Alright.. So I have been going pretty solid on my routine and noticed gains all around and strength and size except for one area... My chest.. Benchpress just sucks for my size. I think i am not genetically engineered to have a strong chest or something. haha. So you ask what i do for my chest?? Alright well I start off with benchpress. I warm up with 45s on each side (135 lbs). THen i progress to 225. I can do 8 reps of this. The next set is dramatically harder. I can barely get up 5 reps of the same weight! Then i try to do the same weight again and i can barely get up 4 reps. And i try once more and stuck at 4. Then i progress to the incline press with the barbell and its about the same story. First set might be ok. and then weight gets dramatically heavy for some reason. Then i usually do the Pec Fly machine. And then I move onto triceps as this is a Chest/Tris Day. Triceps are decent enough. But Im trying to figure out why this is with my chest. This has been happening for some time and im just stuck at this 225 weight. All other aspects of my lifting are doing well.. Squatting 410 and Deadlifting the same. 225 is almost embarrassing which isnt even easy. And my chest is flabby and just not built the same way as everything else.. What is happening???
How long are your arms?
What are your training goals? Are you training for a big chest or for a big bench? Clearly what you are doing isn't working anymore. I would recommend looking at some of the programs here on this site as most are well designed. You need something with a built in progression scheme. Operating at your rep max every workout isn't a very good progression scheme and leads to stalling out rather quickly.
Have you read this recent article by Allen Cress?
6'2 - 105kg (231lb) - 14%bf
B: 137.5kg (303lb)
S: 172.5kg (380lb)
D: 227.5kg (502lb)
Do you go straight from warm-up to your max of 225?
How many sets (including warm-ups) do you do?
How many times a week do you train chest?
What is your whole routine for the week (sets, reps, exercises, days)?
How consistent are you with your training/diet/sleeping?
Last edited by Songsangnim; 07-19-2010 at 07:28 PM.
I had the same problem and I can tell you what worked for me. I changed my routine to dumbells only, incline press / flys, flat press / fly's. I would pretty much e smoked by the end of this and would finish my workout off with cable fly's upper and lower. Not only did I change the routine but I did chest twice a week, monday and friday. I know people are gonna say thats not good or not enough time to heal but the results didnt lie and were dramatic, I am to the point now where I went back to chest once a week. Lastly make sure you hit tri's hard as well.
Sorry for leaving out the details.. Well I am training for a big bench and a big chest. Or do those not go together? I have a 4 day split routine. Which consists generally of 3-4 sets of 8. Deadlifts is the only exercise which is a pyramid style rep setup. The week starts off with Legs( Squats, Leg Press , Hamstrings machine , Calf Raises)
Then Chest/Tri's( Barbell Benchpress, Incline machine , Chest press machine , Pec Fly, Skullcrushers , Tricep Pulley Pulldown, Reverse handgrip pulley pulldown)
Then usually a day rest and then Back ( Deadlifts , Row Machine , T Bar Row , Lat Pulldown, Barbell shrugs)
THen Shoulder/Biceps( Military press , Cable raises , Dumbell Raises, Barbell Curls , Preacher Curls , Hammer curls)
And then a rest day or 2 depends how im feeling. THen starts back up again. I am usually training at a high intensity throughout. It almost seems like my Lower Body is better than my upper body. I Feel a good sore from my lower body and back days after and more like a injury pain from my upper body days after.
I was thinking of maybe changing to where I do a week of this routine and the following week. Do more reps and less weight and the following week go back to the heavy and just keep going back and forth. What does everyone think?? I am pretty dedicated and consistent with everything such as diet and sleep and such. I just feel my chest just doesnt want to work or something. When I am warming up to do squats. Legs just work and want to lift more and more. Even deadlifts. Not the same with the chest.
You're warming up very poorly and not resting long enough between sets.
It's because you're going to failure each time. You stick to 225 and fail with 8 reps on it, and you think you'll get 8 reps again. It won't happen.
