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

It’s 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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Thread: Lagging Chest?

  1. #1
    bench, deadlift & eat!!!!! Mic Soloist's Avatar
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    Lagging Chest?

    I have been bulking for months and I've gotten some nice size. I've let some people on this site and BB.com see my pics and some people have said that my chest is lagging.

    I work my chest out in many different ways, but I always hit it very hard. My legs and chest always get hit incredibly hard.

    I really don't know what else to do to improve my chest. My bench is weak compared to my other lifts and it seems like my chest just won't get big and strong.

    the only thing i could think is that maybe i overtrain my chest, but i really don't think so.

    all advice would be great.
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  3. #2
    Another Newb Tommy7010's Avatar
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    you do close grip/wide grip/regular grip bench press sets?
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  4. #3
    bench, deadlift & eat!!!!! Mic Soloist's Avatar
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    for the majority of the time i have trained, i have worked the chest with heavy dumbell presses and heavy dips.

    those are the main bases for my chest routine. I do fly's, crossovers, pullovers, and other stuff too, but i base my workouts around the DB presses from all angles and flys.

    I have recently started working with the barbell.

  5. #4
    Trying to learn on the fly
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    how many times a week do you train each bodypart?

  6. #5
    bench, deadlift & eat!!!!! Mic Soloist's Avatar
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    I've switched up routines a lot. usually i've trained everything one time per week, but for a while in this bulk it was twice.

    now i'm back on one.

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    i dont know what to tell u cept keep increasing gradually the weight u bench

  8. #7
    Om. Avocado. MM's Avatar
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    Just an observation: your two chest staples (heavy db presses, dips) were my two staples, and I believe that my chest is lagging and that my bench is weak.
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  9. #8
    Senior Member Manveet's Avatar
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    Are you training to failure on each chest exercise?

    Perhaps you should try hitting chest 3x per week, but stopping 1-2 reps shy of failure.

    You could also add more volume this way as well.
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  10. #9
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    would trained 3 x a week for chest be overtraining though?

  11. #10
    bench, deadlift & eat!!!!! Mic Soloist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manveet
    Are you training to failure on each chest exercise?

    .

    as I said, I switch up a lot. But I would say I train to failure of very close to failure on each set 95% of the time.

  12. #11
    bench, deadlift & eat!!!!! Mic Soloist's Avatar
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    all I know is that it is annoying, because I put a lot of work into my chest and don't see great results.

  13. #12
    Wannabebig New Member HahnB's Avatar
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    Not that it will work for everyone else, but I never, ever train to failure with my chest-and it's my strongest bodypart. So if you define failure as someone else having to lift the bar off you, I never train chest till failure. It's just about finding out what works for you.

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    Mic,

    I actuallyhad the same problem as you. I have large arms, shoulder and back, but my chest is tiny.
    I have tried all different ways and I havent really seen a drastic change, though i have seen a change and have added a little bit of size. I think that you just have to keep working out and giving 100%.

    I am going to be going back to a 4 day split (i was on an upper/lower 2 x week split). I plan on doing my chest twice a week still. I came to this because I was reading the encyclopedia of bodybuilding, and it had stated that if there is an area that is lagging you should be spending extra time on it. I was always taught that it was unneccessary and I would see little results. But I am going to try it out and see what gains I can make.

  15. #14
    go big or go home Flexx's Avatar
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    this is just a personal opinion and what works for me might not work for you...but what I do so keep constant growth and avoid hitting plateus is to constantly change things up from dumbell to barbell, also every 8-10 wks I do shock sets for example: 10 sets of 10 reps going to failure on flat and thats it(sounds easier then it is) point being if you don't change things up and do shock sets or negatives your body will adapt...force your body to grow brutha hang in there you'll get it,also with a lagging bodypart hit it more frequently..do your chest 2x per wk
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  16. #15
    Senior Member Canadian Crippler's Avatar
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    A nice article via phanton on another board called Finertia

