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Total Bodybuilding Size & Strength Plan....
Most bodybuilders start out training arms and chest with barbell curls and flat bench presses. Though these 2 exercises are great for adding size to beginner arms and chest we are gonna need a little bit more than that to shape a complete chest from all sides. The chest or pectorals consist of 4 regions upper, middle, lower and inner. We know there is a outer portion to your chest but if done correctly various dumbbell flye dipping movements hit this section very very well! So lets get started building our classic championship chest!
The Exercises & Performance:
Upper Chest: The exercise are as follows - Narrow Grip Incline Barbell Presses, Dumbbell Incline Presses, Incline Dumbbell Flyes, and Dumbbel Pullovers. Thee are the exercise we are gonna use to build muscle size onto your upper chest. Notice their are ZERO cable exercise included here because contrary to what you see on the web these days cables will NOT build you maximum muscle size.
- Narrow Grip Incline Barbell Presses - You perform these just like your normal incline presses with a couple of tweaks. First you grip is gonna be about 24 inches apart. Holding the bar at arms length as you descend pull your elbows back slightly as you lower the bar towards you neck stopping about a couple inches short. Press back upward using your upper chest and squeeze your pecs at the top. Perform 4 sets of 8-12 reps using heavy enough weight to require a spotter but not enough o loose your form.
- Dumbbell Incline Presses - We are gonna perform these also with a little twist by having your palms facing each other at the top for a little squeeze. Perform this little twist at the completion of each rep to force more blood into your upper chest region. Perform 3 sets of 10-12 reps using increasing weights on each set.
- Incline Dumbbell Flyes - You are gonna perform these in complete classic form, that means leave you ego at the door and DON"T turn this into some kinda bastardized press. Keeping you arms straight with your elbows slightly bent lower the dumbbells in a circular motion until chest is full stretch without engaging the shoulders. Imagine squeezing your chest and touching your hands together as you raise the dumbbells back to the starting position. This mind muscle link creates a powerful connection as your should literally feel your upper chest stretching and squeezing on each rep. Perform 3 sets of 12-15 reps increasing the weight slightly on each set.
- Dumbbell Pullover - For this pullover your going to lie length wise on a exercise bench with a medium weight dumbbell that you can use for 15 reps. Keeping your arms straight lower the dumbbell until it behind your head and out of sight. Slowly reverse the motion concentrating on your upper chest and front delts, stopping the motion just above your upper chest and beginning your descent again for the next rep. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps using the same weight for each set.
Middle to Outer Chest: Your exercises are as follows: Flat Bench Barbell Presses, Flat bench Dumbbell Presses, Flat Bench Flyes. As you can see the exercise selection for the portion of your chest is usually very limited because most people don't have a problem building this portion of their chest. Some do have problems developing the outer portion but that usually is solved by lower the amount of weight use and doing a complete range of motion when performing each exercise.
- Flat Bench Barbell Presses - We are gonna perform these in a bodybuilding fashion NOT as in powerlifting but incorporating some of the safety! When bench pressing to build your chest you want to limit your back arch and bring the bar down just above the nipples on your chest. This position tilts your elbows outward more and limits the involvement of your lats to a great degree. Remember unlike the powerlifter you goal is to build muscle mass across your chest and not to move the maximum amount of weight. With a shoulder width grip lower the bar to you lower mid chest fro a complete stretch with your elbows travels down and slightly back. Press the weight back to the starting position squeezing your pecs a the top of the movement. Perform 4-5 set of 6- 12 reps using increasing weight on each set. Use a spotter for liftoffs to protect your shoulders.
- Flat bench Dumbbell Presses - Just like with flat barbell presses your flat dumbbell bench presses are performed with building your chest and not your ego. These to are be performed with safety as the first goal of performance. Never use weight that you can't position into correct lifting form on your own. If you can not position the weight they are to HEAVY and YOU need to lower the weight! Perform each rep getting a full stretch and contraction at the top and bottom. Perform 3-4 set of 8- 12 reps using increasing weights on each set.
