Burns for Chest Size

Hi James,

You've helped me from the very beginning with my mass-gain goals. Thanks a million! I've gone from 90kg (200 lbs) to 108 kg (240 lbs), and everything is going well. Haven't got your 4th book yet, but X-mas is just around the corner. and my wife usually asks if I want anything in particular ;)

You recently pointed me to the Arm Assault program, which I used in a competition with my work mates. They all chickened out at the last moment, but my training wasn't wasted: I went from 15 and a half to almost 17 inch arms in short time. It gave me some very satisfying results after a period of stagnation!

So I wanted to ask if it is a good idea to go through periods of "focus" on particular muscle groups, perhaps even your weak points: e.g. focus 3 months on A, then focus 3 months on B, etc. In particular, can you recommend a chest specialization program? My chest has always been my weak point, and I'd like to improve it.

I've always found the barbell bench press frustrating due to my long arms. Do others have this problem? After much experimenting I found I needed a wider grip being reasonably tall. [I'm also] having trouble finding the optimum spot. I know it's somewhere around nipple level or an inch or two below, yet I still can't seem to "find" it. So I'd like to focus on the chest for a while, to get it right and make some gains.

Finally, is it a case of "once an ectomorph, always an ectomorph?" Whilst that weird word certainly described me in the beginning (thin chest, hard to gain weight, didn't eat enough, trained a lot of pyramid sets). I guess I'm not an ectomorph anymore at 240 lbs. One of the trainers at a Muay Thai school in Thailand was certainly amused that my "teep" (front-kick to the stomach) could propel him right across the ring and back onto the ropes. I guess he weighed 130 lbs.


My Answer: Yes it's a good idea to engage in a specialization routine to bring up a lagging muscle group. In your case it is the chest. If you look in Volume One, then you'll find a chapter on chest training. The chapter lists the most effective chest exercises, and one of those exercises is the Guillotine press. For size, the optimal spot on the chest in which to lower the bar is not the nipple line or below it, but above it. This means you'll have to use less weight, but this is a better way to perform the bench press to get added thickness in the chest.

Because you have long arms, you should do some partials or "burns" on the Guillotine press. You should have a spotter, perform 6-10 full range reps short of failure, then perform burns or partial reps at the bottom range of the Guillotine press. Focus on getting a good stretch. This will thicken your chest fairly quickly.

By the way, for those of you who bought my books and like what you got, please write a review for each of them on Amazon. I'd greatly appreciate it!
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