Training

Best Chest Moves

From A to Z, the top chest-training tips from 26 modern chest masters.

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Pecs make the bodybuilder. They form a breastplate, armor cast in flesh, vigilant guards before the engines of life itself. So there’s that. But they’ve also become so emblematic of “jacked” that today’s kids are as likely to hit a most-muscular as a double biceps when asked to “make a muscle.” We’ve assembled an alphabetical guide to growing your fleshy breastplate—26 top tips from current chest masters. From A (for angles) to Z (for zone) and all the letters in between, this expert advice will help you grow more chest flesh to flex.

A = ANGLES

“The chest, more than any other body part, has distinct regions that need to be worked with different exercises and hit from different angles. There’s the upper chest, lower chest, inner chest, and outer chest. Each of those should get some work in every chest workout. I’m doing six exercises [incline dumbbell press, Smith machine incline press, incline ye, at machine press, decline machine press,
pec deck ye or cable crossover] to make sure I hit every angle.” —Cody Montgomery

B = BENCH PRESS

“I always do some kind of at press. I use either dumbbells or a barbell, and I switch it up. The dumbbells make me work harder to balance and steady them, and I can also find the perfect groove because I can position my arms in ways I can’t with a barbell. On the other hand, a barbell allows me to put on more weight and just press because there’s less focus on balancing. They both have advantages, but lately I’ve been doing more dumbbell bench presses.” —Lionel Beyeke

C = CABLE CROSSOVER

“Cable crossovers are almost always in my routine somewhere, especially pre-contest. Sometimes I superset them with something else, like Hammer machine presses, and sometimes I do them alone at the end of the workout. They’re all about the contractions. I don’t even care how much weight I use. You can make any weight feel heavy on these if you squeeze your pecs hard enough.” —Dexter Jackson

D = DIP

“The advantage of draping chains over your shoulders during dips is they pull you forward, so you work your chest more and your triceps less than when you have a weight dangling between your legs. Also, I don’t really want a weight between my legs if you know what I mean. And when I use two or three chains, I can shed one easily to do dropsets.” —Branch Warren 

E = EXPERIMENTATION

“It’s easy to get into a rut with chest training. Variety is crucial, whether you’re switching exercises or switching the order of exercises. [Trainer] Charles Glass is always switching things up for me. Every workout is like a surprise attack for my muscles. It’s only through experimentation that you learn which exercises work best for you, but you also need to keep experimenting— what worked best for you last time might not work best next time.” —Shawn Rhoden

 

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