Nick Nilsson is a professional fitness expert, personal trainer and prolific author best known for his cutting edge, don’t just think outside the box but invent a new box and think outside of that, training routines. In fact, that really seems to be his niche—researching and developing training programs that go directly against conventional muscle-building norms. Nick’s latest work focuses exclusively on the chest.
Like his other “best exercises you’ve never heard of” works, Best Chest Exercises is all about changing things up to “shock” your body into growth. It’s important to do that too because our bodies quickly adapt to our training routines. Muscle growth is the body’s response to the “stress” of lifting weights. As the body gets used to doing the same exercises, the stress that causes the muscles to grow, lessens. That’s why any bodybuilder that doesn’t regularly mix up his training regimen will hit a plateau and stop seeing gains. And that’s a an area where Nick has really learned to excel—introducing radically different approaches designed to “send your results through the roof,” as Nick puts it.
For those of us who like to dive right in, Nick gets right to the exercises. And he doesn’t just give you a few, but more than 50 different ones to choose from. What I especially like is that there really is something for everyone, regardless of your skill level or how strong you are.
The range of exercises he presents includes a nice mix of bodyweight, free weight, dumbbell and cable movements. Most of them can be done in just about any ordinary gym. For a few of them though, you may have invest a little money picking up a few things here and there, but really not much. In fact, looking through the necessary equipment, elastic training bands are about the only thing I see that might not be in some gyms. But they’re not very expensive and for the results you’ll get, well worth the small investment.
One of the things I really like about Nick’s style is that unlike some fitness authors, he makes it a point to really demonstrate the proper way to do all of the exercises in the book. Some guys are content to give you some vague instructions about what you ought to be doing and what happens is that since you don’t know the proper form, you wind up injured and out of commission. Not only does Nick demonstrate the movements in words and pictures, but he also includes links to videos that really help you capture the nuances of how to properly perform the movements.
Since there are too many different exercises to go through in an article, I’ll talk about just a few of them so you can get an idea of how Nick’s training approach really is radically different than the norm.
Let’s start with Ab Sling Flies, which is a bodyweight isolation movement. This exercise is a great example of Nick’s propensity to use equipment NOT for the purpose it was designed for. In fact, he says it’s his specialty. To do this exercise you’ll need an ordinary pair of ab slings, which you’ll find at nearly any gym. Nick shows us how to use the slings, a power rack and a weight bench to do an incredibly effective fly movement that’s like a pec deck but so much better.
A bit later, he introduces the Swiss Ball into the mix, providing demonstrations of how to do some really chest pumping movements using the ball with cables, bodyweight, dumbbells and even a barbell with plates. And although some of the exercises sound and look pretty complicated to perform, Nick uses clearly written instructions, illustrative pictures and video demonstrations you make sure that you’re using the proper form.
He does this though not just here, but throughout the entire book. In some areas—like the incline barbell bench press for example—he even takes the time to briefly discuss common issues or simple mistakes that we all make, showing how to avoid or overcome them to really maximize your gains.
He wraps up the book with a few longer articles that offer up some truly fantastic tips and tricks to really bring about some incredible gains. To wrap it up, I’ll say that is The Best Chest Exercises You’ve Never Heard of really is a great read that can really help you achieve the gains you want to see.
Another really cool thing about the eBook is that you can use it as plugin with whatever program you’re currently on. Let’s say you’re doing the Critical Bench program but you want to substitute something for incline dumbbell flyes. Just grab a killer exercise from Nick’s book and you don’t have redo your entire program. Just use his cool exercise ideas to modify what’s already working pretty for you. Change is good my friend, so mix up your exercises!
Have you tried any of Nick’s Chest exercises? If so leave a comment below and share your experience.