There are three parts of the body in which men are most keen on developing – the abs, the chest and the biceps. Mike Chang surely receives hundreds of emails on a regular basis asking how to hone in on these specific muscle groups, despite the fact that he’s produced over 200 YouTube videos showing how it’s done. Since these questions continue to arise, I’ve decided to write up my own Mike Chang bible of sorts, explaining exactly how Mike Chang got the chiseled abs, chest and biceps so many of you are striving for.
Getting ripped abs is the first thing most men try to accomplish when they start seriously working out. Thankfully, this is one thing we can all accomplish without going to the gym. Mike Chang says all you need to get ripped abs from home is a puny little dumbbell; 5 to 10 lbs should work just fine. He recommends three simple workouts you can do to get ripped abs. Each exercise takes only 30 seconds, with four rounds of each, no rest in between. That’s just six minutes of exercise per day to get totally ripped abs!
Weighted Crunch: This is a basic crunch exercise. Sit on the floor with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor. Lay back with the dumbbell behind your neck, holding onto to each end of it. Do as many crunches as you can in 30 seconds. Try to get your shoulder blades completely off the floor with each crunch, but don’t sit all the way up. Remember, it’s a crunch, not a sit-up.
Russian Lift: Sit on the floor with your knees bent in the same basic crunch position, holding the weight in your hands above your abdomen. Move your arms from side to side, almost touching the floor on each side with your knuckles. For maximum gain, lift your feet about one inch off the ground so that your weight is balanced on your buttocks. Again, do this as many times as you can for 30 seconds.
Elevated Leg Lift: You won’t need the dumbbell for this one. Starting lying down in a basic crunch position, you’re going to bend your knees up to your abdomen, then lift your legs straight up into the air, lifting your lower back completely off of the floor and straight up with your legs. Only the very top of your shoulders and head should stay on the ground. Use your elbows for balance as needed. Each time your legs come back down, bend your knees back down as well, but keep your feet an inch or two off the floor if possible. Don’t swing yourself up and down. Make sure to use your ab muscles to get the job done. Repeat for 30 seconds.
One very common question that Mike Chang addressed on his Six Pack Shortcuts YoutTube Channel was how to get that chiseled definition in the chest area. Chang says the number one way to get the most prominent shape in the pectoral area is to lower your body fat percentage, which means eating the right foods and cutting out saturated fats so that every time you work out, you are gaining muscle and losing fat at the same time. Too much saturated fat in your diet means your workouts might be burning off the fat you are consuming, but not that fat your body already entertains.
The best exercise for getting a ripped chest involves using cable extensions. Mike says that cables are much more effective than bench presses, double presses, push-ups etc. Here’s a brief overview of the proper way to use a cable extension at the gym.
The cables should be set at just a little more than shoulder width, a few inches at most. Grab the cables and pull them in front of your body, between the chest and abdomen. Take a large step forward, then extend your arms with your wrists together, almost touching. Make sure to get down low on your forward step. Once your arms are fully extended, turn your palms face up and move your hands out to your sides, slowly letting your arms go straight back behind you. Keep your chest out as much as possible. Pull your arms back to the front and turn your wrists back in, almost touching them together. Repeat this process for 10-15 reps.
Each time you pull your arms back to the front, you are stretching the chest, building the inner muscles, developing the pecks and creating that defined center line of separation in the middle of the chest. Make certain that you are using your chest muscles in the workout, not relying solely on the strength of your arms to pull the cables. Add more weight if necessary, but don’t use so much weight that you can’t get in at least 10 reps per set.
Mike says the key to building big bicep muscles is pretty obvious – curls. However, to get uniform definition of the arm muscles, it’s also important to work on the triceps. Otherwise your arms end up looking like something out of a Popeye cartoon. When working them out evenly, your triceps will actually grow larger than your biceps, so if you want major muscular definition in your arms, both muscle groups need equal attention.
Biceps: To build the biceps, use an easy curl bar or a straight bar. The easy curl bar is recommended because the biggest problem is people not knowing exactly where to place their hands on the bar to get the best bicep workout. For the proper form, your arms should be straight down, with your wrists just close enough not to touch your hips. The elbows should be pointed back, right alongside your waist; never bent outwards away from the body. Push your chest out and tuck your elbows in. Slowly pull the bar straight up, and slowly back down again.
To get the most out of your workout, do drop sets. That means starting with a large amount of weight, spread evenly between three or more weights on each side of the bar. Do as many reps as you can with the heaviest amount of weight, then drop it down by removing one weight from each side. Again, do as many reps as you can, then drop another weight from each side. You can take it right down to nothing but the bar, and if you’ve truly done as many reps as you can with each weight level, you will still feel the burn when curling nothing but the bar.
Triceps: To build your triceps, you need to do close grip bench presses. That means you’ll be pressing weights inside the width of your shoulders. Mike advises everyone that close grip bench presses can be rough on the wrists, so make sure to use a grip that is as comfortable as possible for you. Try twisting your wrists to the left or right, or separating your fingers a little. If it still causes strain, move your arms out more. Be careful not to go out too far or you will be putting more focus on the chest muscles than the triceps.
Skull Crushers are also great for triceps. These are done lying on a flat or inclined bench, lifting the bar over your chest, then bending your elbows to bring it down above your head. Despite the name skull crushers, it’s not a good idea to lower the bar directly over your forehead. Instead, do it just above your head. It’s safer and gives you a better range of motion, resulting in a more effective workout.