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BUILDING A BIG CHEST: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE


The big, sculpted chests of the classic era are still regarded as some of the best in bodybuilding history.

That demonstrates that, in addition to muscle bulk, controlling the contour and proportions of your body can have a significant impact on the way your body looks.


In a successful training program, we need to to achieve a timeless chest look that's balanced, full, strong, and useful.

Before you hit the weights, we'll go over anatomy, muscle function, proper form, and tips for optimizing contractile and hypertrophic potential.

Once we've figured out how to optimally stimulate the chest, we'll look at the ideal method to plan your training split to obtain the greatest chest development possible.


Remember that growing a superior chest and a great physique is all about max effort and going back to basics, but I want to make sure you perceive it correctly.


It's not about using mindlessly tough training methods or being unconcerned with strict form or exercise science.

That's how you get harmed and stay little.


Instead, it's about doing more with less and making every training session matter.


It's all about piling one effective workout on top of the other until you've accumulated years of development.


You have 7 days each week and roughly 20 training days per month. Every day as an opportunity to workout, eat, and relax to manage fatigue so that you may continue to train hard for the long haul and continue to improve.


Chest training is similar to any other muscle group in terms of training intensity, quality repetition, and training volume to induce muscular hypertrophy.



Train hard, heavily, and with sufficient diet and recovery time, and you'll begin to notice results.


The chest, like the back, it is a large section of muscle that can withstand a battering.


Despite the fact that it is a substantial chunk of muscle It usually recovers in less than three days provided your nutrition and hydration are good.


Therefore, twice-weekly chest exercise is usually the optimum combination of stimulation and recovery.


To clarify, you should resume training a bodypart as soon as it has recovered in order to maximize muscle activation throughout time.


For some, that may be 48 hours, while for others, it may be four days. Make sure you're getting enough carbs, proteins, fats, and fluids to recover as quickly as possible so you can return to work.


You will obtain the optimum results for your body if you organize your training splits around your regular recovery times.


If you're still hurting or don't think you'll be able to perform at your best that day, just wait another day to train that body part.


To effectively engage the pectorals major and minor, which form the chest, you must first grasp what the chest is supposed to do.

It has four primary roles, including moving the shoulder joint in tandem with the muscles of the back as the antagonist muscle group.


The chest is in charge of the bending of the hilarious, as shown in bowling.


This is essentially the same function as bench pressing and will be prominently used in our chest training.


The chest also adducts the arms, allowing you to bring your arms down to your sides, as in a cable fly from a high position.


It also turns the arm medially, which is why ending all of your chest actions with fully pronated wrists results in a superior contraction.


ANATOMY OF THE CHEST


There are two heads of the pecs, and developing them both properly will give you a whole, balanced look. You can't isolate a single head, but you can highlight one over the other.


The clavicular head is tiny in comparison to the sternal head. Remember that muscle size has a lot to do with how much work you need to do to drive growth and how much recovery time you need to manage tiredness.


Keep this in mind when exercising: it's more effective to activate a muscle with just enough intense exercise that you can get back in the gym in a few days than to demolish it on Monday and not feel ready to train it again until the following Monday.

If you do this, you may skip multiple training sessions when you could cause muscle damage, heal, and improve your growth over time.




The Sternal Head

The sternal head of the pecs is a big, flat fan-shaped portion of muscle that runs down the sternum and inserts on the humerus.


This is the part of the chest that is responsible for the majority of the size and shape, as well as the majority of the strength involved in pushing actions.


If you look at the direction of the muscle fibers in the illustration, you can see how you can move your arm to effectively activate each section of the muscle.


The Clavicular Head

This is the smaller of the two heads. The clavicular head starts in the clavicle and inserts at the humerus. This is the smaller section of the chest that makes up the upper chest.


Although small, it is a vital area that can mean the difference between a flat-looking chest and a large shelf-like aspect. This area of the chest isn't much bigger than the front deltoid, so keep that in mind when planning your workouts.


Despite the fact that it is a priority for the majority of individuals, most training regimens are not set up efficiently for optimal growth of this muscle.


