The month-long machine-only chest plan

We build machines every day to build things. Machines build cars; they build roads; they build computers; They build robots. So why not build your body with machines?

Ask this question to a dozen trend-following "New Age" trainers and about 10 of them will answer emphatically, "Because machines don't work."

t correct. Machines are undoubtedly functional – that is, they can build muscle mass in all areas of the body, in this case the chest muscles. We're big fans of dumbbells and barbells on chest day, but we're also advocates of select chest press machines, Hammer Strength machines, and cable crossover stations.

Machine presses allow you to overload the pectoral muscles without using as many smaller auxiliary muscles to balance the load and keep it on the correct path of motion as there is with free weights. More overload means more growth potential. And cables? In all fairness, we generally prefer dumbbells over dumbbells for flight movements because they create constant tension through every inch of each rep.

Please do not drop the free weights. We are simply asking that you take about a month to focus on machine movements for your chest workout with the following pec training program. Load the weights on machine presses, feel the burn at cable crossings, and soak up your newfound mass before moving back to focus on dumbbells and barbell work to get even bigger.

Per Bernal

MACHINE-MADE PECS PROGRAM

Below are four separate machine-only chest workouts to be performed over a four week period: Workout 1 in the first week, Workout 2 in the second week, and so on.

Exercise every day that you would normally exercise your chest. If you normally work a different muscle group with your chest (e.g. triceps, biceps, or shoulders), you can work them out as you normally would after your chest workout.

These workouts were written as your only chest workout during the four week period. However, if you are no longer willing to work your chest twice a week and / or refuse to give up free weight chest exercises for a month, you can add a lower volume chest workout every week at will ;; Just make sure the two chest workouts are at least 72 hours apart for recovery.

Workout 1: All even sets

  • Smith Machine bench press | SETS: 4 | REPS: 12
  • Hammer Strength Incline Press | SETS: 4 | REPS: 12
  • Cable transition | SETS: 3 | REPS: 15
  • Pec deck | SETS: 3 | REPS: 20

Workout 2: drops

  • Smith Machine Press | SETS: 4 | REPS: 8
  • Selectorized Machine Chest Press * | SETS: 4 | REPS: 8
  • Cable crossover with low pulley | SETS: 3 | REPS: 10 **
  • Pec deck | SETS: 3 | REPS: 12 **

* Or Hammer Strength flat bench press.

** Do two to three drop sets on your last set.

WORKOUT 3: ADVANCE EXHAUST + SUPERSETS

  • Pec deck | SETS: 4 | REPS: 12
  • Smith Machine bench press | SETS: 4 | REPS: 8
  • Hammer Strength Incline Press | SETS: 3 | REPS: 10
    • Superset with Cable transition | SETS: 3 | REPS: 15

WORKOUT 4: PRE-EXHAUST + SUPERSETS + DROPSETS

  • Cable crossover with low pulley | SETS: 4 | REPS: 10
  • Superset with Hammer Strength Incline Press | SETS: 4 | REPS: 10
  • Selectorized Machine Chest Press * | SETS: 3 | REPS: 15
  • Pec deck | SETS: 3 | REPS: 12 **

* Or Hammer Strength flat bench press.

** Do two to three drop sets on your last set.

Hammer strength bench press Per Bernal

THE EXERCISES

HAMMER STRENGTH BENCH PRESS

HOW ONE: Adjust the seat of the machine so the handles line up with your mid-chest (not the bottom of your lower chest or the top of your shoulders). Sit with your back flat against the cushion, place your feet on the floor and grab the handles. Contract your chest muscles to push the handles out and up (fixed machine travel). Stop just before the elbow lock and then slowly lower yourself back down without your weight resting on the machine between sets.

HAMMER STRENGTH VARIANTS: Hammer Strength offers chest press machines that mimic inclines (as shown below) and reject presses. These are great options provided the gym you work out at has them. Use all hammer strength equipment you can and regularly switch between different angles.

Forging machine pitch press Per Bernal

SMITH MACHINE INCLINE PRESS

HOW ONE: Center an incline bench in a Smith machine so the bar touches your upper chest at the bottom of each rep. Sit back on the bench, grab the bar outside shoulder width, unhook the latches, and begin with your arms outstretched. Slowly lower the bar onto your chest, gently touching it, then pushing it back into the extended position of your arms without locking your elbows.

SMITH MACHINE VARIANTS: Smith machine flat and drop presses can be done by simply adjusting the bench to the appropriate angle and performing the same movement. As you do this, slide the bench forward to make sure the bar touches your mid / lower chest at the bottom of each rep.

Cable crossover Per Bernal

CABLE TRANSITION

HOW ONE: Stand in the middle of a cable crossing station with D-handles attached to the pillars at about shoulder height. Grab the handles, step forward to lift the weight off the stacks, and start with your arms outstretched. With a slight bend in your elbows and an upright upper body, pull your pecs together to pull your hands together in front of you. When your hands meet, squeeze your pecs to count, then slowly return to the starting position.

CABLE CRUISER VARIANTS: Crossovers can and should be done from different angles to reach all areas of the chest. Focus on the upper pectoral muscles by setting the pulleys to their lowest values ​​and pulling the handles up so your hands meet in front of your upper chest. To target the lower pecs, hold up the pulleys and bring your hands together at waist level.

The One Machine Leg-Day Workout

pec-deck1 Per Bernal

PEC DECK

HOW ONE: Adjust the seat of a flye machine so the handles are at chest level. Sit on the seat with your back flat against the cushion, grasp the handles, and start with your arms straight to your sides and your elbows slightly bent. Pull your chest together to bring your hands together. When your hands touch, squeeze your pecs firmly to count, then slowly return to the starting position without resting the weight on the stack.

PEC DECK VARIANTS: t all pec deck devices (also known as machine flying) are the same, but the basic movement is this: pull your arms together towards the center line of your body. Some machines keep your arms outstretched while others have them bent with your forearms on a vertical pad. Use any pec deck or flye machine available in your gym.

You hit the Smith machine

selectorized-machine-press Charles Lowthian

SELECTED MACHINE BOX PRESS

HOW ONE: Adjust the seat of the machine so that the handles outside your chest are in the down position. Keep your feet flat on the floor and your back and head against the backrest and push the weight up until your elbows are straight but not locked. Slowly lower your hands to the lower position without the weight resting on the stack between reps.

MACHINE PRESS VARIANTS: Most of the chest press machines selected are a standard horizontal press that mimics a flat bench motion, rather than pressing at an upward angle to target the upper pectoral muscles. What can be varied is the hand position. Experiment with placing your hands on the bars as much as possible and hitting the chest from different angles.

Cable flying Pavel Ythjall

WIRE FLY

HOW ONE: Place a bench in the center of a cable junction station with D-handles attached to both pillars on the lowest level. Take the handles, sit back on the bench, and start with your arms outstretched. With a slight bend of your elbows, pull your chest together to pull your hands together in a hugging motion. When your hands meet, squeeze your pecs to count, then slowly return to the starting position.

CABLE FLY VARIANTS: Flying can and should be done from different angles to target all areas of the chest. Focus on the upper pecs with an incline bench, middle pectoral muscles with a flat bench, and the lower chest with a drop bench.

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