DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR?
“When I train my chest, I always feel it more in my shoulders than my pecs.”
“No matter what I do I can’t make my chest sore… or even feel it!”
Guys, most of us love training our chest. But its a real kick in the proverbial balls when we put all that effort in and feel nothing for it.
Of the hundreds of guys I’ve coached over the years there is always a common thread for anyone who can’t feel their chest when training, or stimulate growth from it…
If you can’t engage, contract and feel a muscle squeezing without using any resistance then you have no chance of engaging it optimally when you train with weights.
YOU DON’T HAVE STUBBORN PECS
Most guys will just assume their pecs are just ‘stubborn’ or you need some crazy rep or loading scheme to stimulate them but its simply not true.
I promise you, you just aren’t engaging them.
So with that in mind, here’s 4 things you can do right now that will absolutely help you engage your chest more when training & allow you to maximise your potential.
Learning how to feel your chest under load should always begin with just feeling our own bodies without any external resistance.
Spend time squeezing and flexing your chest in any way you can, mimicking pressing and flying movements.
Understanding how and what full engagement feels like is a powerful technique to practice and will build the connection and feeling when then lifting weights with correct technique.
You can even do this before a workout to “switch the muscle on” and get a feeling for it before you even pick up a dumbbell.
FAVOUR CABLES FIRST
Exercises like cable crossovers at a moderate weight will allow you to slightly pre-exhaust your chest as a warm-up/activation set. So go slightly heavier than a normal warm up and your sole focus should be FEELING the muscle working before you begin your main workout.
The cables also offer the added benefit of keeping the muscle under tension throughout the entire exercise where as with a dumbbell or bar you can be relatively relaxed at the top where you are simply balancing the weight against gravity.
SLOW DOWN & FOCUS
Here’s a tip I use with every single client inside my coaching program.
Slow down the negative portion of the rep. Lower the weight under focused tension for 3-6 seconds whilst keeping it under control.
Also add a squeeze to every rep to further reinforce engagement and feel the muscle working even more.
If you can’t do either of these things for a number of reps you will need to lighten the load. Don’t let you ego or attachment to a certain weight hold you back from progressing.
TAKE YOUR SHOULDERS OUT
One of the biggest problems I see is when someone choses a weight that’s too heavy to execute the exercise with good technique.
Or as they approach failure and start to lose control their shoulders take over and dominate the movement. The scapula spreads and shoulders are allowed to drift forwards placing a large portion of the load on the front delts.
This makes your shoulders burn rather than your chest.
To avoid this happening, focus on keeping your shoulder blades pinned back & down throughout and drive your elbows together on flying movements like the pec deck or cable flys to the get the most out of your chest.
What else do you struggle with?
If you need help with any stubborn body parts or if you aren’t getting the results you want, feel free to reach out and ask for help.
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If you’re interested in taking your physique, performance and life to the next level, lets chat about building a better you…