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M ®

156
2006 POSTER SERIES

Our 2006 Men’s Health poster series


NUMBER OF
delivers the results you want in the time POUNDS THE
you have—with workouts from the world’s AVERAGE GUY

Build a top experts. Up first: the ultimate chest


CLAIMS HE CAN
BENCH-PRESS

Bigger, THE PAYOFF


A STRONGER UPPER BODY!
The heavy weights you’ll use in this workout develop muscle fibers that
produce strength and power. And because your chest is one of your larg-

Stronger
est muscle groups, this added strength improves performance in many
upper-body and total-body lifts. 1,005 LB
WORLD RECORD
EXTRA MUSCLE! FOR THE BENCH
This routine uses several body-weight moves that train stabilizing PRESS, HELD
muscles, in addition to your largest muscles, so you end up working more BY GENE

Chest
B Y M YAT T M U R P H Y
muscle overall while improving your sense of balance.
FEWER CRUNCHES!
The pushups and dumbbell single-arm bench press in this routine chal-
lenge your core stabilization while building your chest. The result: Your
entire midsection works just as hard as in any ab exercise.
RYCHLAK JR.

P H OTO G RA P H BY P I OT R S I KO RA

BENCHMARK OF SUCCESS
HOW DO YOU MEASURE UP?
The best barometer of chest strength is your maximum bench press—the most weight you can lift
84
PERCENTAGE
OF HIS BODY
for a single repetition. To determine your max, you’ll need a spotter. WEIGHT THAT
Grab an empty bar and perform 10 repetitions of the barbell bench press. (See the back of this THE AVERAGE
poster for a description.) Rest for 30 to 90 seconds, then add 20 to 40 pounds and repeat. Con- GUY CAN
tinue this process until the weight feels difficult. Then do only one repetition per set until you work BENCH-PRESS
up to the heaviest weight you can lift once—your one-repetition maximum, or one-rep max.

TRACK YOUR PROGRESS START


Record your one-rep max on this chart. Then follow [WEIGHT IN POUNDS]

the plan on the back of this poster and retest


yourself every 4 weeks. Go to MensHealth.com/ WEEK 4

22
[WEIGHT IN POUNDS]
poster to compare your improvement with that of
other Men’s Health readers or to use our one-rep- FINISH
[WEIGHT IN POUNDS]
max calculator, if you prefer not to complete this test.
PERCENTAGE
OF MEN WHO
HAVE BEEN
PINNED ON A
YOUR GOAL: THE PERFECT CHEST BENCH
BY A LOADED
YOUR TIME: 18 MINUTES BARBELL
BECAUSE THEY
This routine attacks the primary cause of puniness. “The mistake most men DIDN’T USE A
make when looking for more chest size and strength is always sticking to the SPOTTER

STYLING: SABINA KURZ/SUSAN PRICE, GROOMING: STACY BENEKE/R.J. BENNETT


traditional eight-to-12-repetition principle,” says Jason Ferruggia, owner
of Renegade Strength and Conditioning, in Warren, New Jersey. Ferruggia’s
first rule: Diversify your repetition schemes and emphasize heavier-weight,
lower-repetition sets. This allows you to target your body’s fast-twitch
muscle fibers, the ones with the greatest potential for growth.
At times, this workout calls for you to lift only your body weight while in
a suspended position. Think gymnasts, who build rock-hard bodies without
ever picking up a weight. “Moving your body through space is more taxing to
your central nervous system than regular weight training,” says Ferruggia. This
means you’ll improve your brain-to-muscle connection, which will train your
41
NUMBER OF
PUSHUPS THE
AVERAGE GUY
body to recruit more muscle in every exercise. CAN DO
Do Phase 1 for 4 weeks, working your chest twice a week with two sepa-
rate routines (Day 1 and Day 2). (Do the exercises shown here as the chest
portion of your upper- or total-body routine.) Rest at least 2 days between
workouts. Complete Phase 2 workouts in the next 4 weeks.

