We sit smack in the middle of my offseason and things are going great! I have been giving extra attention to bringing up my chest and back over the last two months. My ability to contract the muscles is way better than what it had been in the past. My pumps are painful and the roundness and fullness has improved as much as I could have ever imagined. One of my favorite parts of being a bodybuilder is trying to pack on as much muscle as possible in the offseason, so that when you get shredded for your next contest, its almost like unwrapping a gift. You get to see the result of all that hard work and meticulous attention to perfect form.
Now that I boast about how awesome my training has been and how much my chest is growing, how about I share my secrets to why my chest is growing almost at will, it seems. You all know me as a stickler for form. I am constantly trying to learn the absolute best way to train every muscle, and be able to explain and prove why that way is the best.
The basic idea behind “perfect” form, of course, also depends on your specific goals. In my case, the goal is maximum muscle growth. The factors to consider when assessing an exercise are simple: does it create maximum and continuous tension, and does it take a muscle through a full range of motion. As you’ve all heard before: Muscles don’t know how much weight you’re lifting, they only know TENSION. A question I’m always asking myself is: How do I create greater tension?
By now, many of you have heard of the technique that I use, called “intention”. This is the simple idea of generating greater muscular tension by exerting force in certain directions. For chest, simply try shoving your hands toward each other on barbell exercises. Its hard to do as the weight gets heavy, but give it a shot on your warm up sets, the tension on the muscle will blow your mind. Try to keep the squeeze through the entire range of motion.
Here is a sample of what my workouts have looked like lately:
Incline barbell press (heavy) 5x6**,
Incline dumbbell fly 4x8**(plus one warm up set)
Flat Machine press 4x8**
Incline dumbbell press 4x12**
Dips 3 sets to failure.
(**last set of every exercise is “NOS” set ending with forced negatives to complete muscular failure)
Please do NOT try this without a very competent spotter. This is a VERY advanced workout designed to take my muscle to complete failure to ensure maximum growth. Make sure you have adequate BCAA/Glutamine/Vitargo or Karbolyn) ready to go to start the recovery process asap. Better yet, drink it during the workout.
Always ensure you are in complete control of the weight, especially at the extremes of the range of motion.
Good luck and happy growing!