Pec Deck Q

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    Red Dog's Avatar
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    Pec Deck Q


    every time I lift chest my shoulders become too active.. I asked a local bodybuilder to help me with my form a year ago and, after several sessions, we got it to be pretty damn good, so I can't blame my shoulder involvement on poor form anymore.

    but, no chest exercise seems to isolate my chest more than the pec deck (hear me out) -- I have one at home and have raised the seat about 8-9 inches higher than normal, extended the arms downwards so my arms less than 90 degrees from my body (I would guess 60), and have a thick pad behind the center of my back to keep a strong arch through the movement (like I have when I bench press).. I realize that all pressing exercises involve the shoulders to various degrees, but every other exercise (flat, incline, heavy flyes, and even decline) hammers my shoulders.

    anyways, the question is: why do so many people think the pec deck is worthless when I feel it focus on my chest more than any other movement? I always hear that it involves the shoulders way too much, but for me it's the only exercise that doesn't.. kind of a loose question -- so maybe opinions would be just as valuable.

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    Everybody is different i guess, but id assume on the pec deck you "feel it" more because you are able to squeeze easier? its hard to say.

    I prefer cable flyes to the pec deck, i may be picturing it incorrectly in my head, but with the modifications youve made it seems like you are doing that movement more than a traditional pec deck movement.

    But yeah, while on the pec deck i find it easier to "squeeze" during the contraction, because you are basically doing a squeezing motion, i guess.
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    yeah that sounds right.. maybe the changes I made make it more effective?..

    how do you do your cable flyes? do you the one arm across the body version or both arms simultaneously standing in between the two stacks? what's your posture like during the motion?
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    The pec dec is NOT a bad exercise. The main reason people dislike this exercise is because the machine can not fit everyone's body perfectly. If you have made yours fit your body then yes, it would be a good exercise for you. I agree with Red Dog, however, in the fact that cable flys are better.

    Instead of doing bench exercises, do some [weighted] pushups and dips. The bench press can really give a "bunchy look". The combination of Cable Fly's, Pushups, and Dips will really give you a high sweeping chest.
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    Exercises like the pec deck are great if you use them right. For instance, it wouldn't make sense to start your chest routine with an exercise like the peck deck, because you're going to more quickly fatigue the chest muscles without have sufficiently overloaded them (with heavy weight). What works best for me is to start with the heavier compound movements and end with the isolation exercises. Be careful not to overdo it though! Here's an example of my current chest routine, which I love and am about to go do

    Bench Press (warm ups first) 7 x 8, 5, 3, (1, 1, 1), 8
    - Incline DB Press 3 x 6-8
    - Dumbbell Pullovers 3 x 8-10

    Dumbbell Flyes 1 x 6-8 (slow negative, then hold stretch for 30 seconds)
    ** The three singles in parenthesis are done within 15 seconds of one another, sort of like rest/pause. Everything else I usually rest 1-1.5 minutes at the most. The italicized stuff is a superset. Leaves your chest feeling full and sore for days! And so far I've been gradually increasing the amount of weight I'm using on barbell press. I love it.

    Wow, kind of went off subject but oh well! lol
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