If you’ve ever wanted an amazing set of pecs-I highly recommend this article.
In fact if an awesome chest is your goal, you should be visualizing a ‘high thick ridge of clavicular pec muscle‘ at every given moment.
After being bombarded with images of cartoon characters in my early childhood and then seeing the physiques of bodybuilders during my late teens, developing an awesome chest become my life’s mission.
I use to think it was optimum genetics which determined whether or not one could build a chest perfectly symmetrical to the ones flashed before me in the muscle magazines.
I was wrong!
It takes hard work, dedication and specific training techniques to build and then sculpt this look. It’s clearly not something you can attain over night or with a couple of years of hitting the gym. After 20 years of busting my ass in the gym thru intelligent and scientific weight training, I’ve gotten to this point:
If you are a beginner, this article isn’t for you. If you have been training for 5 years plus and are looking to etch fine detail into the top of your upper chest-read on.
I’m talking about-“cleavage” up to the clavicle/neck line. Visualize the kind of upper pectoral separation you can see in a v-neck t-shirt or hoodie. Think of it as the “Holy Grail” of physique accomplishment for any hard core weight lifter.
I had a very cool ex-college hoops teammate (Rob Renfro) who use to say:
“My goal in life is to retire minted with an upper chest so thick I could set a beer can in between both pecs and drink out of a straw while laying on a beach overlooking the ocean”!
So how does an intermediate to advanced lifter build a high thick ridge of clavicular pec muscle? You need to incorporate movements which supply a great amount of force in both the stretch and contracted positions thru the entire range of motion. (ROM).
Here are my favorites:
- Decline Machine Presses-Any good wide grip decline machine will do the trick. Hammer Strength-Cybex etc. Get a wide grip and don’t pronate your thumbs when gripping the handles if possible. Push with your palms and try and do 2-3 sets until your chest is on fire (Video coming soon)
- Fly Machines–Any type of fly movement as long as it’s strict-slow-controlled and the focus is on the squeeze and hold at the end. Too many guys lose focus and think they need to press really heavy to build a huge chest. All this usually leads to is muscle imbalances and over pronated front deltoid heads.
- Shoulder Width Grip Incline Smith Machine Presses–lower to right below the neck line. Any incline machine and will work with the correct hand spacing. Push your upper pecs out upon pushing up trying to keep your front delts out of the movement. (These are absolutely soul and pec crushing)
- DB Wide Hand Spacing Pushups–the key to this exercise is 3-4 second negatives allowing your upper chest to touch the floor strict and controlled and then blasting back up to starting position. You’re doing this movement at the end of your chest workout so if you can get 10+ reps for 3 sets you haven’t really trained your pecs hard enough. Or perhaps you’re going to fast allowing ego and momentum to kill your progress.
As great as dumbbells and barbells are in developing a solid overall physique, they can’t replace the leverage and assistance offered by machines to truly destroy muscle fibers. When using free weights, often times ancillary muscles fail before prime movers. An example of this would be triceps giving out before the chest in a set of heavy DB presses. We would never argue free weights don’t have their place, but this article’s focus is the optimal way to build a high thick ridge of clavicular pec muscle.
You can’t continue to bombard your muscles and central nervous system with the same basic stressors like flat bench and DB presses in the same rep range (5-10)–for years on end and expect continual progress. You must focus on adding a variety of chest movements and implementing dynamic techniques like:
- Deep fascial stretching of the upper chest wall fibers in between sets (video coming)
- Higher rep ranges and intensity extending protocols thrown into your workouts ie Rest Pause-Giant Sets-Super Sets-5 Second Breathing Sets
- Working your chest through a full range of motion (ROM) for 4 second eccentrics (negatives) and 1-2 second concentrics (postives) of each rep
- Focus on maximum fiber contraction making every effort to feel delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) within 2 days of every chest workout.
Individuals respond to different training programs differently. As we have stressed many times before, all of us are unique with different somatotypes.
No matter your training program, I recommend you incorporate these exercises intermittently into your own chest training workout to develop a high thick ridge of clavicular pec muscle .
Try these exercises for the next 8 weeks and tell us what you think.
Be the BEST YOU at Any Age!