“How much can you bench?”
Who among us hasn’t heard that question, especially from guys who either never go to the gym, or who are so wrapped up in their fragile egos that they refuse to discover the true secrets of efficient muscle development? Training to build a fantastic chest isn’t about heavy single-rep bench presses. It’s about understanding how the chest muscles truly work and coming up with an intelligent and focused strategy for positive change. In other words, if you want a great chest, leave the bench-pressing ego to others and take a far more intelligent road to success. First step: Build your knowledge.
Two Main Functions
The chest muscles perform two main functions. The first involves pushing the body away from something. A push-up would be a good example of this function. With a push-up, you are literally pushing your body away from the floor and the chest muscles act as the primary moving force. The contraction point is when your arms are extended fully and your chest is flexed. On almost every exercise you work primary and secondary muscles. With chest-pressing movements (exercises similar to push-ups except that you’re pushing something away from the body, as with a bench press), the primary muscle is the chest, but there are also two joint movements involved – that of the elbow joint and the shoulder joint. The supportive muscles of the triceps and deltoid come into play and become secondary muscles being worked. The key focus of a chest pressing exercise should be on the chest, but these secondary muscles inevitably get some work also.
Chest pressing exercises can be done from a wide variety of angles from incline to flat to decline, but particular emphasis should be given to incline movements as the upper chest is the most difficult area for most men to truly feel and develop.
The second main function of the chest involves drawing the arms across the front of the body. If you stand with your arms extended out to the sides, then move your arms forward until your hands push together in front of your chest, and you will feel the contraction point of this second chest function. This is the action involved in dumbbell flye-type movements, which would also include variations such as pec-deck and cable crossovers. When doing these types of movements, the triceps and deltoids play a much smaller secondary role. In fact, it’s important on these exercises to keep your elbows in a slightly bent position throughout the full range of motion of the exercise, from stretch through contraction. Locking your elbows out straight during a flye-type movement only invites serious injury, especially during the stretching portion of the exercise, as when the dumbbells are lowered in an arc out and away from the body.
Far and away, the greatest injury prevention of all when weight training is exercise perfection. This entails learning the absolute perfect form of each exercise and focusing all your effort on maintaining that perfect form throughout each set. Your fullest attention should be on finding the absolute feel of the exercise – the feeling of a full, squeezing contraction, followed by a perfect arc toward a focused and controlled stretch; performing each rep with control and concentration.
When doing any chest exercise, it’s also essential to keep your shoulders in their natural position. Many men tend to push their shoulders forward with the weight during the contraction of a movement and this prevents the chest muscles from fully contracting by throwing emphasis on the front deltoids. Instead, you should use your mind while moving into the contraction of the exercise to focus on flexing only the chest muscles. Each repetition of any pressing or flye-type movement should end with a solid chest contraction. Also, your chest should be lifted by slightly expanding the rib cage. But be cautious not to over-arch the spine (as some men do when trying to bench press way too much weight), as this also takes the contraction away from the target muscle and can lead to debilitating injury.
In addition to exercise perfection and intense focus during the exercise, building a great chest also requires an attack from a variety of angles, using a mix of pressing and flye movements. Also use a wide range of repetitions – anywhere from eight to 15 reps per set – always working in perfect form toward positive failure. This means the last repetition you do on a set (with your own strength and without over-using those frequently abused forced reps) is the last one you can possibly do without sacrificing exercise form.
Build your workouts around three exercises, using three or four fully focused sets each, and shake it up from one workout to the next by using your knowledge and experience to consistently vary your routines.
Use these guiding principles with focus, discipline and consistency and before you know it, you’ll have the chest you’ve always wanted.
Incline Barbell Press
Using a 35- to 45-degree incline bench, grip the barbell slightly beyond shoulder width. With arms fully extended, begin by contracting your chest for a moment and then slowly lower the bar to the top of your clavicle. Keep both elbows pulled back so they’re in line with the shoulder joint – and directly under your hands – throughout the movement. Push the bar back to a full contraction by focusing on pushing with your chest muscles.
Incline Dumbbell Press
This exercise is essentially similar to the barbell press, but during contractions, press the ends of the dumbbells together to increase the intensity of the squeeze. Keep your elbows pulled back in line, shoulders in their natural position, rib cage slightly lifted and lower the inside edge of the dumbbells just outside your armpits.
Flat Dumbbell Press
Press the ends of the dumbbells together during an intense contraction and slowly lower the dumbbells so that their inside edge comes within an inch or two of your armpit.
Dips can be performed to emphasize either the chest or the triceps. For chest, flare your elbows out slightly and roll your head forward so your chin comes toward your chest. Begin at the top with arms extended and don’t lower your body until you have found the absolute squeeze in your chest muscles. Then lower your body with slow control and feel the full stretch across your chest.
Place hands at shoulder width and straighten your arms so your chest muscles are flexed. Keep your entire body – from ankles to shoulders – in a rigid straight line. Flare your elbows out slightly and lower your upper body to the floor without bending at the waist. Pause in the stretch position for a moment, and then push your body away from the floor by contracting your chest muscles.
