Believe it or not, his first piece of advice was to decrease the weight that I was using. I really did not want to do this because now, not only did I have a small chest, but I also looked like a weakling because of the weight that I was working out with. Luckily, this is only a temporary modification. The purpose of decreasing the weight used on all chest exercises was to allow me to actually concentrate on using my chest to push the weight on bench press or squeezing with my pecs on cable crossovers. I remember doing a hundred and thirty-five pounds on bench press and doing straight sets for ten reps. The worst thing about it was that it was really tough and I got really sore from it too. I also was doing incline dumbbell press, incline flyes, and cable crossovers. Like I said, about four sets of around ten reps. The reps started off slow, but as I became accustomed with this new style, I came into my own, and did the reps perfectly at a more realistic pace.
While you are concentrating on your reps, you really need to be aware of everything that you are doing. For example, you need to make sure that your feet are planted on the floor, you need to make sure that your butt stays on the bench, and you do not drop the weight on your chest. So, how do you squeeze with your chest? This is where the most important piece of information lies, so make sure you do this above anything else. Flare out your lats, like you're doing a lat spread, the entire time you are doing any type of pressing motion for your chest. By doing this you almost force your pecs to stay tightened. Many people think that they should move their grip in. For some, this may help, but only if your grip is too wide to begin with. There is a little smooth ring on most barbells and this is what I usually put my pinky or ring finer on. For me, this is perfect. If you move your grip too far in, you bring in a lot of your triceps, and if you do the opposite you bring in your shoulder. Both can take away equally from working your chest.
In addition to flaring your lats, you need to squeeze your chest as much as possible. There's a little trick that I always do when I do any type of pressing movement. I think we all agree that the exercise that you can squeeze your pecs the most is cable crossovers or any other fly movement. Therefore, try to move your hands in closer during the rep when you are performing a pressing movement with a barbell. Now, don't literally do this, grip the bar tight and put pressure towards the middle of the bar. This will cause your chest to tighten even more, and it will give you an unbelievable pump.
Now, onto the fly movements. Doing a fly is much easier than pressing movements, well, as far as making it work your chest anyways. Basically, you want to think of hugging a barrel, you hippies can think of hugging a tree, it's all the same. You never want your elbows to bend or straighten from the time you start. With this movement, you can really flex your pecs with no problem. However, as you progress in your set, and you're going to failure like you're supposed to, it will become very difficult to squeeze your chest. This is because you will start to lose feeling. This is when you will really need to concentrate and just squeeze as hard as you can and hope the dumbbells are moving. If you have a good spotter, everything should go well.
Between sets, flex your pecs, and stretch like hell. You really cannot do too much of either one. Just don't flex the entire time that you are resting, that would be ridiculous. Allow your pecs to rest, but only long enough to get some water or something. So remember, don't squirm on the bench, flare your lats, put pressure towards the middle of the bar, squeeze, flex, stretch, and hug a barrel.
As a bonus, here is a very good chest workout:
- Incline Dumbbell Press 15, 15, 12, 10, 8
- Barbell Bench Press 12, 10, 8
- Incline Dumbbell Flyes 12, 10, 8
- Flat Dumbbell Press 10, 8
- Cable Crossovers 12, 8