Mark, How Do I Build A Great Chest? This is a question I get asked quite often these days.
Why?
Because pecs (chest muscle) look great! They make a huge difference to your overall physique.

Can you imagine a guy with big biceps, boulders for shoulders and a flat chest? Just wouldn’t look right would it?

So we need to work our chest in a manner that really stimulates growth; a way that really encourages the muscle fibers in the pecs to enlarge.

(mark performing incline dumbbell bench press)

bench press

Building Chest Muscle Is Easy

That’s the good news friends. In my opinion, the chest is one of the easiest muscle groups to build. All you have to do is ensure 2 things:

  1. You complete a full range of motion on every rep
  2. You lift (concentric) and lower (eccentric) the weight at the correct speed

Ego

If you are used to lifting with sloppy form, you’ll have to sacrifice a bit of weight to exercise with the form illustrated in this article. This may involve a battle with your ego though.

A part of you will say,

I can’t lift a weight that low, that’s 2 steps
back! I’m making great progress.

Are you really?
Forget the amount of weight you’re lifting, are your muscles growing?
Are you pleased with what you see in the mirror?
If not then the amount of weight lifted means nothing. Get your ego out of the way, drop the weight and use proper form. I promise you won’t regret it. I am much more impressed when I see someone lifting with proper form than some guy benching a weight he can’t handle; arching his back or getting his training partner to help lift the weight nearing the end of the set.

The Chest Workout

If you really want to focus on building an impressive chest, work this muscle group on a day of its own and perform 9 sets. Go here to access a full, anabolic workout plan.

Firstly, use free weights. Nothing beats free weights for building muscle so avoid machines.

The Bench Press

The staple of any chest workout routine is the bench press. You can opt for using either dumbbells or a barbell, either choice is great. For the last 6 months or so I’ve used dumbbells as I find I can get a greater range of
motion with them i.e. I can lower the weight further than I can with the barbell.

Incline Dumbbell Bench PressIncline Dumbbell Press

Incline, Flat and Decline Bench Press

There are 3 variations of the bench Press:

  1. Incline Bench Press
  2. Flat Bench Press
  3. Decline Bench Press

* The inclined position will work the upper portion of your chest most
* The flat bench press works your mid-overall chest
* The declined position primarily works the bottom portion of your chest

I feel my upper chest is lagging at the moment so I begin my chest routine with 2 sets of incline dumbbell bench presses. You should always prioritze your workouts.

The Form

The form you use for these exercises is the same for all 3.

  1. Lower the weight as far as it will go
  2. Push up with an explosive motion (1-2 seconds)
  3. If you are using dumbbells, they should touch at the top (your arms in an ‘A’ shape)
  4. Lower slowly (should take about 2 seconds to lower)
  5. Repeat

Add Width To Your Chest

As well as focusing on the top, middle and bottom of your pecs, you should stimulate the sides directly as well. This helps add width and thickness to your chest. Dumbbell flies are perfect for this!

Dumbbell Flies

My favorite chest exercise! Here’s the proper form to use when performing them:

  1. Keep your arms slightly bent at the elbows throughout the movement.
  2. Lower the weight a far down as possible. You should feel a real stretch right across your pecs at the bottom of the rep.
  3. Now push up again until your arms form an ‘A’ shape at the top.

Sample Chest Building Workout

For a 9 set workout, try:

* Incline Bench Press x 2 sets
* Flat Bench Press x 3 sets
* Decline Bench Press x 2 sets
* Flat Dumbbell Flies x 2 sets

See here for more information on how many reps and sets you should be performing for optimum muscle growth

I go into more detail about how to work your chest and other body parts in my free ebook ‘Total Anabolism‘ which you can download for free by simply putting you name and email and the top right of this page.

To Powerful Pecs!

Your buddy,

Mark McManus

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