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maxing out on pec growth

Discussion in 'Health & Body' started by fatherseanfan, Jun 20, 2006.

  1. fatherseanfan

    fatherseanfan Senior member

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    For the last six weeks I have been doing "supersets" of 3 excercises to try and stimulate pec growth: flat bench dumbell presses, decline dumbell flyes and chin ups, but I seem to have maxed out and I haven't seen any growth in a couple of weeks now. Can anyone suggest alternative pec-working moves or do I just have to give them a rest for a while?
     
  2. cchen

    cchen Senior member

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    That's your entire chest workout?
     
  3. javyn

    javyn Senior member

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    I'm no great bodybuilder or anything, and am still a small guy, but I do know that machine fly is much better than DB fly. Also, why not try an incline press after the flat press?
     
  4. Bradford

    Bradford Senior member

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    Cable crossovers, close-grip bench press (use a Smith machine), pec-deck, push-ups.

    Here's a link with a whole bunch of suggestions...

    http://www.shapefit.com/training-chest.html

    P.S. I don't think the chin-ups are really targeting your chest at all. They are more likely working your back and arms.
     
  5. tsloop

    tsloop Senior member

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    the 4 major workouts that have worked for me are flat bench dumbell presses, incline dumbell presses, bar dips, and flyes

    chin ups aren't really a chest workout, they work the biceps and lats.
     
  6. Renault78law

    Renault78law Senior member

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    How many reps are you doing? Whatever it is, change it up, but maintain high intensity. Do four reps, at a weight that causes failure at 3-4. Or do 20 reps, at a weight that causes failure at 18.
     
  7. fatherseanfan

    fatherseanfan Senior member

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    Thanks for the response. No, that is not my entire chest workout, but that is what I use to target the pecs. I usually do bar dips, but switched it to chin ups because I didn't feel the dips were doing anything. Maybe I should switch back. As for incline presses, I stopped doing them after I read that any incline moves are actually far less effective compared to flat bench and declines.
     
  8. cchen

    cchen Senior member

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    You really aren't doing much for chest.

    Here's a sample workout that should help you make gains:

    3x6-8 flat bench (barbell)
    3x6-8 incline bench (barbell)
    3x6-8 decline bench (barbell)
    3x8 dumbell flyes
    3x8 cable flyes

    You could also switch to dumbells for incline. This is what I used when I first started lifting a few years ago. Using a normal grip, I hit a ceiling when I got to around 170 on the bench. Then I switched to wide-grip, and I've been able to make gains since the switch. But for a beginner, I advise using a normal grip.
     
  9. tsloop

    tsloop Senior member

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    Thanks for the response. No, that is not my entire chest workout, but that is what I use to target the pecs. I usually do bar dips, but switched it to chin ups because I didn't feel the dips were doing anything. Maybe I should switch back. As for incline presses, I stopped doing them after I read that any incline moves are actually far less effective compared to flat bench and declines.

    Incline presses target a different muscle than decline, decline presses are for the lower chest, same as bar dips, incline presses are for the upper part of your chest. For a good chest workout you need to include incline and either decline or dips, or both.
     
  10. odoreater

    odoreater Senior member

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    Flyes of any type are more or less useless. If you want your chest to grow do heavy compound movements such as flat bench press, incline bench press and dips (particularly weighted if you can).

    Also, chinups do not hit your chest at all. The primary muscles in chinups are your lats with secondary support from your biceps.

    By the way, just as a technical matter, your "upper chest" and your "lower chest" are not two seperate muscles. They are indeed just different parts of the same muscle. Just like you don't have "lower abs" and "upper abs" but a single abdominal muscle that is seperated into what looks like 6 or 8 muscles by a tendon that runs through the muscle.
     
  11. cchen

    cchen Senior member

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    Flyes of any type are more or less useless. If you want your chest to grow do heavy compound movements such as flat bench press, incline bench press and dips (particularly weighted if you can).

    Also, chinups do not hit your chest at all. The primary muscles in chinups are your lats with secondary support from your biceps.

    By the way, just as a technical matter, your "upper chest" and your "lower chest" are not two seperate muscles. They are indeed just different parts of the same muscle. Just like you don't have "lower abs" and "upper abs" but a single abdominal muscle that is seperated into what looks like 6 or 8 muscles by a tendon that runs through the muscle.


    Flyes are not useless. If they were useless, would Arnold have done them, or would Ronnie Coleman do them? They are a nice way to finish a chest workout.
     
  12. odoreater

    odoreater Senior member

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    Flyes are not useless. If they were useless, would Arnold have done them, or would Ronnie Coleman do them? They are a nice way to finish a chest workout.

    Are you Arnold or Ronnie Coleman? If you are, then continue doing flyes. If you are not, if you are an average guy with limited time to spend in the gym, who is not taking steroids and who has not reached their genetic limit, then flyes are useless. The time you spend doing flyes, or just about any other isolation exercise, could be much better spent doing compound exercises.

    The biggest mistake that guys make when working out is comparing themselves and their workouts to the workouts of Arnold or Ronnie Coleman. These guys: (1) are genetic freaks, (2) use enough chemicals every day, including anabolic steroids, to kill a small horse, (3) train for a living and spending most of their waking hours in the gym, (4) have exceeded their genetic limits and therefore need any small adjustment that will stimulate more growth (including the inclusion of exercises such as flyes). You should not base your workouts on their workouts - you should base your workouts on proven methods for beginner (less than one year) or intermediate lifters (anywhere from 1 - 10 years of training) who are not taking anabolic steriods (unless of course you ARE taking anabolic steriods, which changes the whole equation).

