How to fix my chest workout

  • Sparkycat

    Posts: 1064

    Dec 09, 2008 7:02 AM GMT
    My chest workout is presses (flat, incline, decline), flys, pullovers, and dips. My arms and shoulders get a workout but I feel nothing in my chest - no burn or pump whatsoever. I usually do three sets of 8 to 10 reps. What do I need to do to make my chest do more of the work? I've thought about doing using less weight and higher reps so maybe my chest can get a workout before my arms give out. Any ideas?

    Cameron
  • red_series

    Posts: 136

    Dec 09, 2008 3:14 PM GMT
    I had the exact same problem and, honestly, it's a pain in the ass to fix. The problem you're having is probably one of two things. 1. You don't have a strong mind/body connection to your pecs, ie, you have trouble activating those muscles for whatever reason. 2. form: you're probably moving your arms too far towards your shoulders (for the presses anyway)

    If you start with push-ups you can more easily isolate your pecs. Visualize your pecs working when you when push up and if you really can't feel anything, try moving your hands down (towards your waste).

    Good luck!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 09, 2008 3:29 PM GMT
    If you aren't already, at 50 years old you should be on HRT / AAS. Testosterone supplmentation will make a world of difference in your training, the way you feel, prevent diseases of aging and improve your overall health.

    Several things can keep you from feeling a "pump": dehdydration, poor circulation, low carbs, advanced disease, and so on. Without adequate calories and fluids, you won't feel a "pump". If you have advanced disease, or you lift in horrilbe form, you won't get one either.

    Without watching you lift, it's hard to venture even a qualified guess.

    I'd recommend training with someone who knows their stuff, and having them watch your form. I'd also recommend a CMP, fasting glucose, T3/T4, and free tesosterone test, also with a PSA.
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    Dec 09, 2008 5:37 PM GMT
    chuckystud3 saidIf you aren't already, at 50 years old you should be on HRT / AAS. Testosterone supplmentation will make a world of difference in your training, the way you feel, prevent diseases of aging and improve your overall health.



    I'm 50 and I'm not on HRT / AAS. In fact, I guess I'm very backward because this is the first time I've heard of these. Looking online, I'm not quickly finding a description, but they seem to be steroids. Is that correct?
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Dec 09, 2008 6:20 PM GMT
    Chucky's a big believer in steroids being healthy and that they're unfairly demonized. It's a minority viewpoint that most of the rest of us don't share, but I'm sure he'd be happy to detail his views at length. But as a quick answer: anything that is a testosterone replacement or supplementation will by definition be a steroid, as testosterone is a steroid hormone. I, personally, wouldn't use a steroid outside of a doctor prescribing it for a specific need (such as when I had my wisdom teeth removed and was put on steroids for a couple of weeks to speed the healing process), but that's just me.
  • FredMG

    Posts: 988

    Dec 09, 2008 6:40 PM GMT
    Cameron.

    There's a couple workout tips I've got from this site I'll pass on:

    1. Try 4 or 5 sets of 16 reps, and use a lighter weight.
    2. Look up the 5x5 workout (5 reps, 5 sets, heavy weight, and 4 different exercises for each muscle group) and a short (about 30 sec. or so) rest between sets. I'd say verify to make sure I've got the gist of that right.
    3. if you like 3 sets of reps, you can always:
    -keep the same weight, and add more reps
    -increase the wieght and do fewer reps.

    You may have just reached a "plateau" and need to change things up a little bit.

    A trainer or a workout buddy might also be a huge help in critiquing your form.

    Fred

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    Dec 09, 2008 7:52 PM GMT
    Sounds like you've got a good basic foundation, I'd just do some progressive weight sets (with machines and free weights) and throw in some pushups. There are many variations of pushups that you can do that will get you results. A trainer can get you started in the right direction.
  • MuslDrew

    Posts: 463

    Dec 09, 2008 9:28 PM GMT
    I totally agree with Chuckystud. I have a great M.D. who is also a bodybuiilder, board certified in sports medicine, age management, etc.
    I'm required to give a fasting blood draw every few months to monitor a variety of levels.
    No one gets dramatic when women are routinely prescribed estrogen for hot flashes, vaginal dryness, etc. but mention a man getting testosterone? It's a double standard.
    As a matter of fact, one of my female clients was recently put on a small dose of testosterone as her levels were extremely low. She is a fomer figure competitor and couldn't figure out her lack of energy and slowing metabolism.Turned her her test level were 10% what is normal for women her age. She's feeling like her old self and seeing the results she works so hard for.

