How to do Pec Deck Flyes… and Not Hurt Yourself

Today’s video was recorded a few weeks ago. CJ Woodruff explains how to use the Pec Deck that nearly every gym has.

This is obviously a chest exercise, and is more of a “detail” exercise that CJ does towards the end of his chest workouts.

How to use the Pec Deck

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Wait! First, start Chest Day with Multi-Joint Compound Movements

On chest days, CJ starts with bigger movements, like bench press or inclined press. Warm up, and then work the big stuff first.

After that, he moves into “single-joint” actions or “detailing exercises”, and peck dec is one of them:

On to the Pec Deck

This works the sternal division in the chest. The one thing to caution is not to stretch too far back — this puts too much stress on the frontal delt.

You don’t need to put heavy weights on either — this exercise was designed for volume. CJ will go for 15-20 reps if he can when starting up on the pec deck.

Bending the Elbows?

Peck Deck Flyes

Keep the elbows bent slightly!

With most exercises like this, you’ll want a slight bend in the elbows. You don’t want to pull it into your chest though – just a slight bend.

Where are the Hands on Pec Dec?

A little bit below shoulder level, as CJ explains in the video.

Sometimes he’ll even grab the bottom of the handles, which gets a nice “underneath squeeze” — it’s important to occasionally play with it and see what works for you.

Pec Dec Grip

To remove the variable of doing any forearm work, CJ leaves a more “neutral”, open hand grip. This allows him to focus on the chest.

About CJ Woodruff

This was filmed a while ago, but CJ is getting close to his bodybuilding competition, and he’s getting super shredded! Check his progress out on Facebook at, and if you’re in Austin, you can hire him as your personal trainer!

Filmed at the Big Tex Gym in Austin, TX

This video was filmed at Big Tex Gym in Austin, the #1 hardcore gym in North Austin!

About the Author: Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto is a research scientist and water sports athlete who founded PricePlow. He is a biohacker with extensive experience in supplementation and dietary modification, whose personal expertise stems from several "n=1" experiments done on himself.

Mike's goal is to bridge the gap between nutritional research scientists and non-academics who seek to better their health in a system that has catastrophically failed the public.

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