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Trouble spots - size and strength

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  • Trouble spots - size and strength

    I've been eating paleo/primal for almost 4 years now, and have had great success with the lifestyle. I'm 33, male, feel 23. 5'10" 175 to 180 lbs with wide structure.

    I was working out on and off for the first 3 years, and the past year I've been more dedicated to intense workouts;

    WO one;

    - 3sets of chins/pulls
    - Weighted lunges
    - Bar dips

    WO two;

    - Push-up variations (Atlas, width variation, incline, decline, raised grips) with weight bag. I'm up to 50lbs 3X6
    - Shoulder press
    - Sprints twice a week

    I typically rest 2 to 3 days between workouts and working on getting better sleep (dark room, no fluids 2 hours before, 7 hours min).

    I've gained strength and size all over. Legs significantly bigger, arms shoulders bigger. This to me indicates that I am eating plenty of food (I eat a bit too much and have a layer of fat at the moment from bulking up)

    However, my chest won't grow or change. No matter what I try I can't seem to get a bigger chest to go with the rest. I've gotten stronger with pushups (from no weight bag to 50 lbs) and I use the chest and not the arms to push.

    Any suggestions for a trouble spot like my chest? I'm starting a very strict workout/diet plan from here to January with goals of gaining more upper body strength and size. I'll start leaning out mid winter I suppose.

    In summary; gains everywhere but chest. Consistently increasing chest weight the last 6 months but no size build-up. Biggest trouble spot being upper chest.

    J

  • #2
    Trouble with working chest is that the shoulders and Triceps often take over. Have a read of this article, it might be of some help:

    The Best Pectoral Exercise | Doug Brignole - Exercise and Biomechanics

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    • #3
      Thanks for the article. I've been avoiding decline because I'm trying to work my upper chest. I'd say the first 2 months I was using a lot of shoulder and triceps to push, but with the Atlas and wide grip, I definitely feel it more in the chest. I'll do very wide grip push-up sometimes and they are quite difficult but have been gaining in reps.

      J

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      • #4
        It's hard to get big on pushups alone unless you're doing a huge amount of volume. Like hundreds and hundreds. Getting on a bench will help out.

        Sent via F-22 Raptor

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        • #5
          I keep reading that it's hard to get a chest with push-ups because of the limited weight. I'm adding weight and progressively increasing - which should show gains, according to all conventional wisdom. I have seen strength gains, however.

          J

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          • #6
            I still think you're going to up the volume considerably if your goal is size. Even benching 250lbs+, if I want size gain over just strength gain I have to up my reps a LOT.

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            • #7
              Maybe that's the problem - I've been aiming for 3X6 and increasing when I can do 3X8.

              What kind of volume should I be looking for if I want to focus on size for 6 months?

              J

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              • #8
                Weighted pushups for size, I'd say something like 10x8, or 10x15.

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                • #9
                  Thanks Mr. Anthony,

                  I'll give it a shot since the lower reps have only resulted in strength (and admittedly tighter muscle fibers). I seem to be harder but not bigger. Strange that I've gained a lot everywhere else with 3X6.

                  J

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                  • #10
                    Any tips for activating the chest muscles instead of the shoulders and triceps? I've somehow developed big/strong shoulders without really trying.

                    J

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                    • #11
                      Squeeze your boobs together at the top of the pushup and hold for a sec.

                      Sent via F-22 Raptor

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                      • #12
                        Boob squeezing. I can do that.

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                        • #13
                          Just get pec implants.

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                          • #14
                            Size is all about tension under time. Increasing volume will help this, but you will also have to keep intensity high. I only train with bodyweight, and although I'm not a big guy, (5'10" 145) my chest is one of my larger body parts. Continue with your pushups, but instead of using added weight, try maxing out, catch your breath for 5 seconds or so, and push for more reps. Everytime you fail, wait just long enough so you can get 1-3 more reps in. So you will be feeling a gnarly burn throughout the entire workout(tension) and with absolute minimal rest you get the time. Hope this works.

                            Also keep in mind, aesthetics dont always translate to strength. If you want to be stronger, push for gains, and your physique will follow as it naturally needs to. Your body can look great but be weak or not functional for compound movements. However, a strong body that can perform functional movements is going to look good. Think of competition bodybuilder compared to crossfit athlete.

                            Sent from my XT907 using Marks Daily Apple Forum mobile app
                            Last edited by DeltaCypher0; 09-09-2013, 04:07 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DeltaCypher0 View Post
                              Size is all about tension under time. Increasing volume will help this, but you will also have to keep intensity high. I only train with bodyweight, and although I'm not a big guy, (5'10" 145) my chest is one of my larger body parts. Continue with your pushups, but instead of using added weight, try maxing out, catch your breath for 5 seconds or so, and push for more reps. Everytime you fail, wait just long enough so you can get 1-3 more reps in. So you will be feeling a gnarly burn throughout the entire workout(tension) and with absolute minimal rest you get the time. Hope this works.

                              Also keep in mind, aesthetics dont always translate to strength. If you want to be stronger, push for gains, and your physique will follow as it naturally needs to. Your body can look great but be weak or not functional for compound movements. However, a strong body that can perform functional movements is going to look good. Think of competition bodybuilder compared to crossfit athlete.

                              Sent from my XT907 using Marks Daily Apple Forum mobile app
                              The physique has nothing to do with the ability, the only reason a Cross-fit person is better at Cross-fit activities is because he practices those activities. A competitive bodybuilder has zero interest in how many burpee's he can do or Kipping pull ups, his only concern is how he looks.

                              Strength is general – regardless of how strength is developed, whether with multiple or single-joint exercises, whether with free weights, body weight or machines, that strength can be applied in any movement the muscles are involved in.

                              Skill, on the other hand, is specific – to improve the ability to apply that strength efficiently in the performance of some movement requires specific, deliberate practice. While strength training movements that mimic other activities of daily living or vocational or athletic skills may provide some base skills that can be built on to develop the specific skills, there is no direct, positive transfer of skill from a movement that is performed under load to another, superficially similar movement.
                              Full article here:

                              Physique Versus Function – A False Dichotomy | High Intensity Training by Drew Baye

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