Do you guys experience this?

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Anymi
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Do you guys experience this?

Post by Anymi » 20 Feb 2010, 23:52

When you work out, and you aim to strengthen the pecs (aka chest) and your back, do you end up just getting a workout in your arms? I always experience this and its frustrating.

I have browsed the internet and alot of people seem to have the same problem as me, and dont have a solution.

Would any of you be able to help me with this problem so i can actually strengthen my chest and back.

Ps I am doing bench press, inclines and apropriate exercises for the actual muscles

scottS4
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Post by scottS4 » 20 Feb 2010, 23:57

i used to have the same problem. the thing is that your arms cant endure as much. once your arms get stronger, you'll start to feel it in your chest more.

klc123
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Post by klc123 » 21 Feb 2010, 03:11

When doing Bench presses, if you want to target your Pectoral muscles, use a wider grip. If your doing press-ups, again use a wider stance. Widening your stance/grip puts more strain on your pecs more than your triceps so this will build them up more.

acmilan94
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Post by acmilan94 » 21 Feb 2010, 03:16

Try doing dumbbell and cable flys, they target the chest as well. When doing these, don't use weights that are so heavy that you have to bend your arms to do it. Use light weights so you can do it with straight arms.
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klc123
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Post by klc123 » 21 Feb 2010, 03:20

Not completely straight, that isn't neccessary, but principal yes, flys are brilliant if you don't bend your elbow, just use your shoulder and chest to lift. I find bench pressing does more than enough for my chest, depends on the person.

MUFC1994
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Post by MUFC1994 » 21 Feb 2010, 04:23

klc123 wrote:When doing Bench presses, if you want to target your Pectoral muscles, use a wider grip. If your doing press-ups, again use a wider stance. Widening your stance/grip puts more strain on your pecs more than your triceps so this will build them up more.
Yep KLC is right....wide grip for chest, narrow grip for triceps, and a neutral grip for both
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Kakasgotskillz
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Post by Kakasgotskillz » 21 Feb 2010, 04:53

MUFC1994 wrote:
klc123 wrote:When doing Bench presses, if you want to target your Pectoral muscles, use a wider grip. If your doing press-ups, again use a wider stance. Widening your stance/grip puts more strain on your pecs more than your triceps so this will build them up more.
Yep KLC is right....wide grip for chest, narrow grip for triceps, and a neutral grip for both
Wrong. In all chest exercises there are two muscles synergized with the pectorals (either the major or the minor, or technically the clavicular or sternal heads), the anterior deltoid (your shoulder) or your triceps.

Its a wrong perception to see that a wider grip works your chest more, as the bench press is for your sternal head of your pectoralis (which gains width in your chest). By moving farther from a close grip the weight shifts from your triceps to your deltoids, which means the only change is that now your shoulders are supporting the push rather than your triceps.

If your arms are too tired that means your not advanced with the exercise enough to perform it so that it primarily puts strain on the on the primary muscle being targeted. Basically it means that you're unable to "focus" on your chest and instead try to push the bar up with your arms... if you ask advanced lifters (or those who bench ALOT) they'll tell you the same thing (to focus on your chest rather than try to push up with the arms).

If you don't believe this, try the same thing with push-ups. Try focusing on pushing up with your arms then focusing on your chest. You'll (hopefully) feel the difference.

jessclark92
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Post by jessclark92 » 21 Feb 2010, 05:12

Kakasgotskillz is absolutely right! Bench Press is a compound movement that takes time to master. You want to target and focus on your chest not your arms. But your triceps and shoulders play a part since benching is a push motion.

This is what I use to get an amazing chest and back workout in
Moday: More Chest/ Back Definition
Thursday: More Back/Chest Definition

Incline Dumbbell Bench Superset with Incline Dumbbell Flyes 3-4 sets x 6-8 reps
Flat Dumbbell Bench Superset with Flat Dumbbell Flyes 3-4 sets x 6-8 reps
Decline Dumbbell Bench 3-4 sets x 6-8 reps
Flat Barbell Bench (Neutral Grip but Elbows IN, NOT OUT) 2-3 sets x 6-8 reps
Dips (Chest Version- Leaning Forward) 2-3 sets x 8 reps or to failure

Lat Pulldowns 3-4 sets x 6-8 reps
Seated Row 3-4 sets x 6-8 reps
Stiff Leg Rack Deadlift 3-4 sets 6-8 reps

I usually will do Chest and Back on the same day twice a week with about 2 days rest in between. My 1-rep bench has shot up about 50lbs from 150-200/205.

