Chest Workout: 4 awesome Exercises to Carve Out a Rock-hard Chest (According to Science)

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If you want strong, powerful, and defined pecs that pop, you want to do these chest workout and exercises but before we begin.

Understand your Chest

chest-muscle-antonomy

Many people are confused about the anatomy of the chest muscles, otherwise known as “pecs”. And this is because they’re not exactly sure whether it would be one big muscle or a muscle group that has separate sections, upper, middle, and lower.

The simple truth is that your chest is comprised of one large muscle, which has an “upper portion” on the top part just under the clavicle, which is technically still part of the same muscle, but the muscle fibers are angled differently, and thus this “upper chest” can be targeted with few key movements (and yes, this has been proven in EMG studies too).

So the chest is comprised of;

  • Pectoralis major, sternal head (the large “main muscle” of the chest).
  • Pectoralis major, clavicular head (still the same muscle, but with a different angle of fibers.

Optimal Training Frequency and Set/Rep Patterns for Chest

You may have heard claims that the chest grows best with high-rep work. Maybe you’ve read about a training program of some extremely shredded fitness model on a bodybuilding magazine and now think it would be smart to follow his 15-20 rep sets to get “that burn”.

The best way to build your pecs is to get as strong as possible on a handful of key exercises.

So that means you need to lift heavy weights.

The smartest way to train chest as a natural lifter would be to choose 1-2 main lifts which you would perform at the rep range of 2-6 (to build strength) and then pick 1-2 assistance lifts which would be performed at rep ranges of 8-12 (to expand muscle glycogen stores and gain mass). The amount of sets per exercise varies a lot between individuals but should land between 2-5. Training chest muscles 2-3 times a week is enough, more than that and you’re not going to properly recover for being able to progressively move into heavier weights (and if you can’t, your gains will plateau rather quickly).

Here’s an example of what this could look like in practice;

  • Main exercise for the sternal head of pecs 6×3
  • Main exercise for targeting the clavical head 6×3
  • Assistance exercise 10×4
  • Assistance exercise 10×4

chest- workout

4 Best Chest Exercises for Rock-hard chest

  1. Incline Press

Chest Workout: 4 awesome Exercises to Carve Out a Rock-hard Chest (According to Science) 1

The incline bench press is one of the best of  chest exercise variations because it helps build the upper portion of the chest and middle portion of the shoulders more than flat or decline pressing.

I call it the undertaker cut.

Chest Workout: 4 awesome Exercises to Carve Out a Rock-hard Chest (According to Science) 2

  1. Flat Press

Chest Workout: 4 awesome Exercises to Carve Out a Rock-hard Chest (According to Science) 3

There’s a reason why every well-designed weightlifting program includes the bench press as one of its core exercises.

The bench press is one of the best all-around upper body exercises you can do, training the pectorals, lats, shoulders, triceps, and even the legs to a slight degree.

Evidence for this comes from studies conducted by scientists at California State University, the Institute of Human Performance, and the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul that show that as long as you’re using heavy weights, you can activate nearly all of the muscle fibers of the chest during the bench press.

And more muscle activation generally leads to more muscle and strength gains over time.

This is why research shows that the stronger people get on the bench press, the more their chest muscles grow.

  1. Cable cross over

Chest Workout: 4 awesome Exercises to Carve Out a Rock-hard Chest (According to Science) 4

The cable crossover is a great chest exercise Opens a New Window.  because it stretches the pecs from the start position, hitting the outer pec muscle fibers. Your pulley position is determined by the area of the chest you want to target.

  1. Dumbbell Flyes

Chest Workout: 4 awesome Exercises to Carve Out a Rock-hard Chest (According to Science) 5

The dumbbell chest fly is similar to the cable fly, except it’s performed with dumbbells and while lying on a bench.

Dumbbell flyes provide a couple of excellent benefits.It helps sculpt and shape your pecs.

This exercise targets the sternal heads of your pectoralis major muscles, which are found in your chest, but also strengthens your deltoids, biceps, triceps, wrist flexors and brachialis muscles.

NOTE: Click the links for video examples.

Remember–Progression is the Key to Muscle Growth

That’s it for the best chest exercises.The key, however, isn’t just doing the exercises–it’s progressing on them. That is, increasing the amount of weight you can move over time.If you don’t get stronger, you won’t get bigger.

But if you do work on building your strength on these exercises, and you eat enough food to grow, your chest will respond.

That’s it on the exercises. Out of all the dozens and dozens you could do, these 4 are all you need to build strong, full, and big chest.

The key, however, isn’t just doing the above exercises. It’s progressing on them. That is, increasing the amount of weight you can handle over time.

Remember that as a natural weightlifter looking to get bigger, you must focus on getting stronger.

If you want to look jacked, you’re going to need big, strong, defined chest. And especially if you want to have Rock-hard chest.

Most weightlifters know this but fail to get the chest they really want mostly due to making one or more of the following mistakes:

The three biggest mistakes most people make in their chest workouts are:

  1. Focusing on the wrong chest exercises.
  2. Focusing on high-rep training.
  3. Neglecting progressive overload.

And by the same token, you can basically guarantee good results by going in the other direction:

  • Focusing on below exercises
  • Doing a lot of heavy lifting
  • Ensuring you’re progressing over time

If you follow those principles, you can’t go wrong, and especially if you put most of your time and effort into the following 4 exercises:

  1. Incline Press
  2. Flat Press
  3. Cable cross over
  4. Dumbbell Flyes

 

The Best Chest Workout Routine

Exercise Sets Reps
Incline Press 3 6-8 Reps
Flat Press 3 6-8 Reps
Cable cross over 4 8-12 Reps
Dumbbell Flyes 4 8-12 Reps

 

What About Supplements?

I saved this for last because, quite frankly, it’s far less important than proper diet and training.

You see, supplements don’t build great physiques–dedication to proper training and nutrition does.

Unfortunately, the workout supplement industry is plagued by pseudoscience, ridiculous hype, misleading advertising and endorsements, products full of junk ingredients, underdosing key ingredients, and many other shenanigans.

Most supplement companies produce cheap, junk products and try to dazzle you with ridiculous marketing claims, high-profile (and very expensive) endorsements, pseudo-scientific babble, fancy-sounding proprietary blends, and flashy packaging.

While workout supplements don’t play a vital role in building muscle and losing fat, and many are a complete waste of money…the right ones can help.

So let’s just quickly review the supplements that are going to help you get the most out of your chest (and other) workouts.

Recommended supplements

  • Whey Protein

Conclusion

Building chest is not rocket science, and although some people try to make it sound like it would be astronomically complex, the reality is that you just need to properly work your chest.

You don’t need fancy drop-sets, no muscle confusion bullshit, or any other weird trickery.

Just hit the chest workout once a week with focus and intensity following the above guidelines and you’ll grow.

As you can see, learning how to get big chest is not as hard as you think. Your chest grows when subjected to progressively heavier and heavier weight week after week, using exercises that maximize the muscle activation in target fiber bundles. Anything else is just hi-fi hype and very likely results in no extra gains whatsoever.

You can forget drop-sets, muscle confusion workouts, “pump-training”, and all that nonsense. If you’re natural trainee you simply need to pick up heavy objects and workout with them until you can pick up even heavier objects.

Just remember to use effective movements, constantly progress to heavier weights (progressive overload), and train heavy. This article should literally be all you need training-wise.

also do checkout

4 of the Best Workout Routine For Men To Build Muscles


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