    But, you gotta do what you feel comfortable with.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 09, 2008 9:44 PM GMT
    theatrengym, take some time to google on anti-aging, and prevention of anti-aging disease. You can talk to any good geriatric doctor and they'll be happy to bring you up to speed.

    msubionerd has his "steroids" confused. Anabolic steroids promote muscle healing, improved immune system function and recovery. That's why they remain the treatment of choice for the sickest of the sick (HIV, burns, cancer), and why they've never been attributable to a single death in over 40 years of research and why they continue to save lives, and improve the lives of the sickest of the sick (HIV, and wasting diseases) every day. Steroids, as a class, are those hormones that are soluble in lipids. Folks like msubionerd, confuse corticosteroids which are catabolic (muscle wasting, but, inflammation reducing) with anabolic steriods which preserve uscle, slow or prevent diseases of aging, lower blood pressure, protect your heart, and bones, increase your libido and promote a general sense of well-being, along with improved immune function and recovery.

    Testosterone, which is the naturally-occurring AAS that makes every man a man is the anabolic steroid that is used most commonly in HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy). HRT (estrogen replacement) has been used in women for years, and years, although, through misinformation and some taboos, it's only just become popular with middle-age folks in the past couple of decades.

    HRT WORKS because it fixes a lot of what's making you age in the first place...low hormones, with something that's completely natural (testosterone).

    Researchers have found that it's the ratio of estrogen to testosterone that seems to account for many diseases of aging (like BPH), and that bringing those ratios into line prevents many diseases.

    Study after study has shown, contrary to misinformation, that folks with supplemented hormone levels have considerable lower mortality than the lay public (UNT 1999).

    At 48, I'm happy to say I have a bp of 130/72, a cholesterol of 130, above average insulin sensitivity, and glucose tolerance, and a PSA of .4. I don't have to take any meds for cholesterol, or bp, and I'm in the top 2% nationally in my age group for fitness.

    While some jokers can spew about stuff they've never studied, not only have I been around it for 33 years, but, I've met with a number of geriatrics doctors, been in studies, have a number of friends in the same spot as me, and have the blood work sitting on the shelf next to me.

    Just because someone who is clueless says something doesn't mean it's true.

    After 40 years of science, not a single government agency has advocated the control of AAS. Not a single death. Near the very bottom in hospital visits. My doctor writes my HRT script.

    Here's to good things to watch, along with googling for anti-aging, and speaking to a good geriatric doctor. You don't have to be sick, depressed, fat, nor legarthic, as you go into and beyond middle age.

    At some point, common sense, and logic, should prevail.





  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Dec 09, 2008 11:18 PM GMT
    Actually, I'm fully aware of the fact that anabolic steroids are a strict subgroup of steroids. One of the effects of holding a BS in Biochemistry is that I have a decent understanding of basic classification schemes of biomolecules. While there are important functional distinctions between gluccocorticoids and androgens and estrogens, all are indeed steroids.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 10, 2008 12:50 AM GMT
    Thanks, chucky, for the different perspective. I will have a bit more of an open mind about it now. although in the unlikely event that I did decide I wanted to try some steroids, at the moment it wouldn't be possible for me.

    And whatever the health issues may or may not be, I've seen hot guys go on steroids and destroy what was beautiful about their bodies. At this point in my life, I'm no longer especially trying to get bigger, at least not as my main goal. I spent years trying to do that. I eventually succeeded, and in the process I lost some of what was so nice about my body, which I then had to work very hard to get part of the way back to.