I recommend dividing your weekly training load into two workouts for optimal training frequency, muscle activation, and recovery.


This head grows best with incline pressing or fly motions starting at around a 30 incline, or where you start with your arms low and bring them up toward your face as you perform the fly.



Revamped old-school training

Old school training is tough, basic, and raw. It will put your ability to give each set and rep the attention it needs, even when it is uncomfortable, to the test.

Even when your body is being pushed to its limits. Don't just go through the motions. If you stick to the basics and work hard, you'll literally watch your body alter before your eyes.


You're going to push yourself to your limits without the use of gimmicks, techniques, or shortcuts.


But we are no longer in the golden age. We're in a new golden era, and we have more knowledge and a better grasp of how to build a lean, enormous body than at any other moment in the sport's history.


It's simply your responsibility to capitalize on that knowledge and match it with a rock-solid work ethic.


This chest regimen is no joke, and you'll need to take yourself extremely seriously if you want to stick to it with a very small margin for error.


If you want top-notch results, you'll need top-notch focus. So, keep outside distractions to a minimal and your gaze fixed on the prize. We'll begin each day with hard compound motions, as we always have.


As opposed to pre-exhausting the prime mover and then moving on to compound motions, this is the ideal strategy to enhance overall training volume.


If you're not sure how to calculate your workout volume, it's as simple as weight reps. Starting with compound motions gives you the greatest bang for your buck in terms of volume.


Then, near the end of the training session, we will progress to isolation exercises after the chest is filled with blood, we have good control over the muscular contraction, and the chest is weary.


As previously stated, it's a good idea to divide your weekly training volume into two sessions so that you're doing the same amount of work but maximizing recovery and frequency to elicit greater growth. Having saying that, you may find these workouts to be too brief.


Simply workout as hard as you can and you'll see amazing results. If you're completing a set of 8 reps, each rep should be of great quality, and the weight should be heavy enough that you couldn't get a 9th rep.


Don't fall into the mental trap of believing that more is always better – it isn't. Perform one or two sets of lat pull downs, light rows, or pullovers before each workout to warm up your lats and upper back. This will assist you in safely stabilizing large pushing efforts.


PRESSING TIP:

When you reach the sticking point on the bench press, which is normally halfway through the rep, focus on forcing your elbows together over your chest. This mental reminder can help you complete that last rep that you would have skipped otherwise.


I'm going to offer you a template for how I propose you set up your chest training throughout the week. If you're used to trying to fit all of your training volume for a certain body part into one training session per week, each session may appear quick and straightforward to you.


The program below provides you with 20+ working sets per week. You will grow faster if you make each set count by going as heavy as hard as you can for the prescribed rep range.


The most crucial aspect here is the sequence of workout types and the overall format. The exercise chosen is less necessary as long as it performs the same goal as the movement described.


For example, if I have incline barbell press stated, you may substitute smith or dumbbell incline press because all of those exercises emphasize the upper chest. If you don't feel comfortable executing a workout, it causes you discomfort, or it just doesn't feel right, feel free to substitute anything else.


Let me make a few notes before you read through the training, since how you perform your training is just as essential as what you do in your training. First, make sure you've stretched any too tight muscles so that your posture and range of motion aren't hampered.


When the program below calls for, instance, two sets, that doesn't mean you should complete two sets and call it a day - it means you should do as many warm-up sets as you need, gradually increasing in weight, until you're ready to perform those two severe effort working sets.


THE BEST CHEST TRAINING TEMPLATE:

Warm-up sets, like working sets, should be tight. A slow and controlled decline is followed by a semi-explosive, fast concentric push.

You'll notice a column for back off sets. A back off set is a lighter set that you execute to failure or near failure in a higher rep range after you have completed your peak sets).


These are wonderful for really feeling the contraction after you've exhausted your muscle with a hefty load.


You'll want to cut the load by about 40%. Make sure you treat these the same way you would any other set. Controlled and with a moderate tempo.


I've given some notes on some exercises that you might like to learn more about, as well as some alternate motions, beneath the program. If you need to, look them up.


