Kolumne 3 | Pectoralis-Problem - Demo-Frey-Nutrition

Column 3 | Pectoralis problem


Column 03 - Pectoralis Problem
I am 24 years old and have been doing strength and endurance training for a long time. I don't go to the gym because I have the necessary equipment at home. I train my entire body several times a week according to a plan I created myself. But I'm not really getting anywhere with building up my upper and lower chest muscles. Can you give me a few useful tips to help me build the muscle I want?


Andreas Frey answers
Just to avoid a common misunderstanding: Many bodybuilders make the mistake of dividing the chest into upper and lower muscles. The fact is, however, that there is no such thing as upper or lower muscles. There is only one chest muscle, which can definitely be divided into an upper and a lower area.

TIP 1:

If you look around the gyms these days, you will quickly notice that most athletes have excellent development of the lower chest area but insufficient development of the upper chest area.

Training for the chest muscles
The reason for this is obvious: when training the chest muscles, people usually start with flat bench presses out of habit and then switch to incline bench presses for the second exercise. However, since flat bench presses mainly stimulate the lower area and training on the incline bench includes both the lower and upper areas, it is easy to see why many bodybuilders have good lower chest development but are often dissatisfied with the upper area.

I noticed this phenomenon many years ago. And it is precisely for this reason that I decided to stop doing flat bench presses and only include incline bench presses as a basic exercise in my training plan. I recommend the same to you, because with incline bench presses (on the multi-press, on the machine or with the free barbell) you cover both areas of the large pectoralis muscle. This not only saves you time, but also energy for subsequent exercises.

"I have been successfully following the principles of the Hatfield system for over 15 years." (Quote: A. Frey)

TIP 2:

There are two types of muscle fibers, both of which must be stimulated in order to make progress: the slow-twitch fibers (type I), which determine the endurance capacity of the muscles, and the fast-twitch fibers (type II), which are of great importance to the bodybuilder because their muscle cells can hypertrophy extremely.

Incline bench press for optimal chest development
Only if both types are activated equally can muscle mass be gained and muscular endurance performance increased.

You can achieve both through periodization or - which is much more efficient - through a "holistic training system" that I developed ten years ago and have been using successfully ever since.

This system is based on principles developed by Dr. Fred Hatfield and is, in my opinion, the most efficient training concept for improving muscle mass and endurance equally and simultaneously.

Incline bench presses have decisive advantages over the flat bench version.


I would like to briefly explain the holistic training system using chest training as an example. However, it can also be applied to any other muscle group, large or small, without restriction.

I recommend that you do a total of eleven sets (ten work sets and one "pumping set") and vary the number of repetitions according to the system: starting with a few repetitions with heavy weight and ending with many repetitions with light weight. This ensures that both the FT fibers (which generally grow best with heavy weight) and the ST fibers (which are developed most efficiently with many repetitions with lighter weight) are stimulated equally. The program should therefore look like this:

  • three sets of incline bench presses with 4 to 8 reps each
  • three sets of dumbbell incline bench presses with 8 to 12 reps each
  • two sets on the butterfly machine with 15 reps each
  • two sets of cable crossovers with 20 WH each
  • a reduction set of cable crossovers with a maximum of 50 WH
Holistic training is a clear option!
The last set is the pump set, which is performed without a break immediately after the second work set of crossovers. It consists of two to three cadences with decreasing weights that take you up to 50 repetitions. If you manage to achieve the specified repetition maximum in one set, you increase the weight by two and a half to five kilos in the next workout.

Through this training concept, you will achieve holistic muscle building, which is based on the hypertrophy of the FT fibers on the one hand and on the improved endurance or capillarization of the ST fibers on the other.

I wish you much success in implementing this and promise you that the results will not be long in coming!

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