T Nation

Upper Chest Lagging?

It seems like I have tits rather than pecs sometimes because i have more mass in my lower pecs.

Strength is about the same, 90lbs dumbbells for reps on both flat and incline bench.

Anybody else have this problem? Is it a common thing?

[quote]hit the gym wrote:
It seems like I have tits rather than pecs sometimes because i have more mass in my lower pecs.

Strength is about the same, 90lbs dumbbells for reps on both flat and incline bench.

Anybody else have this problem? Is it a common thing?[/quote]

Make upper chest movements a priority. Lower the volume and go for heavier poundages early in the session.

EDIT: the last piece of advice is what works for me. That approach might not work for you. Mainly the take home message is to make upper pec work a priority. Its common among the “how much do you bench?” crowd and some genetics are involved. Keep on hitting them hard and they’ll come around

  1. It is almost impossible for your incline to be equally as strong as your flat bench.
  2. Just continue to add more mass to your chest while keep focusing on incline movements.
  3. How lean are you? I have observed that people who have higher BF tend to have sagging chest (not that you do).

thanks for the replies.

yea will definitely start my chest workouts with incline and focus my energy on incline. even if i have no energy for flat bench press at the end and have to drop the weight. Yea there’s a big crowd of “how much do you bench” at my gym… i try not to let it get to me though.

GHD: my incline db press is 90, did it the other day, flat db press 90 maybe 95. but yea i am not as strong incline bench press compared to flat bench press. As for my body type always been an ectomorph but started eating and up to around 180 15%bf 5’9".

You are probably shoulder dominant, I used to be able to incline more than I bench.

[quote]drewh wrote:
You are probably shoulder dominant, I used to be able to incline more than I bench.[/quote]

definitely shoulder dominant, yea i guess that could explain it also!

hard not to use my shoulders though, i always put the bench on lowest angle which corresponds to anywhere between 45-60 degrees, more like 45.

Incline bench first in your workouts, switch from barbell flat bench to dumbbells for awhile, and add in incline flies.

I started doing this and my chest has seen quite a bit of improvement that’s for sure.

[quote]ghdtpdna wrote:

  1. It is almost impossible for your incline to be equally as strong as your flat bench.
  2. Just continue to add more mass to your chest while keep focusing on incline movements.
  3. How lean are you? I have observed that people who have higher BF tend to have sagging chest (not that you do).[/quote]

#1 is not true at all. I am stronger in the incline than the flat bench. It all has to do with how you train. I train the incline and overhead press more than flat. If I were to train flat more than your statement would be true.

[quote]ghdtpdna wrote:

  1. It is almost impossible for your incline to be equally as strong as your flat bench.
    .[/quote]

Bullshit. I spent a couple of years training my upper chest separately from my lower chest on different days. As a result, my upper chest is now equal in both strength and size as my lower chest…if not stronger.

How the hell did you come to the conclusion it was nearly impossible?

How big is your chest if think this way?

[quote]hit the gym wrote:
thanks for the replies.

yea will definitely start my chest workouts with incline and focus my energy on incline. even if i have no energy for flat bench press at the end and have to drop the weight. Yea there’s a big crowd of “how much do you bench” at my gym… i try not to let it get to me though.

GHD: my incline db press is 90, did it the other day, flat db press 90 maybe 95. but yea i am not as strong incline bench press compared to flat bench press. As for my body type always been an ectomorph but started eating and up to around 180 15%bf 5’9".[/quote]

Or, you can do like I did and train chest twice a week focusing on either upper or lower on one of those days.

Also, ask yourself how many giving advice in this thread actually have BIG chests as a result of their training.

I swear, 98% of the confusion would end here if people with no indication of their own progress would quit responding so much.

Options:

1- Train chest twice a week, one day focused on upper chest region, and the other on mid/lower regions.

2- Learn to do upper chest work with your chest, and not your shoulders. If you’re inclining decent weight but not getting any size gains, I’d venture to say that the stimulus is not going where you want it to. Do NOT lower the bar to your collar bone only to press up in a straight manner. Allow your bar to come down to your nipple line, and then press up and back (in a slightly arcing manner) so that the bar ends up directly over your head at the top of the movement.

3- Employ pre-exhaustive techniques if you have to. You won’t move as much weight, but this usually helps arm-benchers catch up.