    Quote Originally Posted by phantom of www.finertia.com
    Shock Techniques

    Here are some tips on getting over plateaus:
    Almost everyone will reach a point in their training program where it seems they are working their butt off but getting nowhere. This is described as a “plateau”. When you plateau, something needs to change. First, you should evaluate your program. Ask yourself: How long have I been consistent? How often do I change up my workout routine? What is my diet like? And HOW MUCH SLEEP AM I GETTING? Chances are you have been doing the same routine for over 3 months consistently and/or your body is not getting enough of the proper nutrition it needs to grow. If nutrition is the case, that can be easily resolved with supplementation. If you have been doing the same routine for 3+ months then you may need to “shock” your muscles to get them to grow! Its always a good idea to change your routine every 3-4 weeks or so to keep them growing. That technique is known to bodybuilders as muscle confusion. Here is a list of different ways that you can confuse your muscles and get ‘em to grow past a plateau. It is not possible to use all of these techniques at once. Vary your workouts by incorporating a few of these deviations and you will see greater results from every work-out. Just remember that using some of these variations may cause over training if used on consecutive workouts.

    Focus on the muscle.
    This in itself may be the single most important strategy used by bodybuilders to encourage muscle tissue break down. This is strictly a mental exercise. It will benefit you by allowing concentration on the particular muscle group that you are trying to stimulate. Here is an example for bench-press, but it can and must, for optimum gains, be applied to all lifts: Start by lying under the bar and completing a rep mentally. Think about what muscle you want to do the work. Then lift off the bar and focus on contracting your chest muscles to press the bar up. You may even do a rep or two with just the bar to prep your senses into what will be taking place after you add the weight. After you add the weight, don’t focus on pressing the weight up, but focus on flexing the muscles and on their contraction. The bar’s movement is simply a side effect of that contraction. An example of this technique on lat pulls: When pulling down, imagine your hands as merely hooks. Don’t focus on pulling down the bar, but imagine that you are just pulling down your elbows towards the floor. The bar is coming down too, but only because your wrists are attached to it. Pull down your elbows but place your concentration and total focus on your lats and totally isolate them to do the pulling. Always think about the muscle that will be contracting and try to exaggerate the contraction on every movement. Always, as with dumbbell rows, imagine your arms as only hooks that are connecting you to the weight and pull up by contracting the muscle; don’t just think of the lift as moving the bar. The bar’s movement is simply a side effect!

    Varying intensity.
    You can sometimes challenge yourself by putting more exercises into your routine without using more time. Or you can try to get the same routine done in less time. This means less time between sets and it requires a fast recovery rate.

    Heavy and light days.
    The best way to shock the muscle and keep it growing is to use heavy and light training days. Here is an example: On heavy days, use as much weight as you can for 3-4 reps and on light days, put on as much weight as you can for 12-15 reps.

    Rest between sets
    Rest can also be varied to give you some change. Try adding more rest for large muscle groups and less rest for small ones.

    Forced reps.
    A forced rep is considered as trying to lift more weight than you can lift by yourself and needing your partner to help you
    finish the set. This is good on heavy days when you are at your failure point and you just need a little help to get that last rep. Another form of forced reps is to have your spotter force down the bar to your chest (on benchpress) on the eccentric (downward) phase of the lift by applying his bodyweight to the bar. You may need the spotter to help you get the bar back to the top of the movement.

    Partial reps
    Partials are a great way to get your muscles to burn. When doing partial bench press reps, you should only lift the weight about 4 inches off of your chest. This works great when used as a compound set w/ dumbbell bench or incline flys. This goes for any other exercise as well. Only do the first half of the rep. But don’t do these for squats; it’s a waste of time.

    21’s
    21's are another form of partial reps. Instead of doing the full motion of the rep, do only the first half of one full motion for 7 reps. Then, do the second half of one full motion for 7 reps. Then, finish off the set with 7 reps of full motion for a total of 21 reps.

    100’s
    100's are a killer exercise. This is particularly effective with bench. You simply use a weight that you think that you can lift for one hundred continuous reps. Like burn outs, this should be done at the end of a session due to the inevitable exhaustion of glycogen stores and build up of lactic acid. It is not known how this causes any muscle growth. It defies most principles of muscle growth in that it doesn’t use enough weight to cause a tear down of tissue. Bodybuilders have realized its effectiveness. It may be that the vast amount of blood that accumalates in the muscle actually tears down the muscle fiber due to pressure.

    Isolation.
    Isolate your muscles to get the most out of a particular workout. Doing leg extensions are a great isolation workout for your thighs. For biceps I recommend doing dumbbell preacher curls. Isolation works only one specific muscle instead of a compound movement (ex. Bench= compound due to chest, triceps, and front delt involvement).

