T Nation

Upper Chest Lagging?

[quote]tribunaldude wrote:
W.T.F?

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

Suck. My. Balls

If he’s fresh chances are he will move greater loads early in his session. So…if he’s hitting a upper pec movement first he’ll be able to move heavier poundages.

As stu echoed, the angle of bench is imperative as to what gets targeted (shoulders vs. upper chest). At my gym, we have two flat benches and two benches on which on you can adjust the incline degree (there are other benches of course but they are dispersed at various stations and away from the dumbbells). The problem with the adjustable benches is that even at the lowest angle they only go down to about 45 degree angle. For a few months, I did incline db presses at this angle and, although my chest was sore the next day, my shoulders also seemed burned. So I switched it up and, after some experimentation, it seems that my upper chest gets targeted much better when I take four olympic plates and stack them under the flat bench. It forms about a pretty low incline but in my experience this targets the upper chest much better.

Think carefully about everything you just wrote.

Its very clear you have no idea whats considered “heavy poundage”.

[quote]Fallen wrote:

[quote]tribunaldude wrote:
W.T.F?

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

Suck. My. Balls

If he’s fresh chances are he will move greater loads early in his session. So…if he’s hitting a upper pec movement first he’ll be able to move heavier poundages. [/quote]

[quote]tribunaldude wrote:

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]

So I take it you like Thibs recommendations for recomping as laid out in “Refined Physique Transformation?” Lactate circuits, low carb etc.

I’m a soft 200lbs, up from 170lbs earlier this year. Looking to get rid of some fat now. I don’t eat much… rarely a day when I go over 2500-3000kcal. Still I gain fat easily, probably because I’ve spent many years as 230lb fat ass before crash dieting down to 167 lbs.

Yeah I know, cool story bro.

Anyway I was just wondering because of your “change your routine” comment there. Do you change your training around much for fat loss as opposed to mass gain?

What did you look like at 167? Thats the key IMHO.
I tell people to change the routine because its too late to “jumpstart” strength gains/progression with the same routine, without significantly increasing food intake IF he’s been stagnant AND very soft. Again IMO.

Big, soft and weak AFTER training a while is usually a recipe for recomp IMHO. Their metabolism downshifts at the speed of light when they drop intake AND they usually go from big and soft to small, in-shape (in clothes) and soft (out of clothes).
if you’re the kind who’s NEVER taken his shirt off despite training a while DESPITE dropping weight and despite looking reasonable in clothes, I’d recommend a dose of thibz.

If you’d like to listen to more insight, I’d prefer you email me, I don’t want to post in this thread anymore. \hijack

[quote]Mr.Purple wrote:
So I take it you like Thibs recommendations for recomping as laid out in “Refined Physique Transformation?” Lactate circuits, low carb etc.

I’m a soft 200lbs, up from 170lbs earlier this year. Looking to get rid of some fat now. I don’t eat much… rarely a day when I go over 2500-3000kcal. Still I gain fat easily, probably because I’ve spent many years as 230lb fat ass before crash dieting down to 167 lbs.

Yeah I know, cool story bro.

Anyway I was just wondering because of your “change your routine” comment there. Do you change your training around much for fat loss as opposed to mass gain?
[/quote]

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
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.
[/quote]

OK will keep that in mind when doing incline bench (down to nipple line rather than collar bone) and pushing in arching manner.

Same idea with dumbbells?

And yea the incline benches at my gym only go down to 45 degrees. But Ill figure out a way to incline the flat bench, actually i think they go up very slightly to like 15 degrees.

Right now I am focusing on legs but once i finish I might do the chest twice a week, one day incline the other flat/decline.

Something like…

Day 1:

Incline DB press
Incline Bench Press (or on Smith Machine, although I won’t be able to do the arch motion that Stu mentioned)
Incline Flies or Incline Cable Flies

Day 2:
Flat BB or DB press
Decline BB or DB press
Machine Flies or DB Flies

Keeping the angle of the bench under 45 degrees.

[quote]hit the gym wrote:

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:
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.
[/quote]

OK will keep that in mind when doing incline bench (down to nipple line rather than collar bone) and pushing in arching manner.

Same idea with dumbbells?[/quote]

Yep

S

Great thread. I have had the same problem. I started doing upper-chest dominant chest days and worried about middle/lower chest more secondarily. I’ve definitely noticed more fullness in my chest over the last 3 months or so, but this is helpful to take it to the next level.

Also not really related to upper chest but what do you guys think of dumbbell pullovers?

Haven’t done them in a while, do you do it often? I saw the only big guy at my gym do them the other day as a finishing movement, i understand they help expand the ribcage and might work the chest a little.

