Let’s be honest with ourselves here – every bodybuilder on the face of the earth wants to achieve a massive chest. The problem is, many bodybuilders are training their chest totally WRONG to spark new muscle growth. Many of them end up hitting plateaus and as we all know, hitting a muscle building plateau is not fun.
The first thing we need to take a look at when it comes to building a bigger chest is biomechanics. Whenever you hear the word chest, keep in mind that people are actually referring to the pectoralis major and minor. The main job of your pectorals is to push your arm horizontally across your body.
Anyway, here’s what I would advise for your chest workout. I always apply these tips into developing any of my routines, not just my chest workout. These guidelines are proven to work and will help you develop an effective chest routine in no time.
1. Flexibility & Rotator Cuffs
Never forget to center your chest workout around flexibility and increasing the strength of your rotator cuffs. If you tear your rotator cuffs while lifting, it’s going to be impossible for you to grow a new chest. After all, you won’t be able to workout in the first place if this happens!
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2. Floor Flyes
Floor flyes are a great mass builder for your chest. I always place this exercise as a priority and always do it first when I hit the gym. The first thing you’ll want to do is put the handles of the cables as low as possible and lie down on the floor. This exercise is similar to a regular dumbbell fly – make sure your elbows never hit the floor. This will ensure that you are receiving the most activation from your chest. Always make sure you’re keeping your shoulder blades together during this exercise. Make sure your shoulders never round up on the way up. After all, this is chest day – not shoulder day.
3. Floor Presses
Floor presses are another fantastic mass builder for your chest. It’s often left behind by many bodybuilders and forgotten, but the truth remains that the floor press is an extremely effective exercise for increasing the strength and size of your chest.
A good way to go about this exercise is to set the bar at the absolute lowest safety level at the power rack, which is typically about 14-17 inches above the floor and go underneath it. If your gym doesn’t have a power rack machine, I would strongly recommend that you change gyms – I’m being dead serious. You should always be doing this exercise with a wide grip on the bar. As with any exercise, always make sure you’re performing each and every rep in a slow, controlled manner.
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4. Avoid Bench Pressing
Forget about the flat barbell bench press! I know I’m probably going to get flamed for saying this, but the flat barbell bench press is extremely overrated in my opinion and is not the most effective exercise for building chest mass. It can also lead to rotator cuff issues down the road.
Then people always ask the question “how much do you bench” and this typically leads to shoulder injuries and poor form as well. The truth remains that the flat barbell bench press is actually more effective at stimulating growth in your shoulders and triceps, but is not as effective at stimulating growth in your chest. Many people who regularly do the flat barbell bench press often have a droopy chest as well, which is not something you want as a bodybuilder.
A much wiser choice would be the incline bench press, especially for those of you who are taller and have longer arms. It’s a very effective exercise for your chest and it doesn’t place all that much strain on the shoulders. I also find racking and unracking the weight is easier on the incline bench press (probably because I’m tall to begin with). I also recommend doing this exercise with dumbbells, since dumbbells allow you to squeeze your chest at the top and allow for a greater range of motion throughout the lift.
5. Pullover the Weight
After unracking the weight, your next move should be a pullover. Many people bench press way too close to the neck, which is:
A. Extremely dangerous.
B. Doesn’t allow for maximal stimulation for your lats.
Why would I want my lats to be stimulated when I’m bench pressing? Your lats actually play more of a significant role than you may think when you bench press – a good way to think of them is like springs. As you lower the weight, you are compressing them and as you raise the weight you are releasing them. A pullover will allow you to activate your lats into the movement.
6. Flyes with a Twist
Cable flyes with a twist are a great way to work your lower chest and to activate your pectoralis minor. Many people never workout their lower chest, but they are neglecting a critical component to their chest development by doing so.
In order to do “flyes with a twist”, stand at the cables with one food in front of the other and move the handles on the machine in an upside down “V motion” fashion, while keeping your shoulders down.
When you’re at the top, turn your pinky out in order to get a deep squeeze in your chest. This will create a deeper muscle tear in your chest.
7. Get Pumped!
Not only is getting a pump when you’re working out fun, but it’s also feels fantastic as well! I guess Arnold was right when he said a pump is the greatest feeling in the world!
But despite the pump feeling fantastic and allowing you to look like Superman (temporarily), it also signifies 3 things:
- It’s a sign that you’re actually training your muscles correctly – not just working out your joints.
- Anytime you get a pump the blood is stretching your fascia, which is a tight sock-like tissue which allows for increased muscle size.
- The increase in blood flow helps to transport nutrients to your muscles, allowing them to grow and recover quicker.
That’s pretty much it. By following these 7 tips, you’ll be on the road to a massive chest in no time. Stay ripped and muscular!