Every day is an International Chest Day! Enjoy this great pec-building protocol, using the concept of Positions of Flexion (POF), with a few added twists. Typically with POF, you would first use a mid-range movement (like the flat press). Mid-range is dictated by the majority of the work being done in the mid-part of the movement; there is no real stretch nor contraction portion.
In a typical POF routine you would utilise a stretch phase like a fly, and then a contraction movement, like a cable crossover. The adaptation I’ve used for over a decade is to reverse the stretch and contraction phases. The point is to really pump the muscle up and engorge it with as much blood as possible, then to use the stretch to create a lot of muscle trauma.
Another twist I’ve added is intra-set posing during the contraction sets to help the engorging process, and some hard intra-set stretching during the stretch sets to really tear the chest down. Because this method is very taxing, there are only 12 working sets. If you need more than that, you aren’t focusing enough on the movements. It is highly recommended that you remove one set from every exercise in the first session, and work up gradually over the next couple of sessions. If you need more frequency to build up your chest, you can use this workout twice a week.
In this workout, there is a pre-activation warm-up to tighten the external rotators, rear delts, and scapular retractors to create tightness in the upper back for the pressing and balance out the antagonists for the anterior muscles. You will still need a separate back session or two during the week to keep everything balanced.
We hope you enjoy the workout. Please make sure to use proper form and to work the weights up over a few workouts. If you need help with your training, give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Pre-Activation for Upper Back:
- A1 Kneeling High Cable Face Pull Sets 3 Reps 10-12 Tempo 1013 Rest 60
Execution: Kneel in front of a high pulley, holding on to the rope attachment. Initiate the movement with a scapular shrug, then pull the rope to your face while keeping the elbows high. Hold each rep for 3 seconds.
- A2 Seated Cable Scapular Retraction Sets 3 Reps 10-12 Tempo 1013 Rest 60
Execution: Sit on a cable row, holding the neutral grip attachment. Initiate a scapular shrug, attempting to touch your scapula together. Hold for 3 seconds, release.
- B Flat Barbell Bench Press Sets 3 Reps 10+DS Tempo 3110 Rest 120
Execution: Lying on a flat bench, un-rack the bar and lower for 3 seconds. Pause on the chest, staying tight, for 1 second. Lastly, press the bar smoothly back to the top. Your sets and reps will be 4 sets of 10 reps. On the last set, after the first 10 reps, perform a drop set by removing 10-15% of the weight and do as many reps as you can. Perform 2 total drop sets.
- C Pec Dec or Cable Crossover Sets 4 Reps 10-12 Tempo 2012 Rest 75
Execution: A pec dec will work best for this exercise, but if one is not available, use a cable crossover or 15-degree dumbbell fly. You will push the weight for 1 second, hold the contraction for 2 seconds… squeeze the chest as hard as you can! Lower for 2 seconds and repeat for 10-12 reps. Between sets: flex your chest by pushing your hands together or practice a bodybuilding most muscular pose. The idea is to pump as much blood into your chest as you can. You will probably need to lower the weight slightly on each successive set. If you can get your chest to cramp when squeezing then you are getting the full benefit!
- D1 15 Degree Incline Dumbbell Fly – ½ rep at bottom Sets 3 Reps 8-10 Tempo 1014 Rest
Execution: You will now perform a dumbbell fly on a 15-degree incline. We want to completely thrash the chest with brutal stretching. You will perform a ½ rep at the bottom, holding the stretch for 4 seconds. Be careful not to use too much weight. You will want to use around a 15 rep load or less on this. When in doubt, use less weight. This is about the stretch, NOT about the weight!
- D2 Doorway Pec Stretch Sets 3 Reps 60 seconds Tempo N/A Rest 60
Execution: Between sets of D1 you will perform a pec stretch. We recommend a doorway stretch – it is easy to do and most gyms have at least one door. Place the palms of your hands on the door jam and lean into the stretch, really trying to tear it apart. Get a good, uncomfortable stretch, but be safe and ease into it. You may have to lower the load on your flies every round.