Tip: 3D Sets for Chest Development

Build your pecs, work through a plateau, and break out of your chest-day rut with this strategy.

Bench, Flyes, Dips

These are the bread and butter of most chest workouts. But over time, constantly hammering away at the same exercises can make you plateau. Luckily, building your pecs can be as simple as understanding the anatomy, changing your setup, and altering the rep ranges.

The pec major is the largest chest muscle. It consists of two heads: the sternal head and the clavicular head.

Pec Pic

So what's their role? Aside from the obvious – horizontal pressing – the pectoral muscles contribute to shoulder horizontal flexion, like bringing your arms together during flyes and internal rotation. The sternal head (lower portion), also contributes in shoulder adduction or pulling the arm back down to your side. The clavicular head (upper portion), contributes to shoulder flexion.

Your hand positioning and the distance your arm moves from the torso can alter muscular recruitment.

Enter 3D Sets

Since the pecs are responsible for a variety of movements, there are a lot of ways to challenge all portions of the chest. That's where 3D sets come in. This dumbbell 3D set consists of a cable chest press using three hand positions: pronated, neutral, and supinated:

Do 3-5 sets of 12-15 reps... not per grip though. Do 4 reps of each grip with a total of 12 reps in each position.

Or do 5 reps with each grip, adding up to a total of 15 reps per set. Do this and you'll challenge the pec major in all of its capacities for full recruitment.

David Otey is a strength and conditioning specialist based out of New York City. David has been featured in several major fitness publications on the topics of strength and conditioning. Follow David Otey on Instagram