Have you ever felt like your not getting the most out of your chest training workout, you do more sets, push more weight or maybe workout longer but don’t feel like your getting the muscle stimulation your looking for, then today’s topic is going to be just what your looking for.
Many people have issues of not seeing the results their looking for, it results in discouragement and falling away from pursuing their dreams of muscular development and a more physically fit body, or maybe they push to the point of over training and have for sure set themselves up for failure.
In today’s article I’m going to talk about how to put stress on a muscle and push it to the point of failure and you don’t have to use a lot of weight. I’m going to share with you how to maximize your chest training for better muscle stimulation. This principle you can do in your chest training workout but you can try this principle out in any workout, whether it be your arms, legs, back or any body part.
Using the continuous motion principal, your going to want to use a lighter weight. When using this principle, what ever the move, from starting position you lower the weight super slow, no less than 5 seconds, when you reach the bottom position, don’t stop and take stress off the working muscle, don’t bounce the weight and for example in the bench press, don’t rest the weight on your chest.
The idea behind this principle is to keep continuous tension on the working muscle by staying in continuous motion. After lowering the weight to a count of no less than 5 seconds, immediately raise the weight without stopping or bouncing, squeeze the muscle in its upwards momentum for a count of no less than 3 seconds. After you have completed one set of the continuous motion, your muscles should be burning, especially if you’re new to this principle.
The bench press
The bench press is the most basic of all chest training exercises and it’s a must if you plan on adding size to your chest. Someone walks up to you and they say, “hey, you look like you lift weights, so how much can you bench?” Anyone who has ever had any interest in lifting weights and building themselves up, has always been in competition with the next guy as to who can bench the most.
Besides being the most basic muscle building move for chest, it’s also a good exercise to start out your training program with, simply because it’s a combination move, meaning the bench press not only works the overall chest but it also works the frontal deltoid, the triceps and the lateral muscles to a degree.
You will want to put emphasis on a combination move like the bench press first when you have more energy, because by the time your done doing approximately 4 sets of the bench press in continuous motion, your only going to have enough energy left to play around with some dumbbells for the rest of your workout.
The next move in this arsenal of chest training I’ll throw at you will be the inclined dumbbell presses. This is a good move for developing the upper chest and using dumbbells will help with developing the stabilizer muscles and also when using dumbbells you have a rotation when raising an lowering the weights so that will stress your muscles in a different way than with a barbell.
When doing the inclined dumbbell presses, follow the continuous motion principal as you did in the bench press. Start out with the weights at arms length directly above shoulders, lower in a continuous motion, count to at least 5 seconds when lowering, when you reach the bottom position, don’t rest your arms which will take tension of your chest muscles and don’t bounce the weight, follow through from lowering to raising the weight in one continuous motion.
When raising the weights, count to no less than 3 seconds, from the bottom position of the move to the top when the dumbbells are directly above your shoulders should take you no less than 3 seconds, then when you reach the top, don’t stop, continue the move in its downward decent in one continuous motion.
Incorporating a third move
We have covered the bench press for overall chest and inclined presses stressing the upper chest, the third move I’m going to include in this chest training arsenal will be the dumbbell flys, you can feel free to change this to any move you like. Not everyone feels comfortable with doing the dumbbell flys, this is an exercise I have been doing since I started training so I feel pretty comfortable doing these.
Dumbbell flys are an exercise you should be careful about doing, you don’t want to stretch back to far when lowering the weights, you will want to keep your elbows bent to a degree and you definitely don’t want to bounce the weights at the bottom of the stretch, dumbbell flys need to be followed in a slow continuous motion so you definitely don’t want to be using much weight in this exercise.
Free weights vs machines
I have always used free weights as the mainstay for my training but I incorporate machines into my training on a regular basis as well, it’s good to have a variety in your training to reach as many angles as possible on any given muscle group and I have always believed that variety is the spice of life, lol.
This chest training program that I’m laying out for you is designed around free weights but there is nothing set in stone saying that you have to follow by it exercise for exercise, you can do your entire workout using weight machines, it’s entirely up to you and what your goals are, some people don’t like using free weights and have no inclination to use them but are excited about training on machines. The emphasis of this training article is designed with the idea in mind of continuous motion training and the importance of keeping tension on your muscles for optimal gains.
Some good weight machine exercises that you can do in place of free weights are the chest press machine, peck decks, machine pull overs and cable crossovers. Any other exercises that you can do, feel free to add them into your training program. Your training program should be designed around you and your goals, what inspires you and keeps you motivated.
With that in mind, you should be ready to give your chest a training like it’s never been put through before and remember, use the continuous motion principal in all of your workouts. There is no need to be over loading the barbell and putting yourself in danger of injury from lifting to much weight, it shouldn’t be a powerlifting match trying to impress onlookers in the gym, it’s about keeping your muscles under continuous tension.
You don’t want to use a weight that is to light, for optimal muscle growth you should follow a repetition scheme of 8-12 and you don’t want to use a weight that is so heavy that you can’t get at least 8 repetitions and you lose proper form. Use all free weights or use all machines or mix it up with a combination of free weights and machines, whatever it takes to achieve your goals and keep you motivated.
For the best performance in your training, always remember to keep a good fuel driven diet that will power you through any serious workout you throw at yourself and keep a good supplementation program in your corner to back you up for optimal performance and muscle recovery. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below.