The chest is the muscle men focus most of
their time on in the gym and always aim to get bigger and stronger. The bench press is the gold-standard by which men measure their “you know what’s” in a more polite manner. One’s bench press max determines a man’s mightiness and it is important to keep this muscle in shape and constantly be aiming to improve it because your manliness depends on it. Strength is not the only factor of manliness too. Size, definition, and the shape of the chest are important factors as well. People at the gym usually have 2 goals in mind.
1. They are there to make themselves look better
2. They are there to get stronger
Some people are there only for reason 1, others are there for the other, but most people are there for both.
Heck if someone only cared about their chest strength they would only do one variation of the bench, the flat barbell, and bench 3-4 times per week. They would obviously get stronger over time but they wouldn’t have a balanced chest and they would be more prone to injury. This guide aims to give you all the resources you need to build a strong, chiseled, and balanced set of pecs.
The chest can be classified into 4 main parts.
The middle chest, the inner chest, the upper chest, and the lower chest. It is essential to work out all 4 of these areas so that a complete, well-rounded, chiseled chest develops.
I’ll cover those areas later in the article but there are also 5 key elements that are vital to developing those areas of the chest. They are hard work, variation, rest, diet, and consistency.
Psst…If you’re looking for the free 12 week workout and 7 tips to increase your max it’s at the bottom. I feel like it is vital you don’t miss out on the 5 elements that you need to know before using it, but if you don’t think so skip on ahead to the bottom.
As with many things in life going to the gym requires work.
This may seem like a dull and stupid statement but really think about it. Every time you’re in the gym do you push yourself to your max and absolute limit? Do you dread going to the gym because you know you’ll have no energy by the time you’re done with your workout? By the end of your workouts, can you do a single pushup or squat or raise your arms above your head? And if you’re doing arms, can you even curl a pencil fully?
Just some food for thought, but putting everything you’ve got into your workout will produce a greater yield and produce bigger and juicier fruits from your labor than if you are mediocre in your workouts. This concept of hard work applies to all workouts, but the chest is the muscle we are emphasizing in this article so we will apply it to the chest.
It is essential that every day it is chest day,
upper body, push day, or however else you might split up your workout you go your absolute hardest on every rep of every set and don’t cheat yourself out of your own gains.
It is OK if you are aiming for 8 reps and you can only do 6 on your own. If you have a spotter or gym buddy, they can help you on the last two and that is an excellent set. BUT, if you are aiming for 8 and pump out 8 no sweat and you stop you may have completed the amount you were supposed to but not how you were supposed to.
You should have either added more weight, to begin with, and pushed yourself harder, or you should have recognized that you did too light of weight and gone past 8 reps. Dropping a rep, or even a set is hurting no-one else but yourself. You shorting yourself out doesn’t hurt your gainz as much as it hurts your mind.
Losing your gainz from skipping out on 1 rep or set is a big deal because you will never have the chance again to get that workout on the 19th of December of 2018 again (or any other Day of Month of Current Year that you skip a rep or set on). BUT, losing out on a rep or set is nothing in comparison to losing trust in yourself.
Someone can no longer trust themselves after they say they’ll do something and they don’t. For example, saying they’ll do 4 sets of 8 reps and only doing 3.
This toxic mindset where you can no longer trust yourself will hurt your future gainz because you can no longer follow a plan. And following a structured plan is essential to be efficient and produce solid gainz. We’ve all heard it over and over but there are no shortcuts in the gym. Sweat, blood, and hard work are needed every time you step into the gym. And for the chest or for any other muscle group it is no different.
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Variation is another one of the key elements to building a stronger, balanced, chiseled chest.
Now for those of you who don’t know what variation is, it is simply changing your workout up every now and again by doing different lifts and doing different reps and sets.
Variation is important because your body is like an engine. An engine must be well balanced and finely tuned in order to work properly, and your body is no different.
Having some parts be less tuned up than others will lead to the engine not working as effectively and eventually breaking down. By changing things up slightly or a lot each week it ensures that your muscles stay in balance and are all oiled up.
