Q. I have about 2 1/2 years of bodybuilding experience, and when I first started lifting, I used the pec deck. Does that piece of equipment still have any value for someone at my level?
A: Although pec decks have little functional carryover for athletics, they are fine to use sporadically for variety. Make certain, however, that the model you use has a pedal that lets you “leverage up” the weight so you can get your arms into a prestretched position to do the exercise. Starting in the stretched position is extremely hard on the shoulder joints, especially because it’s easy to jerk the weight to overcome inertia.
When you perform the movement, make certain that your palms are facing the floor for best recruitment of the targeted muscles.
Editor’s note: Charles Poliquin is recognized as one of the world’s most suc-cessful strength coaches, having coached Olympic med-alists in 12 different sports, including the U.S. women’s track-and-field team for the 2000 Olympics. He’s spent years researching European journals (he’s fluent in English, French and German) and speaking with other coaches and scientists in his quest to optimize training methods. For more on his books, seminars and methods, visit www.CharlesPoliquin.net. IM