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Mike Mentzer Chest Workout


The rules to follow that Mike Mentzer wrote about in his chest workout are very specific and nothing is left to chance. He was always concerned to avoid injury at all times which included a good warm-up fully stretching the targeted muscle to full range and fully contracting the muscle before the workout began.

Mike says that when lifting a weight off the chest if a momentary pause cannot be done effectively before pushing upwards then the weight is too heavy. He strongly believed in slow eccentric lowering of the bar towards the chest as the most important part of developing the pec muscles.

Maximum effort is essential when training and he had no time for doing rapid reps as he insisted it only reduced the amount of muscle needed to perform the lift. Pushing the bar or dumbbells from the chest should be 2 to 3 seconds on all concentric moves.

Mike quite correctly stresses that the only reason a muscle will grow is from progressive overload that comes from 2 to 3 seconds of concentric movement and 4 seconds of eccentric movement. Good form and no more than 6 to 12 reps on any chest movement is essential.

Mike says that if you reach the point of failure your muscles are forced to grow. When you are able to do 12 reps 10% of the weight you are using should be added. Only once you have been training with this type of HIT for a few months or a year should forced reps be done when you have a training partner with you.

Below is an example of the type of chest workout Mike and his brother Ray would do when they trained. It needs to be added as mentioned above that the importance of warming up correctly was vitally important.

Mike Mentzer Chest Routine

Super Set: Flat dumbbell flies or pec deck 6 to 12 reps
and Incline Barbell bench-press 6 to 8 reps for 1 or 2 cycles.
Dips 1 set of 6 to 12 reps.

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