We use machines to construct issues day by day. Machines construct automobiles; they construct roads; they construct computer systems; they construct robots. So why not construct your physique with machines?

Ask a dozen trend-following “New Age” trainers this query, and about 10 of them will reply emphatically, “As a result of machines aren’t practical.”

Incorrect. Machines are indubitably practical—that’s, practical at constructing lean muscle mass in all areas of the physique, on this occasion the pecs. We’re massive followers of dumbbells and barbells on chest day, however we’re additionally proponents of selectorized chest press machines, Hammer Power tools, and cable-crossover stations.

Machine presses assist you to overload the pecs with out calling on as many smaller help muscle mass to assist stability the load and maintain it on the fitting path of movement, as is the case with free weights. Extra overload equals extra progress potential. And cables? Frankly, we usually favor them to dumbbells on flye actions due to the fixed pressure they supply by way of each inch of each rep.

Please, don’t ditch the free weights. All we’re asking is that you just take a month or so to give attention to machine strikes on your chest exercises utilizing the next pec-training program. Load up the weights on machine presses, really feel the burn on cable crossovers, and luxuriate in your newfound mass earlier than refocusing on dumbbells and barbell work to construct much more dimension.

ahmad-chest
Per Bernal

MACHINE-MADE PECS PROGRAM

Beneath are 4 separate machine-only chest exercises to be carried out over the course of 4 weeks—Exercise 1 within the first week, Exercise 2 within the second week, and so forth.

Do the exercises on no matter day you’ll usually practice chest. Should you usually practice one other muscle group with the chest (for instance, triceps, biceps, or shoulders), be at liberty to coach it as you usually would after the chest exercise.

These exercises had been written to be your solely chest coaching in the course of the four-week interval. Nonetheless, for those who’re lifeless set on coaching your pecs twice per week and/or refuse to surrender free-weight chest workout routines for a complete month, you may add one lower-volume free-weight chest exercise to every week as you would like; simply make sure that to area the 2 chest exercises not less than 72 hours aside to make sure restoration.

WORKOUT 1: ALL STRAIGHT SETS

  • Smith Machine Bench Press | SETS: 4 | REPS: 12
  • Hammer Power Incline Press | SETS: 4 | REPS: 12
  • Cable Crossover | SETS: 3 | REPS: 15
  • Pec Deck | SETS: 3 | REPS: 20

WORKOUT 2: DROPSETS

  • Smith Machine Press | SETS: 4 | REPS: 8
  • Selectorized Machine Chest Press* | SETS: 4 | REPS: 8
  • Low-Pulley Cable Crossover | SETS: 3 | REPS: 10**
  • Pec Deck | SETS: 3 | REPS: 12**

*Or Hammer Power flat bench press.

**In your final set, do two to 3 dropsets.

WORKOUT 3: PRE-EXHAUST + SUPERSETS

  • Pec Deck | SETS: 4 | REPS: 12
  • Smith Machine Bench Press | SETS: 4 | REPS: 8
  • Hammer Power Incline Press | SETS: 3 | REPS: 10
    • superset with Cable Crossover | SETS: 3 | REPS: 15

WORKOUT 4: PRE-EXHAUST + SUPERSETS + DROPSETS

  • Low-Pulley Cable Crossover | SETS: 4 | REPS: 10
  • superset with Hammer Power Incline Press | SETS: 4 | REPS: 10
  • Selectorized Machine Chest Press* | SETS: 3 | REPS: 15
  • Pec Deck | SETS: 3 | REPS: 12**

*Or Hammer Power flat bench press.

**In your final set, do two to 3 dropsets.

hammer-strength-bench-press
Per Bernal

THE EXERCISES

HAMMER STRENGTH BENCH PRESS

HOW-TO: Alter the seat of the machine so the handles are in step with your center chest (not down at your decrease chest or up above your shoulders). Sit along with your again flat towards the pad, toes on the ground and greedy the handles. Contract your pecs to press the handles out and up (the machine’s fastened path of movement). Cease simply shy of elbow lockout, then slowly decrease again down with out letting the load relaxation on the machine between units.

