T Nation

Trouble Building Pecs


Hi, I started working out my chest two years ago, but I seem to have trouble with gains. I'm 5'8 and 160lbs. I've only been training at a gym for the past 3 months. Before that, I just trained in my garage with my bench set. I don't see much pec gains besides a bit of fat...I've been watching and studying bodybuilding and following the workouts.

My friend(5'10 170lbs. with less body fat) has been doing the same routine for the same amount of time and he's got great pecs. To give you an idea of how strong he is, he's been benching no more than 155lbs. for 8 reps on his last set of flat barbell press for the past year. Could it be genetics?

Typical Chest Workout (once or twice a week, depending how I feel)

Flat Barbell Press (one 45 plate each side) 4x8
Incline Dumbbell Press (40-45lb. dumbbells)4x8
Dumbbell Flies (25lb. dumbbells) 4x10
Pec Deck or Cable Flies 4x10

Sometimes I throw in hammer strength machines...

Sometimes I switch back and forth from barbell to dumbbells when I do flat bench and incline bench, so I can "trick" the muscles so to speak. I'm not too comfortable with decline bench and rarely do it, because it strains my shoulders. I also don't do dips too much, because my triceps are too fried after 3-4 other workouts before. This has been my routine for the past two years and my pecs are still weak. I have bad lower, inner, and outer pec development. Hell...my overall pecs just suck. Every other muscle seems to be developing fine, but my pecs can't seem to grow. Could it be that my pecs look small because my midsection is wide? Could it be genetics? Could be that I'm not taking in enough protein? Lost and in need of help =/


What does your diet look like?

Are you saying you have used the same routine for 2 years and never thought about switching things up? :slight_smile:


seems as though u need a different program as far as chest. it doesn't seem to vary much and for your weight and height u should be continually pushing additional weight much more so than the 135lb 4x8.


Dude the problem is that you say "Every other muscle seems to be developing fine"... you weigh 160lbs!!! The fuck can you say that dude? Your so determined about getting pecs your losing the bigger picture. You cant just hammer the pecs and expect that just to grow and everything else to catch up at 160lbs bro...

Gain weight, keep it clean(-ish), focus on building your WHOLE body and then you Will grow? Whats hard about that? Nothing.
Your weight is holdin your growth back.


This is 100% true. But one thing that may need clarification. If everything IS growing but the pecs arent then something needs to be done about that. But I agree that this is probably a case of trying to make the pecs bigger without adding bodyweight all over.

OP if you are actually growing all over ie adding muscular bodyweight everywhere but your pecs are not growing or getting stronger than you need to change something. Where do you get sore after you train your chest? What part of your body feels taxed during the workout?