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Intensify The Volume: Thomas DeLauer

Big dense pecs and eye-popping arms simply say a lot about you.  However, if you want to generate serious size and strength in the pecs, your training must take a turn toward greater intensity than any beginner program can possibly deliver. So if you’ve reached that place in your training where you’ve honestly assessed your pecs and have decided to take your chest development to the next level, try this Iron Man
intensity protocol.


One of the finest, yet traditional, intensity techniques is the superset. Although there are a number of variations on the superset, basically the approach calls for performing two different exercises back-to-back without rest in between. You only rest between supersets. Thanks to the greater stress placed on the pectoral fibers with supersets and the reduced rest time, the result is a shock to muscles that have acclimated to more standard training. You drive a greater volume of blood, packed with additional nutrients, leading to a solid pump and more growth factors for the tissues. In the long run, in addition to serious strength gains, the secondary result is a new wardrobe, because you’ll need some larger shirts.


When you launch into superset workouts, the first thing you should understand is that you will need to check your ego at the door, because you won’t be able to use the same weight you’re accustomed to when doing straight sets. Whether you’re doing an isolation-compound movement superset or a superset that shifts the angle from incline to flat bench positions, you’re essentially forcing your muscles to respond to a greater volume of work, with reduced rest time during the workout. This approach progressively taxes your resources during a workout more than single-set training, pushing the limits of everything, from cellular components to contraction chemicals to tendon and ligament elasticity. With proper nutritional support and significant recovery time, you will be rewarded with strength gains and larger, thicker and shapelier muscles.

Superset 1

Incline Barbell Press/Dip with Chains

This is considered a compound agonist superset, which means you target the same muscle group(s) with two different exercises. This is a serious combination for generating hypertrophy, because as you fatigue you’re forcing the muscles to recruit even deeper layers of fiber. The first movement targets the clavicular or upper pecs, the head of which originates in anterior clavicle. The barbell allows you to use a considerable amount of weight to pack flesh onto the upper pecs. The dips, which should be done with your torso leaning forward, target the sternal portion of the chest, the midline, where the muscle originates. Using chains increases resistance as your drive toward the top of each rep, or easily allows you to strip weight as necessary. After two warm-up supersets of 20 reps per exercise, you’ll do three working sets of eight to 10 reps of each exercise. Remember, there is no rest between the exercises, but you get between 60 seconds and two minutes of rest between each superset.

Superset 2

Flat barbell bench/flat bench flye

The advantage to this superset is that you won’t have to move from one station to another, which eliminates the problem of another gym rat taking one of your superset stations while you’re working on complementary movement. The presses will pump the blood into the area and stress the outer pec areas that tie in to the delts. The flyes will stretch out the chest area—by stretching the fascia, the muscle sheaths—to make room for additional muscle tissue. Three supersets of 10 to 12 reps are ideal here. Rest only (60 seconds) between supersets.




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