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       Fitness Tips For 6/1/2005
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Best Pec Workout

How to Build Pecs of a Champion

by Lester Maurice of Bodybuilding Guide

Many of you have been bench pressing for years and have only 
attained mediocre results. That's because the flat bench press 
is a mediocre chest exercise that really only hits the mid to 
lower portion of the pectorals. The few people that have 
developed decent pecs using the bench press usually had the 
genetic disposition to do so and probably would have great 
pecs from doing push-ups as well. For those of us that are 
average or above average, incline presses are the way to go.

Pecs Workout

Barbell Incline Press

Incline presses work a larger portion of the pectoral muscles, 
especially the upper chest which creates a fuller, more powerful 
appearance. Inclines can be performed with either a barbell or 
dumbbells. A barbell will allow you to use more weight and make
it easier to employ "cheat" reps or forced reps. Use a bar 
when going heavy and working in the low (5-8) rep range. 
Dumbbells will allow a more extensive range of motion. You 
can lower your hands below your pec line, something that a 
straight bar wouldn't allow you to do. Dumbbells also let you 
bring the weights together at the top of the motion so you can 
contract your pec muscles upon extension. This is hard to do with 
a bar. 

Chest Bar Dip Exercise

The next exercise that will add slabs of meat to your chest is 
the parallel bar dip. This is truly an awesome compound 
movement but it is sometimes overlooked because it's such a 
simple "old" exercise and you don't get to slap a bunch of 
plates on a bar. If results are what your after, then include
dips in your routine. The key is to do them right.

* Push your elbows to the outside of your body as much as 
possible, away from your torso. This will stimulate the pecs 
while a close elbow position will primarily hit the triceps. 
Arch your back, push your chest forward and let your feet 
hang behind you. You should feel that your chest is leading 
the exercise.

* When you perform a rep, go down as deep as possible and try
to explode up. Take your pectoral muscles to a fully stretched 
position and then at that moment, twitch the muscle and reverse
the motion. The myotatic muscle reflex will give you an 
additional powerful boost.

* Go up and stop the motion before locking out your arms. After
two thirds of the way up, the tricep takes over and it becomes 
less of a chest-building exercise. When you watch someone 
performing dips for chest development, you will notice a short 
pumping range of motion.

Pec Deck Flye

The final chest building movement includes a fly motion. Flat 
bench and incline flys work well but the problem is that when 
people perform them as a finishing exercise, they tend to
cheat on the movement so it looks more like a pressing type 
of exercise. Also, dumbbell flys, in either position, provide 
no resistance at the top of the movement. This is one of the 
few exercises that is better performed on a standard machine, 
specifically the pec-deck machine. With the pec-deck, resistance 
is provided throughout the full range of motion. This is 
important especially when your hands come together and allow you 
to squeeze your inner chest muscles intensely.

Make sure your hands are parallel with your shoulders to prevent
joint problems. Try to pull with the palms of your hands instead
of a closed-grip which will tend to make it more of an arm 
exercise. When your hands come together in the contracted 
position, squeeze for a full two-count and release the handles 
back all the way past your torso for a good stretch. As with the 
dip, at the full stretched position, reverse the motion with a 
sudden twitch and pull the handles back forward. This pre-stretch 
thrust will add power to your movement. Keep your back pinned to 
the bench throughout the exercise. If you're leaning forward to 
get the weight up, then it's too heavy and you're using too much 
shoulder and back muscle instead of pec muscle to complete the 
motion.

A few tips. First, the top portion of most pressing exercises 
use tricep and shoulder muscles. You don't need to lock-out 
training your chest. "Lock-out" just means rest time and you 
know it. Second, keep your elbows flared away from your body. 
This will isolate the pec muscles and help exclude the triceps 
from assisting in the movement. You will have to go lighter on
some of the exercises but that also means your pecs will develop 
much faster. Finally, stretch between sets. Hold onto the wall 
or a stable bar and turn your torso away, stretching your pec 
muscles gradually. You can also stand in a doorway, putting 
your hands on either side of the frame and leaning forward, 
going past the frame and stretching the whole rib cage. 
Stretching will help increase blood flow, help flush the 
lactic acid out and increase the amount of muscle fiber you 
can stimulate.

There you have it. Three great exercises that, when done 
properly, get the most stubborn, puny chest to grow and look 
like a gladiator's chest plate. Train consistently, follow 
our advice and you'll be adding layers of muscle to your 
pecs.

About the Author

Lester Maurice is the head of Matrix Systems a consulting group
of personal trainers specializing in bodybuilding and fitness 
development located throughout Southern California. For more 
great muscle building and fat burning tips visit his website 
at Bodybuilding Guide.
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Neither trulyhuge.com nor the authors of this publication assume any liability for the information contained herein. The Information contained herein reflects only the opinion of the author and is in no way to be considered medical advice. Specific medical advice should be obtained from a licensed health care practitioner. Consult your physician before you begin any nutrition, exercise, or dietary supplement program.

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