Sunday, 10 March 2013

5 mistakes your making when training chest

Women appreciate your chest just as much as you do theirs! Chest is by far one of the most popular muscle groups trained in the gym, especially on a Monday night, where there is usually a que for the bench press. Now ask yourself this - have you seen the chest development from your training routine you deserve in the last 8 weeks? No? Well that's probably because your making these mistakes....

Mistake 1 - pumping the bar up and down like a piston on the bench press

Instead try a 40X0 tempo. This means 4 seconds down, then forcefully explode the weight to the starting position. The slow eccentric movement really causes some damage to the muscle fibres and the forceful explosion recruits the fast twitch type 2 fibres (the ones with most potential for hypertrophy). You won't be able to lift as much, but your pecs don't know that do they?

Mistake 2 - not training from a variety of angles

Each session should involve a variety of angles (flat, incline, decline). I always start by hitting my weakest area when I'm fresh and strong. Right now that's my upper chest, so incline presses usually come first in my workout.

Mistake 3 - not warming up properly

In my opinion a few light sets of your first exercise isn't substantial enough to get your muscles ready to perform optimally. You should also be incorporating some dynamic exercises, such as shoulder circles and shrugs.

Mistake 4 - neglecting the importance of grip width 

When was the last time you purposely did a super wide grip bench press? Probably never right. But did you know a wide grip bench press is better at targeting the outer pec, whereas a close grip bench press is better a hitting the inner pec and triceps. To see great chest development you must also alternate your grip width as well as your bench angles. 

Mistake 5 - being a sheep

It's quite a funny scene on a peak Monday evening at a commercial gym in the free weights area. Everyone that's training chest seems to follow each other about exercise after exercise. It usually starts with a barbell press variation, then a dumbbell press variation, then maybe a dumbbell flye variation and last but not least a standing cable flye. All 4 sets of 8-12 reps, and people do that week after week after week. That's a sure fire way to stagnate your progress! There are other exercises you know, and other pieces of kit. Why not drop a bit of TRX or bodyweight in there? Or even (dare I say it, but they do have their place) a machine! You could even try pre-exhaust technique and start with flyes for a change. The options are endless.....