Flat Dumbbell Flye
Lying on a flat bench, hold the dumbbells above your chest with the ends touching. Bend your elbows slightly and maintain this angle while lowering the dumbbells out in a perpendicular arc away from your body. At the bottom stretch point, your elbows and hands should be in a straight line with your shoulders. Keep tension on your chest muscles even at the bottom of the stretch and use your chest to squeeze the dumbbells back together.
Incline Dumbbell Flye
Essentially, this is the same as a flat flye except it’s performed on a 35- to 45-degree incline bench. Focus the contractions on your upper chest by lifting your rib cage slightly without over-arching your spine. With arms locked in a slightly bent position throughout the movement, have the dumbbells touch together at arms length above your face.
Adjust the seat height so your hands and elbows extend forward on a flat plane with your shoulder joint. With elbows slightly bent, bring the handles together and squeeze your chest muscles hard, finding the full contraction. Keeping your elbows locked in a slightly bent position, slowly let the weight stretch your arms back and then smoothly use your chest to return to contraction.
Using the high pulleys, bend slightly at the waist so your chest is pushed forward. Be sure your shoulders are down in their natural position, not shrugged up into your ears. Begin by extending your arms and squeezing your chest. Then let the weight stretch your arms back in a controlled arc until your hands are on a flat plane with your shoulders. Feel the stretch across your whole chest and then draw your arms forward by contracting your chest and bringing your hands together.
The post Secrets to Building a Bigger Chest appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.
By: Team FitRx
Title: Secrets to Building a Bigger Chest
Sourced From: www.fitnessrxformen.com/training/secrets-to-building-a-bigger-chest/
Published Date: Fri, 09 Oct 2020 14:20:10 +0000
Failures in Business: The Unseen Stepping Stones to Success
Equally significant is the need for businesses to remain vigilant about broader shifts in both domestic and global markets. Macro factors, whether they’re economic trends, geopolitical events, or emerging global challenges, can have profound ripple effects, impacting even the most niche industries. By staying abreast of these larger market dynamics, businesses can better anticipate risks, adapt to challenges, and capitalize on new opportunities. In an ever-globalizing world, the ability to navigate both the nuances of one’s immediate market and the broader global shifts is what separates thriving enterprises from those that falter.
TACTICAL Takeaway: Stay sharp and monitor your industry’s trends. When things shift, being ahead in understanding consumer habits offers you the flexibility to adjust and succeed. Things can change rapidly and the sooner you have insight into consumer behavior changes, the more opportunities you have to pivot.
Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
The sports nutrition industry is an interesting, fast-paced vertical where what’s old can quickly become new again but also what worked yesterday likely won’t work tomorrow.
It might seem counterintuitive, but it’s spot-on. Take creatine as an example. It hit the shelves in the early 1990s and quickly became a hit. Yet, a decade later, its demand had waned. Jump another decade to today, and it’s back more popular than ever.
TACTICAL Takeaway: The key for businesses is knowing when to go all-in on a product and when to ease off, as it’s the ever-changing consumer market that truly drives demand.
Never Rest On Your Laurels
Just because something “has always worked” doesn’t mean it’s going to continue to work (or continue to work as efficiently).
In the dynamic world of business, the saying “never rest on your laurels” holds more truth than ever. What propelled a company to success yesterday might not necessarily be the formula for its tomorrow’s success. Market demands, technological innovations, and consumer preferences are in a perpetual state of evolution. While a particular strategy or product might have been a game-changer at one point, there’s no guarantee that it will remain relevant or effective in the future. This inherent unpredictability underscores the need for adaptability and forward-thinking in any business endeavor.
This reality pushes companies to be proactive, always forecasting and adjusting to the next potential shift. Relying solely on past successes can lull businesses into complacency, risking obsolescence in the face of changing tides.
TACTICAL Takeaway: To remain competitive and relevant, businesses need to cultivate a culture of continuous learning, innovation, and agility. In essence, the past can inform and guide, but it’s the vision and readiness for the future that will determine enduring success.
Embracing The Journey
To any entrepreneur reading this: the road to success is rarely a straight one. At times, it may seem like every decision leads to a dead end. But remember, every misstep is an opportunity to learn, grow, and pivot.
The trials you face in business are not meant to discourage you. Instead, they are meant to shape you, refine your vision, and improve your strategy. As the age-old adage goes, “smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.” It’s the challenges that will arm you with the experience and resilience necessary for long-term success.
So, the next time you face a setback, remember that your next big success could be just around the corner. Embrace failure as a part of the process, learn from your mistakes, and continue pushing forward with a renewed sense of purpose and determination.
Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy the journey. With so much time spent working and navigating challenges, it’s essential to find joy and have fun along the way.
The post Failures in Business: The Unseen Stepping Stones to Success appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.
