Workout Tips

Train Zane's Way: A Core Etched in Stone

Use pullovers to build distinct serratus muscles and a statuelike physique.

Suck It Up and Train Zane's Way

Well-developed serratus muscles look like three fingers located 10 or 12 inches below each armpit. They seem to connect the lower lats to the rib cage. And the best way to work them is with dumbbell pullovers.

Most bodybuilders I know don’t do them, but I always did even from an early age. As a teenager I did dumbbell pullovers lying over the curved surface of a large-diameter log in my basement. This gave me better rib cage, lat, and serratus development and set the stage for all the pullovers I’d subsequently do as part of my upper-body workouts over the years to follow. It was simple: Since there were no large logs in Gold’s Gym, all I needed were a flat bench and one dumbbell.

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Later on I discovered the ideal combination to work the serratus, and that was to superset dumbbell pullovers with straight-arm pulldowns. With pullovers I got a deep stretch as I lowered the weight all the way down, almost touching the floor, and then with arms slightly bent pulled the dumbbell up until it was over my face. Pulling any farther would take tension off the serratus and start putting it more on the front deltoids. Right after my set I would do a one-arm overhead shoulder stretch with each arm as I walked to the lat machine to do the pulldowns.

Standing in front of the lat machine, leaning slightly forward and grasping a straight bar with hands 12 inches apart and elbows slightly bent, I’d pull the weight down in an arc until it touched the tops of my thighs and then slowly lower it back while continuing to lean forward. This movement contracts the lower lats and serratus and completes the arc of what you would get on a pullover machine.

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I usually work the serratus at the end of my chest routine since I work triceps immediately after and since pullovers always give me a great pump in the triceps. Do three supersets of 10 to 15 reps, stretching between sets. You can do them at the end of a back routine, too, or with both routines if you want to specialize. Either way, start doing them if you’re not already.


All the serratus training in the world won’t do a thing if you don’t stay lean.

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