Raising the Bar

Series Number One – Chest Training

By: Dalon Myricks, No Nonsense Magazine Summer 98

Part I of my series Raising the Bar involves some training tips from Arnold Coleman. Arnold is a two-time World Powerlifting champion from Columbus, Ohio. In the past, he has worked with IFBB pros Michael Francois and Gayle Moher. He has also worked with competitors such as Todd Buchanan (1997 NPC Natural Ohio Overall Winner) and myself.

The first key for quality chest training is isolation. In each exercise, it is important to stress only the chest muscles that are involved in the movement. This means pressing movements that reduce the shoulder involvement (a common problem for lifters when benching).

The second key for quality chest training is volume reps. This involves a higher repetition count on your sets than is traditionally adhered to for mass building. During your training, you want to use anywhere from 50 to 80 percent of your one rep maximum weight for sets of 5 to 15 repetitions.

The third key for quality chest training is intensity. Your repetitions should be explosive with minimum rest periods between sets. Often, the intensity of your workouts is lost due to the rest periods between sets. Try to keep your rest periods to a minimum. If you have a workout partner, try to do your sets as quickly as possible after your partner has completed his/her set. If you are working alone, try to work with 45 seconds to 1 minute between sets.

I train Chest twice a week. If your chest is a slow developing area (like mine), you may want to try training it twice a week rather than the more common once a week.

Here is an example of my chest / triceps training for one week:
Day 1
Flat Barbell Bench 5 sets for 5 reps
(70 – 80 percent of maximum)
Incline dumbbell presses 3 sets for 10 reps
(50 – 70 percent of maximum)
Combination #1: Pec Deck and close grip Cybex press 3 sets for 20/15 reps
(50 percent of maximum)
Combination #2: Triceps rope extensions and
Rear Delt rope pulls 3 sets for 10/ 10 reps (60 percent of maximum). Incline dumbbell rear lateral raises
3 sets for 12 reps (light weights)
Combination #3: Triceps dips and push-ups 3 sets for 10/10 reps nonstop.
Day 2
Incline Barbell Bench 3 sets for 10 reps (50 – 70 percent of max.)
Decline dumbbell presses 3 sets for 15 reps (50 percent of max.)
One-arm triceps overhead extensions 3 sets for 15 reps or Lying French press extensions 3 sets for 12 reps
Combination: Cable pressdowns
(forward and reverse grips) 3 sets for 10/10 reps

I like to rotate my barbell movements between the Flat, Incline, and Decline Benches. The same is true for the second exercise involving dumbbells. I will also vary the angles and grips to stress different parts of the chest. My workouts take approximately 45 minutes to complete (with a workout partner). I train 3 days on, 1 day off, 2 days on and 1 day off.

My training schedule looks like this (starting with Sunday):
Day 1 – Back
Day 2 – Shoulders, Biceps
Day 3 – Rest
Day 4 – Chest, Triceps
Day 5 – Legs
Day 6 – Rest
Day 7 – Chest, Triceps

Training with Arnold and working with Roger & Sandy has helped me to become a WNBF pro bodybuilder and enabled me to compete in my best condition possible every show.

Other parts on the series, Raising the Bar, will include back, shoulders, and leg training.

Keep training...
Dalon K. Myricks, WNBF Pro

Bodybuilder Dalon Myricks
Champion bodybuilder Dalon Myricks has consistently improved his size, conditioning and weakpoints since working with Beverly International and Arnold Coleman

Dalon Myricks, contest history
Team Universe Championships – NPC, MiddleWeight, 9th
Pro Natural World – WNBF, LightWeight, 13th
Pro Natural International – WNBF, MiddleWeight, 9th
Pro Natural Masters – WNBF, 2nd
Pro Natural Universe – WNBF, MiddleWeight, 5th
Pro Natural World – WNBF, LightWeight, 14th

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