One of the most highly anticipated days within the training schedules of just about every single person that goes to the gym to build size, muscle and strength is undoubtedly chest day. It is a day heralded by many to be the most important session of the week due to the nature of the status one can hold when possessing a big bench. Chances are that when you walk into your gym on Universal Chest Day (that’s Mondays for those of you who don’t already know) you have one particular goal in mind; be the chest champion of the day and dominate within your domain. If this is a status you would like to achieve or even uphold, as there will be many chasing after you, here are some excellent chest training tips you can employ to help maximize the power of your pecs.
Be at One with the Bench
There isn’t a massively developed chest out there that didn’t get its beginnings on one of the most primal and basic of all movements for pec development out there; the flat bench press. For some unknown reason, many people have deferred this movement to work on building up their pecs using other exercises rather than beginning here. So let’s set the record straight right here right now; you will not be able to build your chest up to a standard for which you are proud of if you do not become one with the bench press. That’s just the way it is and being able to push heavy weights off your chest from a supine position is going to be the best movement for accruing massive amounts of muscle within that particular region of your body. Every time you train chest, hit the bench press. You don’t necessarily have to start off with it (although you should especially if you’re just starting out) but it definitely deserves a spot within your exercise selection. Work on building up your strength on this movement and watch the muscle grow week by week.
Proper pec development requires you to perform exercises that allow a greater range of motion to occur at some point within the workout. In order to achieve this function, exercises that incorporate the use of dumbbells is prudent to your success. The nice thing about dumbbells is the freedom they offer when working through the multiple planes of motion you’ll be using within all the different exercises you perform. Whether it is a flat dumbbell press, an incline or decline press or any of the variations of dumbbell flys you can do, the dumbbell has no restriction as to how far you can accentuate the eccentric. So depending upon your shoulder flexibility, you can maximize the stretched position of each of these exercises to a greater degree than a barbell. You can only drop your elbows so low until a barbell comes in contact with your chest which essentially ends the eccentric portion of the rep, but with dumbbells that doesn’t occur. So in essence, your range of motion becomes much greater with dumbbells allowing for more movement to occur, which is more stress on the muscle and more opportunity for growth.
Kick it Old School
As awesome as it is to have an unlimited amount of chest machines to incorporate into your training programs and as beneficial as those can be, sometimes it’s just nice to keep things simple and kick it old school with movements that have been around forever. Exercises as basic as dips and push-ups have helped build chests for decades when companies like Arsenal Strength and Prime Fitness USA weren’t around yet to build the phenomenal pieces they do which can be found right here at Brickhouse Gym. So my suggestion is to make space within your chest workouts for these old school movements and just like any other exercise, work at getting better and stronger within them. You can always add resistance to your push-ups by placing a plate on your back or using a resistance band and the same goes for dips. Strap on a weighted belt and keep adding to it the stronger you get. Whether you incorporate these exercises at the beginning of your workout as primer movements or you finish off your pecs with them at the end of the workout, they deserve a spot on the roster of movements you’ll be using to maximize your chest development.
To be a chest champion you have to put in the work; there are no two ways about it. By mixing the best of all the options you have available to you for chest training such as basic barbell movements, working the angles with the freedom of dumbbells, finding machines that fit your biomechanics nicely so that you can focus on power pressing without the worry of stabilizing like you do with free weights and then using your own body weight to finish things off is a really great structure for any chest workout. How you order these events is completely up to you but one thing is for certain; you have to do it all and do so consistently week after week if you expect your chest to be of epic proportions and be the best on Universal Chest Day.
Author: Dana Bushell
Gym Star Team Member