Unlike an engine, our body gets used to loads and adapts. By changing things regularly the body is put into shock (the good kind) and it allows for greater gainz than if you continued to do the same workout week in and week out. For the chest, it is important that you hit the 4 areas and do different lifts to hit them.
The 3rd key element is adequate rest.
Resting your body is just as important as hitting the gym.
Giving your body enough time to fix things up and make your muscles stronger will benefit you more in the long run than continuing to hit muscles that haven’t had enough time to rest.
It usually takes 2-3 days for a muscle group to fully heal. Sometimes it takes longer, especially if you are just beginning to work out. For me when I first started working out it would take a full week to stop feeling sore in an area.
I could drag this topic on further but there is not much more to say than to make sure you’re resting.
Diet is the 4th key element and it goes hand in hand with rest.
Do not be scared by the word diet. Diet in this context is what you eat and how much, not a certain plan to lose weight or strict eating guidelines.
Having a nutritious diet ensures you’re giving your body enough of the building blocks it needs so that all the hard work you’ve been putting in through various workouts will give you the results you’ve earned. If you skip out on the diet part, all the hard work you’ve done in the gym will go down the drain.
Actually, most of the time not all of it will be lost, but you won’t be getting all the gainz you’ve have earned in the gym and it blows my mind if you are OK with that idea! By now you’ve done all the hard work in the gym, now all you’ve got to do is make sure you’re getting what your body needs to build more muscle.
In order to make sure you’re getting all the gainz you’ve earned you’ve got to make sure you’ve got enough protein coming in, and you’ve got to make sure you’re taking in more calories than you’re burning.
After you’ve built a solid chest by working hard and eating enough of the right stuff, you can then worry about cutting weight and losing body fat so that the chest really pops out and is toned.
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The last key element is the most vital of them all.
Never Stopping. Building a balanced, rock-solid chest is a marathon. Getting a phenomenal chest doesn’t take a month to build. It takes years. That is not to say you can build a great chest shortly! After 1-3 months you can see huge changes and improvements, especially for beginners, but it takes years to build the ideal chest. It is not a short 100-meter sprint then stopping…then sprinting again.
It is vital when trying to build your ideal chest that you continue working and pushing forward. Muscles are dynamic organs in the body. The body is extremely efficient and what it doesn’t need it will get rid of. What this means is that if you are not training your chest (or any other muscle) and getting it stronger (or maintaining it) you will lose it. It is as simple as that.
Stuff happens in life: you get sick, you go out of town, maybe a relative dies, but you must do your absolute best to continue working out your chest when it is time to hit it and to continue to do so. For life. If you ever stop, your gainz will recede and they’ll be easy to get back if you miss a day, but after a month, or a year it will take a lot longer to get back (and more importantly get the discipline back that you once had).
If you get a plan and stick with it forever your chest will always be strong and look good.
4 Sections of the Chest
As I mentioned before, the chest can be split up into 4 sections
-The middle chest
-The Inner Chest
-The upper chest
– The lower chest
When working out the chest, more often than not you will be simultaneously hitting 2-3 or sometimes all of the muscles in the pectoral region. There are many lifts that put emphasis on certain sections of the chest and it is vital that you add these lifts to your regimen in order to help balance out and create a fuller chest.
If you want to learn which lifts target the specific areas of chest check out my other articles because this post would be waaaayyy too long.
Click any one you want to look at from here
After you have read how to target the certain areas, don’t go running off to the gym to start pumping out as many push-ups, bench presses, or any other lifts that were mentioned in the other articles.
If you’re that excited to get started that is wonderful, but you need structure.
Following a structured plan and having certain goals every time you are working out your chest will turn you into an efficient chest building machine.
Having a plan is important because you’ve got to know where you are going and the steps you need to take in order to get there. You could go online and get any plan you want! There are countless numbers of free online resources that you can take advantage of BUT many of these resources have been created by guys that don’t know what they’re talking about and don’t back it with research or science.
There are some programs out there that are free, well researched, and work but those are hard to come by. LUCKILY for you I’ve got a FREE 12 week program that includes 7 tips to increase your bench max that I’m giving away! This plan is written by best selling muscle writer & powerlifter Mike Westerdal. Just fill in the required information below and you’ll get on the gain train that so many others have jumped on.