HAMMER STRENGTH VARIANTS: Hammer Power provides chest press machines that mimic incline (as proven beneath) and decline presses; these are nice choices, supplied the gymnasium you practice at has them. Make the most of no matter Hammer Power tools you may, alternating between totally different angles regularly.

smith-machine-incline-press
Per Bernal

SMITH MACHINE INCLINE PRESS

HOW-TO: Heart an incline bench in a Smith machine in order that the bar touches your higher chest on the backside of every rep. Lie again on the bench, seize the bar outdoors shoulder width, unhook the latches, and start along with your arms prolonged. Slowly decrease the bar to your chest, contact down frivolously, then press the bar again as much as the arms prolonged place with out locking out your elbows.

SMITH MACHINE VARIANTS: Smith machine flat and decline presses could be performed by merely adjusting the bench to the suitable angle and performing the identical movement. When doing this, slide the bench ahead to ensure the bar touches your center/decrease chest on the backside of every rep.

cable-crossover
Per Bernal

CABLE CROSSOVER

HOW-TO: Stand in the course of a cable-crossover station with D-handles connected to each columns at roughly shoulder top. Seize the handles, step ahead to carry the load off the stacks, and begin along with your arms prolonged out to your sides. With a slight bend in your elbows and your torso upright all through, contract your pecs to tug your arms collectively out in entrance of you. When your arms meet, squeeze your pecs for a depend, then slowly return to the beginning place.

CABLE CROSSOVER VARIANTS: Crossovers can and ought to be carried out from quite a lot of angles to focus on all areas of the chest. Give attention to the higher pecs by shifting the cable pulleys to their lowest settings and pulling the handles upward so your arms meet in entrance of your higher chest. To focus on the decrease pecs, maintain the pulleys up excessive and produce your arms collectively at waist top.

The One Machine Leg-Day Workout

pec-deck1
Per Bernal

PEC DECK

HOW-TO: Alter the seat of a flye machine in order that the handles are at chest stage. Sit on the seat along with your again flat towards the pad, grasp the handles, and start along with your arms straight out to the perimeters and your elbows barely bent. Contract your pecs to deliver your arms collectively. When your arms contact, squeeze your pecs arduous for a depend, then slowly return to the beginning place with out letting the load relaxation on the stack.

PEC DECK VARIANTS: Not all pec deck (additionally known as a machine flye) tools is equivalent, however the fundamental motion is: pulling your arms collectively towards the midline of your physique. Some machines maintain the arms prolonged, whereas others have them bent along with your forearms on a vertical pad. Use no matter pec deck or flye machine is offered at your gymnasium.

Man bench-presses on Smith machine

selectorized-machine-press
Charles Lowthian

SELECTORIZED MACHINE CHEST PRESS

HOW-TO: Alter the seat of the machine in order that the handles are outdoors your chest within the down place. Holding your toes flat on the ground and your again and head towards the seat again, press the load up till your elbows are prolonged however not locked out. Slowly decrease your arms to the down place with out letting the load relaxation on the stack between reps.

MACHINE PRESS VARIANTS: Most selectorized chest press machines contain a regular horizontal press that mimics a flat-bench motion, versus urgent at an upward angle to focus on the higher pecs. What could be diverse is hand place. Experiment with inserting your arms as vast as potential on the bars and likewise in near hit the chest from totally different angles.

cable-flye
Pavel Ythjall

CABLE FLYE

HOW-TO: Place a bench in the course of a cable- crossover station with D-handles connected to each columns on the bottom stage. Seize the handles, sit again on the bench, and begin along with your arms prolonged out to your sides. With a slight bend in your elbows, contract your pecs to tug your arms collectively in a hugging movement. When your arms meet, squeeze your pecs for a depend, then slowly return to the beginning place.

CABLE FLYE VARIANTS: Flyes can and ought to be carried out from quite a lot of angles to focus on all areas of the chest. Give attention to the higher pecs through the use of an incline bench, the center pecs with a flat bench, and the decrease chest with a decline bench.