Relive the training of the upper body, slightly modifying the classic exercises for the muscles of the chest!
Author: Nick Tumminello
Despite all these jokes about the fact that International Breast Day is the epicenter of the lifter's week, training itself is usually not too exciting. Press a barbell or dumbbell while lying, press up or down, tilt the arms with dumbbells and in the crossover. And maybe a couple more exercises in the simulators, largely duplicating the basic movements. Rinse and use for a new one.
But there are other options! What is most interesting, new features are hidden in the equipment that you are already using. Try the proposed modifications of exercises and training schemes to wake up the muscles of the upper body and again feel this pleasant pain!
1. Bench press with stretching and partial repetitions
According to one of the classic dogma of the gym, when performing a dumbbell bench press, you can not lower your hands below the line parallel to the floor. Of course, if you always take the maximum possible working weight, the further movement of the hands down turns the exercise into a struggle for life. But if all your attention gets only the upper part of the range of motion, you lose in muscle growth!
Stretching muscles, or eccentric training, is one of the most effective ways to stimulate muscle mass gain. No, this does not mean that you need to lower your hands as low as when performing information with dumbbells. Instead, take a relatively light weight, drop just below the parallel and stop as soon as you feel a stretch in your chest.
After you finish, say, three approaches with an emphasis on the lower part of the range, switch attention to its upper part. Why do everything at once? In bench press, as in squats, the most difficult part is the lower part of the trajectory with the maximum arm length. As you approach the top, the lever is shortened, and you gain a mechanical advantage over the projectile.
Explanation. In bench press with full amplitude you used relatively light weight? Yes, and although this weight is ideal for the weakest phase of the movement, it is too easy to create a muscle overload in the less costly part of the range.
The legitimacy of this theory is proved by a recent study, in which two groups of athletes were compared. Participants in the first group performed 6 approaches with full-amplitude squats. The second group did an 3 approach with a full amplitude and an 3 approach with heavy partial repetitions with an emphasis on the upper half of the range of motion. Both groups practiced twice a week.
By the end of the experiment, which lasted 7 weeks, the participants of both groups managed to improve the strengths in squats, but the results in the second group, performing a combination of full-amplitude and partial repetitions, made more progress.
Do full-amplitude repetitions as if it's a servings of vegetables, which must be eaten, and then take dumbbells more heavily and make partial repetitions for dessert, as if it were a filling with fruit syrup. And feel free to feel the effect not only in the chest, but also in the triceps!
The beauty of the crossover is that the minimum adjustments to the technique of performing exercises, for example, positions relative to the block, radically change what is commonly called the "maximum load point", that is, the point at which the movement requires the greatest effort. This will help you easily make variety in your workouts.
If you are always standing in front of a cable block when performing information in a crossover, you are not alone. But you can do the exercise differently, for example, standing slightly ahead or behind cargo stacks. This changes the specificity of the movement and gives the muscles of the chest other training stimuli.
However, it should be noted that if you are standing behind the block, the amplitude of the movement usually decreases. You definitely will not be able to stretch the muscles to the full! Therefore, you can try to cross your arms in the final phase of the movement. I would recommend, with this variant of the information, a little crosses of hands and change the "upper" hand in each repetition.
Really focus on the peak reduction! Moreover, in the peak reduction, you can even pause for 8 seconds at the end of each approach.
3. Information on the unit with one hand
Technically difficult exercise. On the other hand, you do not need the entire crossover to run it. And anyway, any block will do. So, if you spend a lot of time waiting for your turn on the day of the breast, try this hand-putting option.
I will say more, you can perform information with one hand, using any of the modifications proposed in the previous paragraph. Exercise will help balance the left / right side, but at the same time will require a serious activation of the muscles of the trunk, which will have to recall its function as stabilizers. Just remember that you need to start small!
When it comes to push-up technique, I become a perfectionist. The reason is simple: all those who are not too lazy to write that it is "too easy to press", but when I see how they wring out, it becomes clear that they simply perform the easiest version of this exercise!
Here's how I perform push-ups (and at the same time press the dumbbells): at the bottom of each repetition, the arms should be at an angle of 45 degrees with respect to the trunk, and not under the usual every and every right angle. That is, when you see the front of the arms and body in form resemble an arrow, and not the letter T.
What's wrong with the letter T? First, with this position of the hands, the load on the pectoral muscles and triceps decreases. Secondly, with the T-shaped position of hands, the range of safe movement in the shoulder joints is organic. As a result, you put more risk on your shoulders, but you get less benefit!
When you learn to push yourself with the right technique, try to raise the exercise to a new level of difficulty: pause for 8-10 seconds at the lowest point, when the chest almost touches the floor. Then perform 8-10 of the usual push-ups. Similar approaches with a "preliminary pause" will make you again respect the simple and easy push-ups!
Training on contrast is very simple. Start with the approach to heavy press, do from 3 to 5 repetitions, and then perform the exercise without burdening with explosive technique, using the same pattern of motion and about the same number of repetitions.
For the first acquaintance with contrast training, such a bundle is ideal: heavy bench press and push-ups with cotton. As soon as they hung the bar on the supports, they immediately fell to the floor and squeezed!
It's not for the sake of variety or entertainment. Such sets will definitely make you stronger! Contrasting training creates an effect known as post-activation potentiation (PAP), in which the power and explosive power of the muscles increase after performing maximal or sub-maximal contractions.
This technique is based on mechanical drop-sets, in which you start with the most complex version of push-ups and gradually "drop" to their simplest modification. It turns out that as fatigue accumulates, the exercise becomes simpler and easier, which allows you to continue to stamp qualitative repetitions with perfect technique without the risk of injury.
Make three options for push-ups one by one:
Try to execute as many repetitions in each variant as possible, and when you go to simplified modifications, rest no more than 15 seconds. One circle will be enough.
Do not think that once in this protocol the load is low, and the number of repetitions is off scale, it is not so effective in terms of building muscle mass, than heavy sets. Studies have shown that increasing the time under load with the lifting of smaller working weights to muscle failure or almost to failure, activates hypertrophy (a set of muscle mass) no worse than the lifting of heavy shells in the same mode.
But in order to gain this benefit, it is necessary to perform all three stages of the final set qualitatively. He must fully justify his name!