The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Its no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Senior Member viperc8's Avatar
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    Chest just NOT meant to be....

    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???

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  3. #2
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    How long are your arms?

  4. #3
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    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.

  5. #4
    Senior Member tom183's Avatar
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    Have you read this recent article by Allen Cress?

    http://www.wannabebig.com/training/a...-strong-chest/

  6. #5
    Bodybuilding Mythbuster
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    Quote Originally Posted by viperc8 View Post
    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???
    (see bolded part above). You may be jumping up too fast. Or you may be doing too many sets. Or you may be training chest too often. Hard to tell with the information above.

    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.

  7. #6
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    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.

  8. #7
    Senior Member viperc8's Avatar
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    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.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by viperc8 View Post
    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.
    So four exercises for legs with 12-16 sets, 7 exercises for chest/tris with 21-28 sets, 5 exercises for back with 15-20 sets, and 6 exercises for shoulders/biceps with 18-24 sets? Total for the week is between 66-88.

    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.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Allen Cress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by viperc8 View Post
    Sorry for leaving out the details.. Well I am training for a big bench and a big chest. Or do those not go together?
    For a lot of individuals its very hard to train for a big bench and a well developed chest. When training for max strength on bench you don't isolate the chest enough and bring in your lats, delts and triceps much more because the goal is to move as much as possible from point A to B. Basically your are training the movement and not the muscle, which is fine if you are training to improve your max strength.

    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.

  11. #10
    Senior Member viperc8's Avatar
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    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?

  12. #11
    Senior Member Allen Cress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by viperc8 View Post
    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?
    It won't be that effective because you are not giving your body enough time on one to create an adaptive response . It would be better to either do both within same workout as a hybrid protocol or just mainly focus on one and change it from program to program.

  13. #12
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    You're warming up very poorly and not resting long enough between sets.

  14. #13
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    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.

  15. #14
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xaevin View Post
    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.
    Strength is what he needs to gain to break his stagnation. Also, more strength is what he needs to gain muscle. So, working the lower reps should work perfectly. You guys can check out the HCT-12 science article for more information on the subject.
    Last edited by Off Road; 07-19-2010 at 11:50 PM.
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  16. #15
    Softball hoe cant hit bombz's Avatar
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    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
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    Deadlift: no thanks


    don't let the 12" pythons fool you....i can run way faster scared than you can mad

  17. #16
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    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
    Quote Originally Posted by viperc8 View Post
    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???

  18. #17
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    My chest didn't really start to grow until I incorporated heavy weighted dips into my routine.

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Gack View Post
    My chest didn't really start to grow until I incorporated heavy weighted dips into my routine.
    Me too. Dips have always hit my chest harder than bench.
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  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    Me too. Dips have always hit my chest harder than bench.
    Me three - although if it is a new movement, I would start without weights to get the form and feel down.

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