Chest Workout Tips for Size (HARDGAINER EDITION!)


What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.com. Jessie. He’s back. I know you’ve been waiting for him. Today we want to cover the chest. So we’ve had our Hard Gainer Edition, and
our Hard Gainer Series here. Today it’s about exercise tips when you’re
training your chest. Particularly as a hard gainer and this guy
is starting to – he’s getting over the moniker now. He’s actually starting to become a gainer. As you can, too. But today I want to show you some of those
tips you can apply when you’re training your chest that’s going to help you out, all right? We’re going to break it down to three parts. The first place we’re starting is the pullup
bar. Okay, yes, I said pullup bar because again,
we’re following suit with what we talked about before regarding hard gainers. One of your biggest problems is going to always
be activation. Remember the first time you ever did a dumbbell
bench press, or a barbell bench press. You didn’t even know where the weight is in
space. You’re doing your dumbbells and they’re kind
of floating around. JESSIE: Right. JEFF: People tell you to bring them up together
and you never really hit them in the same spot. That’s a proprioception issue. But there’s also a muscle awareness issue
and one of the key points, whenever you’re going to press – and we’re going to have
to press if we’re going to build your chest – is you’ve got to be able to press with
the chest and not the shoulders. We cover this in a video for our more advanced
guys and as you can see it’s integral to what we do in this. It’s very important that you start now. So what I had Jessie do, and what I recommend
you do is starting with some scap pulls on a pull up bar. On chest day, believe it or not, and just
basically try to do a pullup without moving his arms. Without bending his arms. He gets up there and holds it for a couple
seconds. The point here is we’re trying to activate
his lower traps, get to the ability to be able to control the scapula, pull it down
and hold it there. I’ll show you why it’s important in a second. A couple more. So I’d have him do a couple sets of this. Six, seven, eight of them, held for a couple
seconds each. Now come on down. We talked about how you want to ingrain it
with what you’re actually going to do and that’s with actually pressing. So when we press, what we do wrong a lot of
times as hard gainers, is we press and we lead with our shoulder, and we let our arm
do the pressing. So let’s show what that looks like. As we press the arms are doing the pressing,
especially as you’re trying to use heavier weights than you should. You’re pressing and letting your arm lead
the way. That’s not what you want to do. You want to let your chest lead the way. So the arms have to stay back. The only way the arms can stay back, the shoulders
can stay back, is by having an awareness of those muscles on the backside that you just
hopefully woke up a little bit and made aware that they’re going to need to work. JESSIE: Scap pull downs. JEFF: Exactly. So now let’s see with those scap pull downs. So here, you press out and you lead with the
chest. So this is doing the contraction, this is
staying back. Okay, so pressing that way. In as hard as you can, press. There you go. So I have him do some presses standing up
in the air, just like that. You can see, even his posture is improving
because we’re working on these things. Now we take it over to the bench press. Okay, so the bench press. It’s not an exercise that you want to avoid
at any level. Especially as a hard gainer because it’s going
to help you to start building more of that size. But you’ve got to do one thing for me, Jessie. You’ve got to do one thing for me, too. You’ve been doing one thing for me and that
is, you’ve got to get over the small plate phobia. See, there’s nothing worse than heading to
the gym and then getting ready to bench press and then all you can do is this: on the end
of the bar. Because you’d do anything to have people be
able to see that big, 45 pounder on the outside so that even that girl is staring at you at
the other side of the gym, at least she sees 145. She could imagine that there’s two, or three
stacked on the inside of it, but you just want to get to the point where you can do
the bigger plates. The biggest mistake is people doing that and
not being able to – they’re monkey fucking the plates and the bar and they can’t get
any good reps out. You’re defeating the entire purpose and that’s
why your chest isn’t growing. So you have to start with a weight that you
can control. But there is a way that you can incorporate
heavier weights. It’s actually going to be necessary for neurologically
waking up your muscles a little bit to help them feel more comfortable and confident in
handling heavier weights. So what we do is we take the pins and we set
them up high. I’m not concerned about depth, I’m not concerned
about anything. What I want to do here is get a weight here
that I’m going to adjust by 20% from what Jessie’s going to work with. So if he’s working with 115 what we’ll do