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DAY 1 DAY 2

Dumbbell Dumbbell Incline Bench Press Suspended Dumbbell Incline Fly Parallel- Side-Lying Single-Arm
PHASE Single-Arm Pushup Bar Dip External Rotation
Lie faceup on an incline bench and hold a pair Lie on an incline bench and hold a pair of

1
Bench Press of heavy dumbbells along the outsides of your If your gym has Blast dumbbells over your chest with your arms Grab parallel dip Lie on your left side with your left arm bent
Lie on your back on a chest with a neutral grip (palms facing in). Straps (elitefts.com, straight, palms facing forward. Keeping your bars and lift and your head resting on your left hand.
bench with a heavy Slowly press the weights straight above your $55) or chains, try palms forward, slowly sweep your arms down and yourself so your Holding a light dumbbell in your right hand,
dumbbell in one chest. Pause, then lower them to the starting this pushup variation. out to your sides in an arc until the weights are arms are straight. bend your right arm 90 degrees and tuck
hand along the side position. Otherwise, do the level with your chest. Keeping your your upper arm against your right side. Let
WEEKS 1-4 of your chest, palm
The plan: Perform six to eight repetitions. Do
weighted pushup
Pause, then reverse the motion until the weights
elbows tucked the weight hang in front of your midsec-
facing in. Hold your below. Loop the straps close to your body, tion. Keeping your upper arm stationary,
three sets and rest 2 minutes after each set. are once again above you.
opposite arm or chains around the slowly lower slowly rotate your forearm until it points
straight out to the bar so the handles The plan: Perform this exercise as a superset with yourself by toward the ceiling. Then rotate your
side for balance. hang a few inches off the next move. That is, do eight to 12 repetitions of bending your forearm back to the starting position.
the floor. the dumbbell incline fly, then immediately move elbows until your
Push the weight up The plan: Perform 12 to 15 repetitions, then
to the parallel-bar dip. upper arms are
so your arm is Now assume the rest for 1 minute. Do two sets.
parallel to the
straight above your standard pushup
floor.
chest. Pause, then position with your
slowly lower the hands grasping the Pause, then push
weight to the handles, so only your yourself up to the
starting position. feet touch the floor. starting position.
Bend at the elbows to
The plan: Do five to The plan: Do as
lower your body until
seven repetitions many reps as you
your upper arms are
with each hand. can, then rest for 3
parallel to the floor,
Complete four sets, minutes and
then push yourself up.
resting 2 minutes repeat the
after each set. The plan: Do as many superset one time,
pushups as you can, performing a total
then rest for 90 of two sets of each
seconds. Do a total of exercise.
three sets.

DAY 1 DAY 2

Barbell Bench Press Weighted Pushup Cable Lying Fly Seated Single-Arm External Rotation
PHASE

2
Lie on a bench with your feet flat on the floor. Grab the bar Assume the standard pushup position, with your hands Place an exercise bench between the stacks of a cable Sit on the floor with your left knee bent and your right leg flat on
with your hands slightly more than shoulder-width apart, beneath your shoulders. Ask your workout partner to place crossover station and attach stirrup handles to the low- the floor. Hold a light dumbbell in your left hand and rest your left
and hold the weight over your chest. Pull your shoulder a weight plate on your back, between your shoulder blades. pulley cables. Grab a handle with each hand and lie faceup elbow on your left knee. Bend your left arm 90 degrees and allow
blades back and together, then lower the bar to your chest. Keeping your body straight, lower yourself by bending your on the bench with your feet flat on the floor. Hold your arms the weight to hang down over your right leg. Keeping your elbow
(Tuck your elbows in at 45 degrees; don’t let them flare out elbows until your chest touches the floor. Pause, then push straight above your chest, palms facing each other. Keeping in place, slowly rotate your left arm upward. Pause when your
to the sides.) Pause, then push the weight back up. yourself back up. your elbows slightly bent, lower your hands out to your forearm points to the ceiling, then reverse the motion until the
WEEKS 5-8 sides in an arc, then reverse the motion to return to the weight is again hanging over your right leg.
The plan: Do five sets of four repetitions using 80 percent of The plan: Perform this exercise as a superset with the next
starting position.
your one-rep max (1RM). In week 6, do six sets of three reps move: Do eight to 12 repetitions, then immediately move on The plan: Do 10 to 12 repetitions with each hand, then rest 60
with 85 percent of your 1RM. In week 7, do five sets of two to the cable lying fly. The plan: Do eight to 10 repetitions, rest 150 seconds, then seconds. Repeat one time, for a total of two sets.
reps with 90 percent of your 1RM. In week 8, repeat the test repeat the superset (pushup and cable lying fly) two times
described on the front of the poster, then do four sets of one for a total of three sets.
repetition with approximately 90 percent of your new 1RM.

mc
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P H OTO G RA P H S BY B E T H B I S C H O F F
STYLING: SABINA KURZ/SUSAN PRICE, GROOMING: KEVIN DONLIN/SUSAN PRICE

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