So if there was just ONE bodypart that you really wanted to improve…one bodypart that ALWAYS ends up first in your training routine…what would it be?
I think chances are pretty good that it’s your CHEST!
I mean, having that thick gladiator-like chest just screams power and strength.
So if you’re in a chest training rut…gains on bench press have come to a screeching halt…or maybe you’re just plain bored with your chest training right now…
Nick Nilsson (a.k.a. the “Mad Scientist” of exercise) has just come out with a new book called “The Best Chest Exercises You’ve Never Heard Of.”
I think the name says it all
Sample Exercise #1…
Low Pulley Push-Ups
Push-ups are obviously a classic exercise – when you think bodyweight training, it’s usually one of the first exercises you think of.
But, of course, he’s got a new twist on the regular push-up that will just TRASH your pecs…much better than regular push-ups even though the exercise is pretty much exactly the same!
So here’s the deal…you’ll be using the cable-crossover setup (you can also hitch a couple of training bands to objects about 10 feet apart – that works great, too).
You’re going to be doing push-ups with the two pulleys pulling your arms apart – this outwards tension puts extra tension on the pecs because even though your hands are planted on the ground, your pecs have to fire to keep the cables from pulling your hands out from under you!
This means you’re pushing up AND you’re fighting outwards pull. Double trouble…
So set about 20 to 40 lbs or so on the cross-over stacks and attach the single handles. You can add more if you need it once you figure out how this works.
Sample Exercise #2…
One Arm Braced Dumbbell Bench Press
The one-arm dumbbell bench press is a great exercise for developing balance as well as increasing neural drive to one side of the body, similar to like when doing a one-arm dumbbell row.
Here’s the thing, though…when doing a 1 arm dumbbell press with just one dumbbell, you have to make the movement more of a straight up and down type movement in order to keep your balance, which bring the triceps and shoulders into play a whole lot more, taking the emphasis off the pec.
So why brace your non-working arm? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of doing a one-arm bench press movement?
Not at all!
You still get the balance and neural drive benefits but it allows you to use more weight, get more reps and use a movement with a wider arc, more in tune with what the pecs need.
Here’s the setup…a ball (or bench), a dumbbell (Using a 105 lb dumbbell in the video below) and a power rack. The safety rails are set a few feet off the ground. You can mess around to figure out where the best spot is for those for you.
This demo shows the exercise being done in the power rack, which allows you to brace your non-working hand under a safety rail so that you can counterbalance the weight of the dumbbell.
You can use pretty much ANY solid object or bar to brace your non-working hand, though. You can load up a Smith machine bar with some weight and set to the proper height…you can use the handle of a bench press machine…even a railing! Use your imagination here and don’t think for a second that if you don’t have a rack, you can’t do this exercise…the key is just having something to brace your non-working hand under.
Sample Exercise #3…
Lying Side Dumbbell Flyes
If you’re training with just free weight, it can be tough to find an exercise that really targets the inner pecs to get that pec cleavage thing going. This one is all about hitting that peak contraction position that really targets the inner pec area.
THIS exercise gets around the problem of having no cable equipment to hit that inner chest area by using just a dumbbell and a bench…it’s all about how you position your body.
And that’s pretty easy, too. You just lie on your side on the bench with your shoulder off the end, holding the dumbbell in one hand. You should be far enough up on the bench that your arm is hanging off the end, i.e. the end of the bench is a few inches from your armpit. You’ll see this best in the video below.
Nick Nilsson, also known as the “Mad Scientist of Exercise,” has been training and innovating unique and powerful new exercises and training techniques for more than 18 years. He’s published 9 books on weight training, including his most recent – “The Best Chest Exercises You’ve Never Heard Of”