It IS possible to shape muscles -change their look and outline- above and beyond just making them bigger.
A prime example are the pecs, or chest muscles.
It is also possible to bulk up in all the wrong places, resulting in a droopy, booby look to your chest, in spite of very low body fat levels.
So it’s not any good to simply lift heavy weights pell mell fashion, like for example in the bench press.
No, if you want strong, and above all good looking pecs, a strategic approach utilizing specialized workouts and exercises is required.
In the following paragraphs, I will outline one of the most effective training routines to build a nice and flat, square Calvin Klein chest.
The secret lies in one exercise in particular: Dumbbell flies. Because what they do is, they stretch out your pecs with every rep -when done correctly- and additionally they emphasize the outer fibers of the pectoralis major. So that means the chest becomes nice and flat, and wider at the same time: you get that square, manly look.
Another thing is to emphasize the upper pecs: simply by doing incline presses and flies.
So what we do here is, we combine these two strategies for maximum results.
As you already might have guessed, the chest workout in this article is something rather special: it’s a so called tri set, iow a super-set made up of three different exercises strung together.
This means that you’ll do one heck of a lot of work in very little time; aka the density principle. The pump will be incredible, and you can be in and out of the gym in about 20-30 minutes tops. Trust me: in this case, that’s enough.
OK, so here’s the workout routine:
First, I’ll explain what’s what. Then I follow the whole thing with the workout notation.
We select a rep bracket that’s supportive of hypertrophy, i.e. muscle growth. Say here we do 8-10 reps each set.
First, you do 8-10 reps of flat dumbbell flies. Then, rest only 10 seconds -that’s just enough time to get over to the incline bench, where you’ll pump out another 8-10 reps. 10 seconds more, then do 8-10 reps incline dumbbell flies, done. Now rest 2 minutes and repeat the whole shebang two more times, for a total of three tri sets.
A1: Flat dumbbell flies, 3×8-10 reps, 10 seconds rest
A2: Incline barbell press, 3×8-10 reps, 10 seconds rest
A3: Incline dumbbell flies, 3×8-10 reps, 120 seconds rest
A word on tempo: tempo is the speed at which you lift, iow how fast do you lift the weight up, how slow do you lower it. Some use a standard tempo of 4-0-1-0, that means 4 seconds down, 0 seconds pause at the bottom, 1 second up, 0 seconds pause at the top.
By all means you can do that, but here I’d actually recommend a smooth and fast, continuous-tension-type tempo: 1-0-1-0. So 1 second up, one down, this makes for an awesome pump.
As an aside, your muscles will always look bigger and better the leaner you get.
Especially in the case of the chest though, you really don’t want any excess fat hanging around there. That would certainly give you a droopy look, no matter how good the workout.
Another thing about too much body fat is that it’ll increase estrogen levels, which in turn makes you fatter: it’s a cycle. Maybe even worse, estrogens can create what is called gynecomastia: growth of the mammary glands in men, and that translates to…MOOBS, or man boobs! NOT what you want…