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Pecs - Page 2

post #16 of 34
To my understanding, you can't lift as much when you use dumbells because they require more of the smaller stabilizer muscles to keep them balanced in each hand while you handle them. You don't have to worry about stabilizing and balancing a barbell as much, so you can lift more, and even moreso with a machine, which totally restricts the range of motion you do. I prefer dumbells to machines for most things except for flies. Machine flies are way better than dumbell flies, but other than that, my powerblocks are what I reach for.
post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by javyn
To my understanding, you can't lift as much when you use dumbells because they require more of the smaller stabilizer muscles to keep them balanced in each hand while you handle them. You don't have to worry about stabilizing and balancing a barbell as much, so you can lift more, and even moreso with a machine, which totally restricts the range of motion you do. I prefer dumbells to machines for most things except for flies. Machine flies are way better than dumbell flies, but other than that, my powerblocks are what I reach for.

I disagree about lifting more with machines. Most machines maintain the same level of resistance throughout the motion, unlike free weights, so you are unable to lift as much.
post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by coachvu
To simulate an incline press without going to the gym, do pushups with your feet elevated on a chair. You can get great results using no weights at all. Herschel Walker only did pushups, situps, etc. and had an amazing physique without using weights. 4 sets of 30 will never get it, though. If you can only do pushups, try this.

3-5 sets normal pushups, or even do them on your fists to help build up your wrists
3-5 sets wide grip
3-5 sets narrow grip (hits your triceps)
3-5 sets with feet on chair

Between each exercise, work a different muscle group. Crunches, dips, squat thrusts...You can do all these in your home without weights. As this gets easier, you're going to have to start going more reps. The key is to keep your workouts fresh. If you've been doing 4 sets of 30 this long, you are definitely ready for a change.

I agree with everything and wanted to add fingertip pushups. They are killer!

I realized after many years of going to the gym, that I only got average results because I didn't really like it.

I looked for alternatives and found a great book ($20 from Amazon.com?) called Combat Conditioning (Matt Furey) with all body weight excercises. This isn't the only one on the topic but it's the one I can vouch for since purchasing the book.

I feel like I get a much better workout, actually feel much better after working out, and I seem to be in better shape in less time. I can also workout anywhere or anytime if needed.

The chest workouts in the book go from simple to extreme! They can be killer! Lots of great ideas.
post #19 of 34
By the time you can do 10 reps of flat bench press (free weight) 100% of your bodyweight in controlled manner, your pec will be fairly big.
post #20 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tck13
I agree with everything and wanted to add fingertip pushups. They are killer!

I realized after many years of going to the gym, that I only got average results because I didn't really like it.

I looked for alternatives and found a great book ($20 from Amazon.com?) called Combat Conditioning (Matt Furey) with all body weight excercises. This isn't the only one on the topic but it's the one I can vouch for since purchasing the book.

I feel like I get a much better workout, actually feel much better after working out, and I seem to be in better shape in less time. I can also workout anywhere or anytime if needed.

The chest workouts in the book go from simple to extreme! They can be killer! Lots of great ideas.
Great points. Something that is often lost in the debate over exercise routines is the importance of enjoying your workout. If you want to do it, chances are you'll do it right and do it intensely, which in turn will bring results.

For me, the problem had always been legs. One the one hand, I always believed that hard leg workouts were an absolute must to achieve your fitness/body composition goals, but on the other I also hated barbell squats, deadlifts, lunges and the other core leg exercises.

Then I too discovered Matt Furey, who inspired me to start doing one-legged squats. Now I do nothing else for my legs, and I get an awesome workout each time (with the next-day soreness to prove it).

I would add, though, that from a biomechanical perspective, fingertip pushups offer little benefit to the pectorals vs normal pushups. They do allow you to get a slightly greater range of motion (like doing a pushup with your hands on blocks), but otherwise the extra level of difficulty comes from the strain on your forearm flexors, which must contract to keep your palms from collapsing to the floor.
post #21 of 34
Ok, first point. If you want to build one muscle, you have to build them all.

There are many reasons for this. One, it prevents muscle imbalances. Only training your chest and not your back will mess you up in the long run. Secondly, there is obviously the aesthetic aspect, you want to keep in proportion.

Another point, to all those saying you should do push ups...are giving you bad advice.

The best movements for chest are BB/DB bench, BB/DB Incline bench, paralell bar dips and to some extent DB flyes and cable crosses.

Basically, to get anywhere, you need to be using weights.

You can get progress with just bodyweight stuff, but no one in their right mind would say that you won't get faster and better results with free weights.

As far as the benefits of various chest exercises. All of the exercises I mentioned above are valuable. You body needs variations in stimulus to grow. This can be done in many ways, changing exercises, tempo, rep range, rest time between sets ect.

