Filling out the Upper Pecs

Q: I’ve been doing your hypertrophy for ectomorphs for about 2 months now and I’ve noticed that I am not gaining much mass on my pectoralis minors. Also, my bench press weight has gone down from being able to do 4 sets of 8 of 165lbs to not being able to get 3 of 175lb on my set of 6 in the hypertrophy workout. What do you think I’m doing wrong?

– T. Arjeski


My Answer: Hard to say what’s going on unless I’m looking at your training log and looking at your numbers. Question is were you ever able to do 6 reps of 175 lbs? When you progress from 10 to 8 to 6 reps, the increase in poundages should be small. 2.5 to 5 pounds. Ten pound jumps would be too much, especially if you’re nearing your 6RM.

Bottom line is you’ve been on the program for too long (2 months) and need to switch to a 5×5 program. Your upper pecs are not getting much growth, because you’ve been doing the flat bench press for 2 months. Switch to a 20 degree dumbbell bench press.

Now if you’re looking to develop the pec minor specifically (and not just the upper portion of the pec major), then do some dumbbell pullovers alternated with standing barbell military presses. The pec minor is a small muscle underneath the pec major. If you develop the pec minor, then you’ll get extra thickness in the upper chest area near the clavicles.


One thought on “Filling out the Upper Pecs

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  1. James, I was able to finish the pyramid workout completely when I started it. 10 – 155lbs, 8 – 165lbs, 6 – 175lbs. Although I did change my grip after a few weeks to a wider grip to build my shoulders, which made it harder to complete a full extension of heavy weight. I am going to switch to a 5×5 workout as you suggested since I am not gaining anymore mass. If you have a good one in mind I would be grateful for your guidance.

    Thanks, Trevor


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