Boost Your Upper Pecs With Reverse Grip - AnabolicMinds.com
    • Boost Your Upper Pecs With Reverse Grip



      By Josh Bryant Pro Source

      Using a Reverse Grip Bench Press To Build Your Upper Chest

      Behind bars, the upper chest is referred to as the hood. In commercial gyms the hood is usually lacking. Let's take a stroll in my hood and look at how to develop your hood.

      Powerlifting Influence
      In the 1990s, the late Anthony Clark set the iron world a blaze by breaking a string of bench press world records using a reverse grip. Admittedly, Clark was not lean like a bodybuilder, but had the biggest, most developed hood in any hood!

      Fellow Texan and top Super Heavyweight powerlifter, Jim Voronin, suffered a pec tear while bench pressing in preparation for the 1996 powerlifting world championships in South Africa. Jim, not one to lie down and forfeit his title, sought an alternative strategy and started bench pressing with a reverse grip.

      Jim received an additional benefit and was kind enough to share in an email correspondence, "It was like I had been concentrating on inclines for months but I hadn't done any, my upper chest grew and grew and it was very noticeable within a couple of months."

      Questioning the Establishment
      The long standing dogma suggests the best way to build the upper chest is with the Incline Press. The reverse grip bench press is not mentioned in text books and is overlooked by ‘experts.'

      Dr. Maxwell Maltz shed some words of wisdom on this topic: "Any new knowledge must usually come from the outside. Not from the 'experts' but from what has been defined as an 'inpert'." An 'inpert', according to Maltz, is someone who develops knowledge outside the prescribed boundaries of a given science.

      The Wright brothers were not aeronautical engineers, but rather bicycle mechanics. Maltz was a plastic surgeon that developed Psycho-Cybernetic techniques to heal his patients psychologically after they had been fixed physically. If we don't develop new techniques, we will get the same results. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.

      Let's buck the establishment and look to our powerlifting brethren on how to build the upper chest.

      Science Speaks
      A recent Canadian study showed that the reverse grip bench press increased upper pec activation by 30 percent compared to a traditional/flat pronated grip bench press. Comparatively, inclines produce about 5 percent greater upper pec activation over traditional bench presses.

      Jim Stoppani, PhD explains, "The reverse grip helps keep your elbows in and your upper arms parallel to your torso. Moving your arms in this manner increases the use of the upper pec muscles."

      Technique Guidelines
      Grab the bar with a supinated (reverse) grip, with thumbs around the bar, using same grip width as a regular bench press
      Squeeze the bar tightly
      Keep your elbows tucked in to your sides, lower the bar in a controlled fashion, touching the lower chest
      From the bottom position, press the bar back up to the start position
      Repeat

      Routines
      Few things draw attention and command respect like a big, beautiful hood. To develop a chest that will be the envy of most men and the terror of any tailor, try any of the following routines.

      Here is a Cluster Routine to Maximize "Hood" Development with the Reverse Grip Bench Press
      Week 1: do 60 % of your "regular" bench press max for 3 reps, rest 25 seconds. Repeat this for 5 minutes, last set do as many reps as possible, stopping one shy of failure.
      Week 2: do 60 % of your "regular" bench press max for 4 reps, rest 25 seconds. Repeat this for 5 minutes, last set do as many reps as possible, stopping one shy of failure.
      Week 3: do 60 % of your "regular" bench press max for 5 reps, rest 25 seconds. Repeat this for 5 minutes, last set do as many reps as possible, stopping one shy of failure.

      Here is a Rest-Pause Routine to Maximize "Hood" Development with the Reverse Grip Bench Press

      Week 1 do 70 % of your "regular" bench press max for as many reps as possible, stopping one shy of failure, rest 15 seconds. Do as many reps as possible stopping one shy of failure, rest 15 seconds and repeat the process. Do a second rest pause set in the same manner after resting 3 minutes and reducing the weight by 10%.
      Week 2 do 75 % of your "regular" bench press max for as many reps as possible, stopping one shy of failure, rest 20 seconds. Do as many reps as possible stopping one shy of failure, rest 20 seconds and repeat the process. Do a second rest pause set in the same manner after resting 3 minutes and reducing the weight by 10%.
      Week 3 do 80 % of your "regular" bench press max for as many reps as possible, stopping one shy of failure, rest 30 seconds. Do as many reps as possible stopping one shy of failure, rest 30 seconds and repeat the process. Do a second rest pause set in the same manner after resting 3 minutes and reducing the weight by 10%.

