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The 10 Commandments of Chest Training (GET A BIG CHEST!)


JEFF: What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.com. Today we are here to help you with your chest
training. We’re going to deliver. By the way, we – it’s not him. No, no, no. We’re reaching out, getting a little divine
intervention today. We’re laying down the 10 Commandments. The ‘Shalts’, and the ‘Shalt Nots’ of chest
training so you can get the most out of your training. Let’s get started right away. MALE: I’m sorry to interrupt, but Jesse? JESSE: Yeah? MALE: I’ve always been a big fan of your beard. JESSE: Oh. Thanks! MALE: Big fan of beards in general. It’s a good beard. JESSE: You know what? I think I’m going to grow mine out again because
I dig the beard, too. JEFF: Can we get this thing going? The firs commandment is: MALE: Thou shalt not shrug your traps. JEFF: You heard him. You’d better get those traps out of your chest
training if you want to see the best results from your chest training. We’ve thought so much of this, and so highly
of this that we made it the “Chest Master Tip”. Meaning, when you get down to a bench-press,
the first thing you need to do is pull your shoulders down. Activate your lower traps to get those upper
traps out of the domination of that exercise. Why? Because when the traps shrug up, you’re basically
also getting your shoulders up, and forward, which puts them in a better position than
your chest to actually do the pushing. You’re going to see that’s another major thing
we make sure we do properly. If you go to a dip station and you get ready
to do your dips, what’s happening? Most of the time you collapse under your own
weight, and your traps shrug up again. You want to actively depress them, which puts
the chest into the position as a primary mover to then push, and initiate the contraction. Which actually leads us to: MALE: Thou shalt initiate every contraction
from the chest. JEFF: You absolutely need to do this, and
it’s so simple, but we overlook it. You need to initiate from your chest. You can see it happen right here. Again, there’s a very close interplay between
the roll of the front delt and the chest. If you don’t respect it, and see where that
line is drawn you’re going to miss out on the opportunity to get more out of every contraction. What your body wants to do is let your shoulders
take over, and move just a little bit in front of your chest here, and then they want to
do the pushing, as the line of first defense. If you actively keep that chest pushed out,
and initiate the contraction from here you can feel it. The very first 1/8th of an inch that you move
should happen because of the contraction of the chest, and then from there, you continue
to push. You’re going to feel the difference. It’s a major difference, but it does take
a cognitive awareness of the fact that the fist contraction has to come from the chest,
and as soon as you initiate there you’re going to put yourself in a better position for the
entire rest of the rep. MALE: Thou shalt adduct at every opportunity. JEFF: Adduction. The absolute critical component of a complete
chest contraction. Now- JESSE: Wait, Jeff. Jeff. Adduction. That’s 1+1=3, right? JEFF: No, no, no. That’s addition, and that doesn’t’ even
equal 3. Didn’t you go to college? Dude, this is not a good advertisement for
Quin PA. So adduction, when you actually do a chest
contraction, is going to be a final pushing of that, if you’re going to get a complete
chest contraction. The role of the chest is not push away from
the body, but to come across the body, and bring the arm across. I don’t want you to think that heavy training
is always going to produce the best results. It will produce a component of the best results,
but if you’re avoiding some of these adduction type exercises that I’m showing you here because
you think they’re using too light of weights to produce a result; you’re leading yourself
down the wrong path. Lighter weights that produce a complete chest
contraction are going to produce great results. If you take those weights, and push them to
failure, you’re going to get the benefits of them. It doesn’t matter, your body doesn’t understand
the number on the side of the stack, or on the side of the dumbbell. All it understands is the tension it’s creating. When you create maximum tension by going to
a maximum contraction, which is when you get a better end result for your chest. I want to make sure you’re not forgetting
to include these types of exercises in your chest workouts. MALE: Thou shalt not avoid drop sets. JEFF: You stay out of this one before I drop
you. JESSE: Okay. JEFF: Drop sets, guys. Drop sets are a very critical component of
complete chest training. Why? Because when you go back to what we talked
about earlier, the chest doesn’t usually act alone. A lot of times it’s getting help, sometimes
unwanted, from the front delts, and from the triceps, too. But drop sets allow us to really take every
last drop of effort out of the chest to ensure that we’re really hitting it hard. So what you do is, you do a regular bench-press,
and then go grab a lighter set of dumbbells, and drop it down. Again, maybe half the weight that you used,
and you go to another set here. The benefit here being that you might have
been using some of the other assisted muscles here to get the heavier weight done. But when you drop it done, now you’re really