BB bench, the main benefit is you can use the most weight. You will never DB bench as much as you can BB. The stimulation of heavy weight will not only increase your strength but your size too. To focus more on your chest, take a wider grip, but beware, a grip too wide will damage your rotator cuff.

The downside of BB is that your delts and triceps are involved alot, and the short ROM (relative to DB).

DB bench are in my opinion the best for chest, as you can get extra ROM at the bottom, you can really stretch your chest and destroy some more muscle fibres. There is also the benefit of using more 'stablizer' muscles, as you have to balance the two DB's. Another benefit over BB bench is that you do not need a spotter.

There are three general positions for bench, both BB and DB, are flat, incline and decline.

The pec as a muscle has two regions, upper and middle. There is no lower chest.

Along with this, you cannot shape a muscle. You can make it bigger, but not change it's shape.

With chest you can emphasize the middle or upper.

Incline bench will put more emphasis on your upper chest, flat on your middle. Decline is not that valuable for chest, more so for tricep work.

Parallel bar dips are another great and underrated exercise for chest. Make sure to get full ROM, but this may hurt your shoulder a bit. Lean foward and keep your knees bent to emphasize your chest over your triceps.

DB flyes and cable crossovers are good exercises to finish off your chest workout with. They both isolate the chest better than the above three exercises (as no triceps and less delts are involved) but you cannot use as much weight, not nearly as much.

I've probably forgotten alot here, and remember you need to be doing squats, deadlifts, DB/BB rowing, doing pull ups or chin ups, some sort of overhead press, some tricep and bicep work also to get the full chest development possible.

Not even to mention diet .
post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamG
Another point, to all those saying you should do push ups...are giving you bad advice.

The best movements for chest are BB/DB bench, BB/DB Incline bench, paralell bar dips and to some extent DB flyes and cable crosses.

Basically, to get anywhere, you need to be using weights.
.

The whole point was to suggest exercises that don't require a gym membership or a home weight set. Also, as previously stated, many people have amazing physiques without ever using a weight. It's incredible how creative some prisoners have been in devising workouts using only what's available to them in their cell.
post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by coachvu
The whole point was to suggest exercises that don't require a gym membership or a home weight set. Also, as previously stated, many people have amazing physiques without ever using a weight. It's incredible how creative some prisoners have been in devising workouts using only what's available to them in their cell.

Yes there are people who can get huge from lifting a milk carton, but most people without stunning genetics need to train hard to get results.

The fact is, the number of people with good physiques that train with weights, far outnumbers those that do not.

If you are serious about gaining mass or getting fit, whatever, you have to do it right, and for mass, that means free weights.

Push ups alone are not going to cut it, for 90% of the population. They may get your progress for a few months, but there is only so much you can do.

I feel like I am being a bit brash as I have not been here long, but this is what I have found after years of lifting, and from every other person I have met who has a desirable physique.
post #24 of 34
Quote:
Ok, first point. If you want to build one muscle, you have to build them all.

There are many reasons for this. One, it prevents muscle imbalances. Only training your chest and not your back will mess you up in the long run. Secondly, there is obviously the aesthetic aspect, you want to keep in proportion.

-agree completely.

Quote:
Another point, to all those saying you should do push ups...are giving you bad advice.

The best movements for chest are BB/DB bench, BB/DB Incline bench, paralell bar dips and to some extent DB flyes and cable crosses.

Basically, to get anywhere, you need to be using weights.

100% Not true. I couldn’t disagree more. A combination of one-armed push-ups, dips, Hindu pushups, handstand push-ups are just as good and will do an incredible job of working one’s chest. And I guarantee an accomplished weight lifter won’t be able to many reps (if even 5) of any of these exercises at all. If you have been lifting weights for a long time I challenge you to try it. When I tried it for the first time I was amazed!

Quote:
You can get progress with just bodyweight stuff, but no one in their right mind would say that you won't get faster and better results with free weights.

I couldn’t disagree more again. I challenge you to define “better results”.

Granted, there are health benefits to any kind of exercise and I am not telling anyone to not lift weights. There is nothing wrong with lifting weights but your statement is incorrect.

I lifted for approx 7 years changing my workouts from power lifting to more endurance training during that time, in addition to doing many variations in between. You’ll get DIFFERENT results from lifting weights. You’ll get more functional fitness from bodyweight exercises.

Weight lifting increases muscle size as does bodyweight exercise. You'll definitely get the puffy, beach muscle look with lifting. Lifting will increase size faster but the actual physical advantages of bodyweight excercises are more practical for the real world of sports and everyday living. I would put someone with bodyweight training in the ring over a weight lifter any day. I would have been much stronger and in better shape had I done bodyweight exercises as my main focus and weight lifting as periphery exercises. If you want to look like a body builder, lift weights.