    What was odd is that I've always preferred leaner, smaller, really ripped guys to big guys. Though big guys certainly can be hot too, and of course some guys (though I think not most) can be big and lean and ripped. But I was convinced other guys would find me hotter if I got bigger. So I ate and ate and ate, while continuing to work out very hard. And I was already eating HUGE amounts of good food, having been born with an exceptionally fast metabolism. People were constantly astonished at how much I would eat while remaining extremely lean and ripped. So I ate even more and eventually I lost my leanness and ripped-ness. I did gain muscle size, but not enough to compensate for my loss of leanness. Some guys can do that, get big and look great, and some guys just are not meant to.

    Some people liked the bigger me and some preferred the former me. Ultimately, I preferred the former me. Of course, as I get older, it's harder to get back to that ripped state.

    So personally at this point in my life, though I wouldn't mind being bigger, I'm not obsessed with it in that way. I am aware that you're pointing to other benefits that come with steroids. But I already have extraordinarily low cholesterol numbers. I could use more energy though. I no longer have the kind of energy I did when I was younger.

    I hasten to add that I've certainly seen guys who were using steroids and swore by them and looked great, as well as some who looked awful, but in their own minds thought they looked great.

    But the different perspective is good to hear and perhaps it's true that the health risks have been greatly exaggerated.
  • Sparkycat

    Posts: 1064

    Dec 10, 2008 4:37 AM GMT
    Thanks for the response. Actually, I'm on HRT, prescribed by a doc. I inject myself with testosterone once per week. I have high levels now. Before the HRT I had very low levels. I'm all in favor of steroids used wisely. I tried one cycle, but it was a total waste of my $$ because I didn't understand the importance of diet. I did not consume nearly enough calories or protein.

    I should have mentioned in my first post that bench presses are causing pain in my shoulders that lasts several days. I have to be careful about this because I have a tendency to develop impingement on a tendon, especially in my left shoulder. This pain did not start until I started going up in weight. So, I think the problem is poor form, and I need to back off on the weight and learn to do the presses correctly. I'm going to try a workout with just flys and dips to see if they cause any problems. I don't think they will, and that will confirm that I'm doing presses wrong.



    chuckystud3 saidIf you aren't already, at 50 years old you should be on HRT / AAS. Testosterone supplmentation will make a world of difference in your training, the way you feel, prevent diseases of aging and improve your overall health.

    Several things can keep you from feeling a "pump": dehdydration, poor circulation, low carbs, advanced disease, and so on. Without adequate calories and fluids, you won't feel a "pump". If you have advanced disease, or you lift in horrilbe form, you won't get one either.

    Without watching you lift, it's hard to venture even a qualified guess.

    I'd recommend training with someone who knows their stuff, and having them watch your form. I'd also recommend a CMP, fasting glucose, T3/T4, and free tesosterone test, also with a PSA.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 10, 2008 4:43 AM GMT
    I would either take an extended break from weights perhaps 1 or 2 weeks... When you get back to it I'm sure you will notice your body is responding differently. Another option would be changing up your routine. What if you did your workout in reverse order? How about doing 5 sets of 8? Perhaps you can just get an all new chest routine from here or a fitness mag... I am a huge fan of Muscle and Fitness for workout ideas. Good luck.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 12, 2008 3:26 PM GMT
    ..or stick with the bench press (lower weight, watch your form) as others have suggested, and in between sets do 10-12 pushups, 2 hands wide / 2 hands straight in front. That changed up my chest workout really well because you're isolating your chest (and working you stablizers too). Personal Trainer taught me that one.

    He also suggested using swiss balls and rolling them out like a pushup to really work your back stablizers. It's hard, though.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 12, 2008 3:58 PM GMT
    When benching, try squeezing your shoulder blades together so that your chest is out, this will take emphasis off your shoulders. You'll know you're doing it correctly if there is a space between your lower back and the bench, just make sure you're not arching your lower back but instead pushing your shoulder blades together.
    With flyes, I sort of get the same problem, my arms start giving out and I don't really feel them working my chest. I do cable crossovers. The trick with the crossovers is to really squeeze the chest.

    Check this video out, the guy is kind of painful to listen to but it has some good pointers.

    http://thefitshow.tv/remastered/season1/?videoId=301789793