not sure if anyone has said this yet, but I had the same problem and did not want to leave you hanging even though I had to run.

  1. inhale at the bottom of the rep and hold air in lungs until you rach the top of the rep (gives your pics a soild base to contract on)
  2. do weighted dips, (thumbs out)
  3. push ups are a great finishing movement (put feet up on a bench)
  4. switch most of your chest movements to dumbels

remember I do not claim to be a pro, just things that made a bit diff for me.

good luck

You got some good advice so far, but if all fails try www.salcalabro.com

Incline, incline, oh and did I mention incline? I hardly ever do flat bench (OMG did he just say what I thought he said?) because it really gave me hardly any development on my chest and always aggravated an old H.S. wrestling shoulder injury. I do mostly incline work and occasionaly flat bench with dumbells. Doing lots of incline work will build that chest up to your fucking chin…

I by no means claim to be an expert; but here is what has been working for me. OVT. 5 reps max effort flat bench dumbbell press immediately followed by 5 reps(8 sec. time under tension per rep) flat bench dumbbell flies for 5 sets, then 5 reps max effort weighted dips immediately followed by 5 reps pushups with similar time under tension as flies. Caloric Consumption has been at the point of maintaining weight 4 days of the week, 3 days of the week in caloric deficit and still my poundages have been progressing rapidly. Dumbbell press has gone from 95’s to 105’s in the course of 5 weeks. Also, someone posted a link to a past Waterbury article; that program was very effective for myself as well. Not so much as maximum effort gains, but with the cable movement I could definitely feel the pecs doing the work throughout the movement as opposed to tris and the anterior delts. Another little thing that I have began doing is during the transition time from the first superset movement to the second I will statically contract the pecs. Hopefully this is useful info. Justin

Geeze, I have the opposite problem. All it takes is 3 sets of bench a week and my chest blows up, but none of my other muscles particularly like growing.