On the next day of breast, think beyond the power you use to lift a weight during a push exercise. Get more out of your workouts by focusing instead on each step of the movement – especially on the eccentric part (lowering).
This breast-centered series from Men's Health Fitness Director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. forces you to really focus on each and every part of a pitch press, which subjects the chest, triceps, and core to intense scrutiny. You also need balance and patience for isometric dwell times – you will not pump these repetitions quickly.
To perform the eccentric, blended pitch press, you will need an incline bench and a set of dumbbells. You may be wrong on the heavy side ̵
- Sit on the incline bench and hold the dumbbells in each hand.
- Press with both hands upwards, as you would with a normal oblique press. Hold the weights over your chest.
- Slowly lower the weight in one hand and count 2 strokes until it is about 5 cm from your chest. This is the eccentric part of the elevator.
- Lowering one arm will support your core to hold the other weight steady and raise your arm.
- With the first arm lowered, lower the opposite side to the same position in the same way.
- After both arms are down, push both dumbbells explosively to their starting position.
- Repeat the drop row, this time with the opposite arm you performed for the first few reps.
The series is so effective because it contracts your muscles in three different ways. First, Samuel says that your chest needs to perform a "strong and stable" eccentric contraction to control the weights on the way down. Each repetition also includes two moments of isometric contraction. When lowering one dumbbell, hold the other in a stable position. If you also hold the dumbbells in the lower position, you should contract your chest, shoulder, and back muscles to control and fully stabilize the dumbbell. Add this explosive press to round off every iteration, and your chest will not know what hits it.
You will also depend on your core to complete the reps in the correct form. "Do not let your torso go from one side to the other and work to keep it as calm as possible," Samuel advises. "Especially if you are in this unbalanced position, with a dumbbell on the chest and one over, [you] you want to turn down towards the dumbbell on your chest. Fight this by turning your obliquity up."
Add this breaker to the next chest or the next day with 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps. More Samuel tips and routines can be found in our complete Eb and Swole workouts. If you want to try a more engaging routine, consider the program of Ebs New Rules of Muscle .