T Nation

Simple Chest Sessions?


For example, just 2-3 heavy 4 setted exercises. I do Flat DB bench for 4-5 sets and Incline DB bench for 4-5 sets. The soreness teh day after is pretty high (in a good way), but will this be enough for growth as long as the weights and rep ranges change around every few weeks?

I was thinking about flyes, but heard they are crap for your Rotator cuffs and shoulders. I have a home gym, but don't have cable machines etc, so any other chest exercises would be cool.

I don't think I can do decline either though as my seat does not go down as it should for such a movement. Would doing 5 sets on flat and incline be enough for growth, or not? I know it differs, but just interesting to know. I've been training for roughly 4-5 months seriously now. Thanks!


Yes the amount of sets will be enough for you to grow but not forever. Doing the same thing will not inhibit continous growth.

Try different things and you will find what works better for you.


Okay thanks. So what you are saying basically is that using those two exercises over a long period of time, the growth will slow down, but growth will still occur. So, for example, in 1 year I could still gain an inch on my chest, but using different exercises etc to shock the muscle more, I will get greater growth?


Yes some growth will still occur. But in order for muscle to grow it needs to experience a stimulus that it is not used to.

So, while you can stick with two excercises if you wish, but doing them forever will not make you grow forever(to your maximum). Which means if you keep increasing the weight(or the reps/sets or a combination) on the 2 excercises, you will of course grow somewhat but not as much as changing it up every now and then.


I use DB flat, incline, decline, and flys (incline and flat) and have never stalled. I mean... you really don't have THAT many serious options for chest. You're not going to put on a lot of size doing cable crossovers.

It's easier to put 5lbs on a barbell than 5lbs on each dumbbell, so if you stall, you could gain some strength on the barbell and get back to dumbbells.


Thanks guys, all great replies. I love this forum (no homo). But yer, I can see why Flat and Incline may not be enough exercise, but what if you varied the reps and sets every 6-8 weeks, would that not be enough to shock the muscles into even greater growth? Anyway, what would be the best third exercise to add? Flyes or decline?


There's no need to switch anything up unless your progression stalls.


I've experienced my greatest chest gains in size and strength by only doing 1-2 bench excercises at max. Usually do flat bench, alternating every 4 weeks between dumbell and barbell, and maybe do incline. Usually I do a set of incline flys instead of incline presses.

Also, for the last 3 weeks I've been doing 2 different cable flys, one with cables at low setting, next with cables at high setting, 3 sets each.

This has increased my 1RM by 3 reps in last week and my cable flys have increased 30 pounds in two weeks. Just goes to show anything can work and sometimes changing it up to something completely new will shock you. About 8 weeks from now, I'll probably ditch cable flys and go back to a lot of different presses to keep my gains going.


Cool that doing that works for you. I find when I switch I just lose strength on the other exercise.


I've never done it as I've never stalled for very long with dumbbells. I know people who use it though.


Just keep trying to up the volume! And yeah, fly's can be tough on your shoulders, but you should be trying to workout so you're balancing your force couples. Do some fly's if you want, just watch how much internal vs external rotationally dominant movmnts you're doing.

If you're not doing stuff like face pulls, good, strict, seated rows, db rows, some incline pushups with a nice hold at the top, you're setting yourself for a GIRD (and bear with me on this) Glenohumeral Internal Roatational Deficit, or something along those lines.

A lot of the questions about how much is enough, whether is be with pain or volume is a totally personal question; based on muscle fiber makeup, diet, sleep patterns, micro and macro-nutrient intake, etc, etc.

A good measure of whether it's working or not is, "are you getting stronger"? If not, you may need to modify one of the variable in that great list of things one must to to grow.


CT described an exercise I love for chest. It's an incline DB press, but you set up the bench in the cable crossover machine, and with the low pulley, hook up straps and loop them around your elbows. Or you can put them around your hands with the dumbbell, just use lighter weight.

They're great.



I am getting a dipping station so I can do my triceps on that obviously, but could someone provide a link to show me how I can do dips to target the chest also, or will dips target both the chest and the triceps always no matter what? I think i stretched out too well yesterday as my chest is barely sore today!


Post your dogs routine/diet.


Just some more stuff to put in the tool box would be neutral grip presses. Also, there's the squeeze press. You could also rotate the dumbell as you push it upward (when weight is on top of chest it's in underhand, then rotate as you push upward till your overhand grip at the top). Might want to try one or more of these variations when you start to stall.


He eats 12 cats everyday, making sure to eat a large amount of protein every 3 hours. Also has large bowl of salad in the evening - he's trying to cut! He hates cardio, so he trains HIT style as he chases his tail. 30 seconds-1min flat out, 30seconds rest.
As for weight training, he is currently following the Doggcrapp training protocol.


try squeeze press, major contraction in the chest... my fav pec exercise


I saw a guy on youtube called 'scooby' most of you have probably seen some of his videos (he's very good). I think if I did flyes doing them on a mat on the ground may be safer, ensuring better form and that the elbows do not go below parallel, recruiting the shoulders. Sounds good? That way I will have flat DB, Incline DB or flat BB/ Incline DB, and flat DB flyes.


on dips, chin tucked, elbows flared, torso back, bi's to forarms, nice and slow on descent, don't go to lockout. Don't focus on driving through wrist into tri's but fire and control with pecs.


okay, and what if I want to work my triceps, or will that movement work both my chest and triceps anyway?