The chest is one of the most sacred muscles for men.
The pecs are the foundation of one’s physique and they take countless hours, loads of sweat, and fatigue to the point where it hurts to move an inch in order to build them.
For women, working out the chest can
help make a more firm and “perky” chest.
Many men and women have a hard time building a solid chest and for good reasons.
The path to the ideal chest is often a windy road that sometimes backtracks, goes sideways, stops, gets bumpy, and very seldom has flat easy stretches.
There are no shortcuts on this road, but there are many paths to take (or you can be a trailblazer and create your own paths to take) that are straighter, smoother, and provide results faster. An easy way to get on one of these more direct paths is by doing lifts that are the most effective and will give you the most bang for your buck.
Being put in the right mindset is essential to making whatever route you choose to take easier. If you are in the right mindset there is less backtracking, stalls, and breakdowns on the road.
If you haven’t read my post called the 5 key elements to getting a bigger chest, I highly recommend reading it then coming back to this post because it creates a foundation for you to build off of and puts you in the right mindset for working out in general!
Anyways back lifting and the windy and straight roads. The more effective the lift, the more you will gain from it, and the straighter the path to your goal will be. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.
The exercises that I list in this post aim/target the middle chest. In order to get a killer chest for men and women it is important to develop all the muscles of the chest, but developing the middle section of the chest will create a fuller chest that has more mass and is more defined. You should also be hitting the upper chest, lower chest, and “inner chest” as well so that your chest is balanced!
There are more lifts for the chest than stars in the sky! Well not quite that many…but you get the point. In order to reach your goal faster, you must do the lifts that will be the most effective and put you on a straighter and shorter path!
The most effective lifts that will put you on the Fast Track to growth are down below! BUT make sure you are following the 5 key elements to building a bigger chest and keeping the 4 golden keys in mind when doing these lifts or planning your next workout!
If your favorite lift didn’t make the list, I’m sorry. Message me and tell me what lift it is and why it should be on this list. 🙂
1. Barbell Bench Press
This lift is the bread and butter of the gym!
It is no surprise that it’s the first one on our list! The barbell bench press is the gold standard for upper body exercises. It puts your shoulders, lats, traps, neck, triceps, and of course your chest to work. Every well-designed workout regime or plan includes this lift!
The bench press is in every workout plan because it allows you to press a lot of weight and it gives yourself the most potential to get stronger and build more muscle.
This lift is one of the most effective ways to get stronger and add mass to the chest and surrounding areas! It is the best lift to do to activate your chest! (1) But, you MUST make sure are using good technique and make sure you are progressively overloading as you do this exercise if you want to see real progress.
Progressively overloading means that you’re doing more reps, more sets, or adding more weight to the bar each week.
The pec dec made the list because it is
one of the best ways to engage and activate your chest muscles. A study tested the EMG during different chest lifts, or in other words, it tested how much a the chest is activated in different lifts.
The barbell bench press came in at an average EMG of 100. And in second? The pec dec. It came in at 98 ± 26.4. What this means is that the pec dec activates the chest just as much (or almost if you’re nit-picky) as the barbell bench press. So there is no reason why you shouldn’t not include this lift in your workouts.
Make sure when you are doing this lift (as well with all of your lifts) that you are creating a mind-muscle connection with your muscles as you lift! By focusing on squeezing and creating that connection, you will activate the muscle more, as well as get a better pump than if you didn’t!
3. Dumbbell Press
The Dumbbell Press is the bench’s brother.
The dumbbell press is great because each arm must independently stabilize the weight and independently push the weight away from the body! This exercise made the list because it allows you to go relatively heavy and gain muscle.
It is a great variation to do instead of the barbell bench press, or even do after you’re done bench pressing!
4. Dumbbell Flyes
Dumbbell Flyes are another one of the best lifts because they allow you to really squeeze your pecs and create the mind/muscle connection that you should be trying to create with every lift you do!
When doing these make sure you keep your elbows locked at about 135-165 degrees!
Dips are an excellent all-around workout.
They target your lower chest more, but I decided to add them to this list because they are such a great workout! Make sure you are using good form when doing this lift so that your chest is being used more! Add weight when this lift gets too easy and progressively overload.
6. Cross Cable Flyes
Cable flyes are a variation of the dumbbell flyes that use cables instead. To emphasize the middle chest, make sure the cables are set so they are at or around your nipple line/chest height.
Keep your arms at around 135-165 degrees, keep your elbows locked and “squeeze” your chest at the end as your bringing the cables in.
These lifts target the middle chest! The barbell bench press, pec dec, dumbbell press, dumbbell flyes, dips, and cross cable flyes will put you on the fast track for creating a bigger, more defined, and sexy looking chest for men and women.
It is important that you work the upper chest, lower chest, and “inner chest” as well to make sure that your chest is balanced and not lagging in any of those areas.
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