Why it's on the list: Free-weight pressing moves on a flat bench are great, but machine press and cable press variations have some unique benefits. For one, it's easier to slow down the repetition, both in the concentric and eccentric phases. Stack-loaded machines are also great for quickly doing dropsets.
Feel like a step down from free weights? It shouldn't. EMG research demonstrates that the machine bench press recruits the shoulders far less than free-weight variations. This allows you to really target your pecs.
Machine Chest Press Variations for Chest Growth:
- Machine chest press
- Plate-loaded chest press (flat, incline, decline)
- Cable chest press (seated, standing, lying)
In your workout: Machine exercises make the most sense at the end of your workout for sets of at least 8-10 reps, plus dropsets or rest-pause sets if you can handle them. This is when you see if that pre-workout you've been taking can live up to its promises! Pump your pecs until they're seriously fatigued and finish your workout strong.