🚨 Exercises For Bigger Chest
✅ If you want strong, powerful, and defined pecs that pop, you want to do these chest exercises and workouts.
- The pectoralis major, or chest muscle, is composed of both an upper and a lower portion, and most guys need to do exercises that emphasize the upper portion in particular.
- The best chest exercises are pushing movements that allow you to target both the upper and lower chest and allow you to safely move heavy loads and best improve your strength.
- The best way to build your pecs is to get as strong as possible on a handful of key exercises including the barbell and dumbbell bench press, the reverse grip bench press, and the close-grip bench press (keep reading to learn the rest of the exercises!).
🚨 The 3 Biggest Mistakes of Chest Training
✅ The three biggest mistakes most people make in their chest workouts are:
- ✅ Focusing on the wrong chest exercises.
- ✅ Focusing on high-rep training.
- ✅ Neglecting progressive overload.
Many people focus too much on machines and isolation exercises, which are of secondary importance in building strong, defined pecs.
Studies do show that isolation exercises like the cable crossover, dumbbell fly, and pec deck can activate the chest muscles about as much as compound exercises like the bench press, but that doesn’t mean they’re just as good as compound exercises for developing your chest.
Without getting too far into the weeds, levels of muscle activation isn’t a perfect predictor of muscle growth. It’s just a clue that an exercise is probably effective for training a muscle, assuming you can keep adding weight over time.
And that last point—adding weight over time—is what makes isolation exercises inferior to compound exercises for gaining chest size and strength.
🚨 Mistake #2: Focusing On High-Rep “Pump” Training
This mistake will stunt the growth of every major muscle group in the body and is particularly detrimental in a smaller muscle group like the pecs.
The reason for this is that one of the best ways to make the pecs (and other muscles) grow is to use heavier weights.
For example, in a study conducted by scientists at Lehman College, 24 physically active, resistance-trained men were split into two groups:
- Group one did three workouts per week consisting of 21 sets per workout in the 8-to-12-rep range with 70 to 80 percent of their 1RM.
- Group two did three workouts per week consisting of 21 sets per workout in the 25-to-35-rep range with 30 to 50 percent of their 1RM.
Both groups did the same exercises, which included the bench press, barbell overhead press, wide-grip lat pulldown, seated cable row, barbell back squat, machine leg press, and machine leg extension. Both groups were also instructed to maintain their normal eating habits and keep food diaries.
🚨 Mistake #3: Neglecting Progressive Overload
The first, second, and third rule of getting bigger and stronger is this: you must progressively overload your muscles.
If you don’t get this right, then you’re always going to struggle to develop your chest (and every other muscle group, for that matter).
Progressive overload refers to increasing the amount of tension your muscles produce over time, and the most effective way to do this is by progressively increasing the amount of weight that you’re lifting.
In other words, the key to gaining muscle and strength isn’t doing different exercises, balancing on a BOSU ball, or seeing how much you can sweat on everything in the gym—it’s making your muscles work harder. And this is exactly what you do when you force your muscles to handle heavier and heavier weights.
This is why your number one goal as a weightlifter should be to increase your whole-body strength over time, and why the program you’re going to find at the end of this article is built to accomplish exactly that.