T Nation

Best Pec Hypertrophy?


My pecs are my worst area. