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For Maximum Chest Mass, You Need to Apply Maximum Tension to the Pecs...Use Heavy High-Tension Cable-Dumbell Bench Press

 

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When it comes to building muscle, achieving maximum TENSION is huge...especially continuous tension.

And that's where this Hybrid exercise combination for your chest comes in. You'll be combining two forms of resistance into one exercise in order to keep FULL tension on the pecs from start to finish and all the way through.

It's an incredibly effective way to train because your muscles literally get NO break all the way through.

The two exercises we'll be combining for chest are Dumbell Bench Press and Cable Flyes.

The "money" part of the dumbell bench press is from the bottom to just about halfway up. Once you get the dumbells past this point, the tension tends to drop off and once you get to the top, it's almost nothing.

With the cable flye, it's the opposite...you have very little resistance in the bottom half of the movement. Once you pass the halfway point, THEN the resistance kicks in and hits maximum when your hands are coming together above you.

So you can see where I'm going with this...

By combining the two exercises, you're putting tension on the pecs from start to finish and all point in between. It is ridiculously effective (and brutal!).


Here's how to set it up and do Cable-Dumbell Bench Press...

I recommend using a couple of ankle harnesses for this, if you've got them. You can attach them to the low pulleys and just slip your hands through. This will attach the cables directly to your arms.

If you don't have harnesses, you can also loop the cable directly around the dumbell handle and clip it back onto itself or you can hold both the cable handle and the dumbell handle in your hand at the same time (that's the toughest way to go and not recommended for use with heavy weight).

You can also use a couple of bands instead of pulleys, if you don't have a cable cross-over machine at your disposal. Just hitch the bands out wide to either side of the bench hold the ends in your hands (or looped around your wrists).

Set the bench up in between the cable stacks and set the dumbells on the floor in front. I normally recommend going fairly moderate in weight with the dumbells, however in this session, I decided to go heavy and focus on power.

The nice about this setup is, even when you DO go heavy, because of the setup with the cables, the tension stays on even when you go heavy and try to press fast...it just makes the exercise that much harder and more effective to do. I'm using a couple of 105 lb dumbells here, with about 40 lbs on the cable stacks.

So first, put your wrist through the left loop.

Getting Into position for Cable Dumbell Bench Press for Maximum Chest Tension and Pec Mass

Then step over and get your other wrist through the right loop.

Positioning for other side for Cable Dumbell Bench Press for Maximum Chest Tension and Pec Mass

Sit on the end of the bench and grab the dumbells.

Picking up dumbells for Cable Dumbell Bench Press for Maximum Chest Tension and Pec Mass

Pick them up and rest them on your thighs.

Dumbells on thighs for Cable Dumbell Bench Press for Maximum Chest Tension and Pec Mass

Now lay back on the bench, bringing the dumbells with you.

Laying back on bench for Cable Dumbell Bench Press for Maximum Chest Tension and Pec Mass

The dumbells are now in the bottom position of the bench press...this is the maximum tension position for the dumbell press and the minimum tension for the cable flyes (though they are still exerting some degree of outward pull that you have to counteract, so it's not totally zero).

Bottom position for Cable Dumbell Bench Press for Maximum Chest Tension and Pec Mass

Now press up with POWER. You'll notice as you press to the top, it actually gets harder, instead of easier (which is normally what happens with a dumbell press as you come to the top).

Top position for Cable Dumbell Bench Press for Maximum Chest Tension and Pec Mass

The cables add a lot more tension to the exercise as you press up and bring the dumbells together over you...and they don't stop.

Your pecs will get NO rest and the continuous tension will absolutely light them up.

Now, with this particular exercise, you can also do a literal drop set with the dumbells, setting them down and continuing on with just the cable flyes to really max out the exercise.

I would recommend doing this only on the last set of the exercise that you're going to do for the day because of how challenging this will be to the pecs. Think of it as a built-in finisher.

No dumbells - bottom

No dumbells - top

I would definitely recommend you give this one a try on your next chest day...you will only need to do 2 to 4 sets of this, depending on how much weight you use.

When you're doing it for the first time, go a lot lighter than this but as you figure the exercise out, don't be afraid to try going heavy. It's an eye-opener and it will blast your chest like nothing you've ever felt before.

If you're interested in more combined-resistance exercises like this for the rest of your body, check out my book "Hybrid Training."

It'll really help you take your training to a whole new level, using multiple forms of resistance to better adapt to the strength curves of exercises and change the direction of resistance to better apply tension to the target muscles. It's amazingly powerful stuff.


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