When two guys try to one-up each other, one question always arises: How much can you bench?
There’s a reason the bench press gets so much love in weight lifting circles.
There’s nothing more impressive than a large, well-defined chest.
But gym-goers are leaving gains on the table by focusing on weight training.
That’s because heavy resistance bands are the most effective way to build the pectorals.
Enter X3 training using the X3 Bar. This portable home exercise system features multi-layered resistance bands, a ground plate, and a 23.5-inch steel alloy bar. X3 allows users to perform highly effective muscle-building movements, including the squat, deadlift, and chest press.
With heavy resistance bands, it takes just two exercises to get a comprehensive chest workout. With the X3 Bar, you can expect to build a significantly larger chest in less time than it would take using free weights or machines.
More efficient. More effective. That’s X3 training.
One of the best ways to build muscle is through variable resistance training, and the best tools for variable resistance training are heavy resistance bands.
By increasing time under tension and allowing for progressive overload—two important terms we’ll explain later—heavy resistance bands can help you build a massive chest without the need for a gym membership or expensive weight-lifting equipment.
Resistance Band Chest Workouts
Despite conventional wisdom, you don’t need to spend hours bench pressing if you want to build a big chest. Heavy resistance bands can get the job done in far less time.
Let’s be clear; we’re not talking about 30-pound tube bands from Amazon.
Those won’t accomplish much, other than hanging plants from your ceiling.
The resistance should be so great that you can only get through one set of 15–40 repetitions.
Before explaining why heavy resistance bands are the ideal chest builder, let’s get into the science.
The Anatomy of the Chest Muscles
Your chest consists of several muscles1, but two are more important than the rest. The pectoralis major and pectoralis minor are the main contributors to building a large chest.
Therefore, understanding how to best target these muscles will allow you to achieve the chest gains you so desperately want.
Using the X3 Bar to Target Chest Muscles
Those who value convenience will be happy to hear that with X3, you only need to perform two exercises to build a bigger chest. Those exercises are:
Chest press — Using the X3 bands and bar to target the pecs,triceps, and deltoids. Pec crossover — Using the X3 bands alone to mimic a cable crossover’s motion, but with constant tension.
The chest press is a foundational exercise for increasing chest strength and size. The banded pec crossover can be considered optional, but adding it after a resistance band chest press will further target and fatigue your pectoral muscles.
The result? A bigger, more muscular chest.
Combining these two exercises gives you an at-home chest workout that will make weight-throwing mortals weep with envy.
How the X3 Builds a Big Chest
There are a few reasons why the X3 Bar and heavy resistance bands are more effective than weights at building muscle.
The main reason has to do with variable resistance.
Variable resistance is a resistance training method in which the weight changes as you move through each range of motion.
In a study of college baseball players2, those who used variable resistance training gained strength more quickly than those who used traditional weights.
More importantly, those using variable resistance training also experienced less stress on their shoulder joints.
Since a chest workout with heavy resistance bands reduces pressure on the joints, it also limits injuries.
Resistance bands reduce the risk of injury and allow athletes to lift heavier and for extended periods. No time is wasted on nursing injuries.
Lifting heavier for longer ensures total muscle fatigue, which promotes hypertrophy—the driving force behind muscle growth.
Put simply, greater fatigue leads to greater gains.
Why Bench Press is So Ineffective
The bench press is a mainstay in the lifting community, but it’s not the best way to build chest strength. Significant drawbacks include the potential for injury and the inherent limitations of weight lifting regarding muscle growth and strength gains.
Common Bench Press Injuries
A traditional bench press places immense stress on the lifter’s joints. This stress leads to numerous injuries3 related to overuse or trauma from sudden forceful movements.
The body parts most likely to be damaged from a bench press are:
- Lower back
Variable resistance reduces injury by naturally easing resistance when the body’s in its weakest, most joint-compromised position.
Using a bar with your bands further reduces the risk. The X3 Bar was designed to interface with heavy bands. Try to work out with strong bands directly, which could damage tendons and joints.
However, reducing the chance of injury isn’t the only reason to say goodbye to the bench press. Resistance bands also lead to greater gains.
Resistance bands protect your joints in the weak range but challenge you more in the strong range. Resistance increases as your body position gets stronger, maximizing your muscle-building potential.
With X3, you fail in the strong range first, the opposite of weight-lifting. Instead of calling it quits or yelling for a spotter, you’ll move into the medium range for partial reps.
As a result, you’ll reach complete fatigue faster and trigger muscle growth sooner.
Bands Allow for Progressive Overload
A heavy resistance band chest workout effectively builds the chest because it allows for progressive overload. Progressive overload is a strength-building tactic that requires a gradual increase in weight, frequency, or number of repetitions in your strength training routine. It allows for more significant strength gains and muscle growth.
You can incorporate progressive overload in your X3 resistance band training by:
- Increasing Repetitions—As explained above, a band allows you to keep working in your strong range, even when you can no longer complete the full range of motion. Increase your repetitions within a set by performing partial movements until you can’t move at all. Be sure to maintain tension at the bottom and top of each exercise.
- Changing to a band with more resistance—Once you hit 40 repetitions with one resistance band, it’s time to swap it out for a heavier band. This is preferred over multiple sets or going beyond 40 reps.
- Increasing time under tension—Perform slow repetitions— count two seconds up and two seconds down. This increases time under tension—the amount of time a muscle is activated during an exercise set.
Using one or all three of these methods ensures you get the most out of your heavy resistance band chest workout.
The Limitations of Push-Ups
To avoid the injuries and limitations associated with the bench press, many people choose to do push-ups instead. Push-ups are a useful exercise, but they come with limitations as well.
The most obvious limitation of push-ups is the weight. With a simple push-up, you cannot lift more than your body weight. Adding weight onto your back or performing push-ups with resistance bands can be dangerous.
Similarly, some people opt for incline and decline presses as an alternative to bench pressing. Unfortunately, these movements also tend to overload your joints. And they have the same disadvantages as other isolation exercises.
The standard push-up requires wrist extension, which can cause cumulative damage to wrist joints, bones, and tendons. Add a band, dumbbell, or push-up bar to this movement and you’re further adding instability and risk.
Try Chest Workouts with Bands
There is no reason why you can’t build a massive chest at home. The key is to take advantage of the variable resistance offered by a heavy resistance band chest workout.
If you want to know more about the benefits of using resistance bands to build a bigger chest (and why weightlifting is a waste of time), pick up a copy of Dr. John Jaquish’s best-selling book.
Within its pages, you’ll find all the science and research you need to convince you to drop the weights for good.
If you’re already sold on building a huge chest the right way, order your X3 Bar today.
Begin building the chest of your dreams.
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