Use These 3 Simple Hacks For Immediate Chest Growth. #2 Is Awesome

By Zach Dorworth

I think you’ll agree with me when I say Arnold Schwarzenegger and his famous side chest pose helped put international chest day on the map. Some guys even go as far to train chest 3 times a week trying to build those meaty wonders. That’s three international chest days a week! 

It turns out anyone can walk into a gym, lay on a bench and move a barbell up and down. And with the right amount of bro-tivation, you can even whip up enough testicular fortitude to chest fly until complete failure. But that doesn’t mean you’ll be walking like a peacock in a matter of months.

Plenty of guys tell me, "I can't get my chest to grow no matter what I do. And I kill chest ALL THE TIME!"

It's not due to their lack of energy output, but I've already discussed training to failure in a previous article. We need to think about using that energy output smarter, not going harder. What if I told you there were a few quick and easy adjustments you could make NOW that are guaranteed to stimulate new chest growth?

Don’t miss this:
It’s the small things that separate the good from the great: those who look like they do pushups every once in awhile from those who look like they bench press fire engines for a living.

It probably bench presses fire engines.

I’m going to show you three quick adjustments you can make TODAY to completely transform your chest workout. These 3 chest growth tips will get you well on your way to building a bigger chest. I guarantee it. 

#1 Adjust the handles to fully shorten your pecs during cable flies.

Very few people understand this and even fewer get it right. You’re going to be of a rare breed if you apply this technique and your chest is going to start growing fast.

To fully shorten the pecs you need to internally rotate your arms. This means your palms will be towards the floor and your thumbs facing each other (NOT pointing up at the ceiling).

This is where people go wrong!

If your gym only has metal handles, your only option is to take them off and hold onto the cable directly. (see picture)

Holding the cable for internal rotation

Don't pinch yourself when you let go of the cable.

If you have access to the typical nylon strap and plastic handle attachments, you can slide the plastic piece to one side to achieve internal rotation. This is my favorite. (see picture)

Normal nylon handle

Normal nylon handle

Nylon handle adjusted for internal rotation

Adjusted for internal rotation

No matter which method you use, make sure your elbows are fully extended in front of your body and you’re trying to touch your thumbs together.

If you use the metal handles or your thumbs end up pointing towards the ceiling during this movement, then you aren’t fully shortening your chest and you’re cheating yourself… and your gains.

  • Adjust the handle or grip directly onto the cable to achieve internal rotation

#2 Optimize the angle of force during the exercise

Position is everything:

As we just discussed, the goal of a chest fly is to work the pecs in their shortened position, usually. But most people turn it into an ineffective movement due to bad form or poor understanding.

If you’re working the chest in a shortened position you want maximum tension when the chest is in a shortened position. If you are working in a lengthened position you would want maximum tension at the lengthened position.

This seems like a no-brainer, right?
Simple Physics

If you’re familiar with physics you know that maximum torque is generated when force is applied at 90-degrees. As the angle increases or decreases, all other things constant, the torque decreases. Let’s just say that maximum torque will create maximum tension on the pecs and decreasing the torque will decrease tension (this is very simplified).

We’ve been talking about cable flies so I’m going to use them as the example.

Most of you start the exercise by grabbing the handles and walking forward. Once you have some tension on the chest you bring your arms together in front of you. As you get to the finished (shortened) position, you end up in a position looking like exquisite figure drawing #1.

Apply force at a 90-degree angle during chest flies.

Here is the problem. We know the cables should be providing force 90-degrees from our arms to maximize torque and tension on the pecs. But if we take the handles and walk forward we end up with roughly a 15-degree angle (exquisite figure drawing #1). This severely decreases the tension put on the pecs at their shortened position.

The best 2 second adjustment, ever. 

Here is the two-second adjustment to fix the problem and give you the titty pump you’ve been longing for.

Grab the handles with internal rotation and step backwards… Yes, this will decrease the movement’s range of motion, but we aren’t worried about that. We are worried about working the chest to a shortened position with maximum tension. The range of motion you lost by stepping backwards has already been covered by your compound movement, such as the bench press.

I've covered range of motion and proper workout setup in my free 22-page Back to the Basics ebook. Click here to download it now!

Now when you extend your elbows and bring your arms together you will end in a position similar to exquisite figure drawing #2. This is where you want to be: shortened pec with force being applied at 90-degrees for maximum torque/tension.

You’ll be surprised at how little weight is required when doing the movement correctly. Most of you have never worked out your chest in a fully shortened position under maximum tension. As soon as you do... I’ll go as far as saying it’s life changing. You can thank me later.

  • Adjust the handle or grip directly onto the cable to achieve internal rotation

  • Adjust your body position or equipment to optimize the force angle for maximum tension

    Chest Flies for Chest Growth

    Jesse "BB" Suttles and I have been doing these for years. Probably why we have peacock chests. P.s. Look at that internal rotation and cable angle of 90-degrees. Photo from 2015.

#3 Change the position of your scapulae depending on what you are trying to do

You’re probably wondering what the scapulae (shoulder blades) have to do with international chest day. Well, the pectoralis major doesn’t attach directly to the scapula but it does attach to the humerus which sits inside the glenoid fossa of the scapula. Therefore, the scapulae play a pretty big role on international chest day.

This shows the relationship of the upper arm (humerus) with the scapula (red).

Let's stretch the pecs

Stop for a second and sit or stand up straight. Now, pull your shoulder blades backwards (REtract) and try to pinch them together. What happened? You used your scapulae to lengthen your pecs.

NOTE: you cannot fully lengthen your chest unless your scapulae are REtracted.

Your scapulae should remain REtracted while bench pressing and performing exercises that fully lengthen the chest, such as dumbbell flies. If you are experiencing shoulder pain during these movements, you are probably not keeping your shoulder blades retracted.

Now let's get the pecs shortened

Stop again for another second and sit or stand straight up. Now, push your shoulder blades forward (PROtract) and let your shoulders roll inward. What happened? You moved your scapulae to get your pecs really short and they may have even contracted a little bit.

NOTE: you cannot fully shorten your chest unless your scapulae are PROtracted.

Your scapulae should be PROtracted at the end position of an exercise that fully shortens the chest, such as cable flies. If you have trouble doing this, imagine you are reaching for something in front of you during the movement.

One reason I break up chest day into three different ranges: lengthened, mid-range, and shortened, is because the scapulae need to be in different positions for maximum results in each range. The only chest exercise (that I can think of) that allows the scapula to move from REtracted to PROtracted in one movement, under tension, is the push up.

                                                                                       p/c: Brandon Tigrett

  • Adjust the handle or grip directly onto the cable to achieve internal rotation

  • Adjust your body position or equipment to optimize the force angle for maximum tension

  • Put your scapulae in the proper position for the exercise you are performing

Make these 3 simple changes to transform your entire chest workout and see immediate chest growth.

These are those “small things” that separate those who see some results and those that see great results. It only takes a few seconds to adjust a handle, think about the angle of applied force, and to put your scapulae into the proper position. If you take the time to do these little things, it’ll transform your chest and the way you think about training it.

After making these little changes, here is the way to ensure your progress never stops.

Now that you know how to plump up that chest up, why not bring out some serious muscle striations? Check out our FREE 4-week online flexible dieting course and learn how to drop some serious body fat without making yourself miserable. Click here to sign up and start the Flexible Dieting University immediately.

Zach and Stephanie Dorworth Flexible Dieting University Course

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About the Author

Zach Dorworth is a pharmacist and the founder of That Flex Life, a fitness community focused on making America swole again with thousands of monthly readers and a popular email newsletter.

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