Chest Pumping Workout

pec deck 21s


For this month's specialty workout, I'd like to introduce you to the pec deck 21's.

Pec deck 21's have been a staple of my chest routine since I was a kid. I was first introduced to pec deck 21's by a power lifter/body builder. The gentleman was quite huge (5' 9" - 295 pounds), and one of the strongest men I've ever met. Anyways, he was one of the co-owners of the gym I was attending and he invited me to train chest with him.

It was during this workout that he introduced me to pec deck 21's. We did 4 sets for the pec deck and I tell you, it was a killer finishing exercise. The burn seem to get worst with each set and the pump I got was simply out of this world. I now include this exercise into each and every chest workout.

I use pec deck 21's as a finishing exercise for my chest routine since it totally flushes the chest with as much blood as possible. The thing you have to remember is that this is not a power exercise but rather a pumping exercise so you don't have to pile on the plates.

This exercise is all about form and to get the most from this exercise, you have to perform it with a slow and fluid motion.

As I said before, I usually use this exercise as a finishing chest movement.

Here is a sample chest workout where this exercise comes into play:

  • Bench press;
  • Incline bench press;
  • Dips;
  • Pec deck flyes - 21's

Pec deck 21's are simply a way of splitting up one set into “mini” sets. Simply put, you perform partial reps of 7 at three different areas of the movement with moderate weight.

This exercise, if done properly will give your chest such a pump that it will expand and extra inch or two. As you can see, the full movement is to bring the arm pads together in one full movement. For 21's, you need to break this movement into 3 stages.

If you are familiar with the pec deck movement, a normal repetition is one where you bring your arms all the way to the top portion of the movement. Take a look at the image below.

Starting Position

Ending Position

My thanks to: Mega Pro Nutrition for providing this image.

I will perform the first part of the movement by bringing my elbows just shy of the half way point. Remember, I don’t do a full range of motion for the first part of the movement.

I only go about half way and then bring the pads back to the starting position. Once the 7 reps were completed, I will proceed to the second portion of the exercise.

For the second part of the exercise, I'll bring the pads all the way to the top position and than slowly let them down to the half way position. From there I will do 7 partial reps only going half way down. Remember, I don’t go all the way down. I only go to the half way position.

After 7 reps, I will perform the remaining 7 reps in a full movement. That is, I do 7 regular repetitions from the starting position to the ending position.

Believe me, after 4 sets of this movement, my chest would literally burn to the point of extreme pain. After a couple of workouts, my chest started to respond. If you don’t feel any burn, either your form is wrong or your not using enough weight. Try adding a few more pounds to the exercise if your not feeling any burn.

Keep this exercise in your routine for at least 8 weeks and I’m positive you’ll see an improvement in your chest.

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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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