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Most guys dream of it, but very few can attain a strong, powerful, highly developed chest. We’re talking about the perfectly proportioned, slightly squared and rock hard pecs you see on many athletes and fitness models.
In pursuit of the ideal chest, lets first dispel some of the fallacies out there about how to build a great pair of pecs. While lifting heavy is essential, doing really low rep ranges will be counter productive to chest size as you’re working for neurological gain at that range, not hypertrophy. In addition it’s also virtually impossible to completely isolate different parts of the chest (upper/lower).
The chest is primarily composed of the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor muscles. As the pec major is a single large muscle, areas of it can not be isolate – the whole muscle will always work during chest exercises. However the angle of the press can place a focus on targeting the upper section of fibers slightly more than the lower section and visa versa. Finally, working your chest every day will not help you grow. In fact, it will do the opposite. Muscles only grow while resting and repairing, thus it’s essential to give your chest time to recover between workouts.
Compound movement first—Do this to stimulate the highest number of muscle fibers as well as release the maximum amount of testosterone and growth hormone.
Work the chest at various angles—While areas of the chest can’t be isolated, they can be focused on. Be sure to work at various inclines ranging from decline to 45 degrees.
Focus on dumbbells rather than barbells—You’ll get a better range of motion and force the muscle to work harder using dumbbells as opposed to a barbell.
Use isolation movements at the end—once you’ve done your allotted presses for the day, finish up with isolation movements such as flies or cross overs. Work with lighter weights and higher reps for your isolation exercises.
Don’t forget your legs and back—I know this seems weird, but if you truly want chest gains don’t neglect training your legs and back. Heavy leg training promotes testosterone and growth hormone release, which will aid in building a bigger chest. Training the back will ensure that that your posture and posterior to anterior strength remain in balance.
|Multi-angle DB Press Superset
|Decline DB Press
|Flat Barbell Press
Exercise Physiologist, and Sports Conditioning Coach, Byron Paidoussi sculpts athletes, as well as average Joes, into superheroes. Certified Personal Trainer, Pilates Instructor and Nutrition Counselor, Whitney Cole is a triple-threat in the fight against fat. Together they own and operate FITNESS and FUEL LA in West Hollywood, California, where they inspire clients to exceed their fitness potential by developing no-fail, holistic total-body conditioning and performance nutrition plans.