Secrets to Big Pecs

Whatever your motivation might be to get bigger pecs, you should first work out where you stand on your current strength level so that you will be able to create a measurable target. The relative strength gauge is one option, which relies on proven research showing that Caucasian males aged 20-29 have a 1RM/bodyweight ratio of 1.5.

This will tell you where you are on the strength scale. A large 220lb man that can push a 3125lbs bench-press will be weaker than a smaller 140lb man that pushes 225lbs. Obviously the shorter guy will have a much more impressive chest, with less body-fat and more muscle, the tape measure has nothing to do with it.

The most important debate when talking about getting bigger pecs is the balance between intensity and volume. Hormonally speaking, both of these will elicit favorable adaptations. All low-volume using high-load training will result in a good testosterone response (Kraemer, 2000).

On the other hand, high-volume training using a low to moderate load will also result in an array of hormones being released (Kraemer et al., 1993). Arnold Schwarzenegger's shock principal he released in 1998 explains the growth factor clearly. When you can pre-fatigue the chest your pecs will work harder. It sounds super-simple but when your chest workout starts with D/B chest flyes for a couple of sets BEFORE hitting barbell bench-press, you will change the stress on your pecs completely.

When you train your chest you are isolating the pecs, not your deltoids. There are other options that should also be cycled in with a good chest routine, like doing super-slow reps. Research shows this type of training will have a positive effect on your strength and your metabolic rate. (Hutchins and Ward, 2004).

Slow-rep training forces you to concentrate on perfecting technique without noticing the physiological changes, compared to the changes seen when doing normal ROM at the traditional rep speed. However, research shows no significant difference between using your upper pectoral recruitment doing incline or a decline bench, but more, lower pecs are activated on the decline bench (Barnett, Glass & Armstrong, 1997).

Doing a decline fly or press immediately puts less strain on your rotator cuff. A study done by Gross et al in 1993 showed that common shoulder impingement injuries suffered by weightlifters/bodybuilders nationwide can be avoided by never lowering the bar higher than your nipples.

There are countless pre-exhaustion techniques you can do; however, we have selected just one of the many options you can choose from listed below. Please note that combining pre-exhaustion with drop sets and rest-pause is an intense workout that should not be done by anyone who has been training less than 6 months.

D/B Flyes/Cable Flyes 3 X 5-10 reps and then 3 X 1 rep
Using bench-press start with rest-pause training using 75-85% of your 1RM 3 X 6-10 reps
Followed by doing one set pushups to failure

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