movements done for 4-10 reps are the
ideal way to put on muscle. Anything less than 4 reps and you are
basically training connective tissue and contractile power. So stay within
the right range of reps and allow at least 4 days (I usually allow 6)
between training sessions, while keeping your eye on nutrition.
Debunking the Flat
Bench Press: The popularity of the Flat Barbell Bench Press is crazy. Everybody uses
it as an overall measure of strength and in 1000s of gyms across the
globe guys in search of big pecs are flat benching there way into
oblivion. The result is an unbalanced chest with shallow upper pecs.
Whadaya do? I am not saying that you should eliminate flat
presses... Also many people have potential for great development but
they just press up as much as they can and never display 1 cut or
striation at all. whadaya do? Big Joe's Chest Chiseler - That's what
ya do! (ready to burst out your tank top).
Big Joe's Chest Chiseler In my workout I start of with Incline Barbell Presses 3-5 sets of 4 to 10
reps cuz these enable me to use a heavy weight on a compound
movement while allowing me to create more aesthetic development but
hitting the upper pecs. I suggest that you vary the incline.
Although I prefer the standard 45 degrees you can also take a flat
bench and put it up and inch or two with a block and you get a nice
low-incline movement which allows you to hit the pecs nicely. Since
this is a power movement, pile on the weight for 3-5 pyramiding
sets, aim for 8-10 reps on the earlier sets and go all the way up to
a heavy-ass set of 4reps. Lately I have progressed to incline
pressing just over my bodyweight. Keep your ass on the bench, chest
high and keep your shoulders back and lats flared so that your pecs
(rather than just delts and tris) do the work. As an alternate you
can lower or raise the incline or perform it on a
smith-machine...but barbells are better for me!
Up next I suggest a movement that still allows you to move some
weight but with more emphasis on isolated stress. Here I will do
Dumbbell Bench Presses 2-3sets of 6-10 on a slightly-inclined bench.
I find that this movement helps develop the mid-upper pec region
nicely and hits the pec-delt tie-in areas. I hoist a pair of 75 or
80 pounders up and start repping away.
I like to conclude the last set of this exercise with a drop set. After my hitting failure on my last set (usually 95 lb. dumbbells for 6
or 7 reps), I do a triple drop set: using a pair of 70s for 6, 60-65
for 6-7 and a pair of 50s to failure. I tell ya, your chest is going
to pump like crazy after these. It will be a blood flood in your
pecs and you will be well on your way to that high shelved look that
good upper pecs will give ya. So much that if Tyra banks was walking
by she would take a second look (providing you are not posing your
ass off-- you got to look good but the honeys don't want to see us
showing off looking narcissistic!)
To finish things off I have a couple of recipes. I like Flat Bench
Dumbbell Flyes for 3 x 8-12. These give me a good stretch. Getting
that stretch allows more neuromuscular pathways into those pecs,
telling your brain--Hey, we got someone in the sternum department
who wants more size! Stretching and contracting the pecs hard also
brings out striations in your chest muscles. No matter how big you
are, you will look good with striated pecs. Cable Crossovers and
Cable flyes offer more pec contractions then regular flyes since
they give you more resistance at the top of the movement-- I suggest
you try 'em all to see which works best. Just don't go too heavy.
The point of these types of motions is to etch detail and using too
heavy a weight will force you to use the triceps too much. Sometimes
I will also do a set of parallel bar dips to help hit the outer pecs
too and might even superset them with flyes or crossovers. As ya can
see I aim for eclectic approach-- using differing angles and what
not to hit the pecs, but remember that nothing replaces the heavy
basic exercises. No workout is going to work for you unless you are
eating right, making sure you got enough protein and all.
Also, I find that this workout allows for the most intensity. Keep
in mind that some will recommend more sets or less. I suggest ya try
my approach out for a few weeks and give other approaches a try for
variety. Additionally, consult the insight of my colleagues: Chris
Meraz, AJ, Derek, Nathan, John Giljum, Anthony Church, Mahoney, Big
Red, Jay Horowitz, Aaron Ciak, James Sadek, Bryan Kenny, Ben C., and