By Lonnie L. Henderson
T and A
Part 1: T – Chest the Ultimate Workout
I have seen the world and learned from other cultures thanks to a career of twenty-four years in entertainment. From performing at Kings Dominion theme park in Virginia to dancing on Norwegian cruise ships in the Caribbean, acting with the National Kabuki Theater of Japan to singing in Broadway musicals and U.S. National Tours; I have been a student of the world with its many different people and cultures. The one thing that seems to grab the attention of both men and women, gay or straight, regardless of culture is a nice chest (breast) and/or buttocks.
In this article I want to focus on the man’s chest and how its cleavage gets just as much attention from women and other men, as a woman with a great rack. So, how do you boost your social networking rating? Build and strengthen your Pectoralis muscles and watch heads turn as you walk by with chest held high and shoulders back with confidence. Your Internet profile with photos of the new you will see more traffic than a Los Angeles freeway during its all day “rush hour.”
First, here is a simple explanation or definition from www.Dictionary.com, of the body part Pectoralis Muscles; it’s “either of two muscles on each side of the upper and anterior part of the thorax, the action of the larger (pectoralis major) assisting in drawing the shoulder forward and rotating the arm inward, and the action of the smaller (pectoralis minor) assisting in drawing the shoulder downward and forward.” With that being said I want to offer my routine for building the “Pecs.”
It’s funny how I often catch men, straight and gay looking at my chest whenever I wear a V-neck t-shirt or while changing in the locker room. News alert! Men totally check out other men! It happened just the other day while shopping at Costco. A young man walked by and inflated his chest as he passed me. I just chuckled inside. I guess men have this innate desire to compare and need to feel equal to other men or maybe it’s just natural competitive human nature. Again, I experienced a man’s love for “Pecs” when I was working on a television show a few months ago. One of the actors, a very nice guy, commented on my chest as he reached out and started to rub and squeeze it. I know had I been a woman that action would have been grounds for sexual harassment, but I took it as a compliment. He mentioned always wanting a body like mine, especially the “Pecs,” but never could develop much muscle. In this article I will suggest some things that have helped me add muscle to my naturally thin frame.
However, I must first share one last “Pec Lover” experience, although there have been many throughout the years. While vacationing in the Mediterranean aboard the P&O Ventura Cruise ship, I was greeted in the steam room after an intense workout by an older, mildly sun burned British man. He was slightly overweight and extremely eloquent as he said, “I have seen you around the ship and you are so statuesque. Your presence is strong and impressive. How can I get my body like yours?” He continued to compliment me, my body and
my proportions. “I want a bigger chest and firm butt,” he said. Of course I gave him training advice and offered to workout with him during the vacation so that he would have an exercise prescription to employ when he returned home. “It would drive my wife crazy if I had a chest and ass like yours.” Again, I laughed inside when I learned that this married man had been looking at my ass; another “Pec Lover.” Men do check out other men whether straight or gay, so get ready to accept the attention from men and women when you tone, strengthen and build your T and A.
Let’s talk about simple approaches to firming, adding muscle and strengthening the aforementioned areas. I will always say, “warming up” your muscles is most important when exercising. I personally like to combine my warm-up with my cardiovascular exercise and I always take it easy. A low intensity walk or jog on the treadmill for twenty to thirty minutes will get the heart rate slightly elevated, prepare the body for exercise and ignite the fat burning process. On alternate days, I use the stair machine or Precor elliptical machine to add variety.
We will talk more about Cardiovascular Workouts and stretches for warming-up the body in later articles. Following my warm-up stretch I first, fatigue my pecs with “Chest Flies.” These can be done seated in a vertical position (using a stationary machine), laying on an incline or horizontal bench (with dumbbells). To add more variety to your chest flies use the cable machine and do cross-over flies. Cables are excellent for creating the lean ripped muscle look. I usually use light weights doing 12-20 repetitions to feel the burn in the muscle which is indication that you are striating or breaking down the tissue so the muscle builds and strengthen during its repair. This exercise will target the pectoralis minor muscle. Be sure to rest for 30 seconds to 1 minute between sets and complete 3-4 sets. You may rest longer and use heavier weight if you desire to create bulk or massive muscles. I prefer lengthened, flexible muscles that are lean looking. I find stretching between each set helps blood circulation, prepares the muscle for the next set and increases the range of motion for that muscle and its joints.
My favorite chest exercise is “Declined Military Style Push-ups.” If you can handle a second chest exercise during the same work out session, I suggest putting your legs up on a bench that is at least one foot high and angle your body down toward the ground in the push up position. I place my hands in a diamond or triangle shape just beneath my breast bone and complete 10-20 reps of decline push-ups. Again, you want to rest and stretch between sets and complete 3-4 sets. If you are unable to do the “Military” hand position, just use the traditional arm and hand position for push-ups. The benefits of doing Decline Military Style Push-ups (using the triangle hand position) are indirectly working your triceps and building the pectoralis major which will create a deeper more noticeable separation between each pec. These are great ways for men and women to build the desired “cleavage.”
If you are eager and want to see fast results add this third chest exercise to the same workout session as the above routine.
The basic “Bench Press” is done in a horizontal or vertical position with free weights or on a stationary Nautilus type machine; either way is affective. I do 20-30 repetitions with light to medium weight, keeping my abs tight and lower back connected with the bench. Once I start lifting the weight I do not rest at either the bottom or top of the chest press. I keep the motion continuous, fluid and not jerking at the elbows. Again, I complete 3-4 sets depending on my energy level that day and my schedule.
I try not to spend more than an hour and fifteen minutes in the gym including shower time and I work out 5-6 days a week.
Remember, I was a competitive athletic so my physical finish level may differ from yours. Working out 3-4 times a week, one hour per session, is considered good for the general public. I feel you would only need to do these chest exercises once or twice a week to see results and reap the benefits.
We will elaborate on the issue of A, or Butt next issue.
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