Every bodybuilder has at least one weak area. Roelly Winklaar says his chest is one of his. Perhaps he’s being modest. Photos of his side chest and most muscular poses suggest his pecs are doing just fine— heavily striated, thick from top to bottom, not overpowered by the 246-pounder’s enormous arms. But hey, if a guy says he needs to work on something, then maybe he does.
“I’M ALWAYS TRYING TO GET MY PECS BIGGER,”
he says. “I’d like them to be up to par with my best body parts, like arms and quads. A lot of bodybuilders don’t like training their weak areas. Not me. Working on my weaknesses means I’m improving. If you neglect your weaknesses, you’re getting worse because symmetry is so important in our sport, especially when you’re standing with the best on the Olympia stage.”
As you’ll see from Winklaar’s training split, he trains his chest twice a week on its own in a morning workout when he’s fresh. (He trains his shoulders later that day.) The late Joe Weider would have called this the “Priority Principle.” When you want to bring up a weak area, give it your full attention and make sure it’s not negatively affected by previous work on a tie-in muscle. “You have to be smart with how you schedule your training,” says Winklaar. “You have to think about how working certain muscle groups will affect others.”
The day before hitting his chest (Monday), Winklaar trains his legs. The day before that, he rests. The pecs are at full capacity come Tuesday, and they certainly need to be for the 20-set onslaught he puts his chest through. If this grueling gauntlet of presses, flyes, and pullovers doesn’t bring up Winklaar’s so-called weakness, nothing will.
Training note: “I don’t hold myself to certain rest periods between sets,” says Winklaar, “but I don’t rest very long. I would say I probably take 30 to 45 seconds between sets.”
INCLINE BARBELL PRESS
START: Lie back on an incline bench and grasp the bar with an overhand grip outside of shoulder width. Unrack the bar and start with it directly over your upper chest, arms extended.
EXECUTION: Slowly lower the bar to your upper chest. Touch the bar to your chest lightly, then press it back up to the start position without locking out your elbows.
WINKLAAR SAYS: “I go as heavy as possible on big exercises like incline presses. This is the best exercise for adding size.”
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