By: Team FitRx
Title: Failures in Business: The Unseen Stepping Stones to Success
Sourced From: www.fitnessrxformen.com/nutrition/tips/failures-in-business-the-unseen-stepping-stones-to-success/
Published Date: Wed, 15 Nov 2023 18:53:06 +0000
Did you miss our previous article…
Negativity Is a Losing Mindset
By Marc Lobliner
‘A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.’
I coach my son’s U11 football team. I am just the line coach, but the dudes who coach with me are also in the same mindset as I am.
Let’s start off with last weekend’s game.
It’s 0-0, the opening kickoff is a short one and we fall on it.
You can hear our coaches getting our kids fired up and getting the offense ready for play. POSITIVE statements. A lot of “Let’s Go!” and energy.
On the other sideline, you hear the coaches angrily yelling at their players for the execution of the kick.
First play from scrimmage, our line makes every block and opens the outside for our running back to score.
You hear their coaches furiously yelling as we celebrate.
We celebrated and our fullback punched in the extra point.
After the kickoff, our defense held them to four and out. We got the ball again, touchdown. Extra point good.
14-0 in two offensive plays.s
Their coaches were still mad. Angry. Yelling.
We smiled, encouraged our kids, and ended up with a 42-0 mercy-rule win.
Our players are awesome, but not the biggest, not the fastest, not the strongest.
It’s all about culture and what you’re playing for.
We demand a lot of our athletes. Learn your plays, DO YOUR JOB, and we will win.
Every Tuesday after we win, I buy my linemen doughnuts and give them to everyone, telling them that a random lineman (changes weekly) said everyone deserves doughnuts. We don’t punish every mistake with extra running and up-downs. We focus on what we do RIGHT, and not what we do wrong.
The other game one of my linemen got called for a hold. He came off the field expecting to be scolded. I put my arm around him and said, “What happened?” He explained it and then I said, “You’re better than that guy, you don’t need to hold. Show the world how dominant you are!” He didn’t get one call the rest of the game and crushed it.
This is also my management style at work. Managers are usually garbage. You can do 1,000 things right and you mess up once and your manager attacks you.
THIS IS NOT THE WAY TO MANAGE!
Employees typically respond better to positivity, and numerous studies have found that positive reinforcement and a positive work environment can significantly improve employee motivation, performance, and well-being. Here are some reasons why, supported by various studies:
Increased Productivity: According to a study conducted by the University of Warwick, happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers were 10% less productive. The research shows that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity.
Better Decision-Making Abilities: Research from the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center found that individuals who were induced to feel positive emotions were better at problem-solving and making decisions than those in a neutral state.
Boosts Creativity: Positive emotions widen attention and allow people to think more broadly and openly. This is discussed in the “broaden-and-build theory” by Barbara Fredrickson, which suggests that positive emotions broaden an individual’s momentary thought-action repertoires.
Enhanced Team Collaboration: A study from MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory found that teams that communicate effectively, with members actively reaching out and connecting with all other team members, were more successful. Positive interactions contribute to this dynamic.
Reduced Employee Turnover: According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), a positive work environment and culture encourages employees to stay longer in their jobs, thus reducing turnover rates. This is KEY at Tigerfitness.com where our staff has mostly been there for 5+ years!
Better Health & Well-being: A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that positive work environments and low job stress are linked to better health outcomes for employees, which in turn can lead to reduced absenteeism and increased productivity.
Increased Engagement: According to Gallup, workers who are engaged and have high well-being are more likely to be attached to their organizations and are more productive.
Enhanced Learning & Flexibility: Research in the field of positive psychology has shown that positive emotions can facilitate adaptive thinking and flexibility in cognitive processing. This helps employees adapt to new situations and learn more effectively.
Higher Levels of Satisfaction: A study by BrightHR found that happiness is a key indicator of job satisfaction. Happy employees are more likely to report high levels of satisfaction with their jobs than those who report low levels of happiness.
Creates a Positive Feedback Loop: A study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology found that experiencing positive emotions leads to higher levels of resilience, which in turn leads to increased positive emotions. This positive feedback loop has a myriad of beneficial effects in the workplace.
How about parenting?
Same thing. PRAISE YOUR CHILD! Make sure they know you love them. While bad behavior should be addressed, be sure to also reward good behavior. Kid had a good day at school? Get him ice cream! Tell him you love him. Say you’re proud of him.
As my mother said, “You catch more flies with honey than with crap.”
And one can’t deny the lifelong impact of a good coach. As the sign in the office says, “A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.”
Be positive and be a winner!
The post Negativity Is a Losing Mindset appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.
By: Team FitRx
Title: Negativity Is a Losing Mindset
Sourced From: www.fitnessrxformen.com/lifestyle/negativity-is-a-losing-mindset/
Published Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2023 19:37:20 +0000
Did you miss our previous article…
PANATTA SUPER ROWING MACHINE
The post PANATTA SUPER ROWING MACHINE appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.
By: Team FitRx
Title: PANATTA SUPER ROWING MACHINE
Sourced From: www.fitnessrxformen.com/fitness-products/panatta-super-rowing-machine/
Published Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2023 18:57:30 +0000
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