You dream of a physique that is balanced between powerful and chiseled, proportioned, and symmetrical. Building your chest muscles is probably already one of your goals to help you get that physique you want. If you are hitting the weight room and working those pecs without seeing much result, it is less a question of what you are doing and how. A well-designed chest regimen, along with other components, can help you build that massive chest, regardless of your body type.
3 Chest Building Mistakes
- Isolating The Chest – The chest is more than the pecs. Work the back, arms, and chest in order to get the muscles to work through all the contraction and lengthening phases.
- Isolated Exercises – Adding on to point 1, if you only do isolated machine exercises, you aren’t triggering a stress response. In turn, your body won’t need the testosterone and growth hormones needed to add strength.
- Poor Nutrition – If you’re 6 foot tall and 120 pounds, you’re not eating enough. You’re going to need a caloric surplus in order to build a massive chest.
3 Chest Building Rules
- Have Proper Technique – Get a spotter if you need one. Work with a full range of motion in all of your exercises. Even if you can only do one or two reps with proper technique, that’s what you do right now. Poor technique gets you nothing.
- Rest – It’s not the workout, it’s after the workout that really matters. Give your body adequate time to recuperate after an intense chest workout.
- Compound Exercises – Compound exercises like bench press, dips, and push-ups are going to work more muscular groups, which accelerates strength and size gains.
- Eat – Nothing will change if you don’t fuel yourself properly. Use the correct supplementation, eat right, and make wholesome food choices. You should also be eating for gains, not cutting or weight loss.
- Intensity – Maximum intensity means triggering an adaptive response in those muscles that results in growth. Without appropriate weight and intensity (frequency, weight, and duration), your chest won’t grow. Ideally, you want about 60-75% of your 1RM. That means around 3-4 sets, 8-10 reps with a heavyweight.
Top Chest Building Exercises
Barbell Bench Press
The barbell bench press is the foundation of all chest exercises. By doing bench presses the old school way, you learn how to engage the appropriate muscles in all the exercises to follow. If you’re just starting out with working out, do the following during your first session: 10 sets of 6 reps with a 60-second rest between sets.
The flow of blood induced by the rapid reps and ten sets will create an environment for jump-starting chest growth.
To do a barbell bench press correctly:
- Lie back on a flat bench,
- Hold the barbell on the rack above you, hands shoulder-width apart,
- Use an overhand grip,
- Using a spotter if necessary, lift the bar off the rack and position it above your chest, directly above the nipple. Arms should be fully extended,
- From the start position, low the bar while breathing in. Bar skims the chest.
- Breathing out, push the bar up to start. That’s one rep.
Rest your chest for two days after doing this session.
Reverse Grip Press-up
Next, you combine the remaining exercises into a circuit workout. Reverse grip press-ups are great for ironing out any muscular imbalances. Do 1 set, working through the press-up multiple times for a full 60 secs and resting for 90 secs.
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- Get down in pushup position with arms squeezing the rib cage, elbows pointing back,
- Hands are placed so fingers are pointing back towards the toes,
- From the up position, lower your body down slowly until your chest nearly touches the ground,
- From that point, powerfully extend the arms to lift yourself away from the floor. That’s 1 rep.
Do 1 set, 60 seconds of repetitions, and rest for 90 seconds. Concentrate on technique, not the quantity.
To do the push-up:
- Set up with weight between hands, toes, and shoulders squeezing towards the spine. Keep the spine long,
- Keep the core locked, forming a straight line from head to heels.
- Lower the body down, elbows moving slightly outwards, until the chest grazes the ground,
- then drive through the arms to push yourself back to start. That’s 1 rep.
Do 1 set, 60 seconds of repetitions, and rest for 90 seconds.
- Find a bench.
- Place hands slightly wider than shoulder-width, and keep feet planted on the floor,
- Bend the arms, lowering your body towards the bench.
- Push back to starting position.
45-degree Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
Do 4 sets, 12 reps each. Rest for 60 seconds between each set.
- Lie supine on a bench set to a 45-degree angle
- Lift weight up to shoulder height, palms facing away from you
- Breathe out as you press both arms up
- Lock the arms and squeeze the chest together before returning to neutral.
Flat Dumbbell Fly
Do 3 sets, 12 reps. Rest 60 seconds.
- Lie supine on a flat bench
- Holding the dumbbells at the shoulders, palms facing inward
- Press the dumbbells up to fully extend arms – this is Start
- From there, slightly bend the arms, arcing the weight. Feel a stretch in the chest and in the obliques.
- Squeeze the pecs to return the weight back to neutral.
Dumbbell Incline Fly
Do 3 sets, 12 reps. Rest 60 seconds.
- Hold dumbbells in each hand
- Lie on an incline bench
- Start with arms extended above you, palms facing each other
- Slowly lower arms to the side, keeping a slight bend at the elbow
- Reverse the action to return to starting position
Do 4 sets, 12 reps each. Rest for 60 seconds.
- Grab the bars at the dip station. Palms should face inward.
- Keep your arms straight
- Slowly lower your body until the elbows form right angles with the shoulder. Keep the elbows tucked.
- Power through to push yourself back up to straight arms. That’s 1 rep.
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