If you want to look good, weight lifting is fine but someone who does yoga or bicycling or hockey can have just as good a physique. If you want more functional fitness then body weight exercises are an excellent alternative, if not better than lifting weights.

Bodyweight exercises develop core strength. Core strength is different than the type of strength from weight lifting. Weight lifting does not do as good of a job (except for squats). Bodyweight exercises develop flexibility while weightlifting does not (unless one stretches afterwards).

I guarantee any weightlifter would struggle with body weight exercises. I thought I was strong until I did them and I now know the difference between the two. It sounds like you have never tried anything outside of lifting weights. Having done both, I won’t use weights again unless, as I said before, I use them as peripheral exercises.


Quote:
As far as the benefits of various chest exercises. All of the exercises I mentioned above are valuable. You body needs variations in stimulus to grow. This can be done in many ways, changing exercises, tempo, rep range, rest time between sets ect.

Not even to mention diet

I agree here also.


Quote:
Yes there are people who can get huge from lifting a milk carton, but most people without stunning genetics need to train hard to get results.

The fact is, the number of people with good physiques that train with weights, far outnumbers those that do not.

~Sorry, not trying to be rude but that statement is just not true.

By the way, welcome to the forum! Look forward to more posts!

As I said before, I have nothing against weight lifting, just offering some alternatives.
post #25 of 34
gentlemen - it comes down to two issues - what is a good physique, and what are the resources available to our origional poster?


I would agree that to get huge, you need to use free weights. I am not sure that is a good physique, or what the origional poster is looking for. I would also agree that you can get a great deal fitter on body weight excersizes. on the other hand, he is specifically looking for beach body results.

and, he specifically said that he is looking for something that will not require him to spend a lot of money.

that said - I go back to recomending a kettlebell.
post #26 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by globetrotter
gentlemen - it comes down to two issues - what is a good physique, and what are the resources available to our origional poster?


I would agree that to get huge, you need to use free weights. I am not sure that is a good physique, or what the origional poster is looking for. I would also agree that you can get a great deal fitter on body weight excersizes. on the other hand, he is specifically looking for beach body results.

and, he specifically said that he is looking for something that will not require him to spend a lot of money.

that said - I go back to recomending a kettlebell.

MORE KETTLEBELL!!!
post #27 of 34
Between Tck13, globetrotter, and AdamG - we have some pretty good advice...

Im of AdamG's school - I got to my largest size (230 pounds at 6'0) lifting very simple routines, which i made more interesting via interesting apparatus or slightly modifying rep/set combos...

A sample would be

1 x 15-20 trap bar deadlifts/leg press (reps 15 to 20 were done breathing style, many breaths in between)

1-2 x 6-10 standing barbell press

1-2 x 6-10 chinups/hammer strength low row

1-2 x 6-10 weighted dips

1 set x 6-10 thick bar curls

1 x 15 stiff legged deadlifts (if leg press was done) or sled drag ( moving forwards with harness or backwards with dip belt)

Anway - sorry the point I was trying to make was, its hard to pack on meat to one part of the body, you need your body to be in a state where it is anabolic, which is usually the result of intense, compound excercises..

The young man needs to realise it will be hard to pack on gains if he doesnt invovle compound excercises..

So I say - without a gym.

Find a backpack, load it full of rocks.weights - make sure its sturdy

Get to a park, warm up thoroughly, do 2 -3 sets of as many chins and dips as you can, keep adding rocks, weights, reps - focus on progression. A well built back complements a well built chest like anything. Do some pushups, situps as you like, and the bodyweight excercises ala Matt Furey.. then work your legs via sprints.. You could also buy a sled and weights, and drag that for leg work, will help your sprints too....

And then, when you get home, make sure you get enough calories, and quality nutrients, both macro ( protein, carbs, good fats) and micro (vitamins - preferably through a good diet of fresh produce, etc) and make sure you sleep enough.
post #28 of 34
Just do a lot of bench press and dips
post #29 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for the great tips. I'll just have to stick to pushups but amp up the quantity and frequency and vary the type of push-up for now. Eventually I might get around to actually buying at least a kettlebell or two but for now I'll just have to stick to push-ups and try to find a place to do dips.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kid609
Just do a lot of bench press and dips
My question was basically about cheap/free alternatives to bench presses.
post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by rch
Thanks again for the great tips. I'll just have to stick to pushups but amp up the quantity and frequency and vary the type of push-up for now. Eventually I might get around to actually buying at least a kettlebell or two but for now I'll just have to stick to push-ups and try to find a place to do dips.
My question was basically about cheap/free alternatives to bench presses.


an additional cheap option - go to a hardware or army surplus store and get a 5 gallon gas/water container. fill with water, or, if you can, sand. there, for 3 bucks, you have a 20 kilo weight, or, if you buy sand, less than 10 bucks for a 60-70 pound weight. lie on the ground and press that.
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