THE BEST WAY TO AN INCREDIBLE PEC PUMP


Featuring MuscleTech Ambassador @nourkaaki

Partials, Isometrics and High Reps for One of the Most Blistering Chest Pumps You’ll Ever Create!

 If you’re like me, you want to finish every body part workout with a monster pump, and chest day is no exception. But rather than looking for a magical exercise, let’s instead focus on the magic you create on a basic single-joint chest exercise, the Pec Deck fly.

Nothing special about the exercise really, but today you’re going to arrange each of four sets with a slightly different focus to create one of the most hellacious pumps you’ve ever experienced!

 

A Little Background First

 The Pec Deck fly is a single-joint movement, so it leaves the triceps out of the movement, which allows you to really focus on isolating the pecs. As a machine exercise, it also locks your arms in a slightly bent position, which too many trainers fumble on its free-weight and cable cousins by bending and extending at the elbows.

Hint: Set the seat height so your shoulders, elbows and hands are in the same horizontal plane, and keep your elbows up during the entire motion so all three remain in correct biomechanical position.

With your hands out wide, the Pec Deck blasts the outer pectoral region. When you draw your hands together, the inner pecs are more thoroughly worked. The inner portion is where we’ll focus on this four-set finishing move done at the end of your chest routine.

 

Getting Started

 Each set is constructed differently from the others, which allows you to blast the inner pec fibers in slightly different ways. Each set will also make use of a partial-rep technique that increases the pain threshold – and the pump.

Picking the right load is essential. Choose one in which you can just reach 12 reps, sometimes called your 12RM. You shouldn’t be able to do one more rep with good form.

 

 SET 1

 Do a normal, full-range set to 12, which should be to failure. This also allows you to test whether you’re using the right load. Use a smooth, controlled motion. Adjust the weight on your next set if it was too light or too heavy. Don’t forget your hands should nearly touch in the peak contracted position.
 

 SET 2

 Sticking with the same weight, this time you’ll hold the peak contracted position for a full second. (Not a half second – a full one!) Being able to stop and hold the peak contraction for a count requires using a controlled but strong motion. Work through a full range of motion again, doing as many reps as you can, which will be about 10. If you can’t do 10, reduce the load by 1 to 2 pins.

Form Pointer: Keep a big chest throughout with your shoulders back. Allow your pecs to swell on the negative rep as your shoulder blades pinch together. And remember not to drop your elbows!

 

 SET 3

 Now we’ll start alternating full-range reps with partials. For every full-range rep you do, do another that’s about a quarter. Instead of allowing the weight to pull your hands all the way back, go to a point where they’re just 18 inches apart – no wider! Doing a full and partial rep equals one rep. Do as many as you can, shooting for at least 10. (That equates to 10 full and 10 quarter reps.) If you can’t make it to 10, reduce the weight by 1 to 2 pins.
 

 SET 4

 

Your last set starts like the first one: 10 regular, full-range reps. But that’s where the fun begins! After reaching 10, do as many quarter reps as possible . . . 10, 15, 20, 25, I’ve even reached 30! Take your inner pecs to total failure: Get help from your partner, use a faster rep speed, add a little momentum, do a drop set, just keep going. Once you’re done, your chest is quite literally done!

Fast Fact: High-rep sets cause a deep muscle burn via accumulation of metabolic ions, including lactate. The technical name of this hypertrophic mechanism is called metabolic stress, which is linked to increases in anabolic hormones like IGF-1, testosterone and growth hormone. Of note, there are two other mechanisms of hypertrophy: mechanical stress (which disturbs the structural integrity of muscle cells 

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Excelling in Primal Movements

EXCELLING IN PRIMAL MOVEMENTS
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Featuring MuscleTech Ambassador Noureddine El Kaaki (Lebanon)

More often than not, we try our hands at some of the most complex and unnecessary exercises, thinking they are going to propel us to our goals faster.  However, sometimes, mastering what I call the “Primal Movements” is actually more essential. When a workout program is based on these movement patterns, increased strength, conditioning, and overall enhanced athleticism is the result!

Primal Movements have often been called the exercise kin to the Paleo Diet. In essence, performing exercises that focus on functionality and incorporating numerous body parts all at once – similar to the basic functional strength movements humans have been doing naturally for thousands of years. You won’t find isolation exercises in this program (though feel free to add them in on your own). Instead, it’s a program based around pushing, pulling, squatting, carrying, lunging and hip-hinging.

