Savage Pump Weekly -- Chest

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Chest Day -- The Best Day at the gym.

 

Nothing quite turns heads and proudly proclaims “Yes, I lift” than a broad, barrel chest bursting underneath your shirt.

 

For this week’s edition of Savage Pump Weekly, we’re focusing on forging an iron shield...one that would make any of Marvel’s Avengers jealous. But, don’t make the mistake of thinking this is another high rep, light weight workout.

 

Oh, no.

 

This workout is going to be focused on heavy pressing, LOTS of heavy pressing. In previous editions of Savage Pump Weekly, we’ve come up with devious ways to torture your muscles using all sorts of advanced training techniques.

 

Not today.

 

Today, we’re going old school with stout dose of heavy compound movements, and to crank things up a notch, we’ve even included some ways to transform the ultimate chest building move (the push up) into an even more powerful mass builder.

 

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Chest Training Tips

Start with a Heavy Compound

 

Be it barbell or dumbbells, start every workout with the bench press. It’s the bread and butter move of building a monstrous chest and will be the metric by which you gauge your increases in strength each week.


While other exercises will rotate in and out over the next four weeks, the first exercise of every workout will always be the same. We’ve done this for a couple of reasons.

 

First, while “variety is the spice of life”, too much is actually counterproductive to muscle and strength gains. If you’re constantly swapping new exercises in and out every week, your central nervous system is constantly having to figure out what the hell it’s doing rather than getting proficient at the movements (i.e. getting stronger).

 

Second, by keeping at least one or two exercises constant each week, we can better track gains in strength. We can get around to all the various angles, exercises and tools later in the workout, but make sure that every week you’re starting off with the exact same setup for your first lift.

 

Make Sure Your Chest Is Doing the Work

 

A common mistake many people make when training chest is not retracting and depressing their scapula, which is essential to making your chest do the majority of the lifting with any kind of bench press. Failure to pull the shoulder blades down and back makes you less stable and less likely to push heavy weight. On top of that, chances are your anterior deltoids (shoulders) and triceps will fatigue long before your chest ever really gets completely worked. By retracting the scapula and essentially “puffing your chest out” you ensure a maximal stretch on the pecs each and every rep, which means more work has to be done by the pecs, ultimately yielding a better workout.

 

One other tip regarding stability on the press pertains to your lats. Yes, the bench press is technically considered a chest-building exercise, but to maximize stability of the bar or dumbbells and eliminate any weak links in your kinetic chain, the lats have to be engaged. Not only does this make your body more stable, it also helps you push more weight on each rep. To make sure your engaging the lats, imagine that you are crushing an orange under each armpit anytime you’re benching.

 

“Bleed” Every Rep

 

Too often when we’re in the midst of a workout, we’re merely content with completing every rep of every set. Our program tells us to perform “x” number of reps for “y” number of sets of a given exercise, and if we complete all of them, regardless of the quality of those reps, we feel like we had a great workout. Failure to complete even one of those reps often leaves us feeling inadequate, or that we had a bad workout.

 

Erase this way of thinking.

 

Taking an attitude of “checking the box” on your workout is fine if you’re just getting into fitness and trying to establish a rhythm, but if you’re looking to maximize muscle development and progression, you need to be focused on the quality of your reps, not just the quantity.

 

Rather than trying to bang out the reps as fast as possible, any way possible, “bleed” each rep for all its worth. Make sure you’re getting a full stretch at the bottom of each movement, control the weight through the entire range of movement, and squeeze for a solid count of one (or two) at the point of peak contraction.

 

Making the most of every rep, helps ensure quality of movement, reduces chances of injury, and maximal activation of the target muscle group, which in this case is the chesticles.

 

Get More with Mechanical Drop Sets

 

For most lifters, push ups present an excellent option for developing your chest early in the a training career. As you’ve probably found out though, after a short while, you’re easily able to bang out multiple sets of 20-30 reps of push ups without really getting much from them, aside from some conditioning.

 

Just because you’ve increased in strength and size doesn’t mean you’re beyond benefiting from the humble push up. It still can be a staple of your chest building routine, but we’re going to slide it towards the end of your workout, after your muscles are fatigued from the heavier lifting.

 

We’re also going to help make sure you fail in the typical muscle-building range of 8-12 reps.

 

How so?

 

Enter the mechanical drop set.

 

A mechanical drop set is similar to a traditional drop set, but instead of stripping plates off the end of the bar, or picking up lighter dumbbells, you’re going to either change your hand position or angle of leverage beginning with the hardest variation, and dropping to subsequently easier ones as you fatigue.

 

Using the push up as an example, you can perform a mechanical drop set by performing:

 

  • 10 reps feet on a box or bench

  • 10 reps feet on the ground

  • 10 reps hands on a box or bench and feet on the ground

  • 10 reps on your knees, hands on the ground.

 

By changing your body’s leverage, you’re essentially “stripping the weight off the bar” by reducing the amount of mass your chest has to move through space. Plus, since we’re fatiguing in the optimal muscle building rep range, you can rest assured you’ll reap all the muscle building benefits possible from push ups and get one hell of an upper body pump as well!

 

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Savage Pump Weekly Workout -- Chest

 

Week 1

Sets

Reps

Rest

Bench Press

4

6-8

90 sec

Low Incline Dumbbell Press

3

8-10

60 sec

Unilateral Flat Dumbbell Press

3

10

60 sec

Cable Crossover

3

12

60 sec

Push Up Mechanical Drop Set

3

10/10/10

60 sec



Week 2

Sets

Reps

Rest

Bench Press

5

6-8

90 sec

Low Incline Dumbbell Press

4

8-10

60 sec

Alternating Dumbbell Press

3

10

60 sec

Cable Crossover*

3

10/10/10

60 sec

Push Up Mechanical Drop Set

3

10/10/10

50 sec

*Perform a traditional drop set



Week 3

Sets

Reps

Rest

Bench Press

5

6-8

75 sec

Low Incline Dumbbell Press

4

8-10

50 sec

Reverse Grip Flat Bench Press

3

10

60 sec

Cable Crossover*

3

10/10/10

45 sec

Push Up Mechanical Drop Set

3

10/10/10

30 sec




Week 4

Sets

Reps

Rest

Bench Press

5

6-8

60 sec

Low Incline Dumbbell Press

4

8-10

45 sec

Weighted Dips

3

10

60 sec

Cable Crossover

3

10/10/10

30 sec

Push Up Mechanical Drop Set

3

10/10/10

30 sec



Pump Up Those Pecs with Intracell 7!

 

Intracell 7 is the consummate peri workout training supplement. Combining a full complement of essential amino acids (EAAs) alongside 20 grams of fast-digesting carbohydrates, Intracell 7 provides everything you need before, during, and after training to ensure superior performance and recovery.

 

Take one scoop 15-20 minutes prior to your workout to provide a rapid infusion of performance-boosting carbs and muscle-building aminos to your muscles, and another scoop during your workout to sustain performance and ensure each and every workout is better than the last.

 

With Intracell 7, you don’t have to settle for those less than adequate BCAA formulas that only provide a portion of the amino acids your muscles need to support muscle repair and growth. We’ve included all nine EAAs so your body has everything it needs for repair, recovery, and growth.


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