Pre-Exhaust Chest Workout That'll Blow Your Chest Up!
When it comes to hitting a muscle group, be it chest, back or shoulders it's the same old "hit your heavy compound movements first then finish off with some higher repetition isolation exercises."
Ask any personal trainer or read an article in a fitness magazine again chest workouts and that's exactly what you'll find.
Start with a few low rep sets of your heavy flat barbell bench press, then move onto a heavy incline press and finish off with high repetition chest dips and cable flys.
That only works until it doesn't work.
Hit a plateau?
Want to experiment with an old school training technique?
Perhaps you just want to shake up your workout regime a little bit?
Run out of weight to add your heavy pressing movements? (this is why I started doing this pre-fatigue chest workout!)
Here's How Pre-Exhaust Training Works...
To pre-exhaust our chest we will begin hitting an exercise or two that entirely isolates the chest, this means our presses are out of the question as when you're hitting both your flat and incline presses (barbell and dumbell) you're recruiting your deltoids and triceps to a degree.
Therefore we'll be starting off with the pec deck fly and cable crossover.
Once we've smashed a 4 - 6 sets of fly-based isolation exercises for our chest we'll move on to the heavy lifting as per normal.
You'll find you're able to lift nowhere near as much weight on your bench press variations, however the contraction and pump you'll find from lifting 'till failure with a pre-exhausted chest cannot be matched!
Here's a Recap of the Pec Deck Fly... (Exhaustion Exercise #1)
- Sit on the pec deck fly machine with your back against the pad.
- Grasp the pec deck handles ensuring your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
- Push the handles together as you contract your chest in the middle.
- Hold this contraction for 1 second.
- Allow your chest to stretch out as much as possible as you slowly return the handles to the starting position, arced out by your sides.
Common Pec Deck Fly Mistakes
Utilizing A Partial Range Of Motion
As you maintain a slight bend in your arms you must allow the pec deck to pull your arms back until you feel the stretch in your chest.
Not Maintaining A Bend In Your Arms
With dead straight arms you'll find that you're not only failing to get the same stretch and contraction in the chest, but you're also placing yourself at greater risk of elbow/shoulder injuries.
Failing To Contract The Chest On Each Repetition
At the top of the movement you must squeeze your chest muscles together in order to get a full contraction, if you're merely going through the motions but not taking the time to squeeze on each repetition you're going to fail to see the results you're after.
Here's a Recap of the Cable Crossover... (Exhaustion Exercise #2)
- Set up your cable machine with 2 handles slightly above head height, grasp the handles and take several steps forward with a karate-esque stance (one foot infront of the other).
- Maintain a slight bend in your arm as your drive through the chest to arc the cables down infront of you.
- Pause and contract for 1 second.
- Maintaining this bend in your arm begin to arc your arms outward as wide as possible, returning the cables as far back as possible while contracting the chest.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Give My Pre-Exhaust Chest Workout A Try!
Pec Deck Fly - 3 sets - 12 to 15 reps per set.
Cable Crossover - 3 sets - 12 to 15 reps per set.
Push-Ups - 2 sets - 'till failure.
Incline Barbell Bench Press - 4 sets - 8 reps per set.
Barbell Bench Press - 4 sets - 8 reps per set.