focused on everything we already talked about. Initiating contractions, and really forcing
the chest to eek out those last few repetitions. That’s going to be key. It doesn’t just have to be here. You can do the same thing, even with a dip. You do a regular dip here with full bodyweight,
or even a weighted dip, and then you drop down seamlessly if you’re using a band. Just step into the band, as you see me do
here, and crank out a few more reps. Again, really in that second half of the drop
set, really focusing on saying “All right, take all the other big muscles out of it. Let the chest finish out the job here.” And really finishing what you’ve started. MALE: Thou shalt include pullovers. Yes, pullovers. JEFF: I’m not going to make him repeat himself
again. He’s right. Chest pullovers. Pullovers done for your chest is one of the
best exercises you could possibly do. It’s something you ‘shalt’ start doing now
if you want to see the best results. Especially for your upper chest. What you do is, you take a dumbbell, you lay
back over the bench as if you’re doing a regular dumbbell pullover for your lats. But instead of flaring your elbows what you
do is, you try to bring your forearms and your biceps closer to each other. From the bottom position here, you initiate
– yes, reenacting that same commandment again – initiating the contraction from
the upper chest. The whole dumbbell movement is created by
the squeeze, initially, by the upper chest. Bring it just to the position where it’s over
your head, and you bring it back down again. This is a great way, if you’ve never tried
it, to feel this really intense contraction. Almost like this V-line here that forms the
upper chest. A great way to activate it, and hit it every,
single time. MALE: Thou shalt do squeeze ups. JEFF: Guys, when you’re doing any of your
pushup variations here, you want to make sure you’re getting some component of adduction
if you can. As a matter of fact, you don’t have to be
limited to just having your hand in this fixed position on the ground, which prevents you
from getting any closer movement of the arms into adduction. You can do other things. We’ve actually covered and entire video on
pushup variations, that I’ll link at the end of this video for your to see, where you can
get a lot more variety. You can see some of the exercises here. The key is, when you’re getting yourself off
the ground, even if you are doing it from this fixed hand position, is not to just worry
about pushing form me, to you, but worry about pushing your hands like this. Even though they’re not going to slide on
the floor, if you feel that you’re going to slide on the floor then you’re actually going
to squeeze your body off the ground, which does what? It puts your chest out in front of your shoulders,
once again, and it gives you and overall better impact from every, single rep of pushups that
you’re doing. Squeeze ups. MALE: Thou shalt protect thy shoulders. JEFF: All right. Your shoulders need to be protected when you’re
training your chest. Did you know that there are more injuries
done to the shoulder through chest training than there are through direct shoulder training? JESSE: I didn’t know that. JEFF: It’s true because most of us don’t
have any appreciation for the fact that every, single exercise we do for the chest – no
matter what it is – is involved in, obviously, the shoulder joint. Because we’re using either heavier weights
to try to really bulk up our chest, or because we’re doing some awkward movements; we put
our shoulders in some really weird positions. So what your job is to do is to protect it
at all costs because any shoulder injury is going to take you out of the gym entirely. It’s going to take you out of your chest training
entirely, and there will be no gains made if that’s the case. So you can see the things I do here. One: I switch to a floor fly, as opposed to
an unsupported bench fly. We’ve talked about this many, many times before
how the gains can still be made here. As a matter of fact, you can have eccentric
overload gains that you can’t have when on the bench, and still get way more shoulder
protection from the floor. You can also do more decline bench-pressing,
which will put the shoulders a bit more back, into a natural position, and a safer position
to press from. And if you don’t even have access to a decline
bench, all it takes is a single plate propped up under the end – the foot – of the bench
you’re using, that gives you even a slight 5 to 10 degree decline, that’s going to do
what the job was, that purpose of saving your shoulders. Guys, respect your shoulders. You’re going to need them on chest day. MALE: Thou shalt not forget face pulls. JESSE: Oh! I know this one! I do this because you told me to do this. JEFF: Yeah, right. Well, that might be the only thing that you’ve
ever done that I’ve told you to do. JESSE: I’m not a good listener. Why do you think I screwed up my math equation? JEFF: That’s true. You stopped listening in nursery school, I
guess. Guys, you have to do face pulls for more than
the reasons that we just talked about regarding shoulder health. The thing is, I say for every three sets of
a chest exercise you’re going to do, I want one set of face pulls done at the end of that
workout. Why? Because you want to create muscle balance. Far too much of the pushing is going to create
rounded shoulders, but beyond that, rounded shoulders make your chest look small. I don’t care how big it is. You could take the guy with the biggest chest,
