Archive for the tag - pec flies

What is Pre-Exhaustion Training?

Exercisers commonly use pec flys to

Pec flies before bench press is commonly used for pre-exhaustion training.

There are a many different workout techniques that can help jump-start the effectiveness of your workout. Like drop sets. Or negatives. Or pyramid sets.

Another common workout technique is termed pre-exhaustion training.

In a nutshell, the technique involves per-fatiguing a given muscle with an isolation exercise – and then finishing things off with a compound exercise. For example, exercisers commonly perform leg extensions before squats to practice this technique. The theory is that fatiguing a muscle with an isolation exercise before a compound exercise will lead to greater muscle recruitment.

Unfortunately, most bodybuilders would be surprised by pre-exhaustion research. Instead of increasing muscle activity, several studies have determined the technique to be no more effective than traditional strength training.

A recent study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research divided young men into two groups. The pre-exhaustion group did a set of pec flies and then performed bench presses until failure. The second group only performed the bench presses. Researchers found no greater activation of the chest muscles when using the pre-exhaustion technique. However, they did find an increase in triceps activation by 17.8%. As the chest muscles became fatigued, the triceps activated to help complete the movement.

It’s also worth noting that pre-exhaustion exercises can impact form. If, for example, your bench press form is compromised from pec flies, you may be setting yourself up for injury – so caution (and spotting) is definitely advised!

Personally, pre-exhaustion training isn’t something that I implement or that I’d recommend, but let me know what you think in the comments below. Have you tried it? Does it work for you? Let me know! And if you’re looking for gains in muscle size with strategies that work, check out my workout program – Size Matters: Davey Wavey’s Foolproof Guide to Building Muscle!

How to Work Inner Pecs.

Developing balanced, chiseled pecs can be a real challenge.

Hey Davey,

Quick question, when working out my chest how can I gain more muscle in the inner/middle of my chest? I have pretty good pecs, but I have a little bit of a valley between my pecs and they are kinda separated so I almost have the appearance of “moobs.” Any ideas of how to fix this?

Adam

Hey Adam,

Many men strive for chiseled, balanced pec muscles – but working the inner area can be a real challenge. In fact, there’s actually some debate whether or not you can actually target this area of your chest through exercise. Ultimately, it’s going to take additional research to settle the debate once and for all.

In the meantime, I do have a few exercises and techniques for you to try.

  1. Close-grip bench press. When performing bench press exercises, changing the width of your grip changes the muscles being used. A wider grip targets the outer portions of you pectoral muscles, while a closer grip brings the focus inward. With your arms fully extended, try gripping the barbell with hands shoulder-width apart. As you lower the bar toward your chest, you’ll feel it in your inner chest and triceps.
  2. Flies. There are a number of ways to perform pec fly exercises. You can use a machine, dumbbells or a even your own bodyweight. While the machines are great, dumbbells provide more of a challenge. Recline on a flat bench with a dumbbell in either hand. Keeping your arms straight, extend them outward from your sides. Using your chest muscles (and keeping your arms as straight as possible), pull your arms straight up in front of your face. Lower, and repeat.

    If you don’t have access to weights, you can do slider push-ups on the floor. On a flat and smooth surface, press your palms against the floor in a push-up position. Place a facecloth under each palm. Keeping your body in a push-up position, slide both hands out to either side. Then, pull back in. Repeat.

  3. Cable cross-overs. Though I don’t usually do cable cross-overs, they are a great exercise – and you will feel them in your inner pectoral region. Stand equidistant between two cable towers with the handles close to the top. Grasp the handles and pull in front of you. Bending a bit at the elbows, cross one hand over the other and complete the exercise. Repeat.

Whether or not these exercises will specifically develop your inner pectoral region, they will build and enhance your chest. And fear not: Pectoral muscles are notoriously slow to develop, so keep with it! And make sure that you continue to increase the levels of resistance to keep your muscles building!

Love,
Davey