3 Most Common Crimes during Chest Training

chest trainingIf you’re not like one of those clueless dudes who goes to the gym and trains biceps every day, then you probably want a good-looking physique. Nothing says, “I’m in great shape” like a pair of large pecs and a huge back. In this article, we’ll focus on the former. Chest training is great for developing your pectoralis muscles but it has to be done correctly in order to do so. This doesn’t mean going to the gym and training chest every day. You have to be smart about it. There are, however, certain crimes people commit in their pursuit of big chest. Here are the 3 most common crimes against chest training.

1. Flat Barbell Bench Press

Before you start booing and throwing imaginary eggs and tomatoes at me, allow me to explain. First of all, I love the flat barbell bench press. I think it’s one of the most awesome exercises in existence. It’s fantastic for increasing your strength and proving your manliness. That being said, it’s a common misconception that it’s the best exercise for chest. It’s not and here’s why. In order to do bench press properly and without risk of injury, you have to perform it like a power lifter – shoulders retracted, back arched, elbows slightly drawn in, and heels steadily on the ground. This reduces the stress on your shoulders by limiting their range of motion. It also limits the stress on your pecs, which the whole point of doing chest in the first place. Like I said, flat barbell bench press is awesome for gaining overall strength and if you want that, by all means keep doing it. However, if you’re more interested in looks, you have two options. Either do bench press like a bodybuilder – long grip, shoulders at 90 degrees, and barbell almost at your neck for maximum pecs load; or replace it with dumbbells flat bench press. The first option is almost a guaranteed shoulder injury. The second option has the same activation of the pecs, but has the added benefit of arm movement allowing you to properly target your chest and preserve your shoulders by adjusting your grip. Of course, this way you lose the manliness factor.

2. Ignoring Upper Chest Training

In my observation, most guys at the gym tend to focus on the lower part of their chest, thus overdeveloping it compared to the upper chest and creating some imbalances. We recommend focusing on upper chest training more. Odds are you will end up doing flat bench, push-ups, dips and other lower chest exercises, anyway, so don’t forget to give some love to the upper chest exercises. Inclined dumbbell press is an awesome way to start. Activate that upper chest!

3. Weight over Form

You should be sued for this. Choosing weight over form is never a good idea, but some guys tend to do it, either thinking they will impress the girl working out nearby, even though she’s paying zero attention to him, or thinking they will impress the guys that are working out nearby. Thus they put on more weight than they can properly lift and absolutely ignore form because they have no control over the exercise. Whether we’re talking dumbbells, flies, barbell, or any other exercise, remember that form is always a priority. No one will be impressed by the weight you can lift improperly. Some people might be impressed by proper form, though. However, remember that you’re not there to impress people or prove yourself, so just do a proper work out and go home, regardless of what people “might think”.

Posted on Monday, February 2nd, 2015 at 3:12 pm

3 Most Common Crimes During Back Workout

Back-Exercises-1Improper chest training has the potential to get you out of the gym for a very long time. You can injure your shoulders, your chest, and your arms if you’re not doing it properly. However, back training is a lot more badass in potential crippling factors because it can involve even more severe trauma if done incorrectly. The gym is the place where you go to improve physically. You go there to get stronger, look better, and feel more confident, so don’t get stroking your ego into the mix. This can not only destroy your gains, but your back, as well. Here’s 3 of the most common crimes committed during back workout.

1. Leaning Back

There was a popular rap song a while back called “Lean back”; it’s no coincidence it was performed by a fat dude, considering the fact that this is some terrible advice when it comes to back workout. Leaning back is the act of using your entire upper body to assist in an exercise. Whether we’re talking about pulldowns, close-grip cable rows, or anything in-between, this is a horrible mistake. Doing wide-grip pulldowns targets your lats nicely. Doing it while you’re using your body’s momentum still targets your lats, although not as well, and it also puts pressure on your lower back. This is how some of the most common back injuries occur. Same story with close-grip cable rows. It’s a great middle back exercise with some lats involved, but when you start moving the weight with your upper body, you put stress on the lower back. Swallow your ego and use proper weights you can comfortably lift instead of over-involving your lower back and potentially damaging it. Let the muscles do the work as you train, not your weight. Help the muscles along with amino acid supplements.

2. Round Back

Your back should always be straight when you’re performing back exercises. Allowing it to “go round” or arching it too much puts you at the risk of a serious injury. We’re not talking about destroying your gains, here. We’re talking about destroying your health and forever limiting your physical abilities. Once your spinal disks get damaged, it’s game over for you. Always make sure that you have ideal form and your back is straight as you’re performing exercises. This goes for all movements, but especially for deadlifts. Lifting with proper from always has to come before lifting heavy.

3. Doing Half-Reps

Doing half-reps is damaging in two ways – first, it lets you think you’re stronger than you are; second, half-reps give you only half the results. A half-rep is when you only do half of a proper repetition, but you still count it as a full rep. Often when dudes are anxious to show off how strong they are, whether because they’re training with a buddy, or because there’s a cute girl around, they put on more weight than they can handle. However, they also know that proper form is important so they move the weight with their muscles, not with their body. The combination of the two results in not being able to do a full repetition and instead only doing half of one. As a result, this stunts growth and should be avoided. Set aside your pride and use weight you can actually lift. Sooner or later you will develop your back, instead of kidding yourself that you’re stronger and doing the same exercise with the same weight for several months without being able to progress.

Posted on Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 at 3:12 pm