Training For Explosive Chest Growth
Read Time: 9 minutes, 12 seconds.
Seriously, which guy doesn’t want to build a big strong chest? It is the first thing people see when you enter the room and it’s a defining muscle group in your quest to put on mass and size through weightlifting. However, building the chest of your dreams can often seem like a slow and frustrating process. So today, let’s take a look at the perfect way to achieve explosive chest growth like never before.
First off, the science behind your chest
Your chest is made up of the following:
– Pectoralis major – This spans all across your chest and is the bulk of your chest muscle mass
– Pectoralis minor – This is a smaller muscle area located under your chest
– Pectoral fascia – This is a thin tissue layer that stretches across your pectoralis major and to your latissimus dorsi
So, how do you go about properly exercising every part of your chest? Well, the most-effective, tried and tested method is to ensure you are focusing on 3 key segments: the upper, middle and lower area.
Generally speaking, you work the lower are with decline exercises, the middle area with flat exercises and the upper area with incline exercises. If in the past, you’ve found that only certain parts of your chest are aching after a workout, then it’s because you’ve neglected to pay attention to one or more areas.
FLAT BENCH PRESS
This is the staple exercise of any effective chest day. We recommend doing this first, as it’s when you’re at your peak strength and can put the most weight up. You’ll likely be able to lift more using the barbell variation, and it’s also very easy to stabilise the weight and get used to the movement.
INCLINE BENCH PRESS
Often performed second, the incline press is the most effective way to target your upper chest. Just be sure not to put the bench at too steep of an incline. The higher you go, the more you shift the weight onto your deltoids.
DECLINE BENCH PRESS
On the flip side, the decline press is the most effective way to hit your lower chest. Feel free to throw this exercise in second or third, and sometimes even first. It ensures your lower chest gets suitably punished and will help you achieve that explosive chest growth you’ve been looking for.
Flys can be performed with either cables or dumbbells. It’s important to keep the movement slow and controlled at all times. Also, ensure your arms are fixed in a slightly bent position. Mix it up each week by doing your sets of flys in either the flat, decline or incline position.
The pec deck is a seated machine that is a great variation on traditional flys. You can adjust the weight very easily and the layout of the machine makes it very hard to do this exercise with bad form. As such, many beginners will stick to pec deck for a month or two until they’ve built up some decent strength.
This is a fixed machine version of the press that offers some unique benefits. Firstly, it puts far less focus on your delts and maximises use of your chest. Largely because you don’t need to stabilise the weights yourself. It also allows you to quickly drop the weight if you’re going for drop sets.
Dips are a great addition to any workout and primarily target the lower area of your chest. Just be sure to lean forward when doing these so as to shift as much focus as possible away from your triceps and onto your chest.
Many recommend doing dumbbell pullovers in an inclined position. This helps to maximise the stress placed on your chest and is a great way to end a chest workout. Work your way up slowly with weight as going for too much straight away can pace a lot of undue stress on your muscles and increase your risk of injury. Watson Dumbbells are perfect for this.
Everyone knows the good old-fashioned push-up. We recommend dropping down and busting out 3 sets of pushups at the end of any killer chest workout. There’s no rep requirement for each set, simply go to failure. Whether that’s 20 reps, 10 or even 2. It doesn’t matter.
An example chest day workout routine
The only way to maximise chest growth week after week is to ensure you are pushing your entire chest to the max. A good sample chest day workout routine includes the following:
Flat press – 3 sets
Decline press – 3 sets
Incline press – 3 sets
Dumbbell flys – 3 sets
Dips – 3 sets
Push-ups – 3 sets to failure
Just remember, you can mix up the exercises and equipment used, in order to suit the facilities at your gym. There are cable, dumbbell, barbell and Smith machine variations for each of the first 3.
Rules for success
To help you achieve maximum chest growth, here are 8 crucial rules you need to start following.
1. Hit your chest with an intensive period
If you want to start quickly seeing huge gains in your chest strength and size, then you need to really punish it. And what’s the best way to do this? With an intensive 10 week programme, that’s how. During this time, you make chest muscles your main weekly focus. 10 weeks is enough time to start seeing the huge gains you want.
