If your reading this, chances are you want that herculean chest that Arnie had? To fill out those tight t-shirts on a night out or to be able to walk proud on the beach on your next holiday.
Achieve the following with my 7 steps and workout program to a chiseled chest
A full, well-rounded chest
Significant width to accentuate the outer and lower pecs
Striations across the upper chest,
Strong, well-developed, cut-up triceps
Improved upper body strength and endurance
A lot of males get caught up in what they see in the magazines, but in reality it just doesn’t work and is not designed for the drug free athlete. Focusing on performance and progression is what is going to help you achieve that chiseled chest, not the 5 sets of 10 on the same weight each week.
How many times a week do you train chest? The majority of people follow a typical bodybuilding routine and train chest just once a week, normally national chest day on Monday’s. If you want to improve a specific body part, then give it more attention, train it 2 or 3 times a week but you have to be smart about it. You cannot train high volume, for example 20 plus sets and high reps, you will burn out and not give your chest time to recover and grow. Be smart cut down on the volume, maybe 6 sets in total in each workout but the important thing here is progressive overload, not to annihilate your chest and ruin your joints. Its progressing in your workouts that will allow your chest to progress, how on earth are you expecting your chest to grow when your doing the same weights as last year? You’re not giving your muscles that added stimulus to force them to grow.
1. Train chest from all angles as we want to develop the upper, middle and lower to ensure the chest is well developed.
2. Strengthen assisting muscles groups that are used in chest exercises. Its not just your chest that’s being used to push the weight up, but your triceps, rear delts, rhomboids and shoulders.
3. Master Scapula retraction- A move that not only helps you shift more weight, but in a safer way to. Many bodybuilders have torn their pecs because they have poor scapula retraction and press through their shoulders and not through there chest, end of the day it’s the chest we are focusing on, not the shoulders. It’s about hiding those shoulders away so you’re forcing the chest to do more of the work, and to perform the lift in a safer manner. Scapula retraction is like loading a spring, the more torque you can get in your upper back and traps the more force you will have to push with, this is why we need to strengthen the assisting muscles. The best way to learn how to do scapula retraction is to put both arms out in front of you, then without bending them, move them back so you feel tension in your upper back/traps and your chest will elevate.
4. Lose Body Fat- You will never show off that hard work in the weights room if you have a load of body fat hiding it. Consume calories that are 20% under your maintenance, to ensure steady weekly fat loss while retaining as much muscle as possible
5. Don’t train with your ego- Focus on performing the exercise with good technique and full range of motion to get the most out of the exercise. To monitor range of motion have a point A and a point B, so touch your chest with the bar on the way down and lockout at the top, if you cant do that then it’s to heavy. Also focus on the lowering phase (negative) part of the movement e.g. lower the bar for 2 seconds. This will eliminate any bouncing at the bottom and ensure the movement is done correctly.
6. Focus on getting stronger- Keep track of your workouts, add on small increments each week with good form, doesn’t matter how small you go up in weight, it’s still progress and your moving forward. The more weight you can lift, the more hypertrophy (muscle building) will occur, so always strive to get stronger.
The following workout program is broken down into 3 workouts a week, with the focus on getting stronger without exhausting your CNS (central nervous system) and strengthening assisting muscle groups. We will be using the RPE scale to ensure what you do in the gym is short but effective so your not spending hours bench pressing,.
Chiseled Chest Progressive overload program
|Upper body Strength||Sets||Reps||RPE|
|Flat Bench Press||3||5||8|
|Decline Bench Press||3||8||8|
|Close Grip pulldown||3||6-8||8|
|Low Cable Row||3||6-8||8|
|Close Grip Bench||2||8-10||8|