By Shawn Russell – MuscleTech® Ambassador
If you want some serious training tips for building an awesome chest then listen up. I’ve had a solid decade to figure this out, and what I tell my clients about building a BIGGER CHEST is this: stick with the basics like push-ups, dumbbell flyes, incline bench press and dumbbell pull-overs, plus one more thing you’ll have to wait until the end to find out, until you have created all of the mind-muscle connections necessary to create YOUR best chest gains possible – in other words you have mastered these moves with perfect form! As we continue here I’ll tell you how to maximize these moves to completely BLOW UP your chest from top to bottom and inside out during your next chest day. Your chest is made up of the pectoralis major and the pectoralis minor, the major being the part that you actually see and the minor being underneath major. Furthermore there are two parts to the major – the upper clavicular head and the lower sternal head. You need to have your mind connected to all of these muscles through practice before you can build that BIGGER CHEST. But don’t worry; I’ve got you covered with the 5 KEY MOVES that will help you master them in no time. You’ll work all of the chest muscles with the basic movements I mentioned… but with a twist. Don’t forget to include Clear Muscle as part of this routine. Executed with precision, you’ll not only see the results, you will feel them too.
So let’s get started!
These are 3 different styles of push-ups performed back to back in repetitions of 7. You start out doing 7 normal push-ups (all the way to the floor and up with your body flat) with hands just outside of your shoulders to hit ALL of the chest muscles, then 7 push-ups with your feet on a box or bench – hands on the floor shoulder-width apart as to perform incline presses hitting the upper chest, and then 7 more push-ups with your feet on the floor, hands on the box positioned slightly inside shoulder width as to perform decline presses hitting the lower sternal head. You perform all 3 and rest for 30 seconds and continue for 3 more sets for a total of 4 sets of 21s! Feel free to switch up the order as you wish. *If this is too easy for you then perform the split with as many reps as you wish, REMEMBERING to perform the same amount of reps for each style of push-up to remain balanced.
2) EXTENDED DUMBBELL FLYES
Performing the fly is one thing, but performing an extended dumbbell fly is another – this is true range of motion (ROM). The extended fly is performed by laying supine on a bench with two dumbbells in hand and after extending them and supporting them above your chest, with a strong arm and slightly bent elbow, slowly bring the dumbbells out to your sides, controlling the weight (remember that mind-muscle connection we talked about creating) – your muscles will do what your mind tells them to. So, you hold them there and let the weight and gravity stretch you out for about 5 seconds, then you slowly raise the weight back to the starting position at the top. When you raise the weight you’re supposed to go slow so you can really squeeze the muscle at the top and maximize muscle fiber growth. Perform a total of 12-15 solid mind-muscle creating reps resting for 60 seconds – perform 3 more sets for a total of 4 sets. What the stretch does is completely and fully expands ALL of the chest muscles and allows the muscle fibers to be broken down during the first stage of TEAR AND REPAIR, where you break your muscle down through exercise and then build it back up through proper nutrition and rest. Nail the Extended Dumbbell Fly and you’ll soon be seeing striations across the top and bottom of your chest.
3) NARROW GRIP INCLINE BENCH PRESS 15s
Not only does this move PUMP you up like no other exercise, it also helps you get through those pesky sticking points. Use a weight you can perform 15–20 reps with. Your hands should be positioned on the bar right at shoulder width – no further out, no further in – so position them accordingly and evenly – and FOCUS. Lift the bar off the rack and slowly lower it to your chest and pause. Press the bar up only halfway for 5 reps and then press it all the way up. Next lower the weight halfway and pause. Press the bar up from halfway for 5 reps and then lower it all the way to your chest. Finally, press the bar all the way up and all the way down for 5 complete reps for a total of 15 awesome Narrow Grip Incline Bench Press. When you do this you start on the lower half of the move because it’s as if you’re shaping the muscle from pushing the muscles inside out and when you get to the top of the move it’s as if you’re creating the outer harder shell of your chest. By that time you have performed 10 awesome half reps, prepping you for the final 5 full reps where you really can use both halves of the exercise to power through and create in one full motion that full inside-out chest press rep. It’s awesome and you’ll be impressed with the pump – I guarantee it! Rest for only 60 seconds and get in 4 sets.
4) DUMBBELL PULL-OVERS
This one has seemingly fallen off the road map to BUILDING A BIGGER CHEST for most people, but let me tell you, performing dumbbell pull-overs will have your chest, particularly your lower sternal head, BLOWN UP through a complete expansion and contraction rep. Lay supine on a bench holding a single dumbbell vertically above you, bring it all the way back behind your head as far as you can, stretching maybe even pausing to let gravity work a little and slowly raise the dumbbell back to the starting position at the top, squeezing your lower chest as hard as you can – remember to BREATHE. Your maxed-out pec minor will be pushing on your completely PUMPED up pec major, giving you a pumped chest that will have you buying new tank tops soon! Do 4 sets of 12, resting 45 seconds.
This final one is of utmost importance!!!
5) FLEX & STRETCH
You may see some guys or girls flexing in the mirror from time to time between their sets and wondering, “who the hell do they think they are?”, but let me tell you something. People who FLEX & STRETCH between sets are activating more muscle fibers and creating a harder, more fuller muscle as well as creating better tie-ins to other muscles through this static hold. What they’re doing, knowingly or unknowingly, is optimizing the muscles’ potential to grow. Expand the chest through stretching, making it bigger and contract it through flexing, making it harder and more dense. Next time you work out on chest day, FLEX & STRETCH between every set to BUILD A BIGGER CHEST. Okay, so there you have it! These are the 5 Key Moves to Build a Bigger Chest that you should definitely incorporate into your next chest routine. Or better yet, just make this your next chest workout!