The one thing that I would advise is use proper form. For chest squeeze your pecs on the upward movement and for back squeeze your shoulder blades together. On the second day that I do chest I would go about 5lbs lighter and do pause reps... 3 seconds down, hold for 3 seconds, up at normal pace. This rep pace really hits the two heads of the chest and will give overall strenght, size, endurance, and definition plus explosive power.

You should also stretch after each set to help trigger growth. And if you want to take most of the stress off of your arms, proper form and strong shoulders will help. And mix it up a bit.... do dumbbells for one-two weeks the switch to barbell for one-two weeks.
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klc123
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Post by klc123 » 21 Feb 2010, 14:46

Kakasgotskillz,

You are rarely going to find an exercise that only exercises the target muscle.

The point i was making is that if you widen the grip it puts more strain on the chest, not all the strain, as that would be impossible.

Its common knowledge in the world of weightlifting/body building that widening the grip shifts the strain to other muscles like the deltoids as you mentioned, but it also increases the amount of strain that the pectoral muscles are under if your using proper benching technique.

A fitness instructor at the gym told me this. Either way, i use a wide stance and afterwards my chest is absolutely dieing, when i use a narrow grip my chest doesn't hurt whatsoever.

Anymi
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Post by Anymi » 22 Feb 2010, 01:48

Thanks a heap guys,

I knew about the grip, but i find it still works out my arms rather than chest. I know i have the right technique.

Im going to ask trainers at the gym and jesseclark ill use those workouts thanks

Kakasgotskillz
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Post by Kakasgotskillz » 22 Feb 2010, 03:06

klc123 wrote:Kakasgotskillz,

You are rarely going to find an exercise that only exercises the target muscle.

The point i was making is that if you widen the grip it puts more strain on the chest, not all the strain, as that would be impossible.

Its common knowledge in the world of weightlifting/body building that widening the grip shifts the strain to other muscles like the deltoids as you mentioned, but it also increases the amount of strain that the pectoral muscles are under if your using proper benching technique.

A fitness instructor at the gym told me this. Either way, i use a wide stance and afterwards my chest is absolutely dieing, when i use a narrow grip my chest doesn't hurt whatsoever.
Sorry if I was coming across as slightly overconfident, I source myself, I'm a personal trainer at my gym (the YMCA). It's just, many of my coworkers find it laughable when they see arrogant people at the gym who think they're all that and when they talk to them they're like "yea, my arms are so sore from benching I don't think I can do anything else".

The basic line between beginner and intermediate lifters I define is the ability to focus your mind onto a specific muscle when working any exercise (especially in a compound exercise like benching or deadlifts). From there most lifters go on to try more advanced movements and go beyond the 3-set rule set by beginner routines.

And jessclark92, how long did it take you to go up 50lbs on your max bench?

jessclark92
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Post by jessclark92 » 23 Feb 2010, 00:03

around 2-3 months, but i looked back at my workout log and it was more like 4 months to get 175-200/205lbs since i broke my wrist pretty bad and it took 3 weeks to get my strength back and get past 150 back up to 175 after my cast came off. I was in that thing for 6 months and for another 2 months i couldn't do anything since my wrist was still partially broken, sore, stiff, weak, etc.

i usually increase my weight 5-10lbs every two weeks and won't chage until i can get that weight up 2 consecutive sets 8-10 reps. I WON'T sacrifice good form though.... if i can't get the weight up without arching my back or without assistance from a spotter i won't increase, i'll spend another week or two on that weight till i can get it up with near perfect form. One thing that i do is switch between dumbbell and barbell every 2 weeks which helps out alot but i will always do some dumbbell flyes after the basic benching movements or do the vertical chest flyes machine we have in our weight room..... gotta rep soccer players in a room full of football players.
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