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Sets & Reps

Mario Mavrides BSc.
No stranger to controversy, Mario is devoted to finding the most efficient and practical ways to peak performance even if that means dismantling current training dogma.
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QUESTION: I watched an old video with a pro bodybuilder bench pressing with his feet crossed and raised in the air. What’s the point of this?

ANSWER: If there was ever something that made me want to point and yell “SHENANNIGANS” in a gym – it’s this! You see at some point this poor misinformed, burgeoning acrobat was likely told that balancing his legs above the bench would somehow translate into increased isolation of the pectorals. While I’m not certain what the rationale behind this pervasive myth is, I am certain it’s bull! To activate the maximum amount of muscle, you must generate as much force as possible. Greater neural input and drive usually translates to greater muscle fiber recruitment and activation, which in turn means maximum muscle growth. Basically, you have to focus all your energy on the targeted muscle and not waste any on balancing! How, pray tell, will you achieve maximum effort in your press if you’re expending neural energy to balance your ass on a narrow bench? You can’t! So, don’t even bother. Electromyography (EMG) studies have proven this. Therefore, don’t be a jackass, and put your feet on the floor where they belong. If you’re really interested in targeting your pecs, try this simple trick: Next time you slide under the bar, grip it as hard as you can and try to slide your hands together as you push. Thank me later!

For more information on some of the techniques described above visit www.muscleactivation.com.