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Retrospective view on 2 years of Chest Expanders

Development in numbers

As I wrote in the article How everything started – Part 3, I got into Chest Expanders through Ratazong in April 2012.

My skepticism became great enthusiasm. Well, skepticism is too easy…I tried to talk myself into that Ratazongs strength has come from a secret source, Chest Expanders can’t unleash such power – because if they were able to do so, they would be much bigger they are. Some day I was ready to test strands (chest expanders), so I got myself an Elastikon Expander with 150kg of resistance.

Damn am I weak! I was training for years, not the average guy working out in the studio not gaining anything. Every training for me was about pushing myself to the maximum I was capable of and my PRs were ok (@110kg): 20 Pull Ups and 20 Ring Dips in a row.

This feeling was completely new to me. I was dominated by the chest expander, but I wanted to be the one dominating! After my first workout I felt put down, but also some kind of stronger, but the chest expander made me look weak, weaker than I felt before.

In the beginning I did one strands workout per week and two heavy BWE-workouts. The muscle soreness from my first workout made me have great repeat for my new favorite trainings equipment, that’s why I started slow. After about one month of training I switched to two workouts with the chest expander and one heavy BWE-workout with Pull Ups, Ring Dips and Pistols. That made my successes come even faster. After one year of Elastikon Expander I switched to the steel Expanderkrank Expander.

What a great piece of equipment!

How the first workout was? Brutal but satisfying! Read more about it: My first time.

How did I improve since the beginning?

I got stronger and although I don’t practice Pull Ups and Ring Dips anymore, my max reps are still around 20.

Let me try to put it all in numbers.

My first training (June 2012) – back then I did 3 Rounds

18 – 60kg – Lateral Raise
32 – 60kg – Front Chest Pull
34 – 60kg – Chest Press
37 – 60kg – One Arm Press
32 – 60kg – Military Press
23 – 90kg – Biceps Curl
45 – 60kg – Back Press
45 – 60kg – Overhead Downward Pull (back)

My first workout with the Expanderkrank Steel Expander (February 2013)

8,7 – 3 springs – Lateral Raise
16,15 – 4 springs – Biceps Curl (easy)
8,8 – 4 springs – Military Press
7,7 – 4 springs – Front Chest Press
15,16 – 5 springs – One Arm Press

7,10 – 4 springs – Chest Press
7,10 – 5 springs – Overhead downward Pull (front)
12,15 – 5 springs – Biceps Curl (heavy)
10,13 – 5 springs – Overhead Downward Pull (back)
6,6 – 6 springs – Back Press

What I’m able to pull now (March 2014)

9,9 – 4 springs – Lateral Raise
18,18 – 7 springs – Towel Hammer Curls
5,5 – 6 springs – Military Press
5,5 – 6 springs – Front Chest Press
17,17 – 7 springs – Back Press

6,5 – 6 Fprings – Chest Press
7,6 – 7 springs – Overhead downward Pull (front)
20,19 – 7 springs – Biceps Curl
19,18 – 7 springs – Overhead Downward Pull (back)
20,19 – 7 springs – One Arm Press

It’s a pity I can’t calculate the percentage I improved. The only thing I can use are the reps of BWE I can do and those did not change even though I don’t train them anymore.

Some pictures on how my body developed from BWE to Chest Expander Training.

Bodytransformation

Bodytransformation

What will come next?

I will continue doing two workouts of chest expander per week. Because I never grew stronger and improved in so many different areas in my life. It’s also interesting, that there is no finish in sight, even though I maxed the chest expander in spring count, I keep improving.

When I have the time I’ll try a two week only chest expander workout I have in mind, but more about that later.

Ratazong will present new exercises that will keep the results coming.

For me it is important to keep track on my training, see what from where I’m coming and where I’m going. That’s the only way how I can see how I improved, if I get closer to my goal and what makes me improve.

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

– Kierkegaard

What learned from my improvements so far:

  1. Two Chest Expander Workouts per week are minimum!
  2. If you combine the right exercises you will improve more.
  3. Chest Expander will help you improve other lifts and exercises (Benchpress, Press, Pull Up, Push Up)
  4. I should make myself an eight spring Chest Expander…

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