PHYSICAL PAIN ARE PECTORALS' GAIN

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If the only thing square about your pectorals is the fact that you train them like a girl, then you need to step up the pace a bit and start training them—I mean really training them—like the professional bodybuilders you worship.

June 27, 2008

Written by the FLEX staff

If the only thing square about your pectorals is the fact that you train them like a girl, then you need to step up the pace a bit and start training them—I mean really training them—like the professional bodybuilders you worship.

Whether you come from good chest genetics or are severely lacking in that department, don't fret; there's still hope. But, it's going to take some pain, suffering, and a hell-of-a-lot of stretching in each repetition to grow pecs massive enough to rival Pamela Anderson's; and the only dough you need to put down (besides the stuff in your kitchen) is money for a gym membership.

The most important exercise you need to do in order to build mass are both flat and inclined dumbbell flyes, making sure to get an extreme stretch during every repetition. To some bodybuilders, the stretch is almost more important than the contraction itself, as it lengthens the ligaments and gives muscles more room to grow. Another thing paramount to serious weight-lifters is pain. Excruciating pain and lots of it. It is the only surefire way for you to know you're training hard enough for those muscles to pop through the fat. So, suck it up, dry those tears, and remember the old adage, "No pain, no gain." It was created for a reason.

Obviously, if you're going to use an extreme range of motion, you're going to need to use less poundage, but the results are better when going for a good stretch, so just make sure to get the most out of your workouts. Quality is always better than quantity.

Another thing to keep in mind is what each exercise is doing to your muscles, and understanding how they work. Dumbbell presses build thickness and strength, whereas dumbbell flyes add mass to the outer pecs and inner sternum area. Another bit of advice is to work on your upper chest first. You can do so by doing incline workouts first before working on your lower pecs.

For the first part of a chest routine, do three sets of 20 reps of incline barbell presses, which pumps blood into your pecs. Follow this with incline dumbbell presses, which should be considered your first "working" exercise. Following that routine, do the same number of incline dumbbell flyes. As with any exercise, use controlled, gradual, full-range movements, pausing for a second or two during each extension to give the muscle more contraction.

Next, for the middle and lower pecs, do three more sets of dumbbell flyes and dumbbell presses on a flat bench so that the stretch is at a 90-degree angle outward and backward laterally from the chest. This ensures complete coverage of the entire muscle group.

The end result should leave you feeling that every ligament in your chest muscles have been stretched to their limit and you can feel the blood pumping through the tissue. When the pain is too much to bear, the better your chest will look. Then, and only then, have you truly worked your chest to its maximum potential. Now get to that gym and show the world that a nice rack doesn't need to be store-bought or on a supermodel to look awesome.FLEX.

FLEX FORUMS: Discuss your workouts with fellow bodybuilders.

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