    Isotension.
    Isotension is when you continuously flex and relax your muscles before, between, and after your workout and even between sets. Pressing your palms together during a chest session is an example of adding isotension.

    Isometrics
    Isometric uses a partial range of motion. It is performed at the top of the movement like going down only six inches in the benchpress. The driving forcebehind this technique is the amount of weight that you use. Add a little more than what you think your one rep max may be. Make sure your spotter is very close and lower the bar 6 inches or so. You shouldn’t be able to squeeze in more than 5 or six reps even though you only go down for a few inches. This is a big strength and mass builder. It will also make your one rep max climb higher because you’ll get used to feeling heavy weight.

    Negatives
    Negative reps (eccentric motion) are when you are lowering the weight. A good exercise is to do negatives with straight bar curls. To do this, you curl the bar up as normal then lower it very, very slowly. Concentrate on holding the weight tensing the muscle as hard as you can. Exaggerated negatives may take eight seconds to lower but only one or two seconds to raise while doing curls.

    Slow Reps.
    Slow reps are fun, not. Basically, using a lower weight, you can do any exercise in slow motion. This not only takes away the momentum of the faster move-ments, it forces you to do a good slow negative rep and will give you a great pump. But we’re not going for pump; we’re going for muscle breakdown. So only do these at the end of your workout because you’ll fatigue your muscles and they won’t be strong enough to give the contractation needed to give you microscopic tears (which is what we’re looking for).

    Break The Bar.
    This is an awesome alternative to standard lifting that will leave you with more muscle fibers being broken down. It’s an exercise in which
    you reap anabolic benefits by putting the weight on yourself instead of using the poundage of the plates. Here is an example of breaking the bar on bench: Grip the bar with a normal width. Instead of lightly holding the bar grip it as tight as possible and while lowering and pushing the bar, try and pull it apart or squeeze your hands toward each other and try to bend the bar. In your mind, try to focus on pulling the bar apart from its center. This is a good exercise for increasing the one rep max because it places added stress on the triceps.

    Cheating
    Cheating is when you lose your form just for a rep or two on heavy days to help you get some extra reps with some serious poundage. For instance, if you are doing standing military press and you can’t seem to push out the last rep and you begin to use your legs to give you momentum to lift it, this is cheating. Keeping generally good form is one of the most important criteria to becoming strong and staying healthy, so this type of practice should be avoided most of the time.

    Pyramid sets
    Pyramid sets are probably the most common in weight training. For instance, a guy might usually workout with 300lbs on bench press. He would start with 225lbs for one set, then go up to 285lbs for one set, then go to 300lbs for 3 or 4 sets. Then maybe he would finish the exercise with a set of 225 again doing as many reps as possible.

    Heavy Duty
    Heavy-Duty training is when you go to your usual workout weight right after warming up. Usually, I do a few (3-4) sets to pyramid up to my workout weight and get the blood pumping. With the heavy-duty method of training, you skip the pyramid and go straight to the heavy weight. Make sure you warm up!

    Burn Outs
    Burn out is beneficial in that it can aid in overall muscular endurance and strength by making your muscles more efficient at using available oxygen. After finishing a workout session for a particular muscle group, do an isolation exercise (one that uses ONLY the muscle that you wish to burn out) and use light weight till you get a really good burn. Only use this as a finishing exercise or you will not have enough energy left over to break down muscle tissue.

    Staggered Sets
    Staggered sets are usually used to help develop an underdeveloped area. For instance, if your calves were a little smaller than you like, you might incorpo-rate an extra day of calf exercises on a day that they aren’t scheduled for. So when chest day comes around you would do a set of calf raises between each exercise you do that day. By the end of the day you may have done 20-30 sets! This is a great way to do abs. You might also need to take a day off to get your body part to grow (can you say irony).

    Prioritization
    Prioritize your workout so that you are putting a specific emphasis on your “weak” areas. For instance, if your back could use a little more work, work that body part first. On back day you could use one or more of the techniques above to help make your workout more enjoyable and effective. You could also schedule your back day on Monday so you are more fresh if you just took the weekend off… get the point?

    Work OrderWork order is the sequence by which you lift. You want to work the big muscles first to fatigue them so that they want interfere when you work your smaller
    muscles. For instance, work your chest really hard before you do close grip bench for your triceps so that your chest won’t be doing as involved in the move-ment.

