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.
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.
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.
Dalon K. Myricks, WNBF Pro