Everyone loves working their chest right? From the infamous LDNMuscle ChestSunday, to pretty much everybody starting their training week, the story is the same, everyone is chasing the dream- upper chest! Lets face it you need it in order to get that truly aesthetic look.
The guillotine press is one of my new favourite chest exercises. It’s brilliant and injects well deserved variation. The benefits include an outstanding pump and a true isolation of the upper part of the chest, without over activation of the shoulders. This is not to say it’s a “new” exercise, it’s an old school movement said to be made popular by the “Iron Guru” himself Vince Gironda.
Basically and simply speaking, the Guillotine press is a bench press movement, bringing the bar down to your neck, instead of the middle/lower chest.
Follow the below for execution of this movement – but remember, this isn’t a typical power movement, technique is very important with this, more so than the weight you are pushing. Your shoulders are at a very compromising angle, so be sure to use control and weight in moderation as you can cause yourself injury if you don’t execute this correctly.
First off, I recommend using a smith machine for this exercise. This allows you to have full support throughout the movement & the added safety of being able to stop the bar coming down on your neck. Ensure you have a spotter there with you too!
Shrug your shoulders up and keep your elbows outwards. Use an empty bar to get the angle so when the weight comes down, it does so across your neck area. My suggestion, and how I find this to work best, is when the bar is just about on the top of your Adams apple. Be very slow on the way down, and pause at the neck for a second before pressing back up to the top of the movement.
Try doing 10-20 of these to really warm up, then slowly increase the weight as you feel the tension
My preferred way of completing this exercise is as follows:
- 1st set 15-20 reps, regular paced, one second pause at the bottom of the movement.
- 2nd set, increase the weigh, 3 second downward movement, 1 second pause at the bottom, one second to move up and zero at the top (3110) 10-15 reps
- 3rd, 4th &5th set, same speed of movement as the 2nd set, but, aim for failure/exhaustion at 8-12 rep range
Enjoy and feel the pain develop over the coming days.