Chest Exercises

Develop a Big-Time Bench

Want to turn every head in your gym? Give us 12 weeks.

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BARBELL EXTENSION - Lie on a flat bench. Hold a barbell over your chest with arms fully extended. Keeping your elbows pointed towards the ceiling, lower the bar to your forehead, then reverse the motion and return to the start position

Your Stability

Once you have the bar moving upward toward lockout, you’ll need to keep it in its “groove.” You’ll develop a feel for your own tempo, where everything feels like it’s in the right place throughout the full range of the movement. Once you’ve found it, stay there, as it will help you maintain optimal leverage and prevent injury. Shoulder strength is key here, not just for powering up big weight but also to protect those muscles that accomplish the press; and when they’re strong, every heavy rep will feel like it’s in this magic zone.

Conversely, if your shoulders aren’t strong enough to keep heavy weights stable when you’re benching, they are left vulnerable to myriad injuries. In this program, you’ll perform just one move to strengthen your shoulders, but it’s the most effective and efficient one ever invented: the standing barbell military press. We know it’s a fitness cliché, but when it comes to overall shoulder size and strength, this move will give you more bang for your buck than any other shoulder exercise.

Maintain proper form—which includes finishing with the bar above and slightly behind your head—and you’ll watch your bench numbers skyrocket within a few weeks.

The Finish

At about the halfway point in your bench-press stroke, your triceps start getting involved in a major way. They’re the muscles that push the bar through to lockout position at the top, so triceps strength —especially in the long head—is an absolute necessity for big benching.

When you work the long head of your triceps, you’ll feel the strain closer to your elbows. In this program, you’ll be attacking this crucial region with plenty of close-grip bench presses and barbell extensions, aka skull crushers. Feel free to aesthetically balance out this muscle group by adding some overhead triceps extensions, but it’s your long head that will provide you with the power to lock out big weights.

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