I've tried it all, but my pecs just won't behave...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 09, 2010 2:00 AM GMT
    Okay, I don't know if this is some cruel joke that someone is playing on me, but to me, great pecs on a guy is the ultimate Holy Grail. WELL, being that I love seeing them on guys so much, I want them for myself. I consider myself an educated person when it comes to trying to bulk up (but I'm always looking/reading for new information). I know actually lifting the weights its only a small part of it. However, I have been with 4 trainers and worked out with numerous guys who I'd like to emulate. My whole body - arms, legs, shoulders, back, abs - is coming along, except my pecs. One of my good friends, who looks like he was craved from marble, just told me, just because something works for someone does not mean it is going to work for you, so I just keep trying new things.

    I've been going at this vigourously for about 5 months, which I know is not a substantial amount of time, but I'm just so put out by my lack of progress in the pec department. Any recommendations? If you ask me my typical pec work out, might as well just Google "pec workout". I'm trying everything icon_razz.gif (Maybe that is the problem?)
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    Jan 09, 2010 2:13 AM GMT
    Check your workout form. I noticed a big difference in pec development when I focused on proper form, rather than try to push a lot of weight. Also, I work on my pecs twice a week.. Monday and Friday. Getting good results so far.
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    Jan 09, 2010 5:39 AM GMT
    xrichx is spot on, reduce the weight, focus on form and focus on using the muscles you are trying to target.

    Doing a chest press say, focus on the pec muscles helping bring down the weight you are lifting and then do the same as you lift the weight up.

    It might not be the holey grail for you, but, it'll help you develop a really good sense of what's working for you and what isn't.
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    Jan 09, 2010 6:42 AM GMT
    Don't forget that a stretched muscle can be up to 30% larger than a non-stretched one. A full range of motion in the exercise is essential for optimal development.

    You'll want to read up on the various forms of hypertrophy, and their associated training methods.
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    Jan 09, 2010 9:57 AM GMT
    xrichx saidCheck your workout form. I noticed a big difference in pec development when I focused on proper form, rather than try to push a lot of weight. Also, I work on my pecs twice a week.. Monday and Friday. Getting good results so far.


    This. The most important part of pec training is making sure you are actually working the pecs and not cheating somehow with the shoulders or arms. Do you know what it actually FEELS like when you engage the pecs? This should be your goal every time you work them, the amount of weight used is almost irrelevant (go lighter than you feel you need to). I discovered the correct feeling on the cable cross. WARNING... if you suddenly work it out and are able to really start working into those muscles make sure you stretch and also work the opposite muscles (back) or you will end up with imbalances.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11526

    Jan 09, 2010 1:42 PM GMT
    find a qualified plastic surgeon and consider pec implants? icon_cool.gif
  • Celticmusl

    Posts: 4330

    Jan 09, 2010 2:14 PM GMT
    Even professional bodybuilders, taking huge amounts of steroids and becoming the biggest they can possibly be, still can't do much about genetic limitations. Some of them can develop huge chests and backs, while others are just limited. The worst issue for them is calves, where quite a few have little muscle in that area to work with.

    I'm just glad everyone doesn't look alike and have the same proportions. Be happy with what you have. You don't need to give up your efforts, just realize sometimes there are genetic limitations.

    Also, you are still incredibly young:

    -At your age I was 5'8, 143 lbs, size 8 shoes, no facial or chest hair, and a 29 inch waist.

    -At the age of 32 I was 5'9, 186 lbs, 10% bf, size 10 1/2 shoes, facial hair, chest hair, back hair(ack!) and a 31 inch waist.

    -At my age of 42 I am 200 lbs and my back hair has basically taken over.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11526

    Jan 09, 2010 2:21 PM GMT
    Celticmusl saidEven professional bodybuilders, taking huge amounts of steroids and becoming the biggest they can possibly be, still can't do much about genetic limitations. Some of them can develop huge chests and backs, while others are just limited. The worst issue for them is calves, where quite a few have little muscle in that area to work with.

