Training Tips: Pre-Exhaust Your Chest with Flys for Faster Growth
You train four to five times a week, you have the perfect
training split, your diet is on point, but you can’t seem to get your chest to
grow. All your other muscles appear to
be growing, but for some reason your chest isn’t responding. You’ve tried working it from multiple angles
and perform multiple drop sets of flys until you are blue in the face. Why isn’t your chest growing?
Compound movements are the best for overall growth and
size. They work multiple muscle groups
and make your body release larger amounts of growth hormone for recovery. They are great at building muscle endurance
and preparing your body for life. However, as great as compound movements are, sometimes specific muscle
groups aren’t fully taxed by the exercises. This couldn’t be more evident than with the number one exercise in the
world, the bench press.
Is Bench Press the Best
Exercise for Chest Growth?
If you could only perform one exercise for your chest, then
it better be the bench press. The bench
press isn’t the best exercise for your chest, it is the best exercise for your
upper body. After the squat and
deadlift, the bench press is the next best overall exercise for muscle size and
The bench taxes several upper body muscle groups. Besides the chest, the bench press works the
delts, triceps, and even your back. Here
is where the problem lies for chest development. After your newbie gains wear off, it will be
harder to stimulate specific muscle groups to grow. You can no longer just look at the weights
and get bigger and stronger. You will
have to design your workouts for periodization by targeting specific muscle
groups for 4-8-week cycles.
While the bench press is a staple of upper body development,
it isn’t the best at targeting your chest muscles. Because the bench press works your arms and
shoulders, often your chest doesn’t get fully worked. Over time, this lack of being fully
stimulated causes your chest development to lag that of your shoulders and
arms. So how do you make the bench press
activate your chest muscles better?
Dumbbell and cable chest flys are two of the best exercises
for activating your pecs. Unfortunately,
most people can’t lift heavy enough weight to fully work your chest. This is where pre-exhaustion chest flys can
solve your pec problems.
Before your next bench or incline press workout, try doing
three sets of 10-15 reps with dumbbell or cable flys. Focus on perfect form and really flexing your
pecs in the contracted position. Once
you have performed all three sets, then move on to your presses. If you used the right amount of weight for
your flys, your strength on your presses shouldn’t be affected.
Because your pecs have already been pre-exhausted, they
should fail at the same time as your shoulders and arms. By moving your chest flys to the beginning of
your workout, you will get more chest growth from your bench presses. As a bonus, you should have one of the best
chest pumps of your life. Try
pre-exhaustion flys for 4-8 weeks and you should start to notice a difference
in the development of your pecs.