When it comes to building a big chest, there are a few mistakes and disadvantages that are common occurrence for skinny guys in their chest workouts.
Today we’re going to talk about the chestand we’re going to talk about those mistakes in your chest workout that every skinny guymakes. JESSE: Who you callin’ skinny? JEFF: I’m just saying, you’re in the videofor a reason. Listen, guys; I’m also a skinny guy. I grew up a skinny guy. I know the challenges we have when it comesto building a bigger chest.
I don’t have the most stupendous chest outthere. But I will tell you this: there are thingswe can do in our training that will have an immediate impact and we have to realize that,anatomically, we’re at a bit of a disadvantage. The skinnier you are, the longer and lankier– you can demonstrate that, can’t you? The longer and lankier you are, the more ofa disadvantage you’re at. Even from a fitness standpoint of the exercise,such as a bench-press, that make it more challenging for you to use it to your advantage to builda bigger chest. JESSE: Right. JEFF: We’re going to talk about those thingsand what you can do for that.
Then there are compensations that come alongwith having these anatomical differences. JESSE: Yep. JEFF: So, if we’re going to do this, wehave to do it right. Let’s start with some of those challengesso we can all relate to what it is that’s holding us back. I mentioned the arms in the first place. We’re talking about the difference betweenthe longer, lankier guy. The skinnier guy and the shorter, stockierguy. JESSE: Right. JEFF: When it comes to the bench-press inparticular, the mechanics of the exercise are in your favor, the shorter your arms are. The less the bar has to travel, the less workyou have to do.
Along with that is this evil side effect. That is: the lengthier you are, and the skinnieryou are, the less chest muscle you have, which additionally helps to shorten the distancethe bar has to travel. So, when you don’t have the chest in thefirst place and you have to do more work, it becomes more challenging to build a biggerchest to shorten that distance. JESSE: We’re at a big disadvantage, guys. A very big disadvantage. JEFF: We’re in a big cycle here. JESSE: Big disadvantage. JEFF: So, what can we do? Well, we can’t change those long, lankyarms. JESSE: Right. JEFF: But what we can do is change them relatively.
We can do that by changing the position ofour body when we lay down to do a bench-press. Here we’ve got to create this arch. All the skinny guys I see forget to do this. They don’t realize how important this isin changing the entire mechanics of the exercise. By creating the arch you’re essentiallydoing this. You’re creating more of a decline bench-press. We know if we’re going to evaluate our strengthlevels on a flat and incline, or decline bench, we’re likely going to be able to performmuch better on a decline bench-press because we’re shortening the distance that bar hasto travel. We’re doing the same thing when we createthe arch.
So as you see Jesse do here, he’s workingon getting those shoulders back – which will come in big time here in a second – getthose shoulders back, get the chest up as high as you can, keep the shoulders pinneddown and back on the bench. Keep the ass down on the bench but get thelower back off. You’re creating this arch. You’re expanding the ribcage and shorteningthe distance. You can see the pecs are much more engagedby doing this because they’re at a better advantage to push. We’re going to come back to that in a second,in relation to letting the shoulders do the work. This will carryover very well.
Not just to the dumbbell variation, but toa barbell as well. The same things apply in how you want to dothis. What happens as a consequence of forgettingto do this is the very first, huge mistake you’re making. You’ll find ways to compensate and get yourselfto do the bench-press. This is where we see all the major problems. This is where the shoulders will start todo the work because they have to. If you have a long way to travel the shouldershave to keep pushing and pushing to get that weight off. As a matter of fact, Jesse, let’s show whatthis looks like. If you’re in this position here, if theshoulders are going – you can evaluate and have somebody evaluate from the side. Jesse, I’m going to manhandle you here inthis video.
JESSE: If you’re going to man-handle me,the next video, I get to give you my brand-new intro that I’ve been working on for a lifetime. JEFF: Guys, I told you that you’ve createda monster. Fine. I’m going to manhandle you, okay? JESSE: Okay. JEFF: So, let’s see. The chest is – that’s going to leave ared mark. The chest, when you put it up here, if youhave somebody evaluate you from the side you want to be able to see – let’s go to thisarm over here. You want to be able to see the chest, andthe chest only. Not the shoulder peeking out from the side. If the shoulder is peeking out and if leadingfrom the chest is doing the work as a consequence of that, it’s going to take a lot of theeffort and focus off the chest. I’ll show it to you in action.
