Interested in building your chest muscles? Trying to get some ‘fly’ pecs for the summer on the beach, of just want to feel more at home in a tighter fitting t-shirt come Friday night? Many men (and some women too) are very intent on building up their chest muscles. There’s no question that the look of the barrel chest is a highly sought after goal of many men, and in this video review of the Total Gym (yes the one made famous by Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley) we’ll show you how you can get some really nice looking pecs using this home gym system.
As we indicated, many women also want to increase their chest muscle strength. While some may be looking for that bodybuilder look, there are also some really practical reasons that any women may want to increase their chest muscle strength (mind you, we’re discussing toning the muscles under the surface here- not getting big bulky showy chest muscles).
First, increasing chest strength actually helps with a lot of normal day-to-day activities and can help prevent common injuries. Stronger chest muscles help increase the stability of your shoulders. You use this combination of chest/shoulder strength in lots of common day-to-day activities such as lifting objects (kids, groceries, cleaning up after kids and “big kids” aka: husbands) and throwing (playing ball with your kids, or perhaps if you’re an athlete and play softball, volleyball, etc).
Increasing chest strength (as with all strength training) can also contribute significantly to weight loss. The more muscle you have the more your metabolism will burn fat. It’s simple, straight forward math.
According to Pete Sisco, an internationally renowned weight lifting and fitness expert, in his great e-book Static Contraction:
“Many women have a latent fear of building muscle. They worry they will get “bulky” or “muscle bound” if they do workouts engineered to gain muscle. Most people, men and women, who visit a gym say they just want to lose fat and tone up. Those are the two terms I hear most often.
The fact is, adding a little more muscle to your frame accomplishes both objectives of fat loss and “toning up”! And gaining muscle has long term benefits that aerobic training can’t match.
Muscle is considered “active tissue” because it requires energy to sustain itself. That’s great news...because that energy comes from burning calories 24 hours a day, 365 days a year! Every pound of muscle you add burns up to 60 calories per day. Every day! “
The Total Gym system actually offers the ability to do a great variety of chest strength building activities. For men who want to add some shape and bulk as well as for women who want to add some tone and more subtle strength, the Total Gym offers a way to do that in the comfort of your home on a machine that folds up like an ironing board and can be stored in your closet.
(Should you opt for a Total Gym system, we recommend you get the Total Gym XLS model. It has a more solid construction that the other two models commercially available, and it also has much greater versatility. In our humble opinion, it’s probably worth the additional investment- and you can easily cancel your gym membership once you pick one up).
Here are a sample of the chest strength building exercises you can do using your Total Gym system:
Seated Chest Press (bench press): There are a lot of variations you can quickly shift between such as shoulder width grip (that works the inside pectoral muscles), a wide grip (that works the outside pectoral muscles). Depending on how you hold the cables, you can also emphasize the include chest press (upper chest muscles) or the decline chest press (lower chest muscles).
Seated Chest Fly (Pectoral Flys): As with the above, you can easily emphasize the upper chest muscles (incline flys) or the lower chest muscles (decline flys).
Incline Push Up- The Total Gym makes it easy to ‘super-set’ your workout by switching from one of the aforementioned exercises to an incline pushup. If you’re creative, you can also work your abs while you do this by using the glide board to do ‘plank’ style abdominal strengthening exercises.
Lateral Chest Fly- Similar to the seated chest fly exercise, this exercise is a variation of the pectoral chest fly exercise that simply works each side of the chest separately and with higher intensity. Check out the video which shows all these using the Total Gym:
Click here to read more about the Total Gym XLS as well as a comparison of the different Total Gym models. If you are looking to buy a Total Gym, make sure to click on the following banner to get 10% off.