Train Like A Pro.
You can’t have too much upper chest. One of the most impressive areas in bodybuilding, you want your chest swole and the muscle walls thick. By now you’ve probably done all the incline exercises and hit the peck deck on a masochistic level, and still, nothing.
What you don’t realize is that there’s a method to working smart, not hard, and even if you’re doing everything there’s a few little tricks of the trade that will you give you maximum reward for minimal sacrifice. That’ the type of math we like over here at Generation Iron.
Tip #1: Train supporting muscles
In the words of the great Jay Cutler, you’ve got to train the whole pec. Many builders get caught up training only the upper pec but in reality the pectoris is one big muscle. If you train the whole muscle, the whole muscle will grow, inadvertently getting the upper pecs big in the process.
Tip #2: Train on an incline
With tip #1 being said, it also helps to train on an incline. While you do have to train the whole muscle, it must be combined with specialized angles or exercises for the particular muscle you want to grow. It’s important to train incline while your fresh in order to move the most weight.
Tip #3: Do exercises in close succession
If you do two incline exercises, change the angle. Try a press from 45 degrees, and then another from 20 degrees. Do this in close succession to really break the muscle down for more solid gains.
Tip #4: Concentrate on the tension
When training to boost up a specific area, you want to concentrate on the tension of the exercise from beginning to end. Pro’s like Jay Cutler and Flex Lewis recommend concentrating on the upper pecs and feeling the tension throughout the whole movement. When the tension stops, that’s when you stop and begin the negative portion of the exercise. This increases TUT (time under tension) which increases muscle growth.
Tip #5: Negatives and forced reps
Adding slow negatives and forced reps onto the end of a set is a small change that can make a big difference. On the last couple reps, try going back down to starting to position as slow as possible, adding that extra little bit of TUT at the end. If you’re feeling really froggy, try pushing out a couple of forced rep with a partner to really blow out your pecs.
Tip #6: Stretch
Your high school gym teacher was right. No, not about Abba being the best band of all time, but stretching will actually help with muscle growth. According to pro bodybuilder Gunter Schlierkamp, stretching your chest after a grueling workout creates an environment for it to grow.
Make it a point to try out these 6 tips next time you’re at the gym and tell us if they helped with those stubborn upper pecs. Which body parts do you need help training?