Training the chest. Like the arms, is easy to get motivated to do.
You get a tremendous upper body pump from compound exercises like the bench press, especially when you work the back after!
How much you bench press is going to have a direct correlation to how big your upper body is, as the bench works many muscles including the front deltoids, pectorals and triceps. The bench press should be your core exercise for your chest, however do not get too enthusiastic about training your chest as it may lead to over training.
You cannot go to your max every time you train, so mix up your routines with heavy days once a week and strict lighter days for other workouts.
Leave your ego at the door, who cares how much you are pushing, as long as you are maintaining good form and 100% effort you will make progress. Never go for your 1 rep max, this can lead to injuries and can be worked out from your normal multi-rep sets anyway. If you must, then only once a month to measure progress and make sure the body is properly primed for the lift
Always try to push 100% against the bar, so whether your pushing 50 or 150 k.g’s, push it as hard as you can and ‘squeeze’ at the top. Emphazise the negative phase of the lift by lowering the bar slowly and pause at the bottom just before it touches your chest then back up.
For added intensity, do not lock your arms out for a rest so as to keep the weight moving at all times and really shock your muscles. To ensure emphasis on the pectorals, keep the chest high and expanded throughout each repetition. Because it is a compound movement, you may need a little longer between sets, but no more than 2 minutes maximum.
Make sure you hit both the upper and lower pectorals incorporating inclines of both pressing movements and flyes. You want to hit your pecs with heavy weights early in the workout while they are still fresh. Doing so will maximize the number of muscle fibers recruited and tax these muscles as much as possible, in as short a time as possible. This creates intensity and the stimulus for muscle growth. This will also make sure they are warmed up for isolation exercises performed after, such as flyes or the pec dec.
Remember that most off these movements do not keep stress on the pectorals right through to the end off the contraction, so include some cable work which will ensure that you can really ‘squeeze’ the pecs right through to the peak contraction. Once in a while try pre-exhausting the pectorals using cables before the bench press, that will hit them hard.
Make sure that you warm up and give the pecs and arms a good stretch. Getting blood into the pecs is very important.
• Do heavy pressing movements first
• Include incline movements for upper chest
• Go heavy once a week
• Always push 100% no matter what the weight
• Focus on form not weight, leave your ego at the door!
• Emphasise the negative phase