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Thread: Taking arms out of the Bench Press

  1. #1
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    Taking arms out of the Bench Press

    When I was in middle school and in my first years of high school, I used to train just my arms, so my triceps are the best muscles in my body. Unfortunately, my chest, although pretty well defined, is really lagging (I've got 14" arms, but my chest is around 37-38" only).

    This is really bad when I Bench Press, since I can't really feel the pecs working anymore. The only part of my body that gets tired when Bench Pressing are my arms, since they do all the work.

    What could I do?

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    Well u can't really minimise the usage of your arms in the bench press, try something else, still as far as i can think your shoulders and tri's are going to compose much of the movement of any chest movement...i'm sorry but not much u can do about it...just try and hit it with different exercises if bench isn't working...
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    Keep increasing the weight until your chest does feel it.

    The triceps are smaller and less powerful so if you add more weight, you force your chest to take some weight.

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    Try different exercises for example incline bb/incline db/decline db and bb/ dips/ flies theirs many different variations and as above keep increasing the weight
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    yeah dips will hit your triceps pretty hard, but good erxercises if you ask me...also flies and maybe try switching to a Dumbbell Bench...
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    I can't put more weight than the one I lift now, since my arms would fail to lift it

    It's not that my Bench Press is not progressing, it's just that as my chest gets bigger, my arms get even bigger, so I always tend to look unproportionated.

    I've noticed that if I do lots of sets (say, 8-10 sets, rather than the usual 3-5), my chest gets involved a lot more. When I start my 4th set, I usually begin to get some soreness in my chest and it starts to flex heavily during the movement. Mayb higher volume is the answer here...

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    A lot of people think this is a crappy exercise, but it works for me:

    Pullovers. I do them before my bench and I have seen a 2" gain in my chest in two months. Don't go sisssy though. Load up the bar with as much as you can do for 5 sets of 8. You will feel them in the tris, but you will really feel them in the outer pecs and the lats.

  8. #8
    Not Done Yet ShockBoxer's Avatar
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    Dumbells hit my pecs a LOT harder than the barbell bench does. I am most definitely an arm/shoulder bencher.
    Last edited by ShockBoxer; 02-26-2006 at 07:53 AM.
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    General of Froot Soldiers TwiloMike's Avatar
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    Use dumbbells. Stop doing any direct tri-work until your chest catches up to your arms.
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    Try using a wider grip. I know when I first started doing bench presses, I wasnt using a wide enough grip, and I would alway feel as if my triceps were the first thing to fail, not my chest. I asked a friend, and he showed me where he put his hands, and it was much wider. Now after benching, my arms dont feel sore, but my chest does.

  11. #11
    Senior Member AzBboy's Avatar
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    Develop muscle control. Grab an empty bar, lay down, point your chest up and high, and just pretend your lifting an invisible load. Act like there's resistance, really tense and contract. Be in complete focus, concentrate on CHEST lifting the load, nothing else. You'll get it.

  12. #12
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    do flies/pec deck 1st.
    my exprience - joined gym 10 years ago, 6 1/2 years hard weight training exprience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMN
    A lot of people think this is a crappy exercise, but it works for me:

    Pullovers. I do them before my bench and I have seen a 2" gain in my chest in two months. Don't go sisssy though. Load up the bar with as much as you can do for 5 sets of 8. You will feel them in the tris, but you will really feel them in the outer pecs and the lats.
    so was this the only exercise you did for your chest then? if you still did say bench press how do you know its because you did pull overs?

    Plus pull overs make the lats bigger, thus giving you a bigger chest measurement from back growth, not pec growth.
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    I guess you could just stop your bench press reps at the point that your tris are taking over. There is a 405 x 3 video in members pics where LittleJake is doing it this way, and he even mentions why.

    Honestly, though, 14" arms shouldn't be anything to worry about.
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    use a wider grip, this will make your elbows fare out more instead of bow in which works your tricep more

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMN
    A lot of people think this is a crappy exercise, but it works for me:

    Pullovers. I do them before my bench and I have seen a 2" gain in my chest in two months. Don't go sisssy though. Load up the bar with as much as you can do for 5 sets of 8. You will feel them in the tris, but you will really feel them in the outer pecs and the lats.
    Impressive.

    I also like pullovers but I use them after bench and close grip bench to really finish myself off

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrelwooddowd
    I guess you could just stop your bench press reps at the point that your tris are taking over. There is a 405 x 3 video in members pics where LittleJake is doing it this way, and he even mentions why.

    Honestly, though, 14" arms shouldn't be anything to worry about.


    1st. I've tried to do just a few sets, to the point where my arms were sore, but my chest was still ok. It did not work. Higher volume seems to target my chest good, though.

    2nd. I know 14" arms are not guns at all, but since my frame is really small and my chest is pretty tiny, they look totally out of proportion.

  18. #18
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    Pullovers are as much of a chest exercise as pullups.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay-X
    1st. I've tried to do just a few sets, to the point where my arms were sore, but my chest was still ok. It did not work. Higher volume seems to target my chest good, though.
    Watch the vid. I don't think you're following what I'm saying.

    http://www.wannabebigforums.com/showthread.php?t=70183
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    With your measurements there isn't much to worry about at this point. Just lift properly and eat big, then look over things again when you're up 40lbs.
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  21. #21
    Senior Member Vapour Trails's Avatar
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    Likely you are shoulder/tricep bencher - there are many like you. Lyle McDonald, in one of his articles on this site, outlines a strategy that will teach you to bench with your chest, do a search for it.

    I had the same problem some time ago. Once I learned to bench properly, I began to hit my chest hard. The one mistake I see almost everyone make at my local gym is too narrow of a grip. Your forearms should be perpendicular to the ground when the bar is touching your chest. Also, bring the bar down low on your chest and press straight up.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member Jinkies's Avatar
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    The key for using more chest in benchpress to to widen your grip. If triceps are your key muscle worked in bench it is because your grippin too close( i had the same problem) Besides the lack of size in chest your also never going to bench past 300 just using triceps

  23. #23
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    i agree, widen your grip, but also you could try to do pre-exaust sets on your triceps before your bench.
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    Dumbell presses all the way.

    If you still don't feel it enough with regular dumbell presses, do the positive portion of the rep as a press then do a fly for the negative.
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  25. #25
    Senior Member Jinkies's Avatar
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    dumbells come second, after benchpress which is one of the big 3

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