I get asked, often, "how do I do this" or "what do you do for that". Well I was asked today "what do you do for chest?" by someone who was having trouble getting their chest to respond to training and felt it was their weak spot. I thought I'd carry that conversation over here as there may others who struggle with the same problem First and foremost I always look to bench grip when people tell me they are having trouble with their chest. Often people are using a grip thats too narrow. The narrower the grip, the more emphasis is placed on the Triceps and less on the chest. I typically recommend going as wide as you can when doing barbell bench press (unless you WANT to place the load on the triceps) for two reasons: 1) it shortens the distance the bar travels, decreasing the amount of time under load for each rep and allowing an INCREASE of weight to be moved or an increase of proper reps and 2) it makes the role of the triceps as minimal as it can be and places the majority of the work squarely on the chest. Likewise, however, if Triceps are the lagging part of the puzzle, switching to a more neutral grip will force them to work harder during each rep and add a fair bit of stress to them making for extra growth! Another thing I recommend is using dumbells. Dumbells can provide a wonderfully painful way of pushing your chest to that next level of development be it strength or size you're after. But presses alone wont do the trick. The problem with presses is that the Triceps usually fail before the chest does. Your chest is STRONG, it really is, even on the most board-chested of you. Look at how much bigger it is compared to triceps? It's MEANT to move weight and it can take a pounding. Ever watch someone get stuck benching or have it happen to you? Notice how its always in about the same place? That bar comes up, off the chest and then just BAM - sticks like glue for a second before it sloooooowly begins its descent onto your chest again, lol. The point at which this occurs is the point where the triceps are largely on their own. The chest really hasn't kicked in fully yet, and the front delts arent' doing much more than applauding and offering moral support. The triceps are usually the weak link in any successful bench attempt. So, how do you take the triceps out of the equation if your chest is suffering? Well, I recommend combining two exercises into one. By supersetting DB presses with DB flies you can push your chest MUCH further than with presses alone. NOTE: Before someone runs out and breaks themselves in half trying to do flies with the same weight they do presses with, please understand that dropping weight as needed is KEY to getting enough good reps out of the flies. Pushing a heavy weight and only getting 2 or 3 reps isnt going to cut it. So drop a bit and get another 6-8 solid reps. Another trick for you gym goers is Incline Cable Flies. This exercise is AWESOME for upper/outer chest development. The reason being, there is no real let-off point where the weight is neutral in the hands. Those cables are literally PULLING your hands down. So now its not like a static weight at all! Plus, not having dumbells to worry about allows you to really push yourself to failure, giving that chest as much punishment as it can take! I swear by this exercise for stubborn chests. And much like the BB bench press, let those arms open wide and low, really stretch them out. Keep the elbows pointed at the ground the whole time to ensure you're not torquing the shoulders any, and just spread your wings you beautiful little peacock you! LOL... But seriously, if anyone is suffering from a lagging chest there are some GREAT tips to help get it back on track. I think next I'll tackle stubborn triceps and complete the circle.... thoughts? CHEERS!!