    I'm just glad everyone doesn't look alike and have the same proportions. Be happy with what you have. You don't need to give up your efforts, just realize sometimes there are genetic limitations.

    Also, you are still incredibly young:

    -At your age I was 5'8, 143 lbs, size 8 shoes, no facial or chest hair, and a 29 inch waist.

    -At the age of 32 I was 5'9, 186 lbs, 10% bf, size 10 1/2 shoes, facial hair, chest hair, back hair(ack!) and a 31 inch waist.

    -At my age of 42 I am 200 lbs and my back hair has basically taken over.
    celtic, i doubt anyone complains much about your appearance, at any age or weight! icon_cool.gif
  • Celticmusl

    Posts: 4330

    Jan 09, 2010 2:30 PM GMT
    Mch - thanks bro! icon_wink.gif
  • camfer

    Posts: 892

    Jan 09, 2010 2:43 PM GMT
    Chest work done with poor form often works delts and triceps. You might be working hard on the wrong muscles. Do your pecs actually get sore after your pec workout?
  • jeepguySD

    Posts: 651

    Jan 09, 2010 2:45 PM GMT
    It is possible to overwork a muscle group. Some muscle groups require more rest - that is more days off - to recover and repair themselves. It is in the repairing that they grow. If you work your pecs too offten it may be counter-productive. I suggest you work your chest no more than one or two days per week. Best of luck and keep at it... persistence and diligence pays off.
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    Jan 09, 2010 4:21 PM GMT
    camfer saidChest work done with poor form often works delts and triceps. You might be working hard on the wrong muscles. Do your pecs actually get sore after your pec workout?


    Yes.. I did them two nights ago and they are quite sore today. I'm pretty sure it is not my form. I'm very aware of how to isolate my muscles, mainly because of all the instruction I've had. I just don't know if I should try any specific exercises, low weight/high rep, high weight/low rep, etc. I do find that I get the most sore after I use the cable machines.
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    Jan 09, 2010 4:27 PM GMT
    GWACpwns said
    camfer saidChest work done with poor form often works delts and triceps. You might be working hard on the wrong muscles. Do your pecs actually get sore after your pec workout?


    Yes.. I did them two nights ago and they are quite sore today. I'm pretty sure it is not my form. I'm very aware of how to isolate my muscles, mainly because of all the instruction I've had. I just don't know if I should try any specific exercises, low weight/high rep, high weight/low rep, etc. I do find that I get the most sore after I use the cable machines.


    If you are absolutely doing it right in terms of form (doing it wrong is very easy) then eat more. It´s btw not just what´s sore, but what you feel working: you could still be doing enough to get them sore but doing most of the work in the wrong place. Honestly, experiment.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 09, 2010 4:30 PM GMT
    Dude, you're 20 and from your pics, you look pretty well in proportion to me. So first, stop stressing. Ugly truth for guys your age to be massive is freaky genetics (we hate guys like that) or steroids. So, you may just need to wait until your body's matured a bit more to start seeing the types of mass gains you really want. I know personally, I didn't start filling out and adding size in a good way until I was 28. And it's said full muscle maturity is at 35.

    Age aside, have you tried high-volume training? Along with perfect form and the mind-muscle connection mentioned by the other guys, I find that my chest responds best with around 20 sets of exercises per workout. Usually, 4 exercises, 5 sets, 8 to 10 reps per set. You don't want to fail until your last set of each exercise, so use a weight that will get you all the way to the end.

