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Heavy Benching Isn't the Only Way to Build a Chiseled Chest.

Okay, families. We’re down to the final match of the game. The survey value is tripled and this match will decide it. Take your mark because here comes the question.

In weight training, what is a common question that weightlifters usually ask one another?


“How much do you bench?”

Survey says?


Well, how about that - it’s the number one answer.

Of course, we didn’t need Richard Dawson or that silly ‘80’s game show to enlighten us of the ongoing obsession we have with each other’s bench press output. It always has and always will be the perennial thermometer in which weightlifters are judged in terms of strength and power.

But the heavy metal we push toward the sky is hardly the only exercise that builds, shapes, and sculpts a formidable chest.

Maybe it’s time to emphasize some of these:

CABLE CROSSOVERS: Clasping the handles on to the upper-cable stations, step one foot forward for balance while locking your elbows in a slightly bent position. Bring your handles down low, around your waistline, at a slight angle in front of you. Slightly bend forward and extend your chest, squeezing tight on the contraction. Holding this position, allow the weight to slowly pull your elbows back, providing a healthy stretch. Repeat the motion and try three sets of 10-12 repetitions.

INCLINE FLYES: Adjusting the bench to the incline of your desire, generally a 45-degree angle or so, and hold the dumbbells to your sides so your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle. Slowly arc the weight toward the ceiling, bringing the dumbbells toward each other at the top as your elbows straighten out. Stop at a point where the dumbbells are about six inches apart from one another. Squeeze your pectoral muscles together during the contraction. Begin the decline slowly, bending your elbows once again until they make a pair of right angles at your sides. Try not to let your elbows drop below the plane of your torso. Repeat the motion and try 3-4 sets of 10-12 repetitions per set.

SEATED CHEST PRESSES: This is a similar range of motion to the standard flat-bench press, except you are in a seated position. The benefit of this machine is that the weight is not bobbling around during the motion; it is stabilized and therefore works strictly the pectoral muscles. Grasping the handles, slowly extend your arms forward, straightening the elbows and squeezing the chest muscles. Do not lock your elbows at the height of extension. Rather, slowly let the weight pull your arms in toward your chest. Concentrate on the negative, allowing it to tear the pec muscles. At a point where your hands stretch back to the plane of your body, begin your next repetition. Try 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps for a great pump.

If you’re trying to build a treasured chest, remember that the key you are looking for may just rest in the family jewels … or should we say, in your genetics. Often genetics are directly responsible for the limits you can reach with chest development. But if you’re bench-pressing 20 sets a week, looking for those instant results, just give it a rest. The key to an im-press-ive chest may well be with cable crossovers, incline flyes, and seated chest presses.

Go to: Chest Training Database
Go to: Add 50 Pounds to Your Bench!
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Take care,

Matt Canning

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