Tip: The Most Neglected Chest Exercise

For pure size gains, many bodybuilders have forgotten about this pec-building staple.

Many bodybuilders struggle to build up their chests, no matter how much frequency, volume, or weight they apply. The main problem? They're overtraining in the horizontal pressing plane. In other words, their main chest exercise is the bench press.

To really build your chest, you need to understand some of the basic anatomy and function of the pecs. The chest is comprised of three separate muscles: the pectoralis minor, the clavicular head of the pectoralis major (the upper chest), and the sternal head of the pectoralis major (the lower chest). However, when looking at the chest for advanced bodybuilding purposes we need to further divide this into two regions, the middle chest and lower chest.

When the entire pectoralis major works together, it produces a movement called horizontal adduction: it brings your arm across the front of your body – a flye movement. That's why the flye machine is the most neglected chest exercise for size gains.

Flye Machine

Sure, you can do dumbbell flyes, but most people do them incorrectly. The machine's simplicity allows even beginners to perform this exercise.

But the real advantage of the machine over dumbbell flyes is the machine keeps constant tension throughout the entire movement. This is great for mind-muscle connection and fully contracting the working muscle. Unlike dumbbells, there's no loss of tension.

Try This Chest Workout

Isometric holds work superbly on this machine. Try this:

  • Set 1: 10-12 reps
  • Set 2: 10-12 reps
  • Set 3: 8-10 reps with iso-holds
  • Set 4: 8-10 reps with iso-holds (drop set x 3)

On sets three and four, you'll do an iso-hold on the even reps, squeezing at the fully contracted position for 3-5 seconds.

Michael Warren won the UK Personal Trainer of the Year award (2014). He is the owner of Michael Warren Performance Education, and has trained a number of professional athletes and teams. Follow Michael Warren on Twitter