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Test Your Chest

If you’re looking for the rush you get from an amazing pump in your pecs, try this workout now.
By Redmann Wright
 
At different periods in our training, we all hit plateaus. It’s a fact of training life. With that in mind, we should all be looking for that something new, that boom that says “hi” to your muscles. Here is that workout you’ve been looking for to really dial in some highly focused stimulation to the muscle fibers in your pecs. This short but intense program is designed to spark an incredible pump while initiating gains in new muscle. Who doesn’t want that?
The idea is to progressively move up in weight on each set of the bench press, cable crossovers, and lying low-pulley chest flyes. This gradual increase in load will give the body a chance for adaption. For these three exercises, focus on slow reps, maximizing the time under tension on the negative position of the movement. Also don’t forget the lost art of peak contraction. Be sure to intensely squeeze your pecs at the top of each rep.
The bodyweight bounce push-ups are a different beast than the bench press and cable exercises. They will fill your pecs with so much blood and test your muscular endurance at the same time, you’ll barely be able to get your hands together for the flyes. Performed for high reps, they are a great addition to the loaded exercises that are done in the eight- to 10-rep range.
I call this “Hypertrophy-Specific Training.” It’s the ideal method to increase muscle mass and push through the winter into the summer months (aka “shirts-off season”) that are fast approaching.
 
Barbell Bench Press
 
Barbell Bench Press
Lie faceup squarely on a bench with your feet flat on the floor. Grasp the barbell with a wide overhand grip, well outside

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Do More Work

Initiate growth by jamming more reps into fewer minutes in the gym.
By Team Iron Man
 
PQ: This program takes advantage of the body’s overriding mandate: Adapt or die. When you put stress on a muscle, millions of years or evolutionary biology will force it to change so it can better handle that stress.
If your growth is stalled out and you’re at that frustrating point where you think something’s wrong with you, it’s time to try escalating density training. EDT is a system that’s specifically designed to put size on stubborn muscle groups by subjecting them to a novel form of stress. This program takes advantage of the body’s overriding mandate: Adapt or die. When you put stress on a muscle, millions of years or evolutionary biology will force it to change so it can better handle that stress. That’s why lifting weights makes your muscles grow.
Your muscles don’t know to get bigger. They only know whether they’re under stress or not—and if they’re repeatedly subjected to mechanical resistance, and being broken down, they’ll adapt in order to not break down so readily. Getting bigger and stronger are simply side effects of this adaptation, and building muscle size is dependent on the volume and intensity of the stress that your muscles are capable of handling.
By subjecting your muscles to as many reps and as intense a pump as they can tolerate, EDT will introduce your muscles to a new kind of stress. With adequate recovery, they’ll adapt and grow at an increased rate.
The main reason for the change will be the fact that you’re performing greater overall reps and volume. EDT subjects your muscle to increased overall stimulus through mechanical tension. The greater the stimulus, the greater the necessary adaptation. You’ll damage fibers during training, then repair them afterward, causing them

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Upper Chest Quest

Many people have said it: You can’t do too much upper-chest work. It’s an area of the body that can almost always be improved. One way to improve it is through push-ups. But not just any push-ups: flexed trunk push-ups. Sports researchers at Inje University in South Korea investigated the difference in muscle activation between standard push-ups and flexed trunk push-ups, when the subject keeps the lower body at a 30-degree angle. Instead of a flat back, the glutes are pushed toward the ceiling in a modest pike position. By measuring the electrical activity in the muscle groups, the scientists found that this variation of push-up elicited far more response in the muscle fibers of the upper chest and serratus anterior than a traditional push-up. Conversely, the traditional push-up created more stimulation in the lower pecs than the flexed-trunk push-up.

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The Mechanical Advantage

This relatively painful intensity technique can lead to rapid gains in size.
By Vince Del Monte
This month I want to talk about a technique I’m currently employing inside my eight-week training cycle that has me doing—wait for it—just one all-out set per workout, per bodypart.
The technique is called “mechanical advantage drop sets” or MADS (which is a great acronym I thought I invented until I did a quick Google search). Before diving into MADS, let’s define drop sets so we’re on the same page. A drop set is when you perform a given exercise to the point of concentric failure, and then change a variable in a way that allows you to extend the set into what I call “The Hurt Box.”
You are likely familiar with drop sets that include decreasing the weight once you hit fatigue so that you can chase some extra reps with a lighter load. This is a good technique in my opinion, but not a great technique. Drop sets are also known as “strip sets,” and it’s likely one of the first mass-gaining techniques you’ve experimented with during your early days of your muscle-building journey. However, as the years go on, the “gains train” starts to slow down and we start looking for more advanced methods to continue our quest for a bigger and stronger body.
That’s where MADS comes in, and in a moment I’ll give you my own MADS upper-body training program so you can put this bad boy to the test. The “mechanical” in MADS refers to a change in body position, which applies to increasing or decreasing leverage. For instance, you’ve likely noticed it’s easier to do a squat with your feet wider versus narrower. It’s easier to perform a bench press on a decline instead of incline. It’s easier to perform a

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Injury-Free Chest

Build  muscle and strength while staying pain-free and healthy in the process.
By Alexander Juan Antonio Cortes
Training the pectoralis major and minor, also known as the chest, is a common priority for both recreational and competitive lifters. When you’re young, it’s quite common for the bench press to be the predominant lift that is used for chest development. If you have advantageous biomechanics (big chest, short arms), bench pressing can seem incomparable for chest development.
As you age, though, there is an accumulation of wear and tear. Rotator-cuff injuries are the most common complaint among recreational lifters and competitive bodybuilders, and they are almost always incurred during pressing movements, specifically the bench press and incline press. You may feel invincible in your 20s, but once you get into the 30s, 40, 50s, with decades of lifting, you start to feel all those repetitions adding up.
As you age, your training approach to chest must become smarter. Your shoulder joints and pec tendons have only so many repetitions in them where they can be overloaded before something tears, frays, or snaps. And once injured, your ability to build any more muscle is highly compromised.
Rather than back off chest training completely, or be forced into stasis and believe that you’ve no future of muscles gains, your chest training can evolve. What follows is the Mountain Dog approach to chest training. This protocol is not only designed to prevent injury and have you train safely, but also sequenced in such a way to spur muscle growth, while not aggravating any preexisting or past injuries.
 
Rotator Stuff
Almost every man who has lifted has strained one or both of his shoulders from pressing. Why does this happen?
Go into the gym to train chest, and almost everyone does the same thing: They immediately head over to the bench press or incline

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