make him go like this, and everything is caved down, and in. Open up the shoulders, have the ability to
externally rotate your shoulders, and get into better posture upright here. Your chest itself actually broadens, and gives
you the appearance of a better looking chest without ever even having to lift it. MALE: Thou shalt do overcoming isometrics. JEFF: Okay, no. Now we didn’t just save Jesse’s alma mater
some embarrassment. 1/10th of the embarrassment he would have
had. We are actually taking the shirts off here,
to demonstrate something very important about the value of overcoming isometrics, and why
you need to include them in your chest training, if you want the right results. Jesse, come up here. All right, demonstrate something really quick. With Jesse in this position here, he’s at
the end position of a bench-press. If I were to try to go and resist him, push
against him as hard as I could, I really can’t budge him that much because he’s pretty strong
out there. However, if I get him back into the bottom
position of a bench-press and I say “Jesse, now go ahead and resist me.” It’s actually not that hard to push him right
off the camera. But now, we reverse the roles. If I get out here and I press, Jesse really
can’t move me. But now, if I get into that weak position
here, all the way down at this spot here, and I say “Jesse, now go ahead and press”
– Jesse, go ahead and press. JESSE: I’m pressing! JEFF: You can press, Jesse! Whenever you want to press, you can press. I have the ability to generate good strength
back there because I’m doing this. This is an overcoming isometric. The purpose of including these is to become
more isometrically strong in your weaker points of the range of motion in the bench-press. We know that the bottom point is a sticking
point. We don’t train that way. Isometrics give us the value of increasing
our strength within 15 degrees up, and down of the position we train it in. By doing the exercises I’m showing you here,
I load the stack up as much as I can, I’m trying to basically move an immovable object. But I’m increasing my fiber recruitment capability,
which increases my strength generation in this weak spot. So now, when I attack a bench-press I have
more strength down there. I’m going to be able to get more weight off
my chest. Meaning, I’m not going to be limited by the
heavier weights in my weak point. Ultimately, I’m elevating the weight I’m using,
and therefore, the results I’m getting. Now Jesse, go put your shirt back on. JESSE: Thank God. MALE: Thou shalt not train chest on Monday. JEFF: I know. It’s a tough pill to swallow, even on International
Chest Day you’ve got to switch things up, guys. The rule here is that you can’t keep doing
the same thing. I know a lot of people say “Jeff always knows
what I’m going to do.” I could tell you what your last chest workout
was. See how close I am. Flat bench-press, into incline dumbbell bench-press,
into dips, maybe, and maybe a little bit of cable crossover, and then maybe even some
pushups. JESSE: But, Jeff…I’ve- JEFF: Hold on, Jesse. How close was I? How close was I to what you actually did? The fact is, when it comes to chest training,
I’ve never seen a more repetitive workout of ALL those workouts that we do than that. I think we fall in love with that sequence. I think it makes us feel good. It gets the pump going and we never vary. But I will tell you this: just like any other
form of training, if you want to change yourself you’re going to have to challenge yourself,
and you’re going to have to introduce all new things to your training. So what we want to do is, not just stop at
changing the day that we train chest. How about not training chest by itself at
all? Maybe even switching the order that we do
the exercises. I know, this is making your eyes spin, Jesse. Maybe it’s even changing the order of the
exercises we do. Instead of just doing those flys – floor
flys, not bench flys – after your bench-press, how about putting them before, as a form of
pre-exhaustion? You will NOT feel the same way if you do that
exercise sequence in the reverse order. It’s going to- JESSE: Jeff? JEFF: Yes. JESSE: You’re messing with National Chest
Day. JEFF: I said “International Chest Day”. JESSE: I know. You’re messing with it. JEFF: But what’s the point? This is what’s going to benefit you. JESSE: Yeah, but you can’t mess with International
Chest Day. That’s just the way it is. JEFF: What are you – why? Because you don’t know what to do on a Monday
otherwise? JESSE: Maybe not! I don’t know what to do on a Monday. JEFF: Have you been following our programs? JESSE: Yes, but I like to do chest Monday. JEFF: You don’t do chest every Monday. JESSE: I like to do chest on Mondays anyway. JEFF: So you’ve still been doing it? JESSE: Yes. JEFF: Guys, don’t follow him. If you’re looking for a program that actually
maps out what to do, you won’t have – turn this way. You won’t have a chest that looks like this. You’ll actually have a chest. You can get that, guys, by following our step
by step programs over at ATHLEANX.com. We put the science back in strength. We lay it all out in a progression that makes
sense, and that actually, yes, makes you get better gains, faster. Those are all over at ATHLEANX.com. If you’ve found the video helpful leave your
comments and thumbs up below. In the meantime, I’m getting out of here. I’m not standing too close to this guy. See you. MALE: Seriously?! Works every time.

