Dorian Yates’ advice for powerful pecs
This is one of the most common problems in the room: the mass gain of the upper body and more specifically of the pectoral muscles. This causes a large number of practitioners to describe themselves too quickly as a “difficult case”. Wrongly. However, I understand their frustration.
When I started the contests, my pecs were problematic to me; I had to target them to bring them to the same level as the rest of my physique. At the same time, I knew that I would waste my time (and risk injuring myself) if I simply clubbed them with the heaviest loads possible. I decided to approach the problem in a systematic and analytical way, and I ended up choosing three exercises capable of targeting the areas that I needed to improve. If you want to gain mass at the chest, here are the exercises (developed and spread) that will help you progress.
1) The upper part of the pectorals
The solution in exercise: the inclined bench press
I don’t really like the bench press because it uses too much power from the front deltoids. The inclined bench press is excellent for stimulating the muscle fibers of the upper chest. Adjust the bench to an angle of 30 degrees, not 45 degrees, which is the standard inclination, to ensure that you target the pectorals properly. A more closed angle targets the front deltoids more. Be sure to use rigorous techniques. Start by doing a series of light warm-ups of 20 reps, then do three series at a maximum intensity of six to eight reps. Follow a slow and precise path during the descent, then raise the bar in an explosive movement until the arms are fully extended.
2) The internal part of the pectorals
The working solution: developed with a converging machine
This exercise is a polyarticular mass builder reminiscent of the standard bar press, but its unique angle (the arms move diagonally to the body at the end of the movement) provides better contraction and allows you to better target the internal part of the pectorals. . The converging machine is also safer than a free bar: no need to balance the load. Expand the bar to finish in the outstretched position. Concentrate on getting a good burn by powerfully contracting the pectorals. In general, I gradually increase the load to arrive at an effective series of six to eight reps, then I add one or two forced reps at the end of the heaviest series. I suggest you do three effective sets to build up more volume.
3) The external part of the pectorals
The solution in exercise: discarded with dumbbells
The spread with dumbbells, both on the flat bench and incline, is the best exercise to stress and strengthen the external part of the pectorals. Indeed, the deltoids and the triceps intervene only very little and the pectorals are therefore obliged to bear the entire load. In addition, the stretch at the bottom of the movement helps to strongly irrigate this area of blood, which is rich in nutrients and takes up mass, and therefore to optimize hypertrophy and recovery. The optimization of the external part of the pectorals increases the width and the density of the whole of the pectorals. To optimize your efforts, finish in the full stretch position in the low position. Do not bring the dumbbells close to the top of the movement, as this does not stress the muscle. To optimize the work safely, deviations must be made in a slow and controlled manner. Take the heaviest loads possible and do three sets of six to eight reps.
My personal version of this program allowed me to improve the recalcitrant parts of my chest very early, and I continue to pay dividends. Lovers of muscle building and professional bodybuilders have more in common than you might think. Your goal is to improve mass and muscles as quickly as possible. Ultimately, this is the goal of my chest session for “difficult cases”.
Boost your training
Dorian Yates breaks down his three favorite “Weider Principles” to gain maximum muscle in minimum time.
This is one of my favorite training principles because it takes the streak beyond failure. Here’s how it works. During the incline bench press, for example, I often fail on the eighth rep. In other words, I am unable to do another rep with the maximum load, but that does not mean that I have no more strength. To implement this principle, I ask my training partner to place his hands under the bar and give me the help I need to do two more reps and bring the muscles beyond the normal failure.
Again, the principle of partial recovery is used at the end of a series to bring the muscles beyond normal failure. For machine press, for example, when I fail, I stop for 10 seconds to gain strength, then I do one more rep, I take 10 seconds of rest, and I do one last rep. Partial recovery is fantastic for gaining strength, and it’s a much safer technique than forced reps if you don’t have a training partner.
This technique makes it possible to extend the series for which it is difficult to do forced reps. For exercises like the spreader with dumbbells or the lateral lifting with dumbbells, I usually do partial reps. When I fail after a series of side lifts, for example, instead of finishing the series, I keep lifting the dumbbells as high as possible. In general, I arrive at three-quarters of the full amplitude, or even a little higher. For the spread with dumbbells, you can bring the dumbbell from the low position to the middle position. The pectoral muscles are always very well stretched. I use this method for a few reps at three-quarters of the amplitude, then I do half reps, then quarter reps, until the muscles are exhausted and I run out of energy.