Top 5 Chest-Training Mistakes & How to Correct Them

#3 Overreliance on machines

While too many bodybuilders do too many sets of benches, there is another group that goes to the other extreme–they rarely grab barbells or dumbbells on chest day. Most modern gyms have a plethora of press and flye machines, but resist the urge to form the bulk of your routine around mechanical movements. Despite modern advantages, the best chests of Arnold’s era still compare favorably with the pecs in recent Olympia pose-downs. Why? Then, pecs were worked almost exclusively with free weights.


  • Do mostly free-weight and body-weight basics.
  • Do no more than half of your chest exercises with machines.
  • If you do mechanical presses, try to choose a unilateral Hammer Strength, FreeMotion or similar machine that approximates the freedom of free weights.
  • If you’re not strong enough to get eight bodyweight reps while dipping, use a dip assist machine to lighten your load. (This doesn’t count as a machine exercise.)

Prev3 of 4Next