One Month For Bigger Chest - AnabolicMinds.com
    • One Month For Bigger Chest


      by Dan Trink T-Nation

      Life is a constant struggle between what you want and what you need.

      You may want to cruise around picking up chicks in a Ferrari 458 Italia, but all you need is a car that gets you to and from your job busing tables at the Ha-Ha Hut.

      You want to bring a bikini-clad Kate Upton to your five-year high school reunion and have her refer to you as her "stud boy" the entire evening, but what you need is your somewhat-attractive second cousin Amy to do you a solid by popping on a revealing dress and pretending to be your "girlfriend from out of state" so you don't look like a total loser.

      And you probably need more upper-body pulling, rotator cuff, structural balance, and lower body strength work in your training program, but want you want are pecs so massive that they enter the room a full 4 seconds before the rest of your body gets through the door.

      Who am I to deny our loyal T Nation readers what they desire? What follows is a 4-week chest specialization phase designed to turn your pecs, anterior delts, and triceps into massive, rippling slabs o' meat that would make Bill the Butcher proud.

      Being a strength coach with a conscience, however, I'm also going to give you a bit of what you need. You'll notice I've snuck some upper posterior chain and rotator cuff work into the program to keep your shoulders healthy, your posture upright, and your gym-cred in high standing.


      Specialization Programs: A Review


      If you've read or followed any of my previous specialization programs, you already know that there are a few key factors to making specialization programs effective. For those new to this type of training allow me to review.

      First, you must have more focus than the Hubble Telescope on the task at hand. And that means spending the vast majority of your gym time working your chest while dropping volume on all other body parts down to maintenance mode.

      I know, torture.

      We'll achieve this by having three chest-focused days in your program and one maintenance day in which you'll hit other body parts.

      Will this help increase your deadlift? Absolutely not. But if that's your goal, you should read one of the 13,589 articles on improving your deadlift that have been published on this website alone. This program is designed to increase chest size and strength, nothing more.

      Speaking of size and strength, you'll be using a bunch of special techniques such as drop sets, rest-pause, and finishers to drive up volume and give you a variety of training stimuli, the hallmarks of any good specialization program.

      Any specialization program should only be tackled by those with a fair amount of training experience under their belt. So if you haven't been training seriously for over a year, you'd be much better served sticking to a program that builds overall size, strength, and lifting technique. It's just too soon for you to specialize in this manner.


      A Bigger Chest Than Dolly Parton on A Chilly Afternoon


      In this program you'll ideally train four days per week. If you are an "I only train three days per week" kind of guy, that's fine. You can spend the fourth day filing down your girlfriend's foot calluses with a pumice stone rather than making actual progress on your chest development in the gym. Your choice.

      The week is set up with Monday, Thursday, and Saturday being your chest-focused days, Tuesday as your "other body parts maintenance day," and Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday as off days. Of course, you can always move things around to suit your needs, but try not to schedule the chest workouts on back-to-back days.

      We're going to go with a conjugate periodization scheme for this program with one day being strength, one being hypertrophy, and the last being strength-endurance (the "other body parts" will be solely hypertrophy).

      You'll notice that the volume is manipulated from week-to-week as well. This will keep you on your toes and drive maximal positive adaptation.


      Week 1


      Workout A – Chest Hypertrophy – Monday

      Exercise Sets Reps
      A Incline Barbell Bench Press 4 8-10
      B1 Single-Arm Dumbbell Bench Press 3 8-10*
      B2 Cable External Shoulder Rotation 3 8-10*
      C1 Low-To-High Cable Chest Fly 3 8-10
      C2 Face Pull 3 8-10
      * per side

      Workout B – Total Body – Tuesday

      Exercise Sets Reps
      A Barbell Back Squat 4 8-10
      B1 Chin-Up/Lat Pulldown 3 8-10
      B2 Dumbbell Step-Up 3 8-10*
      C1 Straight-Arm Cable Pulldown 3 8-10
      C2 Barbell Rollout 3 8-10
      * per side

      Workout C – Chest Strength – Thursday

      Exercise Sets Reps
      A Barbell Bench Press 6 4-6
      B1 Dip 4 4-6
      B2 Bent-Over Barbell Row 4 4-6
      Workout D – Chest Strength/Endurance – Saturday

      Exercise Sets Reps
      A Incline Dumbbell Press 4 12-15
      B1 Single-Arm Cable Chest Press 3 12-15*
      B2 Single-Arm Dumbbell Row 3 12-15*
      C1 High-To-Low Cable Chest Fly 3 12-15
      C2 Ys, Ts, Ls, Ws 3 5**
      * per side
      ** each


