Yesterday fitness expert Chris Zaremba introduced us to his first batch of great chest workouts. Here in this concluding part he adds a further five great exercises to help you develop a shaped and powerful chest.
3. I’ll move down the chest focus for my third exercise
A mid-chest press, using either dumbbells or a barbell from a rack on a flat bench, or occasionally a fixed-path machine, assuming the push from the machine is straight out – 90 degrees to the body.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Some of the gyms I go to have good machines for this, others are lousy – but luckily a flat bench and set of dumbbells are the same everywhere.
4. Continuing with the mid chest
I’ll add another fly as a chest isolation exercise.
This can either be dumbbells, but by now I’m often looking for a change and will use a cable machine in a crossover, keeping the angle of the cables to the body at 90 degrees to focus on the mid-chest.
I keep the body vertical for this, with one foot ahead for support, so the cables head out parallel to the floor, keeping that 90 degree angle to the torso.
I’ll focus on the tree-hug aspect of the fly movement, minimising contributions from supporting muscle groups.
This is a key exercise to focus on ‘only moving those body parts that are meant to move’, a phrase that my training clients hear a lot from me!
5. Usually my fifth exercise in the sequence is a Press for the lower part of the chest, at a decline angle
Some gyms have a bench dedicated to this, with a decline of around 30 degrees and a barbell rack for it, which is ideal.
Without this, I utilise a decline ab bench with feet hooked over the top. In this case, it’s with dumbbells that a partner has to hand to me.
I haven’t worked out how to get the dumbbells in place on my own yet!
By using that angle of decline, and obviously pressing upwards vertically, the angle between the body and the arms is about 60 degrees, which I find ideal for lower chest development.
I’ll do this either with dumbbells handed to me by a partner, or on a narrow cable machine as a crossover.
If utilising a cable machine, then I’ll increase the downwards angle to 60 degrees or thereabouts, so that the handles meet at belly-button or navel height and about a foot in front of me.
As with all fly movements, the maximum concentration is on isolating the chest motion, especially on the cables, as it is easy to let other bodyparts come into action from this standing position.
7. My final exercise is usually a Dumbbell Pullover
Lying on a bench, holding the top edge of a dumbbell vertically with straight arms overhead.
I lower the weight backwards behind my head, then back up again.
I keep the elbows locked to exclude movement at the tricep, and try to go a little lower with each rep of the set.
I find this works the innermost part of all the chest rather than any particular segment in the upper-middle-lower continuum.
Ideally it’s done with a partner to hand the weight to me by putting it on my chest, as it’s not the easiest to position for this with a heavy dumbbell on your own.
That completes my workout.
By now I’ve pretty much exhausted myself in the chest department, and the gym top I’m wearing has become noticeably tighter over those 50 minutes!
A good feeling! Then I’ll follow the workout with some protein shake and BCAA’s, as well as some fresh fruit, all within 15 minutes.
I don’t always follow that order strictly, but the order shown is my main preference. I do sometimes change it for variety and depending on availability of equipment in the gym.
I’d rather substitute or change the order of an exercise than wait for my first choice to become free.
Does it get boring doing the same workout every five days?
Absolutely not – for all the first six exercises, I have at least three variants with different types of free weights, cables and other machines – so that is 18 different workouts just by playing with those options!
Then add the options I have by re-sequencing the exercises, and I reckon I rarely do the same workout twice in a year!
I hope that’s of interest. Many of the principles also find their way into workouts for other body parts too.
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