This is my workout program that stresses Primal Movements and, if done consistently, can help you build unstoppable real-world strength, power and conditioning!

 

DAY 1: PUSH, SQUAT, CARRY

Push: 3 sets

  1. Bench Press, 8 reps
  2. Standing Cable Chest Press, 10 reps
  3. Push-Ups, 1 x to failure

Squat: 3 sets

  1. Back Squats, 8 reps
  2. Bulgarian Split Squat, 10 reps per leg
  3. 1 ½ rep Kettlebell Goblet Squats, 10 reps

Carry:

  1. Overhead Barbell Carry, 4 x 25 yds (as heavy as possible)

*Use a weight that allows you to go heavy but still be able to maintain posture and position

 

DAY 2: PULL, LUNGE, HINGE

Pull: 3 sets

  1. Pull-Ups, max reps
  2. Dumbbell 1-Arm Bent Over-Row, 8 reps (per arm)
  3. Barbell Upright Row, 12 reps

Lunge: 3 sets

  1. Barbell Reverse Lunge, 10 reps
  2. Transverse Dumbbell Lunge, 12 reps

Hinge: 3 sets

  1. Romanian Deadlifts, 10 reps
  2. Kettlebell Russian Swings, 10 reps

*Use a weight that allows you to go heavy but still able to maintain posture and position

DAY 3: PUSH, SQUAT, PULL, LUNGE, HINGE, CARRY

Metabolic Circuit: (30 sec work/30 sec rest)

  1. Push-Ups (feet elevated on bench)
  2. Barbell Front Squat
  3. Barbell Row
  4. Forward Walking Lunge
  5. Sumo Deadlift
  6. Zercher Carry
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Squat for It – A Guide to Glute Training

By: Katie Miller, MuscleTech Ambassador

I was never blessed with shapely, round glutes, I squatted for them. You can buy yourself a chest but if you want firm, round glutes you are going to have to work for them.

During my contest prep for my first bikini competition, I was under the impression that shoulder-width squats on the Smith machine, using the leg press, and doing lunges were going to give me the glutes that I wanted. WRONG! With the help of my degree in exercise physiology and my experience as a personal trainer I decided to come up with my own system.

The term “glutes” refers to the gluteal muscles, which are comprised of the gluteus minimus, gluteus maximus and gluteus medius. Abductors also play a large role in glute toning. In order to get the results you want, you must do a different exercise for each muscle. On top of isolating each muscle, you must have excellent mind-muscle connection.

Mind, muscle connection, in my experience, involves reducing the weight and really dialing in and concentrating on the muscle you are engaging with each exercise. Another common misconception I had during my first contest prep was that you must lift as heavy as you can in order to see results. WRONG! My glutes improved significantly when I started lowering the weight, increasing my repetitions and really thinking about my glutes improving during each exercise.

I like to dedicate one whole day to glute training; it is one of the most judged body parts as a bikini competitor. I usually start with a heavier leg day on Mondays which consists of more compound leg exercises. Thursdays, when my legs have recovered, I do more isolated exercises for my glutes. (This is a fun training day and you can get very creative with it!)

Here is an example of what my leg day and glute day looks like:

 

Leg Day (Heavy)

1.    Shoulder-width squats on squat rack – 90 degree

2.    Stiff-legged deadlifts

3.    One-legged hamstring curl, superset with walking lunges

4.    Linear hack squat, superset with weighted hip thrusts on bosu ball

5.    Leg press (I like to use the squat press)

6.    Leg extension (light weight until burnout)

Glute Day (Lighter Weight)

1.    Box jumps to warm up

2.    Wide-stance (sumo) squats on the Smith machine with toes pointed out

3.    Narrow-stance squats

4.    One legged squats on smith machine

5.    Glute kickbacks using cables

6.    Glute kickbacks using the prone hamstring curl machine backwards

7.    Glute stomp using the assisted pull-up machine

8.    Abductor machine until burnout (done very heavy and leaning forward)

*On top of resistance training I ONLY use the Stairmaster for cardiovascular exercise, and I squeeze my glutes with
each step. Remember mind-muscle connection for best results – SQUAT FOR IT!
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