But the pectoral muscles have a distinct upper and lower as well, all with multiple heads. After 5-6 months, a new user will need to incorporate incline, decline and other advanced.movements. In my experience it's better to work in some of these from the start, even as supplementals, such as:
Just that small inclusion at the end can trigger additional muscle fibers that still have a ton of energy left.
Perhaps you're right (at least partially). Unless I'm mistaken there are a few studies showing that the pectoral muscles are adequately activated by e.g. bench press with a reasonable grip width (i.e. shoulder width). Also, as far as I know, some experienced strength coaches such as Mark Rippetoe think it's unnecessary to use a range of different exercises (for a single muscle group) at the same time. One or two barbell lifts (performed correctly) should suffice for many. But, as often elsewhere, to each his own.
Personally I prefer floor press in order to limit the ROM and focus more on the chest and less on the shoulders. I don't have an ideal torso for conventional bench press.
Also, as a note, weight lifted is *never* important, as long as it's challenging and you are not seeing a decrease in overall ability.
How the body/nerves/muscles actually perceive things is important, yeah.
Also, as a general guideline, roughly one hour of weight training per session is ideal. Anything more will produce diminishing returns, and may over fatigue you.
I agree that one hour of intense and effective exercise can be enough. Sometimes I stretch it a bit due to things such as a prolonged warm-up, stretching, core exercises, waiting in line for access to the right equipment etc. I'm mostly OK as long as I've rested and eaten enough prior to the session. 1-1,5 hours is usually enough for me.
The form, the breathing, and the control are the important things. People who let their ego's cloud their judgement will try to lift heavier than they can handle, which will lead to bad form and a lack of control, which makes the lift easier and almost completely worthless.
After a good workout, you should feel like you were in control, that you fatigued the muscle fibers, and a rewarding sense of a job well done. You will see signs of this when you get out of bed the next day or so!
As long as you are doing yourworkout properly, you will get results. Never be afraid to study another weightlifter, or to ask advice, or inquire about a movement foreign to you, but don't feel a need to "keep up" with the weight others are lifting. Even after my 8 years or so of experience, I will notice a new movement, or a neat variation performed by a fellow lifter about once a week.
I prefer to use an autoregulation routine in order to adjust the weights/load from day to day. Look up keywords such as Mike Tuchscherer, Reactive Training Systems (RTS) and Rating of Perceived Effort (RPE) if you're interested and haven't heard about it before.