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Thread: Building a big chest with dumbells?

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Shemz's Avatar
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    Building a big chest with dumbells?

    Is it possible?

    I've been reading alot of articles and such and i mostly use dumbells or cable for my chest to work out certain imbalances. Now, i'm making good mass and strenght gains, but i feel like i'm lacking something..

    I feel that my upper and upper inner chest are somewhat behind, ok, i know i go more heavy on flat presses than incline presses and i'm catching up, but still..what is buggin' me the most is the "inner" part..

    that's where my question comes in..do you need to do bench or barbell presses to increase the mass and definition of the "center" part? people tell me decent cable cross-overs also do the trick, but..i don't seem to notice that..

    i'm currently designing my routine so that i work on my weak spots first, but i kinda got stuck on this chest thing, can't seem to find a solution with dumbells or cables and i'd like to sort out my imbalances first..and yes i know that if i train hard and eat like a monster i will get bigger and you won't notice the imbalances that much, but still..i'd prefer dumbells and cable..go look at jay cutler, it's not like his imbalances are unnoticable and he's huge..
    "When you promise yourself something, make a commitment, you can't give up. Because, when you're in the gym, you have to fulfill the promise you made to yourself. The people who can self motivate - in any field - are usually the ones who win. Regardless of talent." T. Platz

  2. #2
    Senior Member Coqui's Avatar
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    You can definitely put mass on with dumbells only. It's just a little faster with a barbell (mainly because you're not being held back by the stabilizer muscles that you would be with dumbells)

  3. #3
    Senior Member Shemz's Avatar
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    Yeah, but the problem is the upper inner part, and i was wondering if you needed to do incline bench press for example, to get more "cleavage" in there.
    "When you promise yourself something, make a commitment, you can't give up. Because, when you're in the gym, you have to fulfill the promise you made to yourself. The people who can self motivate - in any field - are usually the ones who win. Regardless of talent." T. Platz

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    Wannabebig Member
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    You cannot isolate your inner pec from your outer, or your upper from your lower. Your pec is one muscle, you can only forcefully contract the whole thing at once. Unless you are an experienced body builder, you are not going to be able to "sculpt" your pecs the way you would like to. You have the right idea with dumbbells, but if I were you I wouldn't worry about it so much and just keep trying to gain mass. The shape will come around eventually, but only after you've put on a significant amount of mass. I would also make sure you are not using too much volume in a vain attempt to make them grow. Stick to heavy presses. Alternate between DB's and BB's, incline and flat.

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    Strongman Tom Mutaffis's Avatar
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    I prefer dumbbells over barbells for flat bench press, though I still incorporate barbells for incline and decline press.

    There is no movement that is going to work your 'inner' or 'outer' chest - if you want to have more meat in the middle of your chest you will just have to build bigger pectorals. A lot of people use shoulders/triceps when doing barbell work which is why dumbbells can be better for isolating your chest (plus they are easier on your shoulders). Decline bench incorporates the highest amount of pectoral involvement of all bench variations, yet it is probably the variation that receives the smallest amount of attention.

    If you want a big Chest I would do something like this:

    Chest Workout:
    Flat DB Bench Press - 3 sets of 4-8 reps, drop set on your final set.
    Incline Barbell Press - 3 sets of 6-10 reps
    Decline DB Press / Flat DB Flye Superset - 2 sets of 10 reps each
    Cable Crossover / Chest Press Machine Superset - 2 sets of 12 reps each
    Decline Barbell Press - 1 set, light weight for 15-20 reps

    After a couple of weeks you can change up the routine and start off with decline bench press or incline dumbbell press.

    Training your Chest after a rest day and opposite your shoulder/triceps day will allow you to maximize your gains.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Shemz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Mutaffis View Post
    I prefer dumbbells over barbells for flat bench press, though I still incorporate barbells for incline and decline press.

    There is no movement that is going to work your 'inner' or 'outer' chest - if you want to have more meat in the middle of your chest you will just have to build bigger pectorals. A lot of people use shoulders/triceps when doing barbell work which is why dumbbells can be better for isolating your chest (plus they are easier on your shoulders). Decline bench incorporates the highest amount of pectoral involvement of all bench variations, yet it is probably the variation that receives the smallest amount of attention.

    If you want a big Chest I would do something like this:

    Chest Workout:
    Flat DB Bench Press - 3 sets of 4-8 reps, drop set on your final set.
    Incline Barbell Press - 3 sets of 6-10 reps
    Decline DB Press / Flat DB Flye Superset - 2 sets of 10 reps each
    Cable Crossover / Chest Press Machine Superset - 2 sets of 12 reps each
    Decline Barbell Press - 1 set, light weight for 15-20 reps

    After a couple of weeks you can change up the routine and start off with decline bench press or incline dumbbell press.

    Training your Chest after a rest day and opposite your shoulder/triceps day will allow you to maximize your gains.

    I have a small question about the form you use with decline presses. I was wondering if you push the dumbells straight up (you know what they say, presses and flyes above the eyes) or do you kinda push 'forward' if you know what i mean. Instead of pushing 'above your eyes', pushin more towards your abdominals or in that direction..i feel that if you push a little forward you recruit more muscle fibers, or am i wrong there?

    People also say that you should be able to press more decline than flat, i don't get that feeling, maybe because i'm using dumbells and have to put more energy in stabilizing myself or something?

    Anyways, my main question is the form and if i got it correct that you need to 'push forward' a bit, if you get wha ti mean.


    EDIT: How important are pull-overs for building a bigger frame? cuz i feel that me and a lot of people if not all at my gym neglect this exercise.
    Last edited by Shemz; 06-09-2010 at 02:42 AM.
    "When you promise yourself something, make a commitment, you can't give up. Because, when you're in the gym, you have to fulfill the promise you made to yourself. The people who can self motivate - in any field - are usually the ones who win. Regardless of talent." T. Platz

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    No one ever complains about their lower outer chest being too small. I wonder why.

  8. #8
    A gallon a day, everyday! ThomasG's Avatar
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    Arguably DB Bench is better for hypertrophy than BB Bench.


    Quote Originally Posted by Allen Cress View Post
    Absoultely Dumbbells are better for hypertrophy than barbells. You get a better range of motion and can move dumbbells in the correct plane to stimulate more muscle and target train the chest more efficiently. Always press the DB up, together and slightly back to stimulate the most fibers.

    With barbells there are limits and if someone has longer or shorter arms will effect how much stimulation the chest actually recieves.

    Regardless if you use barbells or DBs if you goal is to build chest size you should always put your feet up on the bench for flat presses to create joint stress transefer. This places most of the tension on the upper torso and doesn't allow you to drive thru your legs like you do in powerlifting.
    Last edited by ThomasG; 06-08-2010 at 12:34 PM.
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  9. #9
    A gallon a day, everyday! ThomasG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athos View Post
    you're an intelligent guy... but you're also half #$%&ing crazy... and that my friend is the formula for a great powerlifter.
    23 Years old
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