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High-Rep Incline Partials For
Developing the Upper Chest

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So if you've read any of my stuff for any length of time, you know I'm a big fan of partial movements. When it comes to building overall strength and connective tissue strength, partials just can't be beat.

The top range especially (where you're generally stronger) really allows you to overload the target exercise and pile on some serious weight.

This exercise partial movement for today is the Incline Barbell Press.

Now, I'll tell you right up front, by incline bench press STINKS in a big way. I've never done more than 225 lbs on it (even when I could flat bench 350!). My shoulders are terrible and I get no leverage out of the bottom.

So I throw away the bottom and stick to the top...

Set up an adjustable incline bench in your power rack and set the safety rails up at a point where they're just below your lockout on the incline barbell press.

Naturally, this will be different for everybody and will depend on your height, grip, arm length, and angle of incline. So experiment with just the bar first, before you load it.

High-Rep Incline Partials For Developing the Upper Chest

Once you get the safety rails set at a comfortable height a few inches below lockout with just the bar, then lower them one more notch. The reasons you want to go one more below that level are twofold.

1. You'll be doing high reps and you don't want to bang the bar on the rails every time you bring it down. By starting a bit lower on the first rep, it allows you to be more free when you're actually doing the pressing.

2. The moment you lift a loaded bar off the rails on the incline (loaded with more than you normal 1 RM), your body is going to get compacted down. This compaction means your rails need to be set a little lower to accomodate it. You'll see what I mean on the first loaded set.

So load the bar with your normal 1 RM on a full range for the first set. This is just to get a feel for the exercise. I'm using 315 lbs on the bar in the demo here and like I said, my incline bench stinks.

Take your grip, tighten up your body, then press the bar off the rails to the lockout position.

High-Rep Incline Partials For Developing the Upper Chest

Lower the bar a little then pop it right back up. This is a short, fast pumping movement. We're looking to get as many reps as possible here. You don't have to worry much about form because the range of motion is so short. Just be sure your chest is puffed out and your core is rock solid.

Also, be sure you're using leg power to press your body back into the bench. If you lose tension in your legs, the weight will slide your body down the bench.

High-Rep Incline Partials For Developing the Upper Chest

I DO NOT recommend doing this partial training outside of a rack, on a regular incline bench. Too dangerous if you lose track of the bar. Stick to racks only here.

Be sure to watch the video on this one to get a feel for the tempo and the very short range of motion on the exercise.

Hammer out as many reps as you possibly can then set the bar down on the rails.

This exercise is a great way to increase connective tissue strength in the shoulder girdle and upper chest. It's also fun to be finally be able to throw around heavy weights on the incline bench :)

 


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