      Week 2


      Workout A – Chest Hypertrophy – Monday

      Exercise Sets Reps
      A Barbell Bench Press 4 10-12
      Drop Set. After you complete the last rep of the last set, rest for 15 seconds, reduce the load by 30%, and try to match the amount of reps with the new weight. So if you performed 12 reps with 155 pounds on the last set of Barbell Bench Press, drop the weight to 110 pounds and try to get up to 12 reps.
      B1 Single-Arm Incline Dumbbell Press 3 10-12*
      B2 Trap-3 Raise 3 10-12*
      C1 Cable Chest Fly 3 10-12
      C2 Face Pull 3 10-12
      D Push-Up 2 AMRAP**
      * per side
      ** as many reps as possible

      Workout B – Total Body – Tuesday

      Exercise Sets Reps
      A Trap-Bar Deadlift 4 8-10
      B1 Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press 3 8-10
      B2 Alternating Step Back Lunge 3 8-10*
      C1 Standing Zottmann Curl 3 8-10
      C2 Hanging Leg Raise 3 8-10
      * per side

      Workout C – Chest Strength – Thursday

      Exercise Sets Reps
      A Incline Barbell Bench Press 5 6-8
      Drop Set. After you complete the last rep of the last set, rest for 15 seconds, reduce the load by 30%, and try to match the amount of reps with the new weight. So if you performed 8 reps with 155 pounds on the last set of Incline Barbell Bench Press, drop the weight to 110 pounds and try to get up to 8 reps.
      B1 Floor Press 4 6-8
      B2 Seated Cable Row (Elbows High) 4 6-8
      Workout D – Chest Strength/Endurance – Saturday

      Exercise Sets Reps
      A Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 4 15-18
      B1 Single-Arm Cable Chest Press 3 15-18*
      B2 Single-Arm Dumbbell Row 3 15-18*
      C1 Lying Cable Chest Fly 3 15-18
      C2 Scapulae Wall Slide 3 15-18
      D Feet-Elevated Push-Up 1 50**
      * per side
      ** use intra-set rest as needed


      Week 3


      Workout A – Chest Hypertrophy – Monday

      Exercise Sets Reps
      A Incline Barbell Bench Press 5 8-10
      Rest-Pause. After the last rep of your last set, rest for 10-15 seconds and then attempt 2-3 more reps. Rest another 10-15 seconds and try to bang out another 1-2 reps.
      B1 Single-Arm Dumbbell Bench Press 4 8-10*
      B2 Cable External Shoulder Rotation 4 8-10*
      C1 Low-To-High Cable Chest Fly 4 8-10
      C2 Seated Face Pull 4 8-10
      * per side

      Workout B – Total Body – Tuesday

      Exercise Sets Reps
      A Front Squat 5 6-8
      B1 Chin-Up/Lat Pulldown 4 6-8
      B2 Walking Lunge 4 6-8*
      C1 Decline EZ Bar Triceps Extension 3 8-10
      C2 Reverse Crunch 3 8-10
      * per side

      Workout C – Chest Strength – Thursday

      Exercise Sets Reps
      A Barbell Bench Press 8 2-4
      Rest-Pause. After the last rep of your last set, rest for 10-15 seconds and then attempt 1-2 additional reps.
      B1 Dip 5 4-6
      B2 Bent-Over Barbell Row 5 4-6
      Workout D – Chest Strength/Endurance – Saturday

      Exercise Sets Reps
      A Incline Dumbbell Press 5 10-12
      Rest-Pause. After the last rep of your last set, rest for 10-15 seconds and then attempt 2-3 more reps. Rest another 10-15 seconds and try to bang out another 1-2 reps.
      B1 Single-Arm Cable Chest Press 4 10-12*
      B2 Single-Arm Dumbbell Row 4 10-12*
      C1 Cable Chest Fly 3 10-12
      C2 Shoulder Sweep 3 10*
      * per side


      Week 4


      Workout A – Chest Hypertrophy – Monday

      Exercise Sets Reps
      A Barbell Bench Press 3 10-12
      Drop Set. After you complete the last rep of the last set, rest for 15 seconds, reduce the load by 30%, and try to match the amount of reps with the new weight. So if you performed 12 reps with 155 pounds on the last set of Barbell Bench Press, drop the weight to 110 pounds and try to get up to 12 reps.
      B1 Single-Arm Incline Dumbbell Press 2 10-12*
      B2 Trap-3 Raise 2 10-12*
      C1 Cable Chest Fly 2 10-12
      C2 Face Pull 2 10-12
      * per side

      Workout B – Total Body – Tuesday

      Exercise Sets Reps
      A Chin-Up 3 8-10
      B1 Romanian Deadlift 2 8-10
      B2 Single-Arm Cable Row 2 8-10*
      C1 Seated Calf Raise 2 8-10
      C2 Pallof Press 2 8-10*
      * per side

