By Jason Axe
A good chest is a man’s pride! What if I told you, you could build a good chest without decline bench? Think about it; a large upper chest gives you a fuller appearance, while and full lower chest can have a sagging appearance. Building a good chest takes time and patience. Only you know your limits and pushing too hard can lead to the all to common rotator cuff injury. You really have to know your body and ask yourself each set, “Do I really want it?” Genetics aside a lifters strong point/biggest muscle is or was their favorite to work. If you learn to love your chest workout you will work it with meticulous attention to detail.
I have found great success with starting and ending my workout with incline chest. The sharpening and fullness you get from dumbbells you just can’t get from a bench press. Each press should be good range of motion at a variation of rhythms to keep it fresh. The goal of each work out is to get the pump and the to later achieve soreness as confirmation that you just killed it!
For me second to incline press are cable flyes. I’m dumbfounded when I hear people don’t do them on chest day! When I’m with my friends, we call them Wolverines because you motion the cables like you have wolverine claws. On this exercise it’s all about the pinch/crossover that dumbbell flyes can’t give you. Genetics aside, this is the exercise that can fill in that valley that separates your chest for ultimate cleavage! You really have to become one with the cables and push each set till you feel the burn. I’ll repeat push until you feel the burn, because that’s the pump and soreness you came for.
At this point, your muscles are fatigued but you are not done. Now you shift to lighter weight so you can complete the set with good form. Good thing you are using dumbbells because you need no spot, and your arms should be shaking each set. No matter how much you struggle you should feel comfort in knowing you can just throw the weight when your muscles give up.
I used to feel embarrassed when I would struggle with weight, but I realized in time that hanging there mid rep stalled is how I make gains. Even if you plateau at your current weight, there are still gains to be made you just have to get creative.
With that in mind, one of my mottos is, “When you do something you love, the quality of your work will show!”
1- Incline Dumbbell Chest Press – 3 sets. Kick-start and heart of your workout. Has to be heavy weight, low reps for your chest to blow up.
2- Cable fly – low/high/mid 6 sets total- Start Low to high, then each set move cable angle up an increment. Crossing arms over is essential each set is the point of this exercise.
3- Flat Dumbbell Chest Press – 3 sets- lower weight good form
4- Overhead dumbbell pull – 3sets- great for a pec stretch
5- Pec Dec – 3 set- going for complete failure
6- Machine Incline Chest Press – 3 sets- going for complete failure
Photos by Per Bernal
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Jason Axe is a 27 year-old fitness model from Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States. He is 5’9″ and weighs 165 lbs. He started fitness modeling because he has always gotten compliments about his abs and smile. At first he doubt that he would be successful because he is under 6 feet tall; however, he says that most people think that he is 6’0″ in photos because of his long arms, so his height has not been a problem afterall. In fact, he has done a few small jobs, and he hopes to continue learning and getting better with each shoot.
Jason works out solely because he loves the lifestyle. Hes always thinking about his next workout. when you do what you love the quality shows in your work!
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