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  • struggling to get any stronger on chest movements

    Hey dudes,

    i got a problem with chest and its driving me mad now!!!

    i been dc training for alittle over 2 years now i think and although my chest is growing with the rest of me i seem to always hit a platau at the same sort of weight on pretty much every movement i can think of for chest.

    looking back at my log, my 1st ever blast i got to 3 plates per side on the incline barbell and diddnt get any stronger than that.
    13 blasts later iv hit dumbells, smyth, hammer strength machines at all angles and i seem to fail the reprange when i get to that 3 plates per side kind of weight.

    what bothers me is now finally my exercises have roatated round 2 years later to the incline barbell press again and WTF!!! im no stronger, im stuck at the same weight again!!!

    like i said my chest is growing fine, but i aint getting any stronger...i hit that type of weight and i cant get past it. dont get me wrong i know 3 plates per side for 11-15 reps is strong but i want to get insanely stong!!!

    anyone got any ideas or exercises i can try or experiences with this same problem???

    Matt
    NABBA UK 2011 - Novice class 3rd Place
    NABBA BRITAIN FINALS 2012 - Novice class 3rd Place
    NABBA NORTH WEST 2014 - Mr Class 2 - 1st Place
    NABBA WORLD CHAMPS 2014 - Mr Class 2 - 10th Place
    NABBA ENGLAND 2015 - Mr Class 2 - 3rd place
    NABBA UK 2015 - Mr Class 2 - 4th place


  • #2
    Could you up your rep range to 15-20 or do 2 straight sets for a while? I got past some sticking points by digging back into my log book to weights I now knew I could beat (but never did) with higher reps. Eventually exercises I was doing for 8-4-2 I was now doing for 12-6-3. I will even do it now where I shoot for 15 reps on my first set.

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    • #3
      honestly if you are that concerned next off-season do some strength specific training focusign on your squat and dead and incline press....i guarantee 10-12 week program will get that incline moving. Plus when you come back to more specific bbing training youll probably be stronger on a bunch of exercises. i always spent part of the year in PL'ing mode and it showed come contest time
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      • #4
        thanks lads...perhaps shooting for a higher rep range could do it...im just scraping 11 reps when i get to that weight...then when i go heavier i always fall below that damn rep range

        Matt
        NABBA UK 2011 - Novice class 3rd Place
        NABBA BRITAIN FINALS 2012 - Novice class 3rd Place
        NABBA NORTH WEST 2014 - Mr Class 2 - 1st Place
        NABBA WORLD CHAMPS 2014 - Mr Class 2 - 10th Place
        NABBA ENGLAND 2015 - Mr Class 2 - 3rd place
        NABBA UK 2015 - Mr Class 2 - 4th place

        Comment


        • #5
          BG,

          Are you any larger weight-wise NOW vs. when you were pressing more?...

          Is your chest any bigger, as best you can tell, NOW vs. then?...

          Has your rep tempo or form changed, NOW vs. then?...

          -Scott
          The Book Has Arrived!
          The Book Has Arrived!

          Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a pristine, well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, used up, worn out, and shouting, "Holy #$&^%$^... What a ride!!!"


          www.TrueNutrition.com

          2012 NPC Master's Nationals HW 5th. Mid-USA HW & Overall
          2010 NPC Jr. USA HW 4th, Pacific USA Heavy 2nd
          2009 NPC Mr. Arizona HW & Overall, Jr. Nationals HW 16th, Smoked at USA's

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          • #6
            Thanks for chiming in Scott,

            i am probably about the same weight as i was back then however my condition is waaaay better and im alot more muscular now.

            chest is alot bigger now than what it was back then definettly

            i dont think my tempo has changed but my grip im noticing does not feel comfortable or natural what so ever. i have always held a super wide grip but playing around with narrower grips may be more benifficial????

            like i said my chest has grown and is not lagging, i just want more power in my chest movements, im pretty strong on shoulder presses, deads and squats but my chest is not up to par with the rest of them for some reason.

            i will say dumbell versions of incline or flat i find much easier, im stronger on db then i am barbell...on chest presses anyway.

            Matt
            NABBA UK 2011 - Novice class 3rd Place
            NABBA BRITAIN FINALS 2012 - Novice class 3rd Place
            NABBA NORTH WEST 2014 - Mr Class 2 - 1st Place
            NABBA WORLD CHAMPS 2014 - Mr Class 2 - 10th Place
            NABBA ENGLAND 2015 - Mr Class 2 - 3rd place
            NABBA UK 2015 - Mr Class 2 - 4th place

            Comment


            • #7
              "looking back at my log, my 1st ever blast i got to 3 plates per side on the incline barbell and diddnt get any stronger than that.
              13 blasts later iv hit dumbells, smyth, hammer strength machines at all angles and i seem to fail the reprange when i get to that 3 plates per side kind of weight."

              Another question:
              What kind of progress/growth have you seen in Shoulder/Tri? Every exercised you mentioned is a pressing exercise. Incline presses especially involve a large amount of shoulder; and of course any pressing movement you do will involves triceps especially at the lockout.

