The pectoral muscle group is one of the easiest to train. You have a huge array of big compound exercises that hit your chest from all angles, as well as loads of great isolation exercises to finish the chest off. But just like any other muscle group, the pecs hit plateaus and might need some extra stimulation to grow.
Today I’m going to post up some ways to pump up your chest workout! These are techniques that I’ve used before to bring up my chest and get through annoying plateaus.
1. Slow Push Ups After Big Compounds!
You can really pump up your chest by dropping down for a set of push ups right after your big bench, or dumbbell press set. Without any rest drop down and MAX out on slow push ups. Keep your push up rep timing at about 2-1-2. Also keep your hands nice and wide on the floor to make sure you’re hitting your chest and not your shoulders. After incline presses, do the pushups with your feet up on a bench to simulate the incline movement.
2. Pre-exhaust With Strict Isolations
Pre-exhausting is a proven plateau busting technique that I have used many times to bring up my chest. With this superset, do 10-12 strict and slow isolation reps (I like using cables or pec-dec) then jump on the bench for a heavy compound set for around 8 reps.
3. Focus On Your Upper Chest
If I had a dollar for every time I heard someone complain that their upper chest was not growing I’d be sitting on a bench in the Bahamas. You should regularly cycle your upper chest to the focus of your chest workout. This means doing your upper chest exercises first, and changing one of your isolation exercises to an upper chest movement.
For example on your regular chest workout you might do bench press, incline dumbbell bench, dips and flys. To adapt this to hit your upper chest more you could do incline dumbbell press, flat bench, incline cable flys, decline bench. Always make sure that you don’t have your incline bench at more than a 30 degree angle, any higher than that and you’re hitting your front shoulders too much.
4. Compound To Isolation Supersets
And old favorite, but a solid technique for growth. Follow your big compound sets with light weight isolation sets. Keep the isolation exercise light and slow, the aim is to get the stretch and pump, not move big weights. Keep the rep timing at about 2-1-2.
5. Slow Everything Down
You won’t know just how hard it is until you try it. Don’t change your existing workout, just change how you move the weight. Drop back from your regular weight and do each exercise with a 4-2-4 rep timing! Yep that’s right, 4 count on the way down, pause for 2 count, the 4 count on the way back up. This technique is very effective as it keeps the stress on the target muscle for a long period of time. You should concentrate on the stretch and pump again, really contracting the muscle at the top of the movement. After each set your chest should be fully pumped!
Those are the techniques I’ve used in my workouts. If you have any techniques that you use I love to hear about them, post in the comments below. Also post up any questions you have. Good luck!