How to grow your chest
I’m yet to train a bloke who doesn’t want more definition or size in their pecs. In this article, I’m going to give you 3 key variables for enhancing your chest and ensuring your moobs are left behind for good.
1. Vary the angle
If you want a bigger, more defined chest, then varying the way you press is absolutely key for growth. I see a lot of guys stuck in a rut when it comes to chest development, the main issue being that they do the same variety of press week in week out.
This would be the equivalent of training for a marathon, but only ever running 5 miles. At some point, if you want to fun a full marathon, you’re going to have to change what you do and run 6, 7 then 8 miles etc.
In this video you can see that I’m performing 3 versions of the DB press. The Incline DB Press, Flat DB Press and the Decline DB Press.
Each version will target and recruit your pectorals in a slightly different way, aiding in overall chest development. With the Incline Press you will target the upper portion of your pecs, with a Decline Press you will target the lower portion of your pecs, and the Flat DB Press will target a bit of both.
Most benches in gyms will have at least 5-6 different gradient settings, so that’s 5-6 different angles to target your chest.
Key point – Vary the angle of attack on a regular basis or you will severely limit opportunity for development.
2. Vary your reps
If you simply lift the same amount of weight for the same amount of reps each week you will never progress, your muscles need varying stimulus in order to grow. You should progressively overload your muscles, meaning you must try to improve on what you do week on week. This may mean that you lift more weight, or more reps with the same weight or more total volume.
Here is an example of how you can change your set and rep scheme over a 16 week period.
- Week 1-4: 3 x 12-15
- Week 5-8: 4 x 8-10
- Week 9-12: 4 x 10-12
- Week 13-16: 5 x 6-8
With each different rep scheme you will target different muscle fibres and thus enable your chances to change those pecs.
Key point – Doing 3 sets of 10 week in week out is only going to get you so far, change your sets and reps regularly.
3. Vary your exercises and apparatus
Using Dumbbells is a fantastic way to train, but you can really enhance growth if you use other bits of kit in your routine. Barbells, cables, dip stations, pec machines in your gym, press up variations, all will work the pecs in slightly different ways and thus have a slightly different benefit.
With DBs for instance we can change grip from palms facing (semi-supinated) to pronated (palms facing away) or even use a 45 degree version, as shown in the above video. Which now means we have 3 more ways to vary the way we target the chest. All three versions will allow for a different stimulus and a different range of motion.
You could use a Barbell with a wide grip, a shoulder width grip or even a slightly narrower grip.
You can do flyes with cables or with DBs, as shown in this clip.
You can use dips like in this video and add extra weight when you become strong enough.
Key point – Vary the exercises and apparatus you use on a regular basis to change the stimulus your pecs receive.
If we add up all the different exercises and combinations, there are literally thousands of different ways we can train the chest. Sticking to the same versions all the time will mean you will never develop.
Change the angle of attack, use different equipment and use different sets and reps combinations. It is also important to understand that you can change too regularly, so my advice is to complete a given workout for 4-6 workouts then change it.