      Here is a German Volume Density Training Routine to Maximize "Hood" Development with the Reverse Grip Bench Press

      Week 1 do 55 % of your "regular" bench press max for 10 sets of 10 reps, resting three minutes between sets
      Week 2 do 55 % of your "regular" bench press max for 10 sets of 10 reps, resting two minutes and 30 seconds between sets
      Week 3 do 55 % of your "regular" bench press max for 10 sets of 10 reps, resting two minutes between sets

      Final Thoughts
      Science and anecdotes both confirm the effectiveness of the reverse grip bench press for building the "hood." An added benefit is this movement removes stress from the shoulders and works the triceps harder than a regular bench press.

      It's time to upgrade your hood, give the reverse grip bench presses a shot.

      Have you tried to incorporate incline bench press reps and reverse-grip reps into your regimen for upper chest? Which do you prefer? Why? Let us know in the comments field below!

      Source: http://www.prosource.net/content/art...your-hood.aspx
      Comments 18 Comments
      1. lexmuscle's Avatar
        lexmuscle -
        Never thought of reverse grip pec workouts. Might give it a try next week. Anyone try this yet?
      1. HotSpur922's Avatar
        HotSpur922 -
        i've been using reverse grip for my dumb bell presses... with lower weight tho.

        you get a much tighter contraction and I can actually see the pump happen.
      1. Gutterpump's Avatar
        Gutterpump -
        I just started doing reverse grip BP this week because of shoulder issues....just turns out that I needed to up my hood game too haha... nice
      1. lexmuscle's Avatar
        lexmuscle -
        I can't believe in almost 15 years of lifting I've never used reverse grip for pressing. Can't wait to try it!
      1. deadliftz's Avatar
        deadliftz -
        Interesting, but what's the consensus on reverse-grip incline pressing?
      1. lexmuscle's Avatar
        lexmuscle -
        I'm going to try it on machines first
      1. dannyuitz's Avatar
        dannyuitz -
        Defenetly going to try it next chest work out! Look uncomfortable for the wrists thou...
      1. Whacked's Avatar
        Whacked -
        Ditto here

        Originally Posted by lexmuscle View Post
        I can't believe in almost 15 years of lifting I've never used reverse grip for pressing. Can't wait to try it!
      1. Oscar's Avatar
        Oscar -
        I like reverse grip for the guillotine press but hurts my shoulder on other pressing movements
      1. AdelV's Avatar
        AdelV -
        Cant wait to try this!
      1. HardCore1's Avatar
        HardCore1 -
        Tried BB reverse and its too awkward/dangerous with limited my ROM. DB reverse feels fantastic! I feel a dense contraction in my inner and upper pecs. I feel it best decline and incline. Flat is not where its at for my hood!
      1. EatMoar's Avatar
        EatMoar -
        Did this on incline DB today, 5x10 sets with 45lbs dB's.... Holy pump! I felt that stretch to.
      1. Gutterpump's Avatar
        Gutterpump -
        Originally Posted by HardCore1 View Post
        Tried BB reverse and its too awkward/dangerous with limited my ROM. DB reverse feels fantastic! I feel a dense contraction in my inner and upper pecs. I feel it best decline and incline. Flat is not where its at for my hood!

        I noticed when I tried them on flat bench, that I definitely had to reposition and change my grip width as well. I kept a narrower grip and elbows in, lowered the bar further down my torso than typical with a standard grip. Felt pretty good this way.
      1. mountainman33's Avatar
        mountainman33 -
        Tried this for the first time as well. I kept my grip a bit on the narrow side since wider hurt my elbows, but one I moved my hands in this became my new favorite exercise. Had to go a little lighter but the activation was awesome.
      1. TQKenpachi's Avatar
        TQKenpachi -
        Nice to see the the only way I choose to bench on here, don't know what it is but regular bench puts a lot of stress on my shoulders.
      1. Gutterpump's Avatar
        Gutterpump -
        Originally Posted by TQKenpachi View Post
        Nice to see the the only way I choose to bench on here, don't know what it is but regular bench puts a lot of stress on my shoulders.
        Reverse grip removes any possible issues with internal rotation, which causes stress on the shoulders.

        Pulling the scapular area back and keeping the shoulder blades tight/ shoulders back typically keeps them in the proper position while benching with a regular grip, but this can easily break down under load for many people.
      1. lexmuscle's Avatar
        lexmuscle -
        I tried it with dumbbells, works perfect on decline. I wouldn't do it on flat bench, but it works on a machine pretty well when finishing out a chest blast.
      1. guille_e95's Avatar
        guille_e95 -
        Interesting

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