Pec Growth

To persuade a stubborn pair of pecs to grow, you’ll need to put some more pressure on them. This means increasing their time under tension (TUT)—the duration your muscles are contracting during a given set or workout.

Increasing the total number of sets is one way to do this, but greater TUT can also be achieved by performing isometric contractions on every set of bench presses and cable flyes. In this workout, a set of six to 10 reps that would typically take 30 seconds or less to complete will now take almost a minute.

The Workout

Excercise Sets Reps
Bench Press (Low Double Contractions) 4-6 8-10
Cable Isometric Flye 3-4 6
Plyometric One-Arm Push-Up 3-4 6-8 each
Push-Up/Band Flye/Band Press 1-2 Varies

Bench Press (Low Double Contractions)

bench press

Lower the bar to your chest, press it halfway up, lower it back down, then press it all the way up. That’s one rep. Use a medium-width grip. Squeeze your hands and try to “bend” the bar.

Cable Isometric Flye

Press the handles together at the top position of each rep. Hold this position for 12 seconds on your first rep, on your second rep for 10 seconds, and so on, until you’ve performed six reps.

Plyometric One-Arm Push-Up

One arm_push up

Start with one hand on a low box and one hand on the floor, with your arms extended. Lower into a push-up, then explosively push yourself up away from the box, landing in the start position. Pause at the top to stabilize, then repeat.

Push-Up/Band Flye/ Band Press

Wrap an elastic band around a stable structure so it allows you to perform flyes and presses. Without rest, do 10 push-ups, band flyes for 30 seconds, band presses for 30 seconds, and one arm alternating band presses for 30 seconds. Finish with 10 more push-ups.

Gregg Miele is a personal trainer in Los Angeles. For more info, go to