[quote]hit the gym wrote:
And yea the incline benches at my gym only go down to 45 degrees. But Ill figure out a way to incline the flat bench, actually i think they go up very slightly to like 15 degrees.

Right now I am focusing on legs but once i finish I might do the chest twice a week, one day incline the other flat/decline.

Something like…

Day 1:

Incline DB press
Incline Bench Press (or on Smith Machine, although I won’t be able to do the arch motion that Stu mentioned)
Incline Flies or Incline Cable Flies

Day 2:
Flat BB or DB press
Decline BB or DB press
Machine Flies or DB Flies

Keeping the angle of the bench under 45 degrees.[/quote]

That is a good idea but what you are doing is providing the same amount of stimulus for both the upper and lower chest. This will make your upper chest larger but it will also increase your lower chest the same rate, maintaining that imbalance. You need to provide more stimulus (exercises) for the upper chest.

If I were to change a thing on Day 2 I would either do (ignoring the flies):
Flat DB
Shallow Incline Press

or

Decline Press
Shallow Incline Press

Thats just because I don’t like the BB bench Press.

I hope you see what I was trying to say.

Tribunal I’ve never liked you man. Whatever

[quote]hit the gym wrote:
Also not really related to upper chest but what do you guys think of dumbbell pullovers?

Haven’t done them in a while, do you do it often? I saw the only big guy at my gym do them the other day as a finishing movement, i understand they help expand the ribcage and might work the chest a little.[/quote]

They don’t expand the rib cage. Let that myth die finally. They work lats and serratus. I personally don’t do them but I have known competitors who claimed it really helped with the detail around their abs (ie. the serratus). I would not do them as a main exercise for gains.

[quote]Professor X wrote:

[quote]hit the gym wrote:
Also not really related to upper chest but what do you guys think of dumbbell pullovers?

Haven’t done them in a while, do you do it often? I saw the only big guy at my gym do them the other day as a finishing movement, i understand they help expand the ribcage and might work the chest a little.[/quote]

They don’t expand the rib cage. Let that myth die finally. They work lats and serratus. I personally don’t do them but I have known competitors who claimed it really helped with the detail around their abs (ie. the serratus). I would not do them as a main exercise for gains.[/quote]

On top of this, I also noticed that when going very heavy, they hit my triceps more so than my seratus and lats even though the ROM the triceps are involved is minimal.

[quote]tribunaldude wrote:
What did you look like at 167? Thats the key IMHO.
I tell people to change the routine because its too late to “jumpstart” strength gains/progression with the same routine, without significantly increasing food intake IF he’s been stagnant AND very soft. Again IMO.

Big, soft and weak AFTER training a while is usually a recipe for recomp IMHO. Their metabolism downshifts at the speed of light when they drop intake AND they usually go from big and soft to small, in-shape (in clothes) and soft (out of clothes).
if you’re the kind who’s NEVER taken his shirt off despite training a while DESPITE dropping weight and despite looking reasonable in clothes, I’d recommend a dose of thibz.

If you’d like to listen to more insight, I’d prefer you email me, I don’t want to post in this thread anymore. \hijack

[/quote]

I could use the insight, but I don’t have your e-mail.

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:

[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[/quote]

really? i mean i dont doubt you or anything but in one of his threads i remember CT saying that a really good upper chest builder was an incline overhead press w/ the angle being roughly 75 degrees… do you mind going into further detail?

[quote]MAF14 wrote:

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:

[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[/quote]

really? i mean i dont doubt you or anything but in one of his threads i remember CT saying that a really good upper chest builder was an incline overhead press w/ the angle being roughly 75 degrees… do you mind going into further detail?[/quote]

The average person is going to get more work from their front delts with an incline that high. I currently use a high incline for my front shoulders on shoulder day. It helps with the pec/delt tie in development area.

How does one setup training chest twice a week with an upper chest and lower chest day? What does the exercise selection look like?

While CT did indeed have Nate, Actrain, Kyle and myself do high incline work at Biotest HQ (possibly 75 degrees, didn’t check), we were doing shoulder specialization work at the time, so of course there was some overlap, but as PX points out, it will target more of the pec/delt tie in as opposed to focusing moreso on the upper pecs.

S

ahh ok i see what you mean… ty PX and Stu

EDIT: are there any “tricks” (for lack of a better word) that you would recommend to recruit more upper-chest fibers during a press, such as: pulling or pushing the bar apart, widening your grip etc…?

i currently am doing some pre-exhaust w/ high-to-low flies before my presses but its not working as well as i hoped…