Thursday, November 1, 2018

Chest/Shoulder Tie-In Routine - Ernest P. Cottrell

Originally Published in This Issue (October '63)

More Ernest Cottrell articles here:
Squat Proficiency Routine - 
Beginner's Advanced Arm Routine: 

Bob Warner

Bob Warner, that young muscular marvel who has appeared in "Physical Power" in the past, demonstrates the two exercises that are primarily responsible for shoulder and chest "tie-in" - these two regions working together to form a COMPLETE muscular union, both in physical development and performance.

Bodybuilders will experience a rapid development of FULLNESS in this area that will "finish" upper chest development and add greatly to their chest size and appearance. Athletes will find that exercise in this inclined position closely approximates many sports movements such as shot-putting, javelin throw, football, gymnastics, discus, baseball pitching, boxing, and tennis.

Note: this was during the time that coaches were using resistance exercises that mimicked the movements of specific sports. We are so much schmarter now, right?

Also, greater "vital capacity" (the ability to inspire more oxygen-laden air into the lungs) will be developed for superior endurance and recuperation while engaged in sports activities. 


First, we have the Barbell Incline Press, an excellent power building press movement. Bob is shown using a handspacing that is somewhat wide. Some people prefer a slightly closer grip; experiment with the grip until you find one that allows you to use maximum weight. Start with the barbell at the chest. Take a deep breath, then in a smooth manner proceed to press the 'bell up to arms' length overhead while exhaling completely, hold only a moment, then lower to the starting position, taking another deep breath; repeat. Perform this movement rapidly, but smoothly; don't jerk the bar up.

The second movement is the Dumbbell Incline Flye. This is an excellent movement for chest and shoulder tie-in development, rib-cage stretching to aid vital capacity and for coordination; each arm independent and working the chest and shoulder muscles from compound angles not to be had from a barbell alone.

Bob shows the low position. This varies with each individual; some go very low, others won't. Start with the dumbbells at arms' length overhead, palms forward, then bend the elbows slightly and proceed to lower the 'bells as far as possible while inhaling deeply. Hold a moment, then exhale while raising the dumbbells to the starting position in a smooth, rhythmic manner. Stress the breathing here. DON'T PERFORM THIS EXERCISE RAPIDLY.

Weights Used

In the Incline Barbell Press use a weight that will allow you to perform: athletes 6 reps, bodybuilders 8 reps, then work up until you can perform: athletes 10, bodybuilders 12 reps. Add weight as soon as you are able.


Athletes: do 4 sets of the prescribed reps in the Barbell Incline Press, resting about 3 minutes between sets. After all 4 sets of this exercise are completed, rest about 5 minutes, then start the Dumbbell Flyes. Perform 4 sets of the prescribed number of reps, resting 2 minutes between sets.

Bodybuilders: do 5 sets of each exercise. The exercises won't be separated as in the athletes routine. The incline press will ALTERNATE with the flyes. Do one set of presses, rest 2 minutes, do one set of the flyes, rest 2 minutes, another set of presses . . . etc., until all 5 sets of both exercises are completed. This is a rough routine, so start easy and work up as your strength and endurance increases. (Note: because the flyes can strongly exhaust the chest/shoulders, you may have to adjust the pressing weights as you proceed through the sets in order to keep within the rep range. Or not. Tough guy.) Add this to your regular chest routine for chest specialization, or use it in place of your regular chest routine for a change of pace workout.

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