    Most beginners and intermediate lifters who go to the gym should not be doing flyes, lateral raises, and other useless isolation exercises when they still haven't reached their genetic limits on compound movements.

    But if you don't mind wasting your time in the gym then continue doing your flyes.
     
  13. cchen

    cchen Senior member

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    Are you Arnold or Ronnie Coleman? If you are, then continue doing flyes. If you are not, if you are an average guy with limited time to spend in the gym, who is not taking steroids and who has not reached their genetic limit, then flyes are useless. The time you spend doing flyes, or just about any other isolation exercise, could be much better spent doing compound exercises.

    The biggest mistake that guys make when working out is comparing themselves and their workouts to the workouts of Arnold or Ronnie Coleman. These guys: (1) are genetic freaks, (2) use enough chemicals every day, including anabolic steroids, to kill a small horse, (3) train for a living and spending most of their waking hours in the gym, (4) have exceeded their genetic limits and therefore need any small adjustment that will stimulate more growth (including the inclusion of exercises such as flyes). You should not base your workouts on their workouts - you should base your workouts on proven methods for beginner (less than one year) or intermediate lifters (anywhere from 1 - 10 years of training) who are not taking anabolic steriods (unless of course you ARE taking anabolic steriods, which changes the whole equation).

    Most beginners and intermediate lifters who go to the gym should not be doing flyes, lateral raises, and other useless isolation exercises when they still haven't reached their genetic limits on compound movements.

    But if you don't mind wasting your time in the gym then continue doing your flyes.


    I can't disagree with you anymore. But you can believe what you believe, and I'll continue doing flyes on my 145 lb, 225 lb bench press frame.
     
  14. odoreater

    odoreater Senior member

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    I can't disagree with you anymore. But you can believe what you believe, and I'll continue doing flyes on my 145 lb, 225 lb bench press frame.

    Whatever floats your boat. People can do their own research and then decide.
     
  15. DNW

    DNW Senior member

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    I've been doing flat flyes ever since I started working out (10+ yrs ago). According to many of the weightlifting books I've read, they help increase the width of your chest. Bench presses, including incline and decline, are overrated. You can accomplish the same movements with dumbbells, and you will get better definitions. The bench presses are good for beginners so they can get the hang of things.
     
  16. Tck13

    Tck13 Senior member

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    Having read this thread so far...

    My impression of flyes are that they are really for "shaping" the muscle. I agree with what odoreater said about compound chest excercises:

    I don't think flyes are useless but one isn't really doing nearly as much as incline, decline, or flat presses when doing flyes. They are really just a toning excercise.

    If I was doing this and going heavy, I wouldn't do fly excercises as I would be burnt out.

    I would do flyes on lighter weeks / months just to shape and tone the chest.

    I tried pyramiding sets when lifting and it was a good change when reaching a plateau.

    I think (haven't done it in years) it went something like this:

    5 sets (let's say of a bench press), increase weight by a percentage with the 3rd set being the heaviest with the least amount of reps. Then, get lighter with the remaining two sets.

    Can't remember exactly but it worked really well. It really hit the chest well...

    Something like this:

    Set 1 - 12 reps, light weight
    Set 2 - 6-8 reps, medium weight
    Set 3 - 5 reps, heavy weight
    Set 4 - 6-8 reps, medium weight
    Set 5 - 12 reps, light weight

    IMO dumbells are always better as they require more stablization and they are let the arms and wrists have more of a natural movement.
     
  17. kever

    kever Senior member

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    Something like this:

    Set 1 - 12 reps, light weight
    Set 2 - 6-8 reps, medium weight
    Set 3 - 5 reps, heavy weight
    Set 4 - 6-8 reps, medium weight
    Set 5 - 12 reps, light weight

    IMO dumbells are always better as they require more stablization and they are let the arms and wrists have more of a natural movement.



    I'm doing this right now actually. it's called back off sets. My workout changes every 3 weeks, and this is the second week of back of the back off sets and it's working well for me.

    As for fly's being useless? Im my opinion most people feel what works for them will work for other people. I have found that compound movements give my muscles the stimulus and growth that I'm looking for, but not everyone will respond the same. My recovery/genetics/nutrition/chemical ingestion is not the same as bodybuilders in Flex magazine, so I dont feel the need to do many isolation exercises. Lifting heavy with compound movements and varied rep ranges works great for me.
    As far as I can tell your muscles are either going to get bigger, smaller or stay the same. Your body shapes them as your gene's tell them to.
    Feel free to disagree with anything I've said. This is not an exact science.
     
  18. fatherseanfan

    fatherseanfan Senior member

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    I'm thankful for all this feedback, but am almost as confused as when I started given all the disagreement.

    Why is it important to vary the rep ranges?
     
  19. shellshock

    shellshock Senior member

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  20. javyn

    javyn Senior member

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    Well said, almost word for word out of Alpha Male: The Path to Hardcore Natural Bodybuilding. [​IMG]

    I do machine flies (flyes?) simply because they wind the hell out of me! I figure they have to be doing some good and/or those muscles are incredibly weak, since they tear me up so bad. Moreso than flat press, DB or BB.

    I still agree with odor though, if time is an issue, definately drop the fly and focus on compound movements.

    I'd actually attribute all the gains I've made, upper and lowerbody to squatting. It wasn't until I really quit screwing around and took the squat seriously that I started building up a bit. I gained 30 lbs of muscle, now my weight is considered "normal" instead of "dangerously underweight".
     

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