Why Can I Not Feel a Chest Pump?

I’ve been lifting for 10+ years and chest has always been a weak spot for me. I’ve tried correcting my form, I’ve tried more weight, less weight, more sets, less sets, more reps, less reps…

yet I still have trouble growing my chest. I’m definitely shoulder dominate. Dad had naturally big shoulders, I have naturally big shoulders that grow with little effort. So my shoulders feel it way more than my chest UNLESS I’m doing machines. If I do a sitting chest press machine my chest BURNS. I don’t get it, what is up with that? is my form simply that bad and I’ve never corrected it properly so the machine guidance does wonders? I’m confused.

I’ve only started doing machines recently but I think I’ll stick with it and see what happens after a few months.

Could be any number of reasons. If you found the solution do you really care why?


Try dips

I’ve only recently added them, but I’m seeing early gains already. I could never get a pump from barbell/dumbell pressing like I get from dips.


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How much do you incline bench? rep 225 on flat bench?
What is your heaviest press variation with dumbells?

In the meantime do these as warm up and/or finisher with every chest workout…

I can do 225 flat 10 times. Incline barbell I haven’t done in a while.

I normally progress from 60 to 75 on dumbbells. my current training block will have me tap out at 75. I may possibly start pushing to 80s in the next block but I dunno, at this point 80s do a number on my joints.

I’m starting to do flys as a warmup, and a lot of machine presses. so far I do get a bit more of a pump this way, we’ll see.

20 push ups, every minute on the minute for 50 minutes.

You will get a chest pump.


pre-exhausting with fly’s or pushups helps, I do end up getting a small pump but it goes away so quickly. Like, I am rarely sore in the chest where as arms or shoulders can stay sore for a day or so

Yeah, try the thing I wrote. Soreness for days.

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so you use soreness as a indicator as measuring stick of the quality of your routine?

no, but it is odd that I never get sore in the chest, even when blasting it. Compared to other body parts the chest for me takes an absurd amount to simply grow a little

Your body will sub-consciously move weight with its most dominant muscles. You need to really focus on moving weight with your chest. A good Q for flys, dumbbells or cables, is to not worry about touching your hands together but to focus of having your biceps squeeze your chest. I am the same way I have boulder shoulders that I don’t even need to train.

It’s funny because so many dudes at the gym would kill to have broader bigger shoulders, and yet I’ve actually heard girls say my shoulders were too big

You could try supinating (rotating) your hands inward at the top of the fly like you are trying to touch your pinkies and elbows together. That gives a good full contraction at the top.

ok you want to get your strength waay up over the long term. Run through a bunch powerbuilding/sttrength templates off this site and youll be golden. Either of these a good start…

Since no one has asked yet . Could you please post a pic so we have a idea of how out of proportion your shoulder and pec development is.

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I’m gonna see if I can get around to doing this.

I feel like my lower and upper mid pec development is ass. The upper sides, mid sides are pretty good. It’s fucking weird. I’ll have to post a pic so you guys can tell me what is up

Could be time for clavicle shortening surgery.


The main goal should be not the wieght but trying to feel the muscle, using too much weight will put pressure on your shoulders. The chest is also a muscle group that benefits a lot from being stretched so you got to have that ROM. You could try some of these:
• neutral grip when DB pressing
• stop locking out
• decline DB press, sets of 12-15 with a 5020 tempo
• flat DB press with low double contraction (you lower the weight, get it halfway up, go down and all the way up, that’s one rep), sets of 10
• machine flyes/butterflies with a 3 secs contraction or as a pre-exhaust
• Isolation sadnwich: one heavy BB exercise, one isolation exercise, one DB or machine exercise, for instance: BB bench press 4 x 6, then DB flyes 4 x 10, then DB incline 4 x 12

yeah these look good. my next training block I will definitely incorporate this.