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Massive Chest Workout
Just as having big arms project power, A powerful chest always gets respect. The chest is also one of the first noticed attributes about a bodybuilder. So, lets try to make yours as powerful and respected as possible. The weight lifting routines and exercises below along with your dedication will guarantee it.
The flat bench press is without a doubt the most basic and effective means to build the chest. The bench press should be the primary exercise for any chest routine, all other exercises should be subordinate. You should provide you chest with a good warmup cycle. For most people the basic 135 pounds is sufficient. If you cannot use 135 as a warmup, try a lesser weight in which you can rep out at least 15 reps without any muscle strain. After a good warmup comes the real deal. Many people do their routines different. For example, some people pyramid up then back down, And some go right to the heavy weights then pyramid down. I prefer the latter. After my warmup, I go to a weight of about 75% of my max which is 375. So I work out with a weight of at least 280. The reason I do this is because Im the strongest at the beginning of the routine, so I go right to the heavy weights so I dont burn myself out on the lighter weight leading up to the heavier weights. After I do a good amount of sets (between the 280-350 lb range), usually about 6 sets, I start to burn out. So, when it is time to pyramid down in weight, I can do so without feeling I havent reached my potential for the routine. I would much rather burn out on the sets coming down than going up. I usually do an enormous amount of benchpress sets during my chest work out (usually around the neighborhood of 10 sets. with the first 6 being with the heavier weights and the last four being pyramided down until I finally reach the warmup poundage of 135). When I reach the warmup weight, I rep out as many as I can until I cannot possibly do another. This gives me an awsome final pump for the bench press. You can adjust your poundage accordingly to match the routine described. For example, if your max is 275, then try jumping straight to 225 after your warmup, then work your way back down.
The flatbench dumbell press is the only exercise that can even come close to the bench press for building mass on the chest. The advantage that this has over the benchpress is the range of motion. The bench press limits you in range because the bar can only go as far as touching the chest. The dumbell press allows you to go beyond that point. With the dumbells, you can get more of a stretch. This exercise is done while lying on you back on a bench. I prefer putting my feet on the end of the bench so I dont arch my back. This isolates the chest more. Bring the dumbells down slowly and evenly and ensure the palms are facing up and outward. When bringing the weights up, twist the wrists inward so the palms are facing each other and pause for a second to squeeze the chest muscles together. You want to do this for every rep. Do at least 4 sets with 8 to 10 reps per set. Adjust the weight accordingly if you cant achieve this. One way to enhance this exercise is to to a very light weight of benchpress after each set of dumbell presses. For example, after you do 10 reps of dumbell presses. Jump right on the bench press (with a weight of only about 75 pounds on the bar). You may be laughing at this light weight, but I guarantee after you do it you wont be. Kick out as many reps as you can (Im sure it wont be many). Repeat this for every set. The main thing to consider on this exercise is FORM. You want each rep to be smooth and controlled.
The incline press, whether it be with dumbells or a straight bar, is an excellent means for building the upper chest. The only precaution is to ensure you dont go to heavy and damage or overwork the shoulders. The exercise is performed the same as with the flatbench dumbell presses. You want to bring the weights down slowly and controlled with wrists up and outward, and push up on the weights turning the wrists inward to squeeze the chest at the end of the rep. With the straight bar, bring the weights down to the top of the chest and slowly press upward. If your shoulders permit, do 3 to 4 sets of these with 8 to 10 reps per set. The principles for the decline exercise is exactly the same, the only difference between the two is the angle of the bench. The decline press works the bottom of the pecs which is a problem area for a lot of bodybuilders. You may find that you can go a lot heavier on the decline than on the incline, take advantage of this and really pump out the poundage. These exercises should be done toward the end of the chest routine because of the strain that is put on the shoulders and because these are primarily chest enhancement exercises for the chest and should supplement the benchpress and flatbench dumbell press.
There is a big misconception about the cable-cross exercise. You must remember that this exersise is NOT a mass builder but it is strictly a definer. This exercise should not be used by beginners who still does not have a basic foundation built. This exercise is mainly for builders with a chest foundation already built and want to perfect it. I see it all the time in the gym where newcomers perform many sets of cable crosses and all for nothing. The crosses are what give the pecs shape and definition. (striations in the center of the chest). It really isnt necessary to do extremely heavy weights with this machine because like I said before, it is used to perfect what you already have. Therefore what is important is the form and the number of reps. You want to go with a weight in which you can perform up to 15 reps with. Start with the arms straight out as the pictures shows and bring your hands together while keeping the arms straight. Try to avoid bending the arms as much as possible. Hold the arms in this position for a second and squeeze the pec muscles together. Repeat this for every rep.
The exercises described above have made a world of difference in my chest development. I hope they will work for you as well. Along with your dedication and a will to try new things, they will. Always remember that the only thing that you will get out of this game is what you put into it.
Note: For information on volume training for natural bodybuilders checkout Muscle Express Training.
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