              When you are moving bigger weights on presses you need to think about more than your prime mover. Consider Lat and Posterior delt strength. As Scott mentioned, what is your technique like?

              It will depend on your specific sticking point, but its actually rare that a pressing exercise stalls because of chest strength in my experience. Id especially like you to consider this because you mention that your chest has seen growth without your pressing weights increasing.

              One thing I forgot to ask: Whats your ROM on these exercises? Do you touch your chest with the bar? Do you lock the weights out fully?

              Comment


              • #8
                So you rotated exercises for 2 years and never came back to incline??? if all other chest/tri/shoulder exercise have gone up in weight since then it's seems very odd that is the only one that hasn't. Could just be you are weak in that position. The first thing I thought after reading your post was how important is progression really?. You seem to change your exercises a lot,and although not getting stronger your bigger. So is progression important or is hypertrophy and shocking your muscle more important. Most people use progression on DC for growth, you seemed to change exercises and keep shocking the muscle to adapt that way. Just thinking out loud here could be WAY OVERTHINKJNG IT

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                • #9
                  Menal block at that 3 plate mark? That has happened to me before except it was deadlifting.
                  Journal http://www.intensemuscle.com/showthread.php?t=51093

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                  • #10
                    my form is bar touching the chest every time, it always has been and i stop just before lockout.
                    triceps have grown steadily with the rest of me over the 2 years of blasting but my shoulders have really blown up as with the shoulder pressing strength i believe.

                    typically an exercise lasts me 2-3 blasts and then the progression hits a brick wall or i fail the rep ranges and i move on to other movements.

                    i do get stronger on chest of course...when i hit a new exercise the progression goes nuts untill i hit that goddamn 3 plates per side kind of weight (sometimes a little more) then i find i cant get any goddamn stronger!!!

                    so when i came back to incline bench on the barbell i found i got to the weight i failed on last time in a few sessions and then i got stuck on exactly the same weight as last time instead of blasting straight past it.

                    just dissapointing because i expected to get atleast an extra 10kg heavier on there for the same rep range

                    Matt
                    NABBA UK 2011 - Novice class 3rd Place
                    NABBA BRITAIN FINALS 2012 - Novice class 3rd Place
                    NABBA NORTH WEST 2014 - Mr Class 2 - 1st Place
                    NABBA WORLD CHAMPS 2014 - Mr Class 2 - 10th Place
                    NABBA ENGLAND 2015 - Mr Class 2 - 3rd place
                    NABBA UK 2015 - Mr Class 2 - 4th place

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bicep_grind View Post
                      Thanks for chiming in Scott,

                      i am probably about the same weight as i was back then however my condition is waaaay better and im alot more muscular now.

                      chest is alot bigger now than what it was back then definettly

                      i dont think my tempo has changed but my grip im noticing does not feel comfortable or natural what so ever. i have always held a super wide grip but playing around with narrower grips may be more benifficial????

                      like i said my chest has grown and is not lagging, i just want more power in my chest movements, im pretty strong on shoulder presses, deads and squats but my chest is not up to par with the rest of them for some reason.

                      i will say dumbell versions of incline or flat i find much easier, im stronger on db then i am barbell...on chest presses anyway.

                      Matt
                      The bolded seems like the answer to why you're not stronger.

                      If you want to compare strength then with strength now, then I'd use the same form and hand spacing on the bar and re-find that natural, comfortable groove you had before.

                      As far as what's better for your chest development, I'd do what you've been doing, as you seem to think it's working. I could tell you that an over under, lopsided, false with pinkies off the bar grip has been identified as the best grip for maximizing muscle growth and EMG, but I'd still not suggest changing a damn thing* b/c what you're doing seems to be working.

                      *Only caveat here is that I'd not suggest continuing with a grip that "does not feel comfortable or natural what so ever," as this sounds like a potential accident waiting for the right set to happen.

                      -S
                      The Book Has Arrived!
                      The Book Has Arrived!

                      Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a pristine, well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, used up, worn out, and shouting, "Holy #$&^%$^... What a ride!!!"


                      www.TrueNutrition.com

                      2012 NPC Master's Nationals HW 5th. Mid-USA HW & Overall
                      2010 NPC Jr. USA HW 4th, Pacific USA Heavy 2nd
                      2009 NPC Mr. Arizona HW & Overall, Jr. Nationals HW 16th, Smoked at USA's

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        cheers Scott, I'll have to find my groove with this exercise again...perhaps the smith has thrown my form off little. come to think of it iv had incline smith in a 10 week blast then in my entire 18 week prep so iv had quite abit of time away from the barbell press to be honest.

                        Matt
                        NABBA UK 2011 - Novice class 3rd Place
                        NABBA BRITAIN FINALS 2012 - Novice class 3rd Place
                        NABBA NORTH WEST 2014 - Mr Class 2 - 1st Place
                        NABBA WORLD CHAMPS 2014 - Mr Class 2 - 10th Place
                        NABBA ENGLAND 2015 - Mr Class 2 - 3rd place
                        NABBA UK 2015 - Mr Class 2 - 4th place

                        Comment

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