3 bench exercises for a huge Chest Bomb
By: Jeff Everson
Former Editor, Muscle & Fitness
Featured Training Body Muscle Volume 7
In 1967, I was a sophomore in high school. One weekend I had managed to get 90 miles away to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and find a Muscle Builder and Mr. America Magazine. (In those days, the Bob Hoffman publication Strength & Health was the major muscle magazine around Madison, Wisconsin and Weider’s mags were hard to find).
Now the Mr. America magazine was especially memorable in that a picture of Arnold Schwarzengger’s chest was on the cover. It was a shot of what many still consider the most amazing (massive) chest of all time.
In those days the NABBA Universe was the event, more meaningful than the IFBB Olympia which had just begun in 1965. All the NABBA bodybuilders (Chet Yorton, John Citrone, Reg Park, Dave Draper, Rick Wayne, Earl Maynard, Frank Zane, Frank Richard and Dennis Tinerino et. al.) listed their measurements---Arnold’s was listed at 58"--- exaggeration or not, no one else even approached that measure.
Any way you look at it – this was one big Momma of a chest, my friends! Then or now.
Part 1 Basic Training The best muscle size training
Now then, the Monday after the weekend that I bought the Mr. America I was showing it by my locker when one of my classmates came by and decided to take his pen and make a big ink mark across the cover.
He thought it was funny. Me? I was already scheming my revenge. I knew that the next day (our last day before summer) on Tuesday a.m., in math class, the teacher, call him Mr. X, would be going through each student’s math books to see if there was any damage. So, that night after school, I found my way to his locker (we did not even have locks in those days), opened his math book to about center and wrote in very heavy black marker, "Mr. X’s mother wears combat boots", not really, it was actually much worse (well, you get the idea).
The next a.m. in class I watched as this guy handed his math book to Mr. X, not knowing what was inside. Soon enough Mr. X paused at the pages and grew furious. Now, do ya’ think this guy got in any trouble, or not?
Now the moral of this story is two fold. One, you don’t cross me and not suffer the consequences and two, don’t make any ink marks on Arnold’s chest, if it’s my magazine.
That was 37 year ago and I still smile when I think about my glorious comeuppance. Funny thing too, the chest exercises I talk about herein, are precisely the ones Arnold worked hardest on in 1967!
Now let’s face it, to get a pretty massive and strong development of the pectoral, deltoids and triceps muscles, it takes quite a long time of hard work (and it helps if you are only 14-15 and really hungry as heck, and healthy and you want to be the best bodybuilder of all time.
But believe it or not, If you’re eating a lot of high quality protein 3-4 times a day (in addition to balanced meals) and get good sleep, you can pretty much do it with benches, low incline or flat DB presses and dips.
That is really all you need, assuming you eventually learn how to use the best form to work these muscles and this should not be brain science if you read Body Muscle.
Of course, "targeting" any muscle group with intensity, emotion, form and tension is critical. Size requires that you induce the critical growth inducing metaphorical burn – congestion – pump. It is the glorious growth triumvirate. (Strength development on its own may not require this, but muscle size does.)
Training is specific as we know, the motor units recruited, the firing order of nerve/muscle and the predominance of muscle fiber types used and their relationship to size changes or power and/or endurance manifestations.
At any rate, gaining chest size is not just the moving of the heaviest of weights, (although that is easily the MOST critical factor) --whether it be explosively or done very slowly as some suggest.