Rene Campbell is a member of Team booost and she’s an amazing presence on the pro bodybuilder circuit. We asked her for some tips to help us get the chest we all want. As you can imagine, several of them started with the word “Benching!”
I put a lot of emphasis on incline work. Incline benching, incline flys, incline dumbbell pressing.
It's a great way to add mass as well as etching freaky detail.
1/ Always make sure that you have set up your bench correctly.
The bench needs to be exactly centre to the bar.
The bar needs to come down to mid chest (think nipples!).
2/ Engage your lats. By this I mean you need to make sure that your form is perfect.
Most people will pick up shoulder injuries from incorrect form. If you ensure your lats are engaged and your shoulders dropped you will be able to push a lot heavier as the power will be coming from the back and not the shoulders.
Your back must be flat to the bench. Feet firmly planted to the floor for stability. Stick your chest out and elbows back. No rocking or twisting or moving your feet about while doing the exercise. (If this is the case - you’re going too heavy).
Check your form with every rep you do. If you feel your shoulders taking over, it means you are not engaging your lats which in turn will mean it’s pointless continuing with the exercise. Rack up, correct your form and start again.
3/ At the top of the movement squeeze your chest muscle. Get everything you can get out from the exercise. Make your reps deliberate and controlled but at the same time smooth: Emphasising the squeeze at the top will work your chest that little but harder.
4/ Work on the negative. It's just as important to control the movement on the way back down to your chest. Slow the movement down a little - this will work your chest that much more.
5/ At the start of any chest workout I will always begin with at least 3 to 4 high rep sets (at least 20 reps) with a low weight to warm the chest area up : flooding the pectoral muscles with blood, priming it for the compound, heavier rep sets to follow.
Stretching the pectorial muscles inbetween sets
This is something that I have found to work for me. I will use my rest time in between sets to hold a stretch on each side of the chest. This will undoubtedly assist with muscle growth and recovery.
Mind muscle connection
Whatever exercise you're doing for chest "THINK" and concentrate in the muscle you're working. Imagine the chest contracting at the top of the movement and give it an extra little squeeze to make sure you maximise each rep.
Keep your body guessing. Shock it with every workout. Add into your program drop sets, super sets, rest pause, heavy negatives with the help of a spotter and FST type training.
Don’t forget triceps!
If you want a better bench - work on your triceps. It is a non-chest move but will greatly improve your development because your triceps act as a stabiliser. Strong triceps equals heavier benching!
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