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Retro Athlete: Dennis James

Dennis "The Menace" sported two of the all-time densest pecs.

If I were ranking the best crab most-musculars ever crunched, at the top of the list would be Ronnie Coleman, Markus Rühl, Dennis Wolf, and Dennis James. Coincidentally, those last three all hail from Germany. But James, born in 1966 to an American GI and a German woman, was always American. And in 1998, as a 5'8" super-heavyweight, he romped to a surprising victory at the NPC  USA Championships in a country in which he’d never resided. The next year, he began a 14-year, 38-contest pro career that included three wins and six Olympia top 10s (highest O placing: fourth, 2003). He never had the most aesthetic or high-def physique, but what DJ possessed was a surplus of density. A phenomenal crab most-muscular requires extreme shoulder width and stupendous deltoid and chest thickness. During the ’00s, Dennis the Menace possessed all of the above and more. 

JAMES ON CHEST TRAINING

  • “I like doing inclines with dumbbells because they allow me to get a full range of motion.”
  • “I don’t do at bench presses—ever. They’re responsible for more shoulder damage than any other exercise.”
  • “I change the angle on cable crossovers consistently to hit every part of my chest.”
  • “Pre-contest, I focus more on the feeling—contracting hard at the end of each rep.” 

FLEX FACT

WHEN HE WAS A TEENAGER, D.J. WAS A CHAMPION BREAK-DANCER. 

 JAMES’ CHEST ROUTINE 


The Classic Physique V-Taper: Find out how to achieve this sought-after look>>

  • Incline Dumbbell Press | SETS: 4 | REPS: 10-12
  • Flat Dumbbell Flye | SETS:4 | REPS: 10-12
  • Seated Machine Press | SETS:4 | REPS: 10-12
  • Cable Crossover | SETS:2 | REPS: 10-15

 FLEX 

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