Reynold King

100 Replies to “The 10 Commandments of Chest Training (GET A BIG CHEST!)”

  1. Want to win an ATHLEAN-X program for free, no strings attached? Click the link below to find out how!

    https://giveaway.athleanx.com/how-to-win.html

  2. Swole Father,
    Who art in heaven,
    Vascular be thine veins.
    Thy gainz come,
    Thy sets be done,
    Overhead as it is on chest.
    Give us this day our daily macros,
    And forgive our cheat days,
    As we forgive those who curl in the squat rack.
    Lead us not into half reps,
    But deliver us from Crossfit.
    For thine is the Bro, the PR, the natty Forever,
    Wheymen.

  3. 5:54 I would rather do that with cables to avoid getting smashed in the face with 45 pounds of iron

  4. Jeff, the whole commandments theme made me realize what a great idea it would be if you published some sort of workout bible!

  5. I guess even God jumped on the "I'm getting a sex, name, identity, boob, butt, religion, life" Change and acceptance bandwagon. That "God" is probably a Democrat๐Ÿ˜” and is getting kickbacks from Satan for the voice. It's ok though, they are both probably on the section 8 train, and both getting foodstamps….we already know Satan's shooting out kids left and right, he has millions of the little demon bastards wreaking havok all over…..

  6. no way you actually gotmy chest workut like exactly right when you guessed except I did face-pulls at the end

  7. I don't know if I have ADHD or some shit but I can't remember all these tips when I'm actually in the gym! It's frustrating knowing half of the shi.t you're doing is going to waste!

  8. Until watching this video I never realized I would shrug my traps whenever I would bench. Thanks again .

  9. I've tried this chest overcoming isometric for the first time 3 days ago. Unfortunately I also got my first headache making sport. I've stopped directly, scared of aneurysm rupture. These 2 last days I've tried to work lighter but got pain behind my right eye. I've taken a appointment with my doctor but can you talk about this please ?

  10. I have 40# and 25# DB's and no bench.You gave some good ideas for a few more exercises with limited equipment.Thanks.

  11. Jeff will beat you into submission of you disobey his plans for you. He has to punish Jesse all the time. But itโ€™s because he loves him. He just wants him to be healthy.

  12. Great stuff. Saw an YouTube video by an online trainer; he advocates arching the low back off the bench when doing incline dumbbell training. what is your opinion about this?

  13. In one of the programs a while back Jeff covered the benefits of unilateral movements, and I have to say it's revolutionized my chest workouts in particular. One-arm benching, flat, incline and decline, one arm pec dec and the one arm cable work has done more to add mass and shape to my chest that all the heavy bench pressing I've done for years. I've bought his programs as well. I've unlearned a lot of stupid in a very short while and have corrected mistakes that were causing me shoulder and wrist problems.

  14. I incorporated a lot of these into my chest workout and they have really made a difference. Love this channel! Thanks for all the great advice and insight!

  15. The Israelites that morning complained to Prophet Moses about their shoulder pains, with haste Moses assembled them at Mt Sinai for the chest commandments ๐Ÿ˜

  16. So that's why Skinner was doing isometric exercise on the window when Superintendent Chalmers walked in.

  17. Jeff: God, when will jessy take over my you tube channel and leave me cleaning the washrooms?
    God: I can't divulge that
    Jeff: but I need to know now
    God: what, you can't wait 6 months to find out?
    lol

  18. Hey Jeff! Question, I shattered by collar bone about 18 months ago and had a metal plate inserted with 7 scews holding it together. What exercises, chest/sholders, should I try to avoid. Since Ive started lifting again Ive noticed some discomfort.

    Thanks.

  19. This would be easier to follow along with if we were in person. Idk how to make a work out schedule or anything, is there a beginner step by step to get into this program?

  20. Protecting the shoulders is critical. Shoulders are injured over time from heavy chest work. Dumbbell pullovers used to be one of my strongest and favorite exercises, but these days, if I try DB pullovers, unpleasant sensations in my left should manifest themselves after several reps or sets. Incline chest presses are also key suspects for shoulder injuries over the years. For years I did them. The good news is that since inclines are not necessary for solid upper pec development as is commonly thought (old school gym lore), flat presses make the perfect substitution without any anterior deltoid shoulder problems. Thanks for the commandments Jeff and Jesse (and oh, give my regards to god for helping out in this video)! See ya' …
    steve

  21. Stupid question: You say in order to protect your shoulder a slight decline would be good but when you put the weight under the bench, didnt that give it an incline?

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