By Gregg Valentino – It seems a majority of people training in gyms like to start their rotations with chest. It’s a nice, big muscle group, it’s aesthetically important for the guys concerned with filling out their t-shirts, and because training it involves the arms so much, it makes sense to do when the arms are fresh. As such, this book will cover chest first. And with it, I will go into some facets of training that apply not just to chest but also to all body parts.
First off, I don’t agree with starting chest with bench press like most people do. The goal in bodybuilding is to build muscle, not to be able to bench press more weight. And the way to build muscle is to get blood into the muscle.
To do that, I suggest starting with an isolation exercise. When it comes to chest, I like to start with what most guys seem to, for whatever reason, finish with – cable crossovers.
Grip two D-shape handles that have been set to equal height and weights on a cable station. Lean forward just slightly and use the heels of your hands to push the weight down at an angle across the chest.
You should be able to push the D-handles down without clasping your hands, using your palms. Keep the elbows out and up, and push down.
As a warm-up, you don’t need to break records. Use just the weight you need to get blood in the area and when you start to feel a nice pump. After this, going forward, whether you’re using flat barbell bench presses or dumbbells, you’re at a much lower risk of injury. And you’re able to focus on the chest instead of allowing your triceps or front deltoids to take over.
Incline Bar Bench Press
Place your hands comfortably on the bar and lift it off its rack. Ensure you are positioned so that you don’t feel any odd pains or discomfort in the shoulder – this is particularly important in fixed-position barbell movements. Lower the bar to your chest until it just touches and push it using the heel of your hands back upward to the starting position.
Flat Dumbbell Bench Press
Lying flat on a bench take equal weight dumbbells in hand and hold the dumbbells up so that your arms are in a “L” shape. Push the weights upward, driving with the heel of the hand, until the chest fully contracts, then lower the weight until you feel a slight stretch throughout the pecs.
Excerpt from “Essentials of Bodybuilding” by Gregg Valentino with Nathan Jendrick.