Amazing Pecs!


"I use Pec Deck Flyes as the warm-up movement in my chest training routine. They're great for the inner edges of my pecs."


inward as I press the weights up. Again. I do five sets. starting with eight reps and working down to six as the weights are increased.

The final movement in my pectoral perfection routine is Cable Crossovers. I do five sets of 12 reps, Since this is a shaping movement — and one that brings out the fiber-like striations across the pecs — I keep my poundages fairly light. I like to concentrate hard while I do the movement, and to feel the burn in my pecs as I near the end of a set. For the serious competitive bodybuilder "feel" is far more important than the amount of weight being used.

I like to maintain a steady pace during my workouts. Between sets I rest, at most. about 60 seconds. and sometimes as little as 40 seconds. Still, I'm not a fanatic about

maintaining a fast pace. even stop to answer a question or to say hello to someone while I'm in the middle of a workout. Most top bodybuilders would come close to killing anyone who Interrupted their workout. but I find these small diversions very refreshing. 

Often I'm asked how my off-season training differs from my pre-contest cycles. I must confess, at this point, that it's been a whole year since I had an off­season per se. But if I was training during an off-season, I'd do basically the same series of pectoral exercises I have just outlined, but at a slower pace and with heavier weights. With my diet relaxed during the off-season, it would be easier for me to train hard and heavy. Competing constantly, as I have been doing, the training has been somewhat of a grind.

You'll note that I have not included Flyes on a flat bench in my routine, nor do I recommend that movement. Its a good pec builder, but it's also a good way to get stretch marks across your chest. Personally, I think that Incline Flyes are a better movement because you're in a stronger mechanical position to work the pecs when you're on a 30- to 45-degree incline bench.

Beginning bodybuilders should try to increase the width and depth of their ribcage by doing a superset of Breathing Squats and Breathing Pullovers with a dumbbell while lying across an exercise bench. Two or three such supersets in each chest workout are very valuable for beginners because a big ribcage is the foundation on which to build an

outstanding chest.

A beginner's pec routine should be very basic. I suggest starting with tour sets of 8­10 reps in the Barbell Bench Press. As a second exercise. I'd recommend four sets of 8.10 reps in the Incline Dumbbell Press. This will allow you to build some pretty good mass in your chest, which you can begin to shape and define later. But at the beginner and intermediate levels, concentrate on building mass with basic movements.

For intermediates. I would again suggest doing the Bench Press — five sets

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of 8-10 reps but with an Olympic barbell
set and using heavier poundages. And intermediates could also Include five sets of Decline Barbell Presses and five sets of Incline Flyes.

Most advanced bodybuilders can use this intermediate routine when they're not competing, and then use my routine prior to a contest. Before a competition, I also like to tense my pecs a lot throughout the day (the Weider Iso-Tension Principle). This really cuts my pecs up, giving them a myriad of fan-like striations.

I've used supersets for my chest on occasion; however, I prefer doing them only during the last week before a competition, when I'm trying to harden up very quickly. In my case. supersets take a lot away from my strength. At all times I prefer overloading my pectorals with heavy weights. With supersets, I feel like I pay the piper weight-wise in the second set. So. unless I have a contest coming up. I'll avoid supersetting chest movements.

Press, half Flye — for my upper pecs."

One technique aspiring bodybuilders can try is supersetting an isolation movement for the chest (like Incline Flyes) with a basic exercise (like Incline Bench Presses). This allows you to take advantage of the Weider Pre-Exhaustion Training Principle. Pre-exhaustion lets you work your pectorals extremely hard on the Bench Presses. Usually your arms would give out on the Presses before your pecs have had a chance to really work hard, but by pre-exhausting the pecs, you can bomb them harder.

An ambitious bodybuilder should also consider doing forced reps on a few sets. But don't overuse this technique because it can easily lead to overtraining. I'd recommend that you have a partner assist you with one or two forced reps at the end of a set of Benches and perhaps on one of the isolation movements. As you get more accustomed to forced reps, you can gradually work up to using them on one or two sets of each exercise.

The final Weider technique I'd suggest is the Weider Muscle Priority Training Principle. If your chest is weak, you should definitely train it first in your routine. The beginning of a workout is the time you can call on the maximum levels of physical and mental energy. Only then will you be able to bomb your pecs to the maximum. Later in the workout, you will be too tired to do them Justice. So priority training makes plenty of sense.

I'm confident that you will make great gains in chest development if you regularly train your pecs using the suggestions I've outlined here.

Train hard and good luck!