Q: I have trouble feeling my chest working on bench presses. I’m in phase 1 of Jonathan’s X-traordinary Size Surge Workout program, so my sets for chest are limited. Is it okay to do more bench press work sets, or should I add an isolation exercise like pec deck flyes?
A: First be sure you’re using the concentrated warmup sequence for big multi-joint exercises as we’ve mentioned in a previous article. For those who missed it…
Warmup set 1: 10 reps, 3 seconds up and 3 seconds down (60-second set)
Warmup set 2: Add weight and do 8 reps at a normal pace—one to two seconds up and about three seconds down. Also, don’t lock out—keep tension on the target muscle for extra blood flow after.
If you’re already doing the above and you still don’t feel your pecs on your bench press work sets, it’s time for an additional bloodbath technique, postactivation.
After your two warmup sets of bench presses, do one set of medium-intensity cable crossovers, cable flyes or pec deck flyes. Any isolated chest exercise that keeps continuous tension on your pecs will work…
Take a fairly light poundage and squeeze out 12 fairly slow reps, keeping tension on your pecs throughout the set. This should NOT be an all-out set to failure—the last rep should cause a burn in your pecs but should not be difficult.
After you’re done, you’ll feel a rush of blood to your pecs. Now they’re ready…
Rest about one minute, then do your first work set of bench presses. You should feel your pecs elongating and contracting on every rep. Interesting that some trainees get much stronger with this extra blood volume. Studies show that it can enhance power output by as much as 20 percent! [Journal of Strength Conditioning Research. 15:362-366]
You can use the postactivation-warmup technique on any bodypart. Simply do a slow higher-rep continuous-tension set of an isolation move after your warmup sets and before your first work set. It triggers more blood flow to grow!
[Note: High-intensity postactivation is one of the key techniques in the X-treme Lean High-Definition Workout that’s outlined in that FAT-LOSS e-guide, pages 76-78. The X-treme Lean e-book is included in the money-saving Triple-Shredded Combo Offer along with The Ultimate Fat-to-Muscle Workout and X-traordinary Abs.]
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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