Power Pecs: Superhero Training
By: IFBB Pro James Palumbo
Growing up one of the defining features of our favorite comic book superheroes was their large barrel chest which created the illusion of invincibility of power and size. Now as this year’s summer block busters explode onto the big screen, we see these Hollywood actors with massive muscular costume designed especially in the pectoral area, bringing to the screen a real life replica of our comic book classic heroes. Who doesn’t want the barrel chest of a superhero? Even though a barrel chest is not easy to achieve without genetics, with my routine and tips in this article you can achieve a chest similar to those of the iconic heroes.
The pectoral muscles are particularly complex – training them is a major puzzle to most bodybuilders. The problem associated with training the pectoral muscles is; they are in a position where it is easy to let the shoulders and triceps take over much of the lift. The chest muscle is really difficult to isolate, why? Because the triceps muscles are also used in the majority of chest exercises. They generally fatigue well before the chest muscles, which is the reason why it’s really difficult to hit the chest hard.
Then there’s the problem of genetics; some people are just genetically proportioned differently than others. For a person with a lot of glycolytic fiber (fast twitching) in his chest no matter what he does, his chest will always build massive muscle. Then there are the rest of us who tend to grow rather large shoulders and arms, but can’t add an inch to the chest. This has a lot to do with the amount of slow fiber in this area, but also it has to do with the strength of the delts that tend to take over the lift most of the time resulting in a lack of stimulation to this area. This is where the importance of proper training and technique comes into play. Knowing the problems is step one, learning how to correct it is step two. The pectoral muscles consist of two groups, the pectorals major and the pectorals minor. The major exists on the more superficial layer of the chest and is much larger. The pectorals minor lies underneath the major and slightly lower on the chest. Both work together to move the arm. The pectoral group is primarily responsible for the forward and downward motion of the arm. The muscles allow a person to push something away or bring it across the body. It is therefore important to repeat these types of movements in order to develop and grow your chest muscles.
“Work to muscle failure” Tearing down your muscles should only take a short amount of time and one of the best ways to rip up those Pec muscles quickly is to work to muscle failure.
*** Technique and approach to exercising the chest is as important as the exercise itself***
SLOW, DELIBERATE, SQUEEZE AND EXPLODE
To build chest muscles you need compound movements with the use of dumbbells machine, cables. The exercises remain the same; it’s my technique that that will give you POWER PECS. The principal of my technique is the movements are Slow, Deliberate, Squeeze and Explode!
The idea is to perform each set with precision form while bring the weight down Slowly and with complete control Deliberately stopping the weight 2 or 3 inches from touching or resting on the chest, HOLD that position and Squeeze the chest muscle, while maintaining a full muscle contraction (muscle fibers firing) NOW lift the weight up in an Explosive manner to the start up position maxing out at 8 to 10 reps. Increase the weight for each set maxing out on the 6 to 8 rep. Now on the 3rd and 4th set ***using a spotter*** max out on the 6 rep and add force reps to achieve complete failure.
Correct breathing is needed to coordinate with the movement especially on the explosive portion of the set. For the purpose of this article I will give you an example routine starting with the top of the chest muscle and work my way down. In my training I do switch from work out to work out to confuse the muscles and keep things alive and stimulated! As the weights increase the reps decrease, I do however try not to go below 6 reps for my last set.
1) INCLINE BENCH PRESS OR DUMBBELL BENCH PRESSES; 4 SETS OF 6 TO 10 REP MAX
2) FLAT DUMBBELL FLIES OR PRESSES; 4 SETS, REP OUT TO MAX
3) DECLINE FLIES OR PRESSES; 4 SETS, REP OUT TO MAX
4) CABLE FLEIS OR MACHINE PEC DECK; REP OUT TO MAX
To get the superhero pump add Juggernaut HP, Now you have all you need.
A well developed chest muscles acts as a signature of success in bodybuilding, Train it from all angles, train safe, train hard…
IFBB Professional Bodybuilder
Director of Physical Performance Infinite Labs Orlando FL
Advance Sports Nutrition Specialist (ASNS)
Certified Navy Seal fitness Instructor
Freelance writer Published Articles on Training regiments and techniques, Strength training and conditioning, General fitness, Weight loss and Nutritional needs
Joe Palumbo may be reached via e-mail at email@example.com
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