Written by Trey "3" Armstong, owner and operator of: www.3StepMuscleBuilding.com
When I was in college I used to joke around that Mondays were “International Chest Day” in gyms across the world. Walk into any gym on a Monday around 5:00PM and you will see every single guy doing set after set of bench presses and hitting failure on every set. Then moving on to chest exercise #5 because they want to target the “inner pecs.”
This chest obsession goes way back, to when we were really hairy and living in caves, and we had to show off our dominance towards other males to protect our territory and to mate with as many females as possible. Ever see a pissed off silverback gorilla? Just search it on YouTube. He puffs out his chest and pounds it with his fists to scare off any challengers.
I’m here to put an end to all this overtraining insanity and show you the REAL way to build a barrel chest in no time.
Before I get into any specifics, you must understand this one thing. The way your chest is going to look is solely dependent on your genetics. I’m not talking about your genetics in regards to building muscle at a fast rate. What I’m talking about is tendon insertion length.
Translation: The longer your tendon inserts from your pecs, the more cross-sectional area there will be to stimulate and grow. Therefore, you will have a more natural and fuller looking chest with less work than the guy with the short tendons.
Here is a good test to see if this is you or not…
I’m going to go out on a limb and say you currently lift weights. Right? If not, then I don’t know why you’re on Blake’s newsletter :)
Look down at your pecs right now AND at your triceps and tell me which body-part looks more developed. If it’s your chest, then congratulations, you won the genetic lottery. If it’s your triceps, then sorry, it’s going to be that much harder for you to get rid of that ironing board with nipples.
Have no fear. It’s easy once you know these tricks.
The first piece of advice is to STOP BENCH PRESSING!
I’m using all caps here because I’m yelling this at the top of my lungs: STOP ALL BENCH PRESSING NOW!
The reason I want you stop benching is because this is one of the most dangerous and worst exercises you can do if you’re sole focus is to remain injury free and build a massive chest. The reason is because of the tremendous amount of stress that is placed on your shoulders. This exercise is responsible for so many pec tears and injuries that it’s not even worth counting. I was a victim of this exercise as well and I make sure I use perfect form always…
Plus, it’s not the best overall chest builder. There are plenty of other great options for you to choose from. Now I’m not normally a big fan of machines, but this is classic bodybuilding where you stimulate the muscle and forget about how much weight you can lift.
So we’re going to use machines to our advantage to blast the living crap out of all our muscle fibers.
But first, you’re going to be doing this pre-exhaust technique. It’s so simple and I’m not sure why flat-chested dudes never use this, but it’s brutally effective. All you’re going to do before your chest workout is hop on that pec deck/fly machine and perform 3 sets of 12 STRICT reps. For each repetition, you’re going to hold it for two seconds at a peak contraction then slowly lower, pause, contract and hold.
Do this for three sets.
Now the example below is all you’re going to do for chest… I picked up this technique I’m about to show you from Dante Trudell. Super-smart dude and an awesome bodybuilder.
If you’re going to pick one exercise, let’s make it Smith Machine Incline Chest Presses. I know what you’re thinking: Smith Machine? What the? Just keep reading.
Gradually warm up by doing around 5-6 reps while adding weight to the bar each time. The goal is to increase the temperature in your muscles and joints so you’re less prone to injury. Also, avoid failure at all costs during this time. You will see why in just a second.
Okay, so you’ve gone through all your warm-up sets and you feel your chest getting pumped up. Now you’re going to add just enough weight so you reach failure at around 11-15 reps.
From there, un-rack the bar and pump out as many reps as you possibly can until you reach utter and EXTREME failure. I’m talking about the type of failure where your eyes are bugging out and veins are popping from your forehead. Once you hit this point, re-rack the weight, sit-up and take 15 deep and slow breaths. From there, lay back down and un-rack the weight and do as many reps again while hitting extreme failure. You might only be able to get 3-4 this time. Rack the weight, take another 15 deep and slow breaths and go one more time.
Pump out as many as you can, which will only be around 1-2 reps. Once you return the weight all the way to the top, hold the peak contraction for as long as possible, AKA DO NOT RACK IT JUST YET. Hold this position for as long as you can without having the weight crash on your chest. That’s why we are using machines in this instance.
Once you can’t hold it any longer, rack the weight, stand up and head on over to the dumbbell rack. Pick up two 30-lb dumbbells, lie down on a flat bench, and lower the dumbbells into the bottom position of a chest fly. From there, just hold it. Don’t do a thing except hold that weight there and letting the weight stretch out your pecs.
Try and hold this position for one minute. By 30-45 seconds you should be shaking. Drop the weight and rest. And that’s it. You’re done.
One all out set, two rest-pause sets, and one weighted stretch and you should move on to whatever other body-part/exercise you have next. Be sure to record how many total reps you got for each set you did in the Smith Machine, because next week your whole goal is to beat that total number of reps. This is progressive overload at its finest.
And if you don’t have a Smith Machine, recruit a spotter and just do this technique with dumbbells. Don’t be a fool and do these without a spotter on a bench. You’re going to kill yourself. Seriously, don’t be a fool. Okay I’m off to wrestle some bad guys. Talk soon superhero.
-Trey “3” Armstrong
About the Author:
As the world’s top muscle-building superhero, Trey “3” Armstrong helps guys transform form scrawny to superhero in just 12 weeks with his trademarked 3-Step Muscle Building System. For his exact muscle-building blueprint that will help you build a bigger chest, massive arms, a wide back, and powerful legs, visit www.3StepMuscleBuilding.com.
As the owner of Building Muscle 101, I am committed to providing you the best practical weight training advice. I've been training for over 24 years (and still train to this day!) and the advice and guidance I provide comes directly from my experience and knowledge.
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