    Lastly, focus on your inclines. Everything tapers down from the insertion points as the pec inserts at your shoulder and fans out along your collar bone. The wider and thicker you build the top, the more full you'll look all the way through. (And don't worry about neglecting the entire muscle, the pectoral works through the entire range of motion. It's just a focus. The mid and lower pecs will be working through your inclines as well.)
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    Jan 09, 2010 4:34 PM GMT
    The best way to get some good, sensible advice is to hire a personal trainer. If you can do a few sessions with him, he can make sure your form and weight are correct. The guys on here are dead on when they tell you it is about form and not the weight. For me, I was lifting twice as much weight before I hired a personal trainer. When I did, half the weight I was lifting felt like three times as much... all due to my form. I saw drastic improvements and results. Let us know how it works out! While you can read all the comments here, and read the magazine articles, you need someone there with you to see what you are doing right and wrong. Then they can correct it. Make sure that they are a certified trainer. Good luck!
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    Jan 09, 2010 4:35 PM GMT
    Xian_Buffed saidDude, you're 20 and from your pics, you look pretty well in proportion to me. So first, stop stressing. Ugly truth for guys your age to be massive is freaky genetics (we hate guys like that) or steroids. So, you may just need to wait until your body's matured a bit more to start seeing the types of mass gains you really want. I know personally, I didn't start filling out and adding size in a good way until I was 28. And it's said full muscle maturity is at 35.

    Age aside, have you tried high-volume training? Along with perfect form and the mind-muscle connection mentioned by the other guys, I find that my chest responds best with around 20 sets of exercises per workout. Usually, 4 exercises, 5 sets, 8 to 10 reps per set. You don't want to fail until your last set of each exercise, so use a weight that will get you all the way to the end.

    Lastly, focus on your inclines. Everything tapers down from the insertion points as the pec inserts at your shoulder and fans out along your collar bone. The wider and thicker you build the top, the more full you'll look all the way through. (And don't worry about neglecting the entire muscle, the pectoral works through the entire range of motion. It's just a focus. The mid and lower pecs will be working through your inclines as well.)


    Why do I feel my age as such a hinderence icon_razz.gif I guess I need to stop comparing myself to guys who are juicing. Incline would be better with dumb bells instead of bar bells, yes?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 09, 2010 4:36 PM GMT
    locker_69 saidThe best way to get some good, sensible advice is to hire a personal trainer. If you can do a few sessions with him, he can make sure your form and weight are correct. The guys on here are dead on when they tell you it is about form and not the weight. For me, I was lifting twice as much weight before I hired a personal trainer. When I did, half the weight I was lifting felt like three times as much... all due to my form. I saw drastic improvements and results. Let us know how it works out! While you can read all the comments here, and read the magazine articles, you need someone there with you to see what you are doing right and wrong. Then they can correct it. Make sure that they are a certified trainer. Good luck!


    2009 was my year of trainers. I invested the money so I could learn properly. Still, it's always my pecs that seems to lag.
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    Feb 02, 2010 12:36 AM GMT
    i had a similair problem....my chest was always my weak area....i found DB presses, DB flys and declines brought my chest out ....took me a good to be happy wth the results.......its important to squeeze the pecs with every rep.....realy feel and work them.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 02, 2010 12:38 AM GMT
    no gratuitous chest pics? icon_eek.gif
  • WILDCARD73

    Posts: 545

    Feb 02, 2010 12:40 AM GMT
    icon_mad.gifi got the same issue with chest and shoulders

    any other body part grow properly, fast and as expected

    i am just putting the blame on my genes,,,,icon_mad.gif

  • Anto

    Posts: 2035

    Feb 02, 2010 12:55 AM GMT
    Are you not getting stronger in your pecs or are they just not looking the way you want?
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    Feb 02, 2010 1:04 PM GMT
    Gratitious pic

    270307pecs-01.jpg
  • TexanMan82

    Posts: 893

    Feb 04, 2010 12:14 AM GMT
    I've been working out my pecs like a madman for a little over 2 years and they're just BARELY starting to gain some real mass. It's frustrating. Everything else on me grows pretty quickly (insert inappropriate giggle here), except my pecs.

    It just takes time. 5 months is nothing in the bodybuilding world.
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    Apr 06, 2010 8:22 PM GMT
    Gratitious vid icon_razz.gif:


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 06, 2010 8:26 PM GMT
    chrome188 saidGratitious vid:


    OK, not cool. His pecs are sorely disproportionate to his delts. Biceps are huge too, adding to the sadness. I'm going to guess steroids.

    I wonder if he's been dealing with some shoulder injuries as a result of overloading his pecs.