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Best-Chest Training Tactics

www.ironmanmagazine.comQ: I really admire your physique as a whole, but your chest is just ridiculous! Your side-chest pose reminds me of Arnold’s, and I don’t think your pecs would be out of place in the IFBB! What exercises have been the focus of your chest training throughout the years, and do you train your chest any differently now—as it already is so big.

A: Thank you so much for your comments. Comparing my side chest to Arnold’s is one the biggest compliments I could receive, as I feel his pecs may have been the best in the history of bodybuilding.

As to your question, I want to bring up an important point, which may be even more essential to understand than the actual exercises I use. From a very early time in my training I instinctively learned how to position my body for optimal pec recruitment on all chest exercises. I never felt my delts or triceps doing the work during my pressing movements and could always lock right in on my chest. I believe that’s the main reason I have been able to build my pecs to the size they are. So, before I go on, let me review proper torso positioning so that you get the most out of any chest exercise you may be doing:


• Lie on the bench, and set your feet firmly on the floor.

• Arch your lower back slightly.

• Raise your rib cage high.

• Squeeze the shoulder blades together.

• Pull your shoulders downward.


Early in my chest training I relied mostly on basic compound movements and focused mainly on flat-bench barbell and dumbbell presses, barbell incline presses, flat-bench flyes, weighted dips and dumbbell pullovers. My main goal was to become very strong in those exercises with perfect form, and I accomplished that, eventually benching 405 for six reps; incline-pressing 365 for six reps, dumbbell-pressing 170s for six reps; hitting 110s on flyes for sets of eight to 10; using a 150-pound dumbbell on pullovers and strapping 135 pounds around my waist for dips.

I no longer do traditional flat-bench work and stick mainly with incline movements, as I feel the upper chest can never be overdeveloped. Using my P/RR/S and FD/FS training systems, I generally choose the exercises from the following list: Smith-machine incline presses, Hammer Strength incline presses, incline dumbbell flyes, dumbbell pullovers, Smith-machine bench press to the neck and low-cable crossovers. I also vary my angles on incline movements from as low as 15 degrees to as high as 75.


Editor’s note: Eric Broser’s new DVD “Power/Rep Range/Shock Max-Mass Training System” is available at His e-books, Power/Rep Range/Shock Workout and The FD/FS Mass-Shock Workout, which include complete printable workout templates and Q&A sections, are available at

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