Some Variety For Chest & Biceps Today!


Thursday, August 4th, 2005. I wanted to do something completely different for chest and biceps today, so I jumped in my car and drove over to Strong and Shapely Gym. That’s
the place I train when I want Variety with a capital “V”. S & S has something like 40 back machines, 40 leg machines, and probably at least 20-25 chest machines, which came in handy today.


A1 Flex leverage seated chest press (plate load)
4 sets X 140 lbs 1 plate + 1 quarter per side) X 8 reps
B1 Incline flye machine
4 sets X 70 lbs X 8-12 reps
C1 Flex incline press machine (selectorized)
4 sets X 165 lbs X 12 reps
D1 Cable crossover (flex machine)
4 sets X 60 lbs X 12 reps


A1 Drag Curl (straight barbell)
3 sets X 65, 85, 85 X 6, 6, 6 reps ascending sets
B1 Spider bench curl (high bench, lying on stomach,arms hanging down)
3 sets X 50 lbs X 12, 12, 12 reps strict 4023 tempo
slow reps, squeeze hard and hold it at top
C1 Body masters bicep (preacher) curl machine
3 sets X 90, 80, 80 lbs X 8, 9, 8 reps


A1 Dumbbell wrist curl one arm at a time
4 sets X 47.5 lbs X 15 reps
B1 Gripper machine
3 sets X 60 lbs X 15-20 reps

Workout Commentary

This chest routine looks like overtraining with 16 straight sets. Looks like a routine out of FLEX magazine that a geared-up, genetic freak 275 pound IFBB pro would use, but
it wasn’t like that at all. 16 sets is not excessive volume in this context:

I’ve been experimenting with different ways to overload the pecs without heavy weights and one way is with high volume, high density training. Density refers to the amount of work in a given time. I did all 16 sets in something like 20- 25 minutes by keeping the rest between sets very, very brief.

Every rep was like posing the chest…. Squeezing every inch and especially in the contracted position. It doesn’t take a lot of weight when training in this fashion (ultra strict form, slow
tempos, peak contractions, short rest intervals).

I recently picked up a copy of Ron Kosloff’s “The Vince Gironda Exercises” DVD” (I’m a LONG time fan of the late Trainer of champions, so I was really happy to see that Ron and his colleagues finally got this on video). I watched as a light heavyweight, national level natural bodybuilder, struggled with extremely light weights (or even an EMPTY bar!) when challenged by Ron to perform the exercise with exaggerated strict form (“Vince’s way).

It reminded me of that first workout I took with richie about a month ago (“Those 30-pounders too heavy for you, Tom?”

Without a doubt, you can get a great workout without heavy weights just by tweaking form, rest intervals and tempo. I wrote about this style of training in a previous blog titled, “Fusing Mind
with metal for a chiseled chest.”

I’m not convinced that ultra strict form is the right way to train all the time. I also believe in heavy training, cycled throughout the year intelligently with lighter, stricter training. I’ve ALWAYS gotten my best gains with a combination of training styles and rep ranges. I don’t believe in a single best method.

One thing is for certain, though: The strict training style and knowledge about how to manipulate form, tempo, and rest intervals comes in handy when you need to train around an injury and allows you to continue getting results where other people would have given up completely just because they “can’t train heavy anymore.”

Filed under Workouts by on . Comment#

Comments on Some Variety For Chest & Biceps Today! Leave a Comment

August 13, 2005

Evan @ 7:59 pm #

Hi Tom
Question is for or someone thats in his/her first couple of years training and making good gains how often should they change there training styles? i’ve read if lifting heavy (5-7 reps), moderate weight (8-10), light weight (10-12) and spend a few moths on this variation. Whats your thoughts on this?
Thank You

Leave a Comment

Fields marked by an asterisk (*) are required.