Let's get started on the training program.


Bench Press

The bench press set-up is crucial, because it might mean the difference between making good chest gains and ending up with a small chest and an injury. I'll walk you through it simply.


Your heels should be firmly planted and pressed down under your hips. This will exercise your glutes and provide you with a sturdy platform as well as a slight arch in your back.


Your traps should be firmly situated on the bench, with your scapula pleasantly retracted. Flex your lats so that your shoulders are not "shrugged."


This is your foundation. Grip the bar slightly wider than your shoulders. You don't have to go super broad. We'll do flies later. Right now, we're in a hurry.


Make sure your wrists aren't bent back - it's critical that your wrists be straight and that the weight stays over your elbow throughout the exercise to keep tension on your chest rather than your triceps and shoulders.


Lower the bar approximately an inch below the bottom of your chest, with your humerus forming a 45° angle with your torso. Engage your chest first, and then let your triceps finish the exercise.


Dumbbell Incline Press

The setup for this exercise is nearly identical to that of a flat press, with the exception that the bar path is over the middle of your chest rather than just beneath it.


Remember to keep the weight of the dumbbell over your wrist and your wrist over your elbow at all times.


Because dumbbells are less stable, there is a greater risk of damage if the weight cannot be stabilized.


Correct form is vital, as is just handling weights over which you have complete control.




Dips


This is a very powerful and sometimes ignored activity. Once you get the hang of it, you can wear a weight belt for increased resistance. The dip is similar to benching in that people tend to press excessively hard on their chest, resulting in shrugging and putting the shoulder in a susceptible posture. Instead, keep your elbows tucked and your hands in your pockets. Lower yourself until your arms make a straight angle, then press.


Incline Fly

As previously indicated, secure your body. Begin with the dumbbells directly over your chest and spread your arms as if you were going to give the air a big embrace.


Using your chest, bring the weights back across your chest, pronating your wrists at the top for optimum contraction. Keep our arms slightly bent and exhale at the top of the movement.


Consider your arms to be simply instruments for holding the weights, not that you are completing the workout with them.


Cue yourself to utilize your chest and build a strong mind-muscle connection.


Dumbbell Flat Dumbbell Press

Put yourself in the same starting posture as you would for a barbell bench press. To preserve form and avoid your elbows from flaring out too much, which would engage your shoulders and put you at danger of injury, place your wrists in a more neutral posture, which will allow your elbows to be more naturally tucked to your sides. However, at the top of the movement, you can pronate your wrists to achieve a peak contraction.


Cable Flys

Lean forward into the resistance and place the pulley just above shoulder level. Perform this exercise in the same way as you would a dumbbell fly, but notice how much more flexible you are in terms of range of motion and angles.

This is an excellent moment to work on developing a strong mind-muscle connection with your chest.


The most important technique here is to completely extend your arms at the top of the exercise and hold the resistance for a one-count.

Sven Press

This is an excellent finisher. You can use this for the machine press at the end of Chest Day II. Begin with a 10 lb weight or simply by pressing your palms together. You can eventually progress to a 25-pound plate. Throughout the action, keep the plate parallel to your sternum. Squeeze the plat between your hands and press it away from your torso, then bring it back until it hits your chest. Learn to appreciate pain!

Paused Floor Press

As if you were about to do a standard bench press, position yourself beneath a rack on the floor.


The beautiful thing about this movement is that it forces you to be in good form. Lower the weight to just under your chest, so that the barbell is over your elbows.


If you try to push the weight too high on your chest, you'll have to do a skull-crusher to press the weight, which is not the purpose here.


When your triceps contact the ground, wait for one count before driving the barbell straight up, initiating the movement with your chest.




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About

My name is Steven Goldstein

With over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry, I have worked with clients of all ages and fitness levels. From professional athletes to individuals aiming to lose weight, I have helped countless people achieve their goals and improve their overall health through customized training and nutrition plans.

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Consistency leaves clues

Hundreds of clients of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities have put their health in our hands over the years and achieved truly remarkable results. 

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