When it comes to building muscle and getting that shape you truly want, fitness tech, strategies and supplements have come a long way. We really have reached a high tech era. So why is it that we seem to have left chest training back using analog when everything else has gone digital? For some reason, we just don't seem to put as much focus on that major part of our body as we place on our arms, abs and legs.
To help bring your own workout strategy out of the stone age, use these handy do's and don'ts to get started:
• Do use compound exercises – You may have been using crossovers and flyes until now, but start doing incline presses instead. This way, you'll be lifting more weight so you'll be putting your muscles under a larger amount of tension. The more fitness-appropriate tension you apply, the more growth you get.
• Do focus on shoulder stability – One of the best ways for you to safely bench – and one of the strongest ways, too – is with your shoulder blades drawn downward and together. Boost the ability of your shoulders to retract by balancing all pressing moves with chin-ups, rows and cable face pulls.
• Don't use bad bench press form – Unless you're in a hurry to reduce your results and increase your chances of injury, make a point to know the right form. Keep your elbows close to your sides as you lower and touch the bar to the base of your sternum. This technique works especially well for long armed guys.
• Do use progressive resistance – Focus on doing two or three sets of one or two different chest exercises. As you complete each workout, add more reps or increase the weight you're using.
• Don't lift too much weight – The best way to get steady and consistent progress is to add only the smallest amount of weight possible for each new session. In the majority of gyms, this typically means a couple of 2.5 pound plates for a total of 5 additional pounds.
• Don't do too many exercises – You may be tempted to add tons of chest exercises in the hopes of getting faster results. However, if you're doing a ton of pec-deck flyes to give your chest more definition, you'll only increase your chances of injury and will end up burning out. Instead, go for barbell bench press, pushup and dip and dumbbell bench press.