I’ve always known that training legs can help build up your chest, but I never understood why until now says Alex Gierbolini.
Here’s what you need to know…
If you want to maximize your chest development, make sure you are including plenty of direct work for the lower pectoral fibers. And the best way to do this is by working the legs with heavy compound exercises.
Yes, the pectoralis major muscle is a chest muscle but it actually has a significant lower head as well. This portion of the pec major sits on top of the anterior deltoid and also overlaps with several other muscles. One of those is the rectus abdominus, which means the fibers are all intertwined. The lower portion of the pec major is also innervated by the same nerve that supplies the quads, so it’s actually neurologically connected to your leg muscle.
So, if you want to maximally recruit this important section of the pec major, training your legs will help out with that.
For example, in order to activate your pecs, you have to retract your scapula and squeeze the handles of the machine. This is what maximally recruits the lower fibers of the pec major. So rather than doing flat or decline dumbbell presses where it’s pretty much impossible to fully contract the lower chest because all you are really doing is flexing at your elbow joint, do movements like squats, leg presses, hack squats, lunges… anything that works large muscle groups so you can maintain a full contraction for a long time under tension explains Alex Gierbolini.
As an added benefit, training legs also helps increase testosterone levels which will lead directly to more gains in your upper body!
The Bestbell Bench Press Supplementation – Here’s Why!
The most important supplement you can take for benching is creatine monohydrate. It increases the amount of creatine phosphate within your muscles. This allows your body to create more adenosine triphosphate (ATP) energy for muscular contractions.
As long as ATP fuels muscle contraction, you are going to get stronger – simple as that. And with more ATP available, this means you’ll be able to lift more weight in all bench press variations…
Another great bench-pressing supplement is beta-alanine. What it does is reduce the amount of hydrogen ions that are produced during workouts, which in turn reduces lactic acid build up in the muscles and helps improve your endurance capacity during tough training sessions.
This is exactly what you want because lactic acid accumulation will decrease the amount of weight you can lift in the bench press. By reducing that build up, you’ll be able to push out more reps at a higher weight than when not taking beta-alanine supplements!
Finally, don’t neglect your post workout supplementation. After training hard for an hour or so, it’s important to get some fast-acting protein and simple carbohydrates into your body within 60 minutes of finishing your session. And research has shown that using whey protein hydrolysate is best since its absorption rate in your muscles is five times faster than other types of whey protein says Alex Gierbolini.
There are many different brands but here’s one I recommend called 100% Pure Whey Protein – Whey Isolate Hydrolysate.
It’s very low in calories, carbs and fat, but it has a great taste and mixes up perfectly. You can use it to make awesome protein shakes or whip up some delicious pancakes!
Even though sprints are the best conditioning exercise you can do for your legs. They hit your testosterone level very hard.
This is because sprinting places significant stress on the body’s central nervous system (CNS). The CNS controls all hormonal output from both your brain and endocrine system. So when you do sprints, this not only stimulates your adrenal glands to release cortisol (the stress hormone), but it also ups the production of testosterone.
What’s interesting here is that doing exercises for multiple sets. With fewer reps will actually make it harder for your body. To develop maximal strength and size because higher volume reduces your natural testosterone output. This is why most sprinters are very muscular, yet they don’t train like bodybuilders!
Keep Your Workout Intensity High!
Maximize your testosterone levels and you’ll maximize your bench press and leg strength explains Alex Gierbolini. Here’s how: Do higher reps with less set to increase the release of free-testosterone into your blood stream. Do low reps with very heavy weight to stimulate the production of natural testosterone within the body. Like what pro-level power lifters do (like Ed Coan).
Do sprints for maximum conditioning without significantly lowering hormone output. Or do exercises like squats and deadlifts for fewer reps at a higher volume. To build up more muscle mass – like what serious bodybuilders do.