S

Well, first of all your execution sucks as far as incline bench is concerned. Change that.
TIPS: bring the DBs a tad lower along your body and puff your chest out. But honestly the best way to get uyour incline bench form corrected is to ask someone in your gym to help you out in person. Just ask some big dude around you to help you put and you’ll be alls et. Seriously.`

Secondly, 90 pound DBs is fucking weak for a serious lifter (not for your standard gym crowd obviously). Change that.
TIPS: Ca depend, if you’re unable to push yourself nothing can save you except for a healthy dose of stimumants and some good old fashioned psyching-up.
If you’re not too soft, increasing calorie intake (primarily protein) and gaining some bodyweight will always work.
If you’re already fat (i.e. very soft, not obese) and not too strong, you need to change your training routine and read some articles by Thibz on here (training and nutrition). Recomp works beautifully for someone in your position.

[quote]hit the gym wrote:
Strength is about the same, 90lbs dumbbells for reps on both flat and incline bench.
[/quote]

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Options:

1- Train chest twice a week, one day focused on upper chest region, and the other on mid/lower regions.

2- Learn to do upper chest work with your chest, and not your shoulders. If you’re inclining decent weight but not getting any size gains, I’d venture to say that the stimulus is not going where you want it to. Do NOT lower the bar to your collar bone only to press up in a straight manner. Allow your bar to come down to your nipple line, and then press up and back (in a slightly arcing manner) so that the bar ends up directly over your head at the top of the movement.

3- Employ pre-exhaustive techniques if you have to. You won’t move as much weight, but this usually helps arm-benchers catch up.

S
[/quote]

To add about the stimulus, I have seen many people who do inclines with the bench up too high. If your bench is much higher than about 35 degrees, then the chances of your anterior delts taking over more of the load increase.

The rest of this is about allowing enough time to actually make decent progress.

My upper chest used to be a weak point. It is definitely not now. I treated my upper and lower chest like two different muscle groups. Now I get comments as if someone could balance a cup on my upper chest.

W.T.F?

[quote]Fallen wrote:
go for heavier poundages early in the session.
[/quote]

I agree with everything that stu and X have already added. When I first started lifting I hurt the balance of my chest by ONLY doing flat and decline work leaving my upper chest appearing sunken. For a few years I actually went to the extreme of not doing any flat movements at all except wide-grip barbell press to the throat (done in rack for safety). I would hit my upper chest multiple times per week with a variety of exercises and on pressing movements as X said previously, I never set the degree to more than 35 degrees. Anything higher than that and your shoulders are just going to take over the bulk of the press.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

To add about the stimulus, I have seen many people who do inclines with the bench up too high. If your bench is much higher than about 35 degrees, then the chances of your anterior delts taking over more of the load increase.

[/quote]

I actually prefer to do low inclines of maybe 15-30 degrees. When I was filling Thibs in on what I typically did, he agreed that it was one of the better exercise selections to make use of.
I also tend to do Low declines, usually stacking 3 olympic plates under one end of a flat bench (swiped from Cordova when we were discussing different angles for chest development, another pro who doesn’t prefer much flat work)

S

I have to agree with some here. My incline bench is just as strong as my flat. Although this heavy incline lifting has given me a good old rotator cuff injury!

But try to start with incline bench in stead of flat bench in your workout!

[quote]ghdtpdna wrote:

  1. It is almost impossible for your incline to be equally as strong as your flat bench.
    [/quote]

Not true at all.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
Options:

1- Train chest twice a week, one day focused on upper chest region, and the other on mid/lower regions.

2- Learn to do upper chest work with your chest, and not your shoulders. If you’re inclining decent weight but not getting any size gains, I’d venture to say that the stimulus is not going where you want it to. Do NOT lower the bar to your collar bone only to press up in a straight manner. Allow your bar to come down to your nipple line, and then press up and back (in a slightly arcing manner) so that the bar ends up directly over your head at the top of the movement.

3- Employ pre-exhaustive techniques if you have to. You won’t move as much weight, but this usually helps arm-benchers catch up.

S
[/quote]

To add about the stimulus, I have seen many people who do inclines with the bench up too high. If your bench is much higher than about 35 degrees, then the chances of your anterior delts taking over more of the load increase.

The rest of this is about allowing enough time to actually make decent progress.

My upper chest used to be a weak point. It is definitely not now. I treated my upper and lower chest like two different muscle groups. Now I get comments as if someone could balance a cup on my upper chest.[/quote]

I’ve started to split it up also like mentioned above. Even though given my overall lack of mass is a problem. I know my upper chest in the long run will be a huge issue.

Yeah what I actually do with the cybex benches is take a 5lb dumbbell and wedge it underneath the back support bracket (under the notches/knob) so it’s literally at about a 20 degree angle. I get awesome chest work done this way. I’ll do db incline, then smith or hs incline followed by incline flies or other similar movement…

Yet I seriously need to get poundage up on DBS as I’m pushing about the same weight as the OP…tribunaldude thanks for bringing it to my attention you bastard:P