    Supersets
    Supersets can be done two ways. 1) You can superset the same muscle group i.e., doing pushups or dips between sets of bench press, and 2) You can super-set opposing muscle groups i.e., doing one arm rows between sets of bench press.

    Strip Sets
    Stripping weight as you go is a very effective way to build muscle. This allows you to work through your fatigue. Basically, you do as many reps as you can until you are completely fatigued, then you “strip” some weight off of the bar and immediately go again until you are fatigued at that weight. This is a good way to get a pump. Don’t make a habit out of stripping weight because it’s only used to shock the muscles. Doing it all the time won’t tear down muscle fibbers for growth.

    I Go/You Go:
    This is a fun exercise, especially when you and your partner are about the same strength. Basically, if you are doing straight bar curls, once
    you are done with your set you hand the weight off to your partner then he goes. You can go back and forth until one of you gives up. Or you can do one, then your partner does one, then you do two, then he does two, then three and go up to 15 or so then back down.

    Peak contractions
    Peak contraction is one of the best things you can do to encourage muscle growth. When you get to the end of the movement, tense the muscle as hard asyou can before letting the weight back down. For instance, when doing biceps curs, curl up the weight and SQUEEZE before letting it slowly go back down. That squeeze at the top of the motion is NOT REST, but it is the complete opposite.

    Pause
    Pause is closely related to peak contraction. When you reach the top of the movement, hold the weight for a good one or two count. Make sure that you HAVE CONTINIOUS TENSION or else this will be counterproductive. Do it at the top of the movement but not at a rest. It should be just completely opposite of a rest. An example would be to hold the bottom of a row movement for a two count.
    Last edited by Canadian Crippler; 02-03-2005 at 02:41 PM.
    "I added some db curls with the pink weights for a bit of a burn." - Rookiebldr

    "im assuming the holy (big) 3 are: curls, bench, legs?" - Saggas

    "had a huge ass burn on my triceps while I was doing those kickbacks, so they'll likely be staying with my exercise program." - Zearoth

    "most of my burned calories coming from something called Basal. Wtf does a leaf have to do with any of it?" - Votorx

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    Quote Originally Posted by HahnB
    Not that it will work for everyone else, but I never, ever train to failure with my chest-and it's my strongest bodypart. So if you define failure as someone else having to lift the bar off you, I never train chest till failure. It's just about finding out what works for you.
    +1

  18. #17
    Senior Member DNL's Avatar
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    you can try this...

    whatever your max BB bench is, add about 30 to 50 more lbs to it and go down halfway (upper arms are parallel). And ohh yeah make sure you have a spotter. I know most people call that cheating but It might help your chest.

  19. #18
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    DNL, when i do bb bench i always do it that way. When i touch my chest i feel it's too much of a stretch and one time actually hurt my shoulder that way. Lately ive been doing db's though

  20. #19
    Senior Member Canadian Crippler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DNL
    whatever your max BB bench is, add about 30 to 50 more lbs to it and go down halfway (upper arms are parallel). And ohh yeah make sure you have a spotter. I know most people call that cheating but It might help your chest.
    Isometric benching, yes that might help.
    "I added some db curls with the pink weights for a bit of a burn." - Rookiebldr

    "im assuming the holy (big) 3 are: curls, bench, legs?" - Saggas

    "had a huge ass burn on my triceps while I was doing those kickbacks, so they'll likely be staying with my exercise program." - Zearoth

    "most of my burned calories coming from something called Basal. Wtf does a leaf have to do with any of it?" - Votorx

    "We have a lot of people like that on our campus, all hippies and things, that go around preaching against corporations, jocks, preps, accountants, and anyone else that feels the need to shower more than occasionally." - Shankerr

    "Damn man why are some women just so demonic and evil.. its like you wanna get a stake and mallet and an erection at the same time." - WBBIRL

  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bboy486
    would trained 3 x a week for chest be overtraining though?
    There's too many variables to say when one will be overtrained or not. Simply put though, the frequency of your sessions alone will not tell you anything about overtraining. You could train chest every day of the week for one set, or you could train chest once every 2 weeks for 50 sets...if either of those were going to lead to overtraining it would probably be the latter.

  22. #21
    bench, deadlift & eat!!!!! Mic Soloist's Avatar
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    training chest tonight

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