Peary Rader

Peary Rader, ‘DEVELOPING THE CHEST CAVITY’, THE RADER MASTER BODYBUILDER AND WEIGHT GAINING SYSTEM (1946)

Perhaps no one of our bodily functions is more important than breathing. We can live a long time without food and a considerable time without water or sleep but we die almost at once without air. We can not live in good health without plenty of fresh air. All men with spacious chest cavities are vigorous, healthy and full of drive and energy. Therefore it behooves us all to develop our rib box to its maximum size. This is one part of the body that we feel can never be developed too large.

The most valuable means, so far discovered for developing such a large chest is forced deep breathing, brought on by either heavy breathing squats or bodyweight Eells type breathing squats. We prefer the heavy type for various reasons but good results have been obtained with the Eells bodyweight squats.

For the purpose of added size in the chest cavity, one should work up to 20 reps while taking 3 to 6 very deep breaths between each squat, always striving to breath into the upper chest and lift the chest as high as possible with each breath, throwing the head back and lifting the chest and shoulders slightly. If you are specializing on development of the rib box this breathing with the squats is very important. Some men have gained several inches in one month by this method. You can work up to two or three sets of these squats. Each set should be followed by a set of pullovers on a bench with a weight that will give the maximum stretch to the rib box. Some prefer to use the bent arm pullover and more weight. You will also find that the supine press with dumbbells on bench will also give a lift to the chest due to the pull of the pectorals on the sternum and ribs as they contract to bring the arms in.

The Hise shoulder shrug described later in this course will also give added size to the chest cavity as well as giving it a high arch. Perform it as described in another part of this course.

These are the most effective exercises for this purpose known and should be given a great deal of attention.

An exercise that has proven even more effective than the pullover is the Rader Chest Pull developed and taught by the author and explained fully in a later part of this course. When properly learned and executed it will do amazing things in expanding the chest cavity and giving you a full, deep chest. It usually takes a considerable period of time to learn to perform it most effectively, so stay with it and practice it diligently. We usually recommend 20 reps of this exercise and it can be performed anywhere and any time you feel like it, making it a most convenient exercise as well.

It is understood that you will use as much weight as possible while performing the exercises correctly for the required number of repetitions. When you reach the required number of repetitions and perform two workouts at that number, increase the weight.

By the time the pupil has progressed to the point where he needs specialization, he will have become well acquainted with his body and will best know what number of repetitions and sets he gains on. We have given a certain number of repetitions and sets that have been found to be most effective, generally, and we expect him to use his judgment in this matter. Further information regarding number of repetitions and sets will be found elsewhere.

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