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Issues with gaining upper chest & shoulder mass


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Excerpt: I've always had issues gaining size in my chest and shoulders. Everything else, no problem. I'm a hard gainer, but as long as I have a good diet I make significant gains in everywhere except those two areas. Chest Upper pec area is a joke. I've tried variations of bringing the bar down to my clavicle area, bringing it down more to the middle of my chest, only bringing the bar down enough so that my upper arms go no lower than parallel with the ground, I've tried wide grip, slightly closer

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  1. #1

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    Issues with gaining upper chest & shoulder mass

    I've always had issues gaining size in my chest and shoulders. Everything else, no problem. I'm a hard gainer, but as long as I have a good diet I make significant gains in everywhere except those two areas.

    Chest

    Upper pec area is a joke. I've tried variations of bringing the bar down to my clavicle area, bringing it down more to the middle of my chest, only bringing the bar down enough so that my upper arms go no lower than parallel with the ground, I've tried wide grip, slightly closer grip...but I never feel any soreness in the upper pec area, nor do I see any gains.

    When I use a slightly closer grip I feel tension or slight pain in the area between the delt and tricep, like I'm not even using any pectoral muscle. Other times it feels like the delts are getting involved.

    I've tried benching with dumbbells for the above three but I never feel it in my chest or any soreness at all. Only pain in my arms so I want to stick with the bench.


    Shoulders

    I used to do only dumbbell and barbell presses and always felt a good soreness the next day. They seemed to grow a bit, but there never seemed to be much width, and I didn't have anything in the rear delt area. The rounded shoulder look has always evaded me.
    I've recently started doing only dumbell presses for overall mass and side lat raises for width, and bent over lat raises for rear delts. I've heard that since the delts are a small muscle group you should limit the amount of exercises.
    But maybe I should I add back in the barbell press?
    And do lat raises add mass, or only definition?
    When I do lat raises, I don't raises them above shoulder level, hold them, and don't bringing them completely down to my sides before going back up again. I turn my wrists as I raise them like I'm pouring out gallons of water so that focuses on middle delt and not the front one.

    Any advice?
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    HEAD MODERATOR stevesmi's Avatar
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    Re: Issues with gaining upper chest & shoulder mass

    how old are you man? a lot of the younger guys have bird chests and then once they hit puberty it will grow. some are late bloomers and this won't happen until their mid 20s
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  3. #3
    Chairman Member P0N's Avatar
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    Re: Issues with gaining upper chest & shoulder mass

    For upper chest, are you doing all these exercises on a flat bench? For upper pecs you generally want to be doing incline bench (at varying levels of steepness). Incline dumbbell presses are especially good at triggering different muscle fibers throughout the upper pecs

  4. #4

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    Re: Issues with gaining upper chest & shoulder mass

    Quote Quote posted by stevesmi View Post
    how old are you man? a lot of the younger guys have bird chests and then once they hit puberty it will grow. some are late bloomers and this won't happen until their mid 20s
    I'm already 28.
    I have crap genetics. Bird chest, and even sternum is slightly sunken at the bottom.
    Small frame with very narrow shoulders.
    I'm like the stereotypical pencil neck.

    Quote Quote posted by P0N View Post
    For upper chest, are you doing all these exercises on a flat bench? For upper pecs you generally want to be doing incline bench (at varying levels of steepness). Incline dumbbell presses are especially good at triggering different muscle fibers throughout the upper pecs
    No, I alter the bench for incline at a 45 degree angle in the past.
    I just recently started doing it at a 10/15 degree angle thinking it would take the pain away from that area and focus more on the chest. I'm back to doing it at a 45 degree angle though.

    I've tried the dumbbell incline press with light, moderate and heavy weights, trying to hit it in different ways, rotating wrists a bit, etc.
    I don't feel anything in my pecs. Only more pain in that small area in my upper arms.

    With no in dumbbells in my hands I can see how the movement would activate the chest/upper pecs more as I can see them squeezing together for a fuller range of motion. Barbell doesn't go that far.

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