is we’ll get him up to 135 – again, a weight that he’s not going to try to lift because
he’s not going to be able to do it so well since he’s just starting out. But instead what I want him to do is get comfortable
with the weight in his hands. A touch up. So we get in here and all I want him to do
is un-rack it. So for a few times he’s just going to un-rack
and get it up over his chest. He adheres to the same principles of the chest,
just up nice, holds it for a couple seconds, brings it back down. Again, a weight that he’s not necessarily
comfortable repping out with. Do another one. He starts to feel more confident with the
weight. Okay, put it down. Now after doing a couple of the un-pinnings
here, now what he has to do is do one set. And I don’t care how – again, with the
pins nice, and high – I don’t care how many reps he winds up doing. When he winds up failing, he comfortably is
going to come down to the pins. Eccentrically feel the weight all the way
down. Get comfortable feeling what that weight feels
like. Come on down. So now he’s going to lift up, gets in position
here. Go ahead. And press up. There you go. Nice. All the way. Down slow. There. Okay, press, press, press. Down slow. Good. So that’s all he has to do. Do a rep, or two, or whatever it is to feel
comfortable with that weight and then we’re going to go into his working weight. So now what I do is take his working weight,
which is now instantly going to feel lighter because neurologically he’s commanded the
weight that was heavier, he’s convinced himself that he can handle it. Maybe he’s not capable of handling it for
full sets of reps, but from a confidence standpoint he can handle it. So now we get in here and now we do our working
sets with this weight, which he could be in the six to eight rep range. We’re trying to build strength here. But it’s a weight now that’s 20% less than
what he just did and neurologically he turned himself on. That’s it. I won’t make you do the whole set. Just one more. It even feels a bit light from – go ahead,
come on up – like the same way that a baseball player who would swing a donut on the end
of a baseball bat would then go to the baseball bat itself and he neurologically turned that
on. All right, we’ve got one more step here. Again, critical for getting hard gainers to
start unlocking more size. Okay, last thing. Now we’re on a dip. Now what we want to make sure that you know
how to do, and we could do this easily with the dip, is not just train to failure, but
to learn how to take and train through failure. We talked about that. Again, as a hard gainer we tend to not understand
what our true limits are and that usually holds u back. So on this exercise we can train him to failure,
and then through failure by just using a band. You can put a physio ball, push it inside
this captain’s chair setup. But you just take a band, you press it down
here, and you let it hand right in front of you. Now what Jessie’s going to do, he’s going
to dip and then as soon as he reaches failure, where he would normally jump off the bar we’re
going to teach him there’s more that you can do. There’s a drop set that you can do. You can actually extend failure. Take it to failure again via this band assisted
dip. JESSIE: So just putting my knees on there. JEFF: Just put your knees on there. So go ahead. We’re going to keep them behind the band at
first. Okay, adhering to all the proper principles
of the dip. Shoulders stay back, he leads again with the
chest. He’s squeezing here from the chest. He’s not shrugging his shoulders. We cover this in a lot of other videos. Keep going. I want to see you go all the way to failure
here. All right, one more if you’re there. Okay now put the knees right in. Get inside there. Now you’re going to go down and rep them out. We just took 60lbs off his bodyweight. Adhere to the same principles. Push all the way up. All the way up, all the way up, all the way
up. Up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up. Okay, good. And down. So it could be another rep, or two, or three,
but those are the productive reps because those are when he’s most fatigued. Those are when he would have quit and would
have left them on the table. As a hard gainer we need to activate. We need to learn ways to feel heavier weight
so we can get more confident in it and then we need to figure out ways that we can take
it through our limits. These right here apply to this chest workout. We’ve got others in this series. Jessie, showing some love. He actually is becoming bigger and bigger
by the day. The fact is, he’s working his ass off to do
it and I’m proud of him, and I think you guys can do the same thing. So if you’re looking for a program that puts
the science back in strength, gives you the right approaches and strategies that makes
sense and they’re back in science to get there; that’s all over at ATHLEANX.com. Our ATHLEANX training system. In the meantime, if you liked these videos,
if you want to see more of the hard gainer series, leave a comment and thumbs up below
and I’ll make sure we bring more to you. All right, guys. See you soon.

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