Training For An Impressive And Powerful Chest!

By Steve Kidwell

No other body part seems to draw people's attention like a well developed chest. It sets the physique off, displaying thickness and power. Developing a good chest requires a lot of hard work!
The Road To Thick, Full Pecs

Once again, let me start by saying there is no one correct way to train the chest. I've used many different routines in the last 15 years and they have all produced good results. More important than what exercise you are doing is how you are doing it.

I will typically train chest as part of a 2 days on, 1 day off split. I split my body parts into the following: Day 1-Chest, Triceps, and abs; Day 2-Calves and Back; Day 3-Rest; Day 4-Shoulders, Biceps, and abs, Day5-Legs and Calves. I will typically train my chest one of two ways. If it is a day I'm concentrating on the upper pecs, I'll start with Inline Bar presses for 4 post warmup sets, go to flat dumbbell presses next for 4 sets, and finish with pec deck, flys, or cable crossovers for 4 sets. The other workout I do is to increase my strength. I start with flat bench press for 4 post warmup sets, go to incline dumbbell presses for 4 sets, and finish with the above mentioned finishers.

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Flat Bench Press: When I bench press, I go to war against the weights with my chest leading the way. I always try to increase reps or the weight following the following pyramid for reps: 10, 10 (warmup) 8,6,4,6. For example 135x10, 225x10, 295x8, 315x6, 335x4, 295x6. The last set I always do very slow and strict, almost doing "pause" repitions. When I can complete all of the reps at a given weight scheme, I go heavier on the next bench day.

Incline Bar Presses: In order to develop the upper pecs, and the striations that accompany them, you are going to have to include some inclines. This is my favorite of all chest exercises. It really gives me a good pump. I sometimes pyramid the reps like during the bench press, or I just pick a weight and keep my reps between 8 - 12. Do this movement strict and really fell your pecs working. Remember this isn't a power exercise, it's for development. If you aren't getting a good pump, then your form is probably to loose.

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Flat/Inline Dumbbell Presses: I included both of these exercises into one description because the only difference is the incline. Perform this movement strictly, but don't be afraid to go heavy. I don't know how many partners I've had in the past that just simply weren't pushing themselves to the limit. I had them increasing their dumbbell presses by 20 lbs. per side in less than two weeks. When you have completed your set, dock the dumbbells on your legs and sit up. Nothing is more obnoxious than some guy using way to heavy a weight for himself and then crashing them to the floor with a thunderous boom after finishing his set. It's like they think the harder they drop the weights, the bigger they are going to get.

Pec Deck, Flys, & Cable Crossovers: I don't really have any great revelations for these exercises. Just keep your form tight since you will be using these as finishers. Also, keep your chest up, don't allow it to collapse and put the stress on your traps and shoulders. Remember, you are trying to pump your pecs.

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