image Contributing blogger Troy Meyers is a certified personal trainer and sports conditioner with more than 10 years of experience. He owns Atlanta-based JockBoyLocker.com and contributes to the site’s Lockerroom Blog.

Over the next two weeks, I’ll be sharing a chest routine that should make you the shirtless envy of the dance floor or beach.

It’s a strong routine for boosting mass, shape and condition. The program works to develop the total package for a stronger and better-looking chest.

To achieve that, you need variety of exercises to hit the pecs from upper to lower and from inner to outer. Follow this routine and your chest will be on its way to becoming more full, round and separated. You know you want that.

This week, I’ll review the first two exercises in the routine, with the last two coming next week. But before we get started, here’s a primer on the chest muscles and functions.

imageThe chest (pectorals or pecs) is a thick, fan-shaped muscle, situated at the upper front of the chest wall. The pecs have three actions – flexing the humerus, as in throwing a ball side-arm, and in lifting a child. It also adducts the humerus as when flapping arms. It also rotates the humerus medially, as occurs when arm-wrestling.

Now, the routine.

Chest Press
The first exercise is the bench press. We’ve all done it and we are going to continue to do so. No single exercise will give your upper body more overall development than flat bench-pressing movements. It will give you mass, strength and dense muscles.

How to perform the exercise
Lie back on the bench and reach up to grab the bar with a medium width grip, then pull the bar off the rack. With your arms locked out and up overhead, begin your movement by lowering the bar in between the upper and middle of the chest.

Control the weight on the way down, taking approximately 2 seconds to get to the bottom of the movement and then explode up in a controlled fashion.

Sets and Reps
Perform 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps with 1 minute of rest in between sets.

Reason
3 sets allow targeting of the largest region of the pecs without overtraining. Doing 8 to 12 reps allows just enough reps to increase condition and muscularity.

Use the heaviest weight possible that allows you to perform 8 to 12 reps for each set.

imageIncline Bench Press
This makes your chest pop out. It hits the upper chest, which is the biggest portion of the chest. It also hits the middle and inside to outside portions of the pecs. This is an overall great mass and strength builder. Keep in mind that most lifters are typically not able to lift as much weight on the incline bench as opposed to the flat bench.

How to perform the exercise
Lie back on the bench and reach up to grab the bar with a medium width grip, then pull the bar off the rack. With your arms locked out and up overhead begin your movement by lowering the bar in between the upper and middle of the chest.

Control the weight on the way down taking approximately 2 seconds to get to the bottom of the movement and then explode up in a controlled fashion.

Sets and Reps
Perform 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps with a 1-minute rest in between sets.

Reason
Three sets really targets the largest region of the pecs. By using 8 to 12 reps, you perform just enough reps to increase condition and muscularity.

Use the heaviest weight possible that allows you to perform 8 to 12 reps for each set.

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