Incline Bench Press & Clavicular Head Hypertrophy
I posted this on Casey Butt's weightrainer forum, but seeing as it can not be as active as one would like, and only has a handful of regular members, I figured I would get some insight from here as opposed to somewhere like bb.com where broscience runs rampant.
My chest has ALWAYS been my worst body part. When I first benched back in 9th or 10th grade, I used a make-shift broom handle type thing and sand weights, with a 25 on each side and could not rep it. It has always been a battle for me and I have always tried to come up with different methods and variations to help build up my chest. I have a decent "lower chest" or "sweep" but my "upper chest" or clavicular and sternal heads are quite weak both physically and aesthetically.
My highest press has been 190x3 on decline, and I distinctly remember getting 180x3-5 on flat bench. For incline, I remember vaguely repping out 150-160 for 8-10. I am currently on Phase 6 of Casey's Beginner Routine. I have swapped many chest exercises and decline started stalling around 165-170x8...so I have switched to Incline Pressing. I can only hit 135x8, but I do controlled/slow reps and actually touch my chest which I am not sure if I have done in the past.
Sorry for the length post but just giving some background.
Given this area of the chest, what exercise(s) will induce the greatest results in terms of hypertrophy?
A 15-30 degree incline barbell press would be awesome, but most gyms have no such thing. I was thinking of doing Incline BB for the Heavy Days (1 and 3), and on the light days, ~30 degree incline db press (stack 3 plates under the bench), and gironda dips.
To get an understanding of the area that needs work on my chest, I am going to post some pictures:
Leanest I have been (~11% BF), in the high 150s or low 160s back in August of last year (avatar is from the same date, different lighting/room):
from about a month or so back:
Since you're familiar with Gironda Dips for the lower half, you should be familiar with his wide grip bench press to the neck (clavicle) for the upper half. Now before anyone says that'll kill your shoulders, they're right, but that's why you use a reverse grip so your elbows are tucked. I had the same problem you did, Dips and the Neck Press cured them. Vince Gironda's work really turns on a lot of lights when I read his stuff.
I am assuming wide/reverse grip would have to be performed on a flat bench?
I would be interested in some links to Gironda's articles as I am only vaguely familiar with his principles.
Also, someone in the past suggested reverse grip dumbbell pressing, and dumbbell flyes starting with a neutral grip, and rotating the wrists so the back of the hands are almost facing each other at the top.
I am mainly just looking for ONE power exercise (could reverse/wide grip pressing be used not only for hypertrophy, but also adding strength increases routinely?) and a few good hypertrophy exercises for the "Light Day (Isolation Work)"
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