Double Chest Workout
We at Builder usually do not recommend to train a muscle (group) twice a week. Although this system works for some, experience shows that about one week is required for recovery after a really hard workout. However, there are training programs which break down the training of larger muscle groups in 2 or 3 parts per week. Doing so, the muscle group will be trained more than once a week, but never until total muscle fatigue.This enables you to avoid overtraining and provide more frequent stimuli to your muscles. The below program is also based on this concept. So, do your chest twice a week!
Once or twice?
So, normally we strongly advocate the pattern of training one muscle (group) only once a week. Why we are doing this: Because experience shows that after a really hard workout (this means: No pussy workout!), muscles need at least one week of rest in order to fully recover. This allows that sometimes you may trigger growth by providing a new impulse with an occasional (lighter) extra workout, but we do not recommend that you do so on a regular basis. However, we must acknowledge that full body workout programs have an advantage: That is, you are not doing a full training for any muscle (group) in one training; you bomb your muscles hard with one exercise or two, 3 sets each on one day, and you do the same on the other days, only with different exercises. This might work pretty well in a say, three-day full body workout routine: You will not fully deplete your muscles in any workout. And the tricky part is that more frequent and various stimuli will trigger progress in your muscle fibers in a special way.
Again: One week, one workout – that’s what we say. This time span will be enough for your muscles to recover, provided that you ensure sufficient rest and nutrients for your system to progress. Most guys love to train the “beach muscles”: pecs, biceps and that’s all. So much for the summer shape. However, building really impressive pectorals is anything but easy. The core of chest training is made up by compound exercises (presses). Doing so, there are several catches you might fall for. Such a problem can be under-developed triceps, as this will make it impossible to use the weights that would be required to provide sufficient stimuli for your pecs. Another extremity is when the anterior deltoids are strong. This can be a problem if you are not fully focused on your pecs while performing the exercise, so your shoulders may take the load off your chest. I have seen guys with cannonball shoulders who could press with spectacular weights, still they were unable to pump their chest full of blood while pressing. In their case, wrong performance caused that they bombed their shoulders to pieces by bench pressing with HUGE weights. However, they could not feel their pecs while pressing, so they could only rely on isolation exercises.
Also there are guys who kill their pecs with maximum focus on each workout, still they cannot achieve the progress that could be expected. That is probably because they train brainlessly two times a week. Of course they cannot progress like that, because of overtraining. However, the concept itself would not be totally wrong. Provided that there is actually a concept. OK, now you might say you do your pecs twice a week and it works for you. I believe you. You may be a lucky alien who somehow manages to escape the evil abyss of overtraining all the time. Or you just have exceptional genetics. Or both.
OK, make it two!
Two, but a little differently. In this case you better use your head. If you are an average human being, you will definitely not be able to do a full chest workout of 15-18 sets twice a week with the same intensity. Compound exercises like the bench press and its variants will indirectly load the anterior deltoids, the triceps and, in the negative stage of the motion range, even the lats as well. And you should remember that you will also train these muscles separately. So they will be stimulated when you are doing the muscle specific workout, plus twice a week when you are trying to do your chest brainlessly. Doing so, your muscles will be loaded 3 times a week. You have absolutely no chance to recover.
But how about doing it smartly by breaking up your chest program so that you are doing classic compound exercises like presses on one workout and only isolation exercises on another? Doing so, you can spare the above mentioned smaller muscles from getting unnecessary extra load, while you can bomb your pecs in a way you wouldn’t be able to, if you had two “normal” workouts per week.
Sounds pretty good.
Alright, Jerk, enough of bullshit: Let’s see an example for this program!
So, based on this concept, there will be a day “A” and a day “B”. Let’s make day “A” your primary chest workout at the beginning of the week. And, you may insert day “B” say, 3 days later, beside another muscle (group). It’s not a big deal: Doing isolation exercises only, you may finish it off quickly on day “B”.
- Incline press 5 x 8-12
- Bench press 5 x 8-12
- Dips 3 sets with as many reps as you can
- Pull-over 3 x 10-12
That’s all. Feel free to use any intensity-boosting technique. Do as you like: The point is, you should kill your pecs.
As you can see, the rep counts are relatively high on this day. Plus, it is also assumed that you should work with smaller weights in order to complete this kind of program. And that’s the point: You may do incline flyes with 30 kilos and 8 reps. But first, this is unnecessary for this exercise. And second, it would entail the consequences we want to avoid: Namely, putting too much extra load on your anterior deltoids. That’s what we are actually trying to avoid.
Or, let’s see another complete example:
- Incline dumbbell press 4 x 8-12
- Machine bench press 4 x 8–12
- Cable/machine pull-over 3 x 10-15
- Decline bench press (but what for...) 3 x 10-12
The system is similar to the previous one. The number of sets is somewhat lower, but using machines or dumbbell presses, you can target your muscles in a whole new way.
In this case, only the flyes will be performed with dumbbells instead of a pec-deck machine. You will attack your pecs in a whole new way, again, with isolation exercises.
So, summing up this twice-a-week routine with a highbrow mathematical calculation, this makes 26-28 sets per week for this one muscle only. This is a huge volume. Still it isn’t. However, you may not get away with it on a long term, as you will put significantly higher load on your pecs using this method.
But if you are really applying this technique for a less developed muscle group that you cannot train properly using the traditional pattern, this method will most likely work for you. It is worth a try. Should it not work for you, you are lost: You should ask Santa to bring you a pair of new boobs for Christmas!
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