Let’s Get Right To Business. These Pec Workouts Work And They Work Fast
Flat Bench Press
The flat barbell bench press is the most important movement for chest mass. It should form the foundation for chest routines of any bodybuilder.
I would like to start by explaining that you need to create a pyramid with the weight. Some people warm up a bit and then go straight to the heavier weights for 6-8 reps, which is completely ridiculous.
This is the easiest way to tear the chest and an injury that can end your career. In all sports, warm up sessions should be done with light and easy weights, and then the intensity should be increased. Common sense says that we must warm the body as a whole, muscles in particular.
Another common mistake that I see in bodybuilders is to lower the bar too much, reaching the neck, which is known as a “guillotine press”. It’s bad biomechanics and too much stress is placed on the shoulder joints.
You must take the bar up to a couple of centimetres above the sternum, at the level of the nipples.
The grandfather of all transgressions in the bench press is going too heavy. You see it daily in gyms around the world, guys who attempt to lift so much weight that they can not do a single repetition without the assistance of a spotter.
The bar should be firm and your repetitions should look like a “check mark”. An explosive lift and a controlled descent without pauses up or down, a constant movement and tension in the muscle.
There is no need to test your 1RM (1 rep max) every time you train. You actually never need to test your 1RM ever to be quite honest. It’s not worth the risk of an injury.
The incline press is essential for the full development of the upper part of the chest, but you must take extra care.
The movement in the flat press is more natural, while the inclined tends to be a bit uncomfortable and puts more stress on the shoulders. The results are worth the effort, no other exercise gives you that shape in the upper chest which is why it’s been included in the list of pec workouts exercises.
Due to the position of the body, you should not lower the bar too much. It must reach a few centimeters above the clavicles. You need to find the position you feel most natural in the incline press.
Press With Dumbbells
I love using dumbbells on the press. I usually do barbell presses and dumbbells every three or four workouts. They build large and quality muscles, offer you a more natural movement with less stress on the shoulders and have a range of motion greater than a barbell.
You must maintain balance and work each side of the muscle independently. An important point is not to let them touch each other at the top of the movement, because that takes a little tension off the pectorals. Flex and squeeze the pectorals when doing dumbbell lifts, but not during the press.
Parallels are an incredible movement. I love them. In fact, I feel that all athletes, especially bodybuilders, should do benching and parallels. They should be in your training routine from the first day. When I was in high school I made many parallels.
It is an exercise that directly attacks the chest, as well as the triceps and frontal deltoids. Avoid blocking the elbows, as this stresses the chest and puts it on the tendons.
As for the weight, just do it after having done a good series of 12-15 repetitions with your own weight. If you are 70 kg and you can do 30-40 repetitions, you should put more weight on it.
To make sure to attack the chest more than the triceps, tilt the torso forward, but be careful not to get too low so that you do not stretch excessively.
When you reach a certain point, all you are doing is stressing your shoulders. Listen to your body.
Dumbbell Lateral Raises
You may be wondering why dumbbell lateral raises have been included in pec workouts but they are an excellent movement to increase the quality and detail of your chest. As it is a movement to give the final finish, save it to do it last, after the press movements. Lateral raises require concentration and isolation, so they are not a heavy movement.
With your shoulders slightly bent, raise the arms sideways until you feel a stretch (not very extreme), then flex and squeeze the pectorals to bring your arms down.
You can stretch your arms when you are at the top of the repetition and rotate your thumbs out of the torso to make a more complete contraction.
The cable crossover is also a good exercise, but advanced bodybuilders must do it during the last 12 weeks of preparation for a competition.
Do them every two chest workouts 12 weeks before an event and then incorporate them into each chest workout the last 8 weeks.
The standard machine is fine, but I prefer “functional training” that allows you to place the cable at any height and adjust it.
One thing that worries me is seeing some guys in the gym without any thickness in the chest doing crossovers.
Beginners should focus on the press. When they have more developed pectorals they can do the elevations.
Crosses are the final touch, if you do not have mass yet, do not worry about doing this exercise.
If you think I forgot this chess movement, you’re wrong. I omitted it intentionally because I never thought it was a good exercise. I have probably done 10 repetitions or less in my whole career and that because once I trained with someone who liked them.
Most people like it because they can put a pile of weights on it. Of course you’ll be able load it because the range of motion is only a few centimetres. Arnold, Franco and Robby never did.
That sums up one of the best pec workouts you’ll come across if you want real results in a very short time frame.