T Nation

Triceps not Chest?


#1

So the questions is. Why do my triceps hurt after certain chest exercises like incline dumbbell press and bench press and not my chest??

I usually have to stop because my triceps are feeling the burn not my chest!
Why is that, and whats a way to fix it..

My chest program involves,
Incline dumbbell press 3 sets 8 reps
Flat barbell bench 3 sets 8 reps
Incline flies 3 sets 8 reps
Pec Deck 3 sets 8 reps

By the time i get to flat bench i can feel the fatigue in the triceps and thereby prevents me from lifting more


#2

Your weakest link gets sore. your chest is strong and your triceps are weaker. My advice would be to switch the pec deck to Close grip BP


#3

i thought it wouldve been the other way around. Thought the triceps were stronger so they take most of the weight. Are you sure?


#4

Do you feel chest pressing exercises a lot in your chest?


#5

It really has little to do with one muscle group being weaker than the other. The bigger the muscle the greater its potential to become stronger. So all things equal, your pecs are a stronger muscle group than your triceps.

I think your problem has more to do with mechanics. Some people may be more chest, tricep or shoulder dominant when performing BP. Sound like you're more tricep dominant.

Try taking a wider grip whenever you perform bench press. The closer your hands are the more your triceps will get involved.

You could also try to pre exhaust your chest by starting off your routine with the pec deck.


#6

I feel it the next day my chest hurts, and during i can feel it a bit, but i usually have to stop or not do a higher weight due to the fatigue in my triceps which is frustrating


#7

What weights are you using for bench press and your main triceps lift? Talking strict form, no cheating, just to compare your chest and triceps strength.

Also, your form on DB presses could set you up for failure if you allow your triceps to take over. Keeping the weight either directly above or slightly outside the elbows is a must. If you let the weight drift to the inside, that's where you're going wrong.

Starting with either the flat bench presses or pec deck would be a good idea. If you're trying to get your bench numbers up, do that first. If you're looking to build your chest, do pec deck.


#8

Thnx jaypierce, yeh i am aiming to build my chest, not really worried about strength. And that could have been a problem with the DB, but either way it still happens when i do the flat bench first, triceps still fatigue.

Background info:
Im 20yo
6'6
102kg (224lbs)
Barbell Bench i do 3 sets 8 reps at 75kg (165lbs)
and closegrip bench i do 60kg


#9

i cant speak to BB bench because i rarely do it but for DB bench press, to stress your chest more try turning your hands slightly so that your elbows arent flaring. from your position on the bench at the top position, the dumbbells should look like this: < where the apex of that triangle is the front of the dumbbells. its a more natural hand position, you'll know when you've got it right cuz it feels really natural. i've found that this helps me stress my chest.


#10

oh, and another tip that i actually stole from bonez, ill even follow his general format for answering questions:

[insert witty insult here]
start warming up your chest really well, use the the pec deck and really flush it with blood and get it warmed up. i think he says it a pre-exhaust but i dont think he goes to failure on it, at least i dont. i just get it nice and warm and really focus on feeling the chest work. mind-muscle connection can go a long way.

further more, i'm not a huge pre-exhaust fan but if you want to do one for 2-3 weeks just to learn to use your chest, do it now while you are still a newb because you have to lighten the load a bit and its still early in the game. read some articles on pre-exhaust.


#11

Also, you're 6"6", so I suspect that your arms are kind of long. Those make long levers, which will of course cause more are involement to move the same amount of load as someone with shorter arms.


#12

It could really be either problem. When I started I definately had this problem, my tris where just weak and fatigued first, If you do triceps on a seperate day (which you probably should if they are weak) than make sure you do a heavy pressing exercise first like close grip bench press or dips.
If it is more that your are just taking over the movement with your tris then make sure you have your form right, jays advice is good.


#13

thanks dude


#14

Maybe someone else can chime in here. I'm not used to comparing full-ROM CGP to regular flat bench. I'm partial to partials for those.

Judging by the level of your lifts, I'm gonna have to say that you just need more time under the bar. Pay close attention to your form and keep adding weight. You've got good, tried-and-true lifts in your program and I don't think there's much danger of your chest lagging too far behind your triceps, so just keep plugging away and things will get better.


#15

Maybe someone else can chime in here. I'm not used to comparing full-ROM CGP to regular flat bench. I'm partial to partials for those.

Judging by the level of your lifts, I'm gonna have to say that you just need more time under the bar. Pay close attention to your form and keep adding weight. You've got good, tried-and-true lifts in your program and I don't think there's much danger of your chest lagging too far behind your triceps, so just keep plugging away and things will get better.