Building a big and powerful chest can be a challenge if you focus on the wrong exercises and reps.
In this article, we are going to cover the best chest workout that will help you build a thick and strong set of pecs, while also increasing your strength and power.
The main problem with almost every chest workout routine is that it only focuses on the middle portion of the chest with basic exercises like the barbell bench press and dumbbell fly.
An impressive chest has developed every section of the pectorals, and most importantly, the upper chest (pectoralis major).
Developing a chiseled upper chest will set you apart with your physique. It will give people the illusion that your chest is bigger than it really is.
It will make you look awesome in V-neck’s, and also put your bench press numbers through the roof – a double win!
Another problem is that some people are under the impression that big chests are built with pec flys, machines, and high reps: this is not the case. In this article, we will discuss what actually works.
Having a really well-developed chest starts with your mindset to training. Most lifters simply think that they want a “big chest,” but to get a full chest you have to develop each section of your pectorals.
This is the difference between having an aesthetic physique and not.
If your lower chest is too big and you have a very undeveloped upper chest, it may give off the illusion that you have “man boobs” instead of chiseled pectoral muscles.
This image illustrates the different areas of the chest that must be developed to achieve a full look:
Developing both pec major and pec minor will have a dramatic effect on aesthetics and strength. Take a strategic approach to chest training for maximum development of all sections.
First, let’s cover the forgotten but important chest muscle! The clavicular pectoralis.
Your upper chest is actually a separate muscle called the “clavicular pectoralis.” The best chest workouts put just as much emphasis on this section of the chest as the middle to lower portions. This is what creates aesthetics!
The tricky part about having a well-developed chest is that it takes much longer to build the clavicular pectoralis.
In fact, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could spend 10 plus years in the gym and never develop the clavicular pectoralis.
So, do you want to have the ultimate aesthetic chest with the strength to back it up? Let’s first dive into the 3 rules of training that you MUST follow to achieve this.
Since your pectorals are a large muscle group, you need to train them with heavy resistance and progressive overload.
What Does This Mean?
You have to lift heavy in the 3-8-rep range for the majority of your chest exercises. Despite what the guru’s and bodybuilding magazines say, this is how you build mass.
The best exercises include the dumbbell bench press, barbell bench press, dumbbell incline bench press, and the barbell incline bench press.
If you don’t put a heavy load on your pecs, you will not stimulate maximum hypertrophy and growth.
Rule of Thumb
You should make sure that 80 percent of your compound sets are done at 70-80+ percent of your 1 rep max.
So, if your bench press max is 300 lbs you will want to make sure you are doing sets of 210-240 lbs at minimum.
“Repping out” and chasing the “pump” in the 15-20 rep range may feel good, but the pump is short-lived, and it won’t translate into maximal muscle growth.
Save it for the end of your workout and focus most of your efforts on training heavy.
If you’ve spent years solely chasing the pump, you will experience a serious surge in gains by switching to this training methodology.
The biggest mistake that many people make with their chest workouts is that they don’t focus on big, compound lifts.
How many of your chest days involve pec dec machines & 100’s of pec flyes?
Here’s the truth: these exercises are the most effective at the end of your workout to add in some extra volume. They should never be the core focus of your chest day.
You will never build thick muscle and strength with the pec dec machine.
This is the problem with so many training routines. Stick with the proven basic lifts that work.
If you want your chest to grow, stick with the big three: barbell and dumbbell bench press, barbell and dumbbell incline press, and heavy dips.
No machines and no pec decs; at least not until you’ve put in the work on the heavy presses.
Sorry guys, this is the key to full chest development.
The most important rule to having a fully developed chest is that you must work the upper chest just as much as your lower chest.
Since your upper chest muscles are the most stubborn for growth, they will need just as much attention.
Not to mention, if your bench press has been plateaued for a while, hitting your upper chest hard may be exactly what you need to break through it.
Most people focus 90-95% of their chest workout on the lower-mid pectoral muscle development without even knowing it. It should actually be closer to 50-50.
The best chest workouts will grow the upper and lower sections equally.
And that’s it! No drop-sets, super-sets, tri-sets, pre-exhaustion sets, or anything like that. Just proven exercises that actually build muscle. Sure, these training principles can be added in for increased intensity every so often, but they should never be a primary focus.
Don’t go to failure every set. Leave 2-3 reps in the tank, and save your max effort set for the last set of each exercise.
So for example if you can bench press 225 for 5 reps, do 205-210 for 4 sets of 5, then 225 for your last set of 5.
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You will notice an increase in strength, pumps, and the ability to maintain peak performance deep into your training session when you would otherwise be fading.
Increased workout performance and volume over time will lead to more gains.
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Here’s the thing: building muscle and strength simply come down to consistent training, eating, sleep, and supplementation to recover and rebuild.
Consistently over time, that’s it.
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Adding weight to the bar, increasing the total amount of volume per workout, and re-building with optimal nutrition and supplementation. That’s the winning formula, there are no secrets.
Adding Growth Surge to your regimen will simply help you recover faster, get stronger, build more muscle, and boost protein synthesis immediately following your workout.
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Building muscle after 50 years of age (and older) is entirely possible with the right training program and proper nutrition. It’s never too late to transform your body and increase your strength. Follow these tips to make it happen!