Pick a weight that you can do 12 reps with on the 1st set. With 1 rep short of failure. Then continue using it for the next 2-3 sets. Whenever you can get 12 reps of that weight on the last set, raise the weight up by 5 lbs.
In your case it just seems once you hit the lower reps like 5 and below, it's not working for you because it's more strength-wise. I'd try using different exercises, maybe barbell benching doesn't work for your chest.
You can also just try Wendler's 5/3/1 or HCT-12 on here since you're not progressing that well. You say it's just for your chest, but I'm sure your other body parts will benefit with a new program as well.
Oh and yes, learn to warm up better.
Last edited by Xaevin; 07-19-2010 at 10:12 PM.
First off I would switch chest around with legs. If chest is a priority train it when you are freshest...possibly at the start of the week after 2 rest days. Second cut back on the exercises. You do not need flyes or the chest press machine. Drop both pulley pulldowns and do close grip BP. Also if you want a big bench you will have to spend some time training with a lower repetition range than always 8. Finally if chest is a priority you will likely have to cut back on your other exercises for other bodyparts as well.
Last edited by Songsangnim; 07-19-2010 at 10:55 PM.
You need to change your warm up pronto!! Also what is your goal? Is it to increase your 1 rep max or to increase strength endurance. You need to decide what your goal is. If it is to incresae your 1 rep max you need to be using the max effort method.
*New Warm up*
Start with the BAR. Each set increase the weight by 10-15% and stay within the 1-5 rep range.
Sample warm up:
45 x 10
95 x 5
135 X 5
155 X 5
175 X 5
195 X 5
215 X 5
225 X 5
I guarantee you that you will not burn out when you get to 225 with this progression. I bet you will even be able to hit a new PR with this method
Look up Chris Mason's "raise your bench 30 pounds in 30 days" article here. I did everything wrong on that program...ate like crap, didn't get enough cals, and played softball 3 nights a week and still raised my bench 15 pounds in a month. Might be just the thing you need to bust through.
Bench: Half a subway club
Squat: to pee
Deadlift: no thanks
don't let the 12" pythons fool you....i can run way faster scared than you can mad
My chest didn't really start to grow until I incorporated heavy weighted dips into my routine.
Unless you have the right genetic make up training for just strength will not produce a developed chest as most of the time max strength does not correlate well to developing size especially if you have bad leverage issues. This is not to say to never train with low reps because you should surf the strength curve but if you want developement you need to stay on the side of the curve that leads to more hypertrophy most of the time.
There is always a ceiling effect with max strength so just developing that kind of strength will not induce the greastest growth potential. Focusing more on strength density is more important.
damnn allen.. Take me underneath your wings and make me look like you. haha. In my mind when I vision what a good body would look like to me , i think yours would pop up because its also strong. anyways.. I think what I am going to try out , is a week of hard heavy 5 x 5 lifting routine followed by a 12-15 reps hypertrophy routine. And just keep going every week alternating. what do you guys think?
alright soo i gave the hybrid workout a chance and dramatic difference in atleast how i was feeling. It was my leg day today and usually i lift 3-4 sets at 8 reps. So today I started my barbell squat with a 5x5 routine and then when i went to do the leg press i put down a little weight and instead of the 3 sets of 8 reps.. I did 3 sets of 12-13 reps. Made a dramatic difference! I barely got through that without dying and the pain was almost unbearable, (good pain). And then i proceeded to the hamstrings and did a normal 3x 8 routine and finished off the calves with the first exercise with a 3x8 and then the next exercise with a 3x12. I really noticed a huge difference and really barely got through the workout. Im thinking I will do the rest of my days like this with the main compound movement being a 5x5 and the following supplemental exercise with a 3x12-15. Does this sound like it could work to pack on muscle and strength??
Im eating like an ANIMAL training like a hell raiser and hoping to be as big as possible...
I just want the girls to say WOW!
Also allen cress, i am curious to know how and what you exactly eat for your diet.