Today, I’ll be covering 3 CHEST HACKS to get you on your way to DOUBLE Ds gains. A big chest just sets the tone when you enter a room and I’m not ashamed or embarrassed to compliment a man who has a Herculean chest!
HACK #1 Focus Keeping ALL THE TENSION In Your Chest On Every Exercise
Now this might sound self-explanatory, but… it’s really not. A lot of guys end up bringing a lot of SHOULDERS and TRICEPS into their chest movements either because their form is off…or they’re trying to lift a bit too heavy and can’t effectively focus on their chest when training. Now, remember that the chest functions to push forward, like when bench pressing, but the chest also is activated during the ADDUCTION OF THE HUMERUS.
But how do we apply this knowledge to every chest exercise?
Well, it’s actually very easy.
- No matter what exercise you’re doing, whether it’s a Barbell Bench Press, Dumbbell Bench Press, or even a Standing Cable Fly…you need to retract and depress your shoulder blades. This will not only protect your shoulders, but allow you to focus on activating your chest as much as possible.
- As you PRESS your dumbbells while benching or bring your arms forward on a chest fly, make sure you BRING YOUR HANDS together as much as you can to place emphasize on the adduction of the humerus to completely maximize chest activation on every rep.
However, when it comes to cable flys, there’s always a debate as to whether or not you should CROSS your hands at the top of the movement. Personally, I don’t do this all that often because I don’t think it makes that much of a difference. But on the flip side you can ONLY do this with cables because if you tried with dumbbells you’d end up most likely failing on the exercise.
So, if you WANT to take advantage of the cables and cross your arms at the top of the movement you aren’t doing anything “wrong”. Just see how you feel and if you like it, add it to your routine from time to time.
As for barbell exercises, obviously we can’t adduct at the top of the movement, but we CAN create “inward pressure” on the barbell with our hands which will activate more of the chest as we PRESS. However, I suggest lowering the weight a bit when you first try this so you can truly focus on squeezing the barbell and creating that inward pressure effectively.
HACK #2: Superset Push-Ups With Your Presses
This is by far one of my favorite chest training hacks. In my teen-training days, I would go to failure on push-ups after every set of every chest exercise on my high volume days. I was an ANIMAL and as I got stronger I would use switch it up from traditional push-ups to incline push-ups, medicine ball push-ups or I would bring my own push-up bars to the gym.
It’s also good to keep in mind that if you’re pushing yourself hard enough on your working sets, you should fail after about 12 – 15 push-ups. So when you’re able to do MORE than 12 – 15, that’s when you should introduce the harder push-up variations.
HACK #3: Add Another Chest Day To Your Week
If your chest isn’t growing and you are 100% sure you’re hitting it as hard as you can on your workouts, the only other way to start to see more growth is to add a second chest day. All it takes is about 2 days for your chest to recover to be able to train it again, so if Monday is Chest Day, you’ll be ready to go again on Thursday. This will help you take advantage of multiple growth periods and is a great way to bring up any lagging bodypart.
Yes, overloading and adjusting your sets and reps in your workouts is super important. But sometimes the answer is as simple as adding more chest training volume throughout the week. Now, I currently train with a traditional bodybuilding split and have one day a week where I only focus on ABS. I designed the program this way so that if I wanted to work on a lagging area, for example CHEST, I could place that extra volume on my ABS day and still be in and out of the gym in 60 – 90 minutes.
Feel free to check out the original version of the program right HERE and make sure you stick around because I will be dropping the 2.0 version soon!