Does your Chest resemble a sheet of plywood instead of the mountains of muscle you have always wanted? Do you spend countless hours on the bench press with no gains in size? Have you started to think that you were just not meant to have a big chest? Well stop right there, you're wrong. I can’t promise you will ever have the chest of the great Arnold Schwarzenegger but I can promise you can make a difference to your chest and put some great size on it if you are willing to just hear me out.
In the article below I will discuss the anatomy of the Chest, its function, location in the body and some exercises for each area of the chest. Finally and what you have been waiting for I will include 5 of my favorite workout programs to help turn your flat chest into massive slabs of muscle.
The Chest is made up of 2 muscles that work together to make the chest function. The muscle are the Pectoralis Major and Pectoralis Minor. Basically the Pectoralis Minor is located directly under the Pectoralis Major.
Location: Starts at the Clavicle inserts at the sternum and the armpit area (Humerous)
Function: 3 Different Functions • Side arm Pitching Motion • Bring your arm up and down at your sides • Arm Wresting Motion
Exercises: Bench Press and Flies
Though the Chest is made up of one single mass of muscle it should be trained like it was broken into 3 parts. The Upper, Middle and Lower portions of the chest are stimulated best from changing the angle in which you execute the exercise.The Upper Chest is best stimulated from exercises done on a 30-45% incline bench. For example Incline Barbell and Dumbbell Bench Press or Incline Dumbbell Flies are great Upper Chest exercises.
The Middle Chest is best stimulated from exercises done on a flat bench. For Example Flat Barbell and Dumbbell Bench Press or Flat Dumbbell Flies are great Middle Chest exercises.
The Lower Chest is best stimulated from exercises done on a 30-45% decline bench. For Example Decline Barbell and Dumbbell Bench Press or Decline Dumbbell Flies are great Lower Chest exercises.
I find all areas of the chest respond best in the beginning to low (4-6) or moderate (8-12) rep ranges. Rarely, I will include higher rep ranges for beginners, as I believe the heavier weight helps build a more solid foundation that beginners need. I also find that free weights should be your entire focus in the beginning, especially if chest is a weak point for you. The free weights just develop the chest a lot better than machines do in my opinion.
Now that you understand about what muscles make up your chest, their function, location and the rep range needed to stimulate them, let’s give you some workouts to help you build your chest.
All exercises should be performed in perfect form because bad form or habits that you start now will follow you and will lead to lack of progress or worst off injury in the future. Many if not all the exercises will be new to you. So make sure that you use an Exercise Guide to help you with your form.
Below are 5 of my favorite Chest Building Workout Programs:
1. Upper Chest Day
• Incline Barbell Bench Press 3x4-6 • Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 3x8 • Incline Dumbbell Flies 3x8-12 • Pushups* 3x12The lowering portion of the exercise should take 5-10 sec
2. Middle Chest Day
• Flat Barbell Bench Press 3x4-6 • Flat Dumbbell Bench Press 3x8 • Flat Dumbbell Flies 3x8-12 • Pushups* 3x12 The lowering portion of the exercise should take 5-10 sec
3. Lower Chest Day
• Decline Barbell Bench Press 3x4-6 • Decline Dumbbell Bench Press 3x8 • Decline Dumbbell Flies 3x8-12 • Pushups* 3x12 The lowering portion of the exercise should take 5-10 sec
4. Barbell Strength Day
• Flat Barbell Bench Press 3x4-6 • Incline Barbell Bench Press 3x4-6 • Decline Barbell Bench Press 3x4-6 • Dips 3x8-12 *Lean forward to in gauge your chest
5. Dumbbell Size Day
• Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 3x8-12 • Decline Dumbbell Bench Press 3x8-12 • Flat Dumbbell Bench Press 3x8-12 • Dips 3x8-12 *Lean forward to engage your chest
These 5 workouts I use to this day to help bring up my chest which has been a weak point for me since my shoulder surgery back in 2005. Yes, I am using more weight than when I started but basic free weight workouts are the best for putting on dense thick muscle mass in your chest that you have always been looking for. I want you to pick one of the workouts above and use it for 4-6 weeks trying to increase the weight each workout (while still using perfect form), then rotate to a different chest workout and repeat the process.
Now comes the fun part, “It's Chest Building Time”. You have your knowledge and your workouts are laid out for you so “JUST GO LIFT”. Good Luck.