      Workout C – Chest Strength – Thursday

      Exercise Sets Reps
      A Incline Barbell Bench Press 4 6-8
      B1 Floor Press 3 6-8
      B2 Seated Cable Row (Elbows High) 3 6-8
      Workout D – Chest Strength/Endurance – Saturday

      Exercise Sets Reps
      A Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 3 12-15
      B1 Single-Arm Cable Chest Press 2 12-15*
      B2 Single-Arm Dumbbell Row 2 12-15*
      C1 Lying Cable Chest Fly 2 12-15
      C2 Yoga Plex 2 6-8*
      * per side


      Exercise Description


      If you aren't sure what a back squat looks like or how to properly perform a bench press, you aren't ready for this (or any other) specialization program. However, I do realize that there are certain movements and variations that may need a bit if clarification, so here you go.

      Single-Arm Dumbbell Bench Press/Single-Arm Incline Dumbbell Press

      On either a flat or incline bench, press both dumbbells to the top position. Lower the right to a full range of motion while keeping the left locked out. Press the right back up and then repeat with the left, keeping the right locked out. Do not lower the left dumbbell until the right has returned completely to the top position.

      Cable External Shoulder Rotation

      Stand with your left shoulder next to a cable stack with a D-Handle set up at hip height. Reach across your body with your right hand and grab the handle. Begin with the handle directly in front of your left hip. Keeping your upper arm tight to your torso, pull the cable across your body. Repeat all reps for one side and then switch to the other.

      Cable Chest Fly

      This program includes four variations of cable chest Fly. On each of them, stand directly between two cable stacks and use D-handles. Be sure to only allow a slight bend in your elbow throughout the entire movement. If you find yourself doing a "half fly, half biceps curl" you're using too much weight.

      The Low-to-High cable fly begins with the handles at hip height and ends in front of your nose.

      The High-to-Low fly begins with the handles at shoulder height and ends with them at your navel.

      Cable Chest Fly begin and end with the handles at mid-chest height.

      For Lying Cable Chest Fly, pull a bench between and in front of two cable stacks. Grab the handles and lie back on the bench. In the starting position the cables should be over your head and out in a "V." With only a slight bend in your elbow, pull the cables towards your belly button.


      Seated Cable Row (High Elbows)

      You can use a bar or individual handles for this movement. It's similar to a standard seated row except you keep your elbows high by bringing the handles/bar towards your collarbones. This places more of the focus on the muscles of the upper back.

      Shoulder Sweeps

      I got this move from Gray Cook and it's great for people with internal or external shoulder rotation issues. Be sure to keep the top leg on a foam roller, yoga block, or med ball. The goal is to keep as much of the sweeping hand, forearm and upper arm against the floor as possible


      Yoga Plex

      As all us strong, bald trainers look alike, I'm linking to Tony Gentilcore's Yoga Plex video rather than breaking out the video camera and recording it myself. If you squint your eyes, you'll barely be able to tell the difference.



      Majoring In The Minor: Little Things To Maximize Results

      Tempo, rest, and time under tension are all things that should be paid attention to during a hypertrophy phase. Make sure the eccentric (lowering) phase of all movements is done with control and always try to perform the concentric (lifting) as quickly as possible.

      On the hypertrophy and strength-endurance days (workouts A and D), rest periods can be a bit longer for the compound "A" lifts (75 to 90 seconds) and between 45 and 75 seconds for the remainder of the program. For the strength day (Workout C), shoot for 2 minutes rest between sets.

      Actually paying attention to rest periods is one of the most overlooked details in training but it shouldn't be. Proper rest periods are key to delivering the desired training effect, so don't extend the rest periods.

      When determining the amount of load to use, shoot for 1-2 reps short of technical failure (performing the rep with precise form) during the hypertrophy and strength-endurance workouts. For the strength workouts, attempt to choose a weight that will allow you to perform the exact number of reps per set prescribed.

      For the high-rep push-up "finishers" in week 2, use intra-set rest as needed to perform all repetitions with good form.

      Rest, recovery, and nutrition have to be on point to survive and maximize the benefits of this program. If you don't have a solid peri-workout nutritional protocol at this point, it's time for you to up your game and put one in place. You can do no better than the Plazma™ Reactive Pump™ Stack – I'd start there.

      I'd also suggest upping your protein, getting between 7-9 hours sleep per night, and trying to minimize other athletic activities for the 4 weeks. I realize that's not always doable but here on the Utopia that is the internet, all things are possible.


      Nothing To It But To Do It

      With a training program this chest-intensive, International Bench Pressing Day is no longer limited to Mondays. However, with great pecs comes great responsibility.

      Make sure you're not skimping on the upper back, rear delt, and rotator work. By the time this 4 weeks is over your chest should be huge, your triceps jacked, and you may even look forward to getting back in the squat rack.

      Source: http://www.t-nation.com/readArticle.do?id=5548371