Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pecs' Of Steel

Ok, so let me be shallow for a minute. Usually this blog is about ways to improve your performance, your posture, your health or your fitness. Today, is purely about aesthetics. I love being able to get people to deadlift a lot of weight, move without pain or walk with better posture. But, I know that people also really want to look good naked.

Jamie Eason: you're doing it right.
Guys, I guess this one is really aimed at you. It will surely have benefits for you ladies as well; but it is definitely intended for the fellas.

What is one of the things every guy wants? Something that makes a man feel like a man? 

A big, burly chest. Makes you feel good. T-shirts look better. Suits look better. Women are 42% more likely to want to make out with you. (This last point has yet to be scientifically proven, but the anecdotal evidence is there. For serious.)

We all know that one of the best ways to cause hypertrophy in a muscle group is volume; lots and lots of volume. Now, one of the last things I want you guys to do is go spend MORE time on the bench press.What I do want you guys to do is learn a way to add a bunch of low intensity volume to your weekly workouts. Heres how.

This particular scheme goes by a few names...I first learned it as the Texas Pushup Challenge, and recently it was called a Volume Ladder. Regardless, the principle is the same. The former involves shorter rest periods, the latter involves a minute rest. I prefer somewhere in between.

Pick a spot, do a pushup. No, that is not a pushup. Try again; make sure your chest touches the floor and your elbows form an arrow with your upper body. Now, stand up, do a quick lap around the weight room. Now do 2 push ups. Do a lap; 3 push ups. Continue up to 10 push ups, with moderate breaks in between each set. When you get to 10, "climb" your way back down the ladder until you get to 1 again. By the end, you will have done 100 push ups, in about 10-15 minutes depending on your rest breaks. This is a lot of volume at a pretty low intensity (a pushup uses approximately 60% of your bodyweight). Try it once per week for a month, then try it twice per week. I would suggest doing it on the off day from your upper body workout, either on a recovery day or at the end of your lower body workout.

This is a really great way to get in a lot of volume with a good, functional closed chain exercise that will benefit your whole upper body. Just make sure to keep up with lots of rowing and pulling movements during your normal workouts.

You're doing it right.
Go give it a shot, when your chest is bursting the buttons on your dress shirts, you can send me a thank you card!

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