And it’s also short enough that you don’t start doing some serious damage to your muscles through overtraining. Here’s the sort of weekly split you could commit to for this 10 week period:
Day 1: Chest (low reps, heavy weight)
Day 2: Back + Biceps
Day 3: Shoulders + Triceps
Day 4: Legs
Day 5: Recovery
Day 6: Chest (high reps)
Day 7: Recovery
For your first chest day, you could commit to the sample routine suggested above. Aim for around 6 to 8 reps per exercise and go to failure each time. For your second chest day, mix up the exercises entirely. It’s the perfect chance to use the seated chest press, Smith machine and pec deck. Aim for a higher rep range of 10 to 12, and also go to failure.
2. Mix it up regularly
It’s good to keep your muscles guessing in order to see maximum results over time. A good way to do this is by focusing on different equipment each week. For example, week 1 you might use dumbbells only, then week 2 you could use barbells only. Week 3, opt for machines only.
Or you could commit to 2 weeks of high reps for every exercise, and then 2 weeks of low reps. Another great way to keep your muscles in shock is with drop sets and supersets. Throw these in every now and then, perhaps on a different exercise each week.
3. Be sensible with what you lift
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in the gym is trying to lift too much weight too early on. In fact, this is a common problem not only seen in beginners, but also experienced bodybuilders. You see someone else putting up 40kg more than you, and suddenly feel inferior and decide you have to lift that much as well.
Or, you feel annoyed about slow gains and instead decide to try what you think you “should” be lifting as opposed to what you can lift. Well, this is not only incredibly dangerous, but it will also lead to you getting stronger at a much slower rate. For every exercise, focus on correct form and putting the weight up and down in a slow, controlled movement.
4. Focus on hitting the pectorals
In order to really hit your pectoral muscles, you need to be focusing on them intently with every exercise. Sound a bit obvious? Well, most people don’t actually do this. Instead, they spend a lot of their time using their shoulder and triceps to put up weight rather than the chest. The trick is to bring your shoulder blades together, roll your shoulders down and then arch your back before beginning any press. This shifts the focus of the weight to your chest.
5. Get someone to spot you
A spotter has two crucial jobs. To help keep you safe during the exercise and to motivate you all the way through the set. So, make use of them! Having a good partner to spot you will easily help you to start putting up one or two more reps on every single set. Just make sure you return the favour.
6. Give your all to every set
When chest day comes around, nothing else matters. That means no chit-chat, no phones and no overextended rest periods between sets. From the moment you enter the gym, it’s all about working through your exercises and giving your all to every single set.
7. Put real focus on your diet
Dieting is crucial when it comes to building muscle anywhere on your body. Your mantra to live by is that 20% of results are made in the gym, and the other 80% are made in the kitchen. This means it’s time to cut out the junk food and instead focus on eating regular, high protein meals every 3 or 4 hours throughout the day. And make sure you drink water regularly as well.
Also, ensure you are getting the right amount of carbohydrates and fat, as well as suitable fuel before every single workout. This will help you to maximise muscle building potential, whilst ensuring your body is suitably fuelled for every workout. Supplements will be a massive help here, so check out this incredible guide we wrote.
8. Get your rest!
Here’s us telling you to sleep more. That’s right. No more late nights spent sitting up watching Netflix. You need to be getting a good 8 hours every night, in order to give enough time for your muscles to heal over and grow back stronger. Also, try to avoid any strenuous activity on your designated rest days.
The secret to explosive chest growth
Now you know what needs to be done in order to generate massive chest growth, there is only one final thing holding you back. And that thing is … you! Here at Ultimate fitness Birmingham, we see it time and time again. People set out on an intensive workout routine, stick it for a week or two and then start slacking off or skipping days.
Well, the true secret to explosive chest growth is a commitment to a routine week after week. But don’t worry, we’re here to help where we can. At UFB, we are committed to helping you see results by providing a superior range of workout equipment and a fantastic support network. If you feel like skipping a day or need a little more motivation in the gym, come and speak to a member of our team to help get you pumped!