As hard working weight trainers, it is imperative that we look for ways to increase the effectiveness of our workouts. Doing so will ensure that we are always improving which translates into a faster, stronger and more muscular body. The problem is that we become so used to our current routines that we forget to add anything new. We get into a comfort zone and simply refuse to change because we have become too complacent and dare I say it, lazy.
The routines that once worked magic for our bodies may now have become a detriment, holding us back from reaching higher levels of development. Let’s take the chest for example. A lot of us have been using the same “meat and potatoes” routine for ages. We start with the bench press, than the incline press and follow it up with a finishing exercise such as a fly or dip. The question you have to ask yourself is this:
Am I still improving with my current chest routine?
Today, I’m going to add a little spice to your chest routine. The following exercise combination will take about 10 minutes to perform but trust me; it will set your chest on fire and take your development to a whole new level. Try doing this exercise combination at the end of your workouts for 6 weeks and your chest will take on a whole new look. I’m almost positive that your chest will be stronger, more muscular and more defined.
This is a tough exercise combination to perform and will take extra effort and concentration so be prepared!
I suggest you try this exercise as your finishing movement for your chest (or you can do it as your main chest workout).
We are going to perform two exercises in super set fashion. That is, you will perform the first exercise as outline and immediately follow it up with the second exercise. The first exercise uses two intensity boosting components. The first is a high volume approach and the second is limited rest in between sets.
The second exercise is an isometric exercise that holds squeezes and holds the muscle contraction (to be performed immediately after the first exercise).
The first movement can be done for any type of chest exercise. You can choose to use the bench press, incline press or other machine presses. However, keep in mind that this movement will be taken to failure so make sure you either have a spotter, use a pair of dumbbells or a machine. Each set will take approximately 3 minutes to perform. We are going to do 2 sets.
For this example, we are going to use the flat bench dumbbell press and an isometric plate squeeze.
We are going to perform 2 supersets (3 minutes each).
Flat Bench Dumbbell Press
Isometric Plate Squeeze
The plate hold is a form of exercise called isometrics. The great thing about isometrics is that it works the entire muscle while using a static contraction. Basically, the muscle doesn’t shorten or elongate as with traditional movements so the muscle stays static, forcing you to keep constant tension for the duration of the exercise. As time elapses, you are forced to add more and more effort in order to keep the exercise static. This is what makes the isometric plate hold so difficult to perform.
As in the video above, stand erect and hold two plates together. Standing straight, squeeze two plates together and extend your arms straight out in front of you. Hold this position for a count of 12.
This exercise will strengthen and develop not only your pecs but your shoulders, biceps, and forearms.
For this exercise combination, here’s what you’re going to need:
Here’s how to do it:
Rest for 60 seconds
Gradually, you want to start using heavier dumbbells and heavier plates with each passing workout. You may even want to get a little more inventive with the plate squeeze. Try squeezing the plates together in more upward or downward angles. As you get better, try and add more time or super sets.
This is a pretty tough combination so it may take a couple sessions to get the hang of it. I suggest doing this exercise combination at the end of your regular chest sessions. You can even substitute your current chest routine with this one for a complete change of exercise angles, exercises and intensity.
Keep with it for at least 6 weeks. I’m sure at the end of 6 weeks your going to start seeing some amazing results.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at:
buildingmuscle101 @ vianet.ca
Good luck and all the best,
Blake has been weight lifting for about 28 years now. He's 45 years of age and started seriously training when he was 18 years old.
Blake is the founder of Building-Muscle101.com, a successful fitness website that has been around for more than 15 years.