Top Gym Tips

What To Do On Push Day


Chest: Pec major consists of 2 heads, the clavicular & sternal head. The flat bench seems to be a foundational exercise to produce near max pec stimulation (Schick et al 2010, Pinto et al. 2013) with pec size being strongly correlated with 1RM bench press (Akagi et al. 2014) meaning heavy bench is a must. However, as the upper chest often lags behind, an incline at ~45deg may be of benefit as it has shown to elicit superior EMG activity vs other exercise variations/angles (Trebs et al 2010)

Delts: 3 heads, anterior, lateral & posterior all of which are composed of ~50:50% fast & slow twitch fibres thus to be trained using both high & low reps (Srinivasan et al 2007). To target all heads, front in particular, an incline press seems most optimal with greater inclines leading to greater EMG activation (Trebbs et al 2010). Type of press? Standing DB presses seem to be best at recruiting not only the anterior but side & rear head also (Saeterbakken et al 2013), likely due to the added stabilisation required. To then further “target” the lateral head and develop width, dumbbell or cable lateral raises have shown to be best (Botton et al 2013)

Triceps: As all 3 heads of the triceps (lateral, long & medial) have shown to be nearly maximally recruited in the flat bench (Barnett et al 1995) the addition of further compounds (such as a close grip bench) is likely unnecessary. Instead to finish a push day I advise the use of a pushdown (rope or bar) which will target the lateral head and an overhead extension (rope, bar, dumbbell) which will target the long head (Boeckh-Behrens & Buskies. 2000). For these, as your heavy work is done and your triceps will already be fatigued, you can adopt a higher rep range of anywhere from 8-12, of course still applying progressive overload