Get back and set yourself up properly. If he arched, if he had his shoulders back,he gets into an arch. The other arm is up. He’s going to bench. That’s his outward position. Go back. Come up. You don’t see the shoulder. All you see here is the chest and if you lookat it, you can see good activation of the chest here as he pushes. That’s what you want. That’s how you’re going to build a biggerchest. Now, if you do this the wrong way and youlet the arms go past because the shoulders are trying to dominate because you have toolong of a distance to go, look what happens. This takes all the tension off the pecs. You don’t want that. Back again and lead with the chest. Now push. Now, again, you’ll be able to feel thisyourself. This is much more firm.
This is doing the work. This is how you build the bigger chest withthe right tension. The second thing that comes from skinny guysis they have the reluctance to use heavier weights. JESSE: Right. JEFF: Even if you use a dumbbell, the tendencyis to push – if they have a heavier weight – they want to push it- JESSE: Just get it up. JEFF: Get it up. So, then they might use a lighter weight becauseeven though they’ve heard on this channel how the lighter weights will help with thatmind-muscle connection – this is a bit of a mind-muscle connection issue. But in doing that, then they just go too lightso they’re letting everything go with it. JESSE: Do not accelerate and get your shouldersin front.
JEFF: Right. What you want to do is, you don’t want toshy away from the heavy weights. The heavy weights will allow you to stay backbecause you’re going to want to push back as you push up, which will allow you to doexactly what we’re talking about. Keep the shoulders out of it and let the chestinitiate. You can see Jesse doing that here. But here’s the big thing I want you to do. Skinny guys, any dumbbell bench-press, dowhat I’m telling you here and you’re going to make immediate differences in gains andin the way, you do the exercise and the results you see from it. That’s what Jesse’s been doing here.
JESSE: Yeah. JEFF: One of the bigger tips I gave him isto start doing alternating dumbbell bench-press. JESSE: Yep. JEFF: Why? It’s not just the alternation of the repsthat’s helping here, but it’s the flipping of the recruitment pattern that’s helpingthe most. If I have you start in the down position,as you can see Jesse doing here, I’m getting the chest loaded already. JESSE: Yeah. A lot of tension. JEFF: Opening up the chest, getting the chestloaded, and initiating from there is going to be a hell of a lot easier than if you wereto start your reps at the top, come down, and then go back. You’re almost ingraining the pattern ofgetting the dumbbell back to the starting position, allowing the shoulders to follow. Instead, get them down. Start down here. Let one come up and come down.
Not only are you getting some additional tensionin place on the opposite side in the non-working rep, but you’re getting that to be readyto go and perform to recruit from there first and stay as the leading driver of the movementwhile the shoulder stays back. Alternating reps are going to be a tremendousway for you to feel this, ingrain this, and get better at this. You can take that back with you to a bench-press. You can even take that back to a two-handedversion of a traditional dumbbell bench-press. Your ability to see gains from your pressingwill go up astronomically if you do that.
In recap here, you can’t change your lankyarms. You can make them relatively shorter by gettingyour chest in the right position, by arching the low back, setting it up, and not forgettingto do that. Then, avoiding the compensations that comefrom having those two things – those anatomical differences that us skinny guys tend to have– and making sure we know what’s supposed to drive the movement. Not letting the other muscles take over anddo the thing we’re trying not to do.
JESSE: Let the chest take over, not the shoulders. JEFF: There you go. This is a chest video, right? JESSE: Also, incorporate alternating dumbbellmovement. JEFF: Exactly. Thanks for reiterating everything I just said. JESSE: You’re welcome. JEFF: You can sit there and work on that introfor a while if you want. Guys, I hope you’ve found the video helpful. If you leave your comments and thumbs up below,let us know what you want us to cover and we’ll do our best to do that for you.
If you haven’t already done so, click ‘subscribe’and turn on your notifications. And all our programs incorporate that “how”of what we’re doing. The ‘how’ matters, but also the ‘why’matters. So, when you go back to your workouts youhave the freedom to bring these things into your training and benefit from them, ratherthan saying “Hey, Jeff told me to do a bench-press. So that’s all I’m going to do.” I don’t think that’s enough. All our programs have that built into every,single workout we have. If you’re looking for those, they’re overat ATHLEANX.com. In the meantime, stay tuned for this and I’ll see you in a few days. JESSE: It’s going to be glorious. JEFF: See ya.