Ain’t no moobs on this athlete!
So what’s the deal with my chest?
In my teens, my chest lacked thickness, size, upper pectoral development and overall symmetry. My training structure was poor due to a lack of knowledge, and picking up bad habits from those around me. As a consequence, I developed large anterior deltoids (front shoulders for you guys who aren’t kinesiology majors) that drowned out my chest. This was due to using the wrong angles for presses, and too much of an incline which was often 60 degrees plus. I also developed painful shoulders which affected my strength gains.
So what did my boy Jay have to say?
I had the pleasure of sitting down to dinner with four-time Mr Olympia, Jay Cutler last year, and not wanting to miss the perfect opportunity for top-notch advice, I mentioned my chest issues. These were his suggestions:
When performing chest presses, keep your elbows in line with your shoulders, i.e. abduct your arms more (bring your elbows away from your body). I was pressing below shoulder level with my elbows adjacent to my nipple line. Jay’s technique provides more stimulus to my chest, and less activation of my anterior deltoids!
Ensure that you keep your chest higher than your shoulders and this can be achieved by either arching your back in the press movements, or by pushing your shoulder blades into the bench. This also reduces anterior deltoid activation…you can train delts another day!
One of the main things to remember when training your chest is that you will get the best development by full range of movement, and focusing on contracting the regions you are working.
So how did this help me?
By following Jay’s advice, I have been able to make significant improvements in the size and shape of my chest, and decelerated the growth of my anterior deltoids – and chest is a much bigger muscle, so I LOOK bigger! I am much happier with my appearance, but still have a lot of mass to gain which I will continue to work on. I met Jay again for dinner in May when he was in the UK. He reminded me that perfecting technique is one thing, but I still need to EAT to grow!
I consider myself to be a work in progress, and this "candid shot" from a recent photo shoot, is the stage I am at today.
Please feel free to join my group and ask me any further questions you might have.
You can also like my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/richardelstonfitnessmodel
Personal Trainer and Fitness Athlete
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