Armor Plated Pecs!

We are going to attack the chest today with a chest training routine that I feel is as close to the best overall routine known to man for mass, shape and condition. After all we are in pursuit of the total package.

Before we get down to business we need to get some things straight! All exercise and training techniques work. It is not my style to sound cliché but at the risk of ruining my reputation, everyone is different and everyone responds differently to exercise stimulation. Keeping it perfectly real - there just is no one "perfect routine" that is best for everyone.

Another thing that must be understood, right here - right now is that if you are working out to build muscle, burn fat, enhance athletic performance or just feel good about yourself, you need to train with a purpose. Any action without purpose is meaningless. You need to get it in your mind that you have to make it happen.

I don't want a single person reading this article to go out and try this routine pussy footing around like a primadona in the gym. So, what I want every person reading this right now to do before getting in the trenches with J-Rod is this; Look at yourself in the mirror before you go to the gym and tell yourself,

"I am going to crush it today and give it everything I've got!"

Say this several times over until you feel it… say it on your way to the gym. And when you get there - go there. And I mean go there, make it happen and crush it! The powers of the mind never cease to amaze, so do YOU a favor and practice this very important success principal.

Okay, so now that that's out of the way, we are going to attack the chest today with a chest training routine that I feel is as close to the best overall routine known to man for mass, shape and condition. After all we are in pursuit of the total package.

In order to achieve this we must incorporate a variety of exercises to hit the pecs from North to south and from east to West. Now, I want to let you know that if you follow this workout to the "T" then your pecs will be on there way to being full, round and separated! And I know you all are down for that!

Since we are training chest, it is a good idea to have a basic understanding of the chest muscles and their function. The chest (pectoralus) or pecs consist of basically two core parts, the upper portion (clavicular) and lower portion (sternal), the pec muscles reach out more or less like a fan and cover the rib cage like plates of armor.

Anatomy of the chest.

Their fundamental function is to pull the arm and shoulder across the front of the body. I won't go into any more or talk about some of the smaller muscles, because it is not that serious. We need to get down to business, so here it goes.

The Exercises

Flat Bench Bench Press (Dumbbell or Barbell*)

* Use dumbbell if you are going for a little more condition and barbell for mass.

The bench press. We have all been there, and we are going to stay there. It is the grand daddy of chest building movements, don't get it twisted. And so that is what we are going to start with. No single exercise will give your upper body more overall development than flat bench-pressing movements. It will give you mass, strength and dense muscles.

How The Exercise Is Performed:

    Lie on a flat bench with your feet firmly planted on the ground. For you little people out there, you may need to stick some 45 pound wheels on the ground to give your feet something to sit on to secure a good center of gravity. Reach up and grab the bar using a medium grip. This gives you the best range of motion for overall development.

What NOT To Do:

    Un-rack the bar and lower it to your chest, just across your nipples. Try to keep your shoulders turned down to maximize the recruitment of muscle fibres in the chest region to stimulate growth. Take approximately 2 seconds to CONTROL the weight on the way down and then EXPLODE.

* Be sure to properly warm up before beginning

Sets & Reps:

    Perform 4 sets of 12, 10, 8, and 6-reps. 2 minutes rest in between sets.


    4 sets are just enough sets to really stimulate all the fibres in the targeted area for growth and still leave enough fuel in our tank for the rest of the workout. We are also using the heaviest weight possible on each set that will allow us to just perform the target number of reps.

    The range between 6 to 12 reps allows us to get a good amount of blood into the muscles, increase strength and stimulate size, shape and density.

Incline Bench Press (dumbbell or barbell*)

* Use dumbbell if you are going for a little more condition and barbell for mass.

This is the movement that makes your chest pop out. It hits the biggest portion of the chest, the upper region. It also hits the middle and inside to outside portions of the pecs. This is an overall great mass and strength builder. No thick chest will ever be built without the incorporation of this movement. Most lifters are typically not able to lift as much weight on the incline bench as opposed to the flat bench.

How The Exercise Is Performed:

    Lie back on the bench and reach up to grab the bar with a medium width grip, then pull the bar off the rack. With your arms locked out and up overhead begin your movement by lowering the bar in between the upper and middle of the chest.

    Control the weight on the way down taking approximately 2 seconds to get to the bottom of the movement and then explode up in a controlled fashion.

* Perform one light set to get used to movement, by now you are already completely warmed up.

Sets & Reps:

    Perform 4 sets of 8 reps with 1 minute and 30 seconds rest in between sets.


    Again 4 sets allow us to really target the largest region of the pecs. By using 8 reps we are doing just enough reps to increase condition and muscularity, but we are also using some pretty heavy poundage's for more mass.

    Use the heaviest weight possible that allows you to perform just 8 reps for each set.

The following two exercises you are going to superset:

Dumbbell Flys

Dumbbell fly's are a tremendous overall mass and shaping movement. This movement pulls the arms across the body, which as mentioned earlier is the basic function of the chest muscles. By giving you a great stretch at the bottom of the movement it really gives your pecs a lot of room to fill in with blood and grow.

How The Exercise Is Performed:

    Lie down on a flat bench with dumbbells in each hand and palms facing each other over your body. Lower the weights out and down to the side in an arching fashion feeling the chest really stretched out as much as possible.

    Video Guides: Windows Media - Real Player

    Hold this stretch for a slight second and pull your arm back in a controlled fashion with palms facing each other to the starting position.

Straight-Arm Dumbbell Pullover

This is another really good stretching movement. It expands the rib cage and develops the pecs.

How The Exercise Is Performed:

    Lie across the bench with your shoulders across the surface and your feet flat on the ground. Take a hold of the dumbbell with both hands with your palms underneath the inside plate of the dumbbell. Extend your arm out over your chest in a locked out position.

    With your arms straight, lower the weight in a controlled fashion behind your head and towards the ground. Feel your rib cage and pecs really stretched out and then pull over the dumbbell back to the starting position.

Sets & Reps:

    Perform 3 sets of each exercise for 12 reps. Begin with dumbbell fly's and immediately without rest perform a set of pullovers. You will do this three times with only 1-minute rest in between sets.


    We are performing two classic mass and shaping stretching movements at the end of our routine when blood is loaded in the muscles from Incline and Flat Bench Pressing. This is a great way to stimulate growth.

    When we are pumped our muscles are temporarily bigger and by stretching the muscles when pumped you create longer, thicker muscles and give the area a lot of room to fill in and grow by breaking up the tissue that covers the muscle so more muscle can fill in. Supersets toward the end help us burn a little more calories and increase definition.

Workout Routine

    Flat Bench Bench Press - 4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6-reps
    Incline Bench Press - 4 sets of 8 reps
       The following two exercises you are going to superset:
    Dumbbell Flys - 3 sets of each exercise for 12 reps
    Straight-Arm Dumbbell Pullover - 3 sets of each exercise for 12 reps

Click Here For A Printable Log Of This Workout!

Bonus Work

Look, we are in the trenches, so we need to crush it.

One set of Push-ups to failure.

This puts the pecs and the pump into overdrive and gives the muscles great conditioning. You may only be able to do 10 pushups, but if you can do more, do more.

So that is it. Big, full, rounded and defined pecs are just around the corner. All you have to do is follow this routine and train with a purpose. Oh, and remember "You gotta want it!" Until next time, I am out like the mullet haircut.

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