In reply to the chest exercise thread that got deleted

Nizoral Babe

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What worked for me was anything but simple to figure out. All of the advice I got from guys who had big chests did not work for me. I was frustrated and simply stopped caring about chest and have neglected it ever since. Same with my arms, as I never once cared about having huge arms. But recently, I got inspired to start benching again and I learned a method that really helped me hit my chest HARD. For the first time I was able to feel it, after endlessly doing straight, incline and decline bench press and all of the flies a man could do.

So what worked for me?

(None of this applies for the straight bench press, as I don't believe in straight bench pressing for bodybuilding. If you're looking to do strength related stuff, by all means, use it!)

Hand placement. A lot of guys tend to have their spacing on the bar far too short for hitting chest. This is the number one cause of being tricep dominant on the bench press. I can honestly say mine was and the only way I could fix this issue was by accepting that fact. It's going to feel different going wide but I can assure you, it works. I currently have my ring finger passed the ring on the bar, that's how far I have my grip. For dumbbells, you'll want to try and maintain that same distance. It's MUCH harder though because the barbell helps with controlling the weight. This creates underdeveloped stabilizers. So even if you want to do primarily barbell work, do not neglect your stabilizers.

Elbow placement. Typical bodybuilder bros will tell you to keep your elbows out to hit the chest harder, which it does. But at the expense of your shoulders. Keep your elbows tucked clean at the side when you're benching. This is going to feel REALLY awkward at first when combined with a wide grip. Go light at first. When doing this with dumbbells you're going to have to start with childish weight but don't worry about it. You'll be doing respectable weight in no time.

Leg drive / foot placement. I tried a lot of things to hit my chest and keeping my legs in the air was one of them. I was able to feel the weight but I was off balance. No amount of weight or muscle is worth comprising form. Keep your feet planted firmed on the ground. As the weight comes down and you prepare the energy to press it back up you MUST start from the legs. Drive your feet into the ground, let the energy then transfer through the rest of your body (keep your ass down) and explode up. This is how you'll really start doing respectable weight. The bench press is considered a compound exercise for a reason, treat it as such.

Breathing. To be specific, valsalva maneuver. I feel this is so important to explain just right so instead of butchering it I'll just link a video I think explains it very well. 

[video=youtube]
Bench height. I recommend doing incline as your primary chest exercise because it activates the chest much more and because a built upper chest is noticeable even with a shirt on, so it's most important for attracting women in public places. But too often I see guys with the bench up WAY too high, so it becomes more of a shoulder press than incline bench press. You don't need much elevation for incline, one/two notches is all that's needed. I usually go with two but there are some benches that have different heights.

Pause reps. For bodybuilding, you want to feel the muscle working. Doing touch and go, which I'd estimate 95% of the guys I've seen do (I was one of them), is a surefire way to having an underdeveloped chest. You want to pause and take away the momentum of the movement so that the only way the weight is going up is sheer muscle force.  DO NOT BOUNCE THE WEIGHT. For the love of god, I don't know what guys are thinking when they do this. Like I said, pause and feel the muscle working. That's how you'll grow.

Progressive overload. This doesn't need an explanation, as it's pretty self explanatory. More weight = more strength required = more muscle stimulation = growth.
 

ZordoNado

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How can you do a wide grip while keeping the elbows in with a barbell? that's impossible.
 

Nizoral Babe

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ZordoNado said:
How can you do a wide grip while keeping the elbows in with a barbell? that's impossible.
Oh, I forgot that section. Thanks for the heads up. It's achieved by bringing the weight further down than usual. Most guys suggest benching at your nipple line, but I go down further. Much further. Everyone is different but I go down about 4" below the nipples. It's the leverage point where your elbow is at. Bring the elbow down and it'll come to your side naturally.
 
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