The first and most wanted goal of any young bodybuilder or athlete is developing bigger chest. It’s the body part trainees usually focus on the most.
Because chest muscles are in front of our body and we see them every day in the mirror, it’s essential to build this muscle group properly. You can have some body parts underdeveloped but you will never look good with small pecs.
Last month I’ve posted article about how to get bigger arms. This time we will learn how to get bigger chest.
Chest muscles also called pecs consist of 2 main muscles – Pectoralis Major and Pectoralis Minor, however bodybuilders divide pectorals into main areas:
- Lower chest,
- Middle chest,
- Upper chest.
Beginning bodybuilders shouldn’t focus separately on a different part of chest. In a first years of this sport our main objective is to build muscle mass overall the chest along with strength and then try to improve the details, work on definition.
There are 3 main compound exercises for this muscle group:
Above exercises are the most effective in building bigger chest muscles however we have also couple isolation movements which can help us in developing this body part:
- Dumbbell Flyes,
- Cable Crossovers.
Besides there are also press-ups which are necessarry when we train at home but they aren’t actually very effective in the long term.
Strategy in building bigger chest
To get bigger chest we have to train it with the basic exercises and keep increasing the weight over time – progressive overload. Once you’re able to bench press 100kg (225lbs) ten times your chest will be big.
Generally isolation exercises like flyes should be avoided except finishing off certain muscle group or pre-exhausting it before the training.
Training volume, number of exercises depends of experience:
- Beginner – 2 exercises,
- Intermediate – 3 exercises,
- Advanced – 3-4 exercises.
Training chest once a week is enough to build this muscle group however if anybody has his pecs underdeveloped might want to introduce additional training at the end of his weekly cycle.
Make sure opposite body part – back muscles is trained equally. Neglecting it can slow down or even stop chest development.
Once you develop bigger chest muscles you might want to improve weaker areas. To do so simply change the position of the bench:
- Decline bench to emphasize lower pecs,
- Incline bench for the upper chest muscles.
Use moderate and heavy weight that allows you to do minimum 6 repetitions in last sets.
To achieve steady gains you always have to try to beat your previous workout by training with heavier weight or doing few more reps than on a previous session. Keeping the training log in the notebook or computer will help you with it. You will always know how many reps, sets and how heavy weight you lifted certain day.
Workout for bigger chest
Workout level 0 – Beginner:
- Barbell Bench Press 12/10/8,
- Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 12/10/8.
Workout level 1 – Intermediate:
- Barbell Bench Press 12/10/8,
- Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 10/8/6,
- Incline Flyes 12/10/8 or Pull-Overs 10/8/6.
Workout level 2 – Advanced:
- Barbell Bench Press 12/10/8/6,
- Incline Barbell Bench Press 10/8/6/6,
- Dips 10/8/6,
- Cable Crossovers 15/12/10.
Alternatively you can pick exercises yourself. Just remember to include variety of dips and presses on an incline, decline and flat bench.
To get bigger chest you have to:
- Build your workouts around compound exercises like Bench Press or Dips,
- Do isolation exercises like flyes sporadically – at the end of your workout, sometimes at the start,
- Stay within right repetition range – between 6-12,
- Perform correct number of sets – around 6-9,
- Train your chest once, maximum twice a week,
- Keep a training log to remember what weight or how many repetitions you’ve done on your previous session,
- Always try to beat your last workout by lifting heavier weight or doing more reps,
- Do not overtrain.
Remember to train opposite body part – back muscles – as much as your chest. Growth of certain muscle group can slow down or stop completely if we’ll develop imbalances where some muscles will be much stronger and tighter than another.