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Bodybuilding Chest Training Tips

How to Achieve the Ultimate Chest

By Leo Robert. Former Mr. Universe Pro

To attain a good sized chest becomes the focal point of most men who spend time in the gym and the envy of those who don't. I cannot deny how much I enjoy working my chest and feeling the pump after an exceptionally hard workout.

As men we all prefer to have a large well defined chest. To achieve this, the pectoral muscles require plenty of work so it is important to spend your time wisely. Keep in mind that you will need to work on all four angles of your pecs to achieve the proper size and proportion. Normally the upper pecs are more difficult to develop than the lower pecs so be sure to include the incline bench in your routine. The inner part of your pecs can also be a challenge but is absolutely critical to the overall appearance of your chest. I recommend doing the bench press with a close grip. I usually measure this using the two thumbs apart rule. Remember to keep your elbows pointed outwards for this exercise. Finally you will need to do dips for your lower pecs to achieve that deep cut that enhances the overall look of your chest. Think of it as the signature exercise underlining all your hard work!

As your training progresses, it is important to spend time doing periodic checks in front of the mirror to determine what areas of your chest could stand improvement. Maintain a critical eye and concentrate on all four areas, top, bottom, inner and outer parts of the chest muscle.

Throughout my competitive career, I used to do a lot of what we call push presses. This advanced exercise involved the bench press but the technique is much different. With the aid of a spotter, the starting position began with raising the barbell from the chest (not over the chest) and is a terrific exercise for increasing power on the regular bench press. When I came back from England after winning the Mr. Universe title, the bench press record at the Mr. Canada contest was 400 pounds. At the time I was doing 10 reps with 300 pounds. I never tested my limit as I was spending all my time on improving my overall physique. I later decided to sign up for the next bench press competition with only six months to train. After working on the push press exercise, I benched 410 the first year, 435 the year after and finally 450 pounds. It required iron discipline with no artificial stimulation but I think you may know how I feel about the latter.

In my articles, I will often refer to the importance of developing the ribcage so that it widens and ultimately enhances your upper body. This requires lots of stretching exercises using weight resistance. During my competitive days, I used to do strength arms pullover using 145 pounds, bent arms pullover with 250 pounds and lateral side pullovers using 75 pounds. I recommend that you start with light enough weights to achieve good technique and form and gradually add weights as you progress. It is critical to combine these stretching exercises with the power chest exercises I have outlined, to achieve maximum results.

Whether you are a beginner or have spent a number of years in the gym, work hard, believe in yourself and never give up.

Find the courage to succeed.

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