This simple technique can help you build up your pecs in just four weeks.
Jon-Erik Kawamoto, C.S.C.S. 1 / 9
If you’re looking to put more size on your chest, look past those same old bench-press routines you’ve been doing—you know, the ones that stopped working for you years ago. And, honestly, just the bench press by itself isn’t that good a muscle builder for the pecs, anyway. Instead, it’s pre-exhaustion training that’ll allow you to get more out of conventional chest exercises and see a bigger, deeper chest inside of a month.
Smaller muscles tend to fatigue faster than bigger ones. When you’re benching and you can no longer lock out the weight, that means your triceps tired out before your pecs. But what if you worked the pecs first, in isolation, so they were tired when you got to the bench press? They’d then fail along with the triceps, so the exercise would end when the target muscles were fried—not before.
This is pre-exhaustion—the basis of this workout. In it, isolation lifts, like flyes, precede compound movements, like presses, and then those are followed by more isolation lifts to top off the pump you get and encourage an increase in blood flow, which brings fast growth. ￼ ￼Directions
Perform the workout once per week. Do exercises marked “A,” “B,” and “C” in sequence, resting only as directed. Repeat until sets are done for the group.
1) One-Arm Flye/Pushup Combo
Sets: 3 Reps: As many as possible Rest: 60 sec. (after both sides)
Get into pushup position with one hand on a Valslide (as shown here), furniture slider, or paper plate. Lower your body while sliding the hand on the slider out to the side, as if performing a flye. Keep most of your weight on the non-slider arm. Go as low as you safely can, then push up and draw your arm back in.
Lie back on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand, held above your chest. Lower the weights out to the side, opening your arms wide. Feel a stretch in your pecs. Bring the weights halfway up, then return them back to the bottom position. That’s one rep. Take three seconds to lower your arms and three to bring them halfway up on each rep.
Lie on a flat bench and grasp the bar slightly wider than shoulder width. Lower the bar to your chest with your elbows slightly tucked. Press back up. Take two seconds to lower the bar on each rep and two to press it up. Adjust your weights accordingly for each set to meet the rep prescriptions.
Grasp the handles of two facing high cable stations and stand with one foot in front of the other. Your arms should be outstretched, but keep a slight bend in your elbows. Squeeze your pecs and draw the handles down in front of your hips. Contract hard at the bottom of the rep. Hold the arms-out position between each rep for six seconds.
Set a bench to a 30-to 45-degree angle and lie back on it with a dumbbell in each hand, held above your chest. Lower the weights out to your sides. Feel a stretch in your pecs. Bring the weights halfway up, then return to the bottom position. That’s one rep. Take three seconds to lower the weights down and three seconds to lift them to the halfway point.
Set an adjustable bench to a 30- to 45-degree angle and lie back on it with a dumbbell in each hand. Press the weights from shoulder level to overhead. Take two seconds to lower the dumbbells on each rep and two to press them up. Adjust your weights accordingly for each set to meet the rep prescriptions.
Place your hands on the floor slightly wider than shoulder width and extend your legs behind you. Brace your core and lower your body until your chest is just above the floor. Take two seconds to lower down and two seconds to press back up.
Suspend your body over parallel bars with arms extended. Lower your body until your upper arms are parallel with the floor. Hold six seconds. Now push yourself up and perform six reps, taking two seconds to lower yourself and two to come up. After six reps, get in the bottom position again and hold another six seconds. That’s one set. If that’s too hard, just do as many normal dips as possible.