Q: I’ve been using cable crossovers as my contracted-position exercise in my 3D Positions-of-Flexion chest routine. I do them last for tension, occlusion, and a final pump, but I’m not getting the right feel and not seeing much of a pump. Do you have any form suggestions to make them better?
A: Cable crossovers are a good contracted-position chisel-your-chest exercise—if you have decent nerve-to-muscle connections in your pec muscles. Those who don’t tend to shift the torso forward and backward during the exercise, to bring in more front delts and even lats. We prefer a similar exercise that forces strictness…
Cable flyes put you on a bench so you can’t move your upper body. You can fully concentrate on keeping your shoulder blades back and contracting your pecs during the entire stroke. In other words, you can more easily keep tension on your chest muscles through the entire set. Plus, you can pull your hands up over your face for more upper-chest activation, over your mid-chest for more middle-pec fullness or down low to etch in your lower pecs.
Another unique chisel-your-chest cable variation is what we call high-low cable flyes. For these you pull the handles together over your face, hold the contraction, and lower to just above your hips; keep holding the handles together and bring them back up over your face, then lower to the stretch position. That’s one rep. Talk about a full-blown pec pump!
Note: For more info on 3D Positions-of-Flexion training for all muscle groups, take a look at the 3D Muscle Building e-book.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
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