T Nation

Strength off chest...

What are the best ways to build strength off chest? Is this mainly just a matter of building speed or are their specific exercises (Me and assist) a beginer can concetrate on like possibly: close grip bench, 1 board press, raw bench for a me day, etc.

Have you tried pressing off pins in the power rack? Set the bar so it’s just about sitting on your chest with a high arch. 2 1/2 lb plates under the bench can help dial in the height. Try pressing from a dead stop, off the pins, resting 2 sec. between all (1-3)reps. When you can press your top down weight from the bottom up, you should have no problem pressing off the chest.

I happen to like dumbells best for chest. They are a lot harder to do because of the stabilizer muscles involved. Make sure you cover all bases though; incline, flat, and decline. Close-grip bench is good, but remember to vary your grips. Some days go wide, then shift back to your regular grip. Doing these things made my bench skyrocket. Oh yeah, don’t forget to warm-up and stretch. RLTW


Could be your lats, as they help alot getting the bar off your chest. Pulldowns and barbell rows would help.
For more specific I would think dumbbell bench and cambered bar and wide grips would help.

you got the right idea and the wrong idea…your right about really working on your speed to for power off the chest…but your wrong about using all that max effort work…your best bet for building low end strength is in your assitant work…try dumbell press at all angles for 6-20 reps, shoulder presses and shoulder work, decline for maybe 5x5 for assitant work will also work…but it will only work for a while and if you spend to mucht ime down there you will loose lock out strength so it is a catch 22…dont get me wrong you can do 1 board and close grips on max effort day BUT DONT THEM ALL THE TIME TRYING TO BUILD UP YOUR LOW END STRENGTH IT WILL END UP HURTING YOU IN THE End…bm

Very wide grip BB presses as ME movement are good. Bring hands almost to the collars. If you have shoulder problems, you might want to skip these though, if your shoulders are healthy, be extra diligent with them anyway and don’t try to max out to quickly.

An easy way to vary your grips is on speed day.

Set 1 wide grip, set 2 medium grip, set 3 close grip, set 4 wide grip, and so on. Helps keep track of your sets as well.

I have the same problem. Test your T-bar or chest supported row, most likely your lats are weak and you aren’t able to keep them tight and also on the descent they aren’t able to help the chest as much as needed, so you are tiring out before you get to the chest. I was straining with 190 lb T-bar rows for sets of 5 today but I can bench 285 for 5-6 so I have a major imbalance. Test yourself and see if that’s what it is.



No I dont think its that. The last time I maxed out on bent bb rows I was doing about 205 and my bench was around 207,now its around 225-230 and I usually do rows for sets of 5 with about 165 (not near failure). But I wasn’t really asking because I feel I have a major problem, its just that as a begining westsider I think it is smart to try and build some brute chest strength just the same as building brute leg strength and wanted to get some ideas…thanks to all for the advice I appreciate it.

Is the weakness really off of your chest, or is it 4-6 inches off your chest? Just curious.

Good article by dave tate ‘Pressing Power’ Issue 180 T-mag.

Great article! Thanks!