- Flat Bench Flyes - Flat Bench Flyes are performed exactly like Incline Bench Flye using weight that can be completely controlled throughout the complete range of motion. Hold the weight at arms length over your chest with elbows slightly bent lower the weight until you feel a complete stretch in your chest. Slowly reverse the motion squeezing with your chest and concentration on squeezing your pecs until the dumbbells are back to the starting position. Perform 3 set of 12-15 reps slightly increase weight each set if possible.
Lower Chest: Exercises for the lower pectorals are as follows: Decline Barbell Presses, Decline Dumbbell Flyes, and Forward Leaning Dips. As you may notice there are no decline dumbbell presses listed here, the main reason is safety! Decline dumbbell become rather awkward for allot of trainers and have tendency to cause shoulder injuries when trying to position the weight in such and award exercise position. So they are excluded!
- Decline Barbell Presses - Just like with flat barbell presses your decline bench presses are performed with building your lower chest and not your ego. Use a shoulder width grip and lower the barbell just below your bottom chest line getting a full stretch in your lower pecs. Press the barbell back to the starting position squeezing your pecs at the top. Decline presses are easiest of all the presses to preform but alway use good judgement when selecting you weight. If you can not position the weight on your own, then it's to HEAVY and YOU need to lower the weight! Perform each rep getting a full stretch and contraction at the top and bottom. Perform 4 set of 8 - 12 reps using increasing weights on each set.
- Decline Dumbbell Flyes - Decline Dumbbell Flyes are performed exactly like Flat Bench Flyes using weight that can be completely controlled throughout the complete range of motion. Hold the weight at arms length over your lower chest with elbows slightly bent lower the weight until you feel a complete stretch in your lower chest. Slowly reverse the motion squeezing with your chest and concentration on squeezing your pecs until the dumbbells are back to the starting position. Perform 3 set of 12-15 reps slightly increase weight each set if possible.
- Forward Leaning Dips - When performing dips for the chest your gonna adopt a forward lean so that your upper body pivots forward as you lower yourself feeling a deep stretch in your power and outer pecs and less of a strain on the triceps. Pushing back up as you squeeze you pecs before beginning another repetition. These really target the lower outer pecs with great precision. Most today try to do these on machines but loose that deep stretch at the bottom of the original movement. Preform 3 set of 12- 15 reps using extra weight when bodyweight isn't enough.
Inner Chest: Focusing on the inner chest requires are different kind on exercise, exercises that are not seen everyday like those that follows: Flat bench Single Dumbbell Press, One Arm Dumbbell Crossover Flyes. These 2 exercise hit nothing but inner chest from the top of your pecs to the bottom. Performance is as follows:
- Flat Bench Single Dumbbell Press - This movement might be NEW to some people but it has been around for a long time but most peoeple only use it for contest raining but why waste a good exercise that can be use all year round. Lying lengthwise of a flat bench grap a medium dimbbell using both ahnd with interlocking fingers. With the dumbbell sitting on your chest, flare your elbows out toward each side, press the dumbbell straight up over your chest with both ahnds still lock arong the handel. The squeeze on the inner chest will be very significant. Perform 3 ets of 10 12 reps using medium weight. This is a great fininshing exercise fro your chest workouts.
- One Arm Dumbbell Crossover Flyes - One Arm Crossover Flyes are performed just like doing a single are flat bench flye but your gonna cross over and squeeze you pec doing only one arm at a time. Lying flat on an exercise bench using a light dumbbell hold it a arms length begin by lower the dumbbell in a flying motion on that side while holding underneath the bench with the opposite hand. At full stretch raise the dumbbell back toward the starting position crossing over to the other side of your body with the dumbbell positioned over your opposite pectoral. Feel the squeeze in the center of your chest and begin the next repetition. Perform 3 set of 12 reps using the same weight.
Conclusion - Hitting the chest from all different angels is one of the hallmarks of getting complete chest development. There is no one chest exercise that is going to build your chest out to it fullest. Using machine and cables will NOT give your the dense muscle mass that you see on some of the best chest of all time like Schartzenegger, Coleman, and Haney! These guys have some of the Thickest, Widest, chest from top to bottom of any bodybuilder no matter the era. Give these exercise a shot as they are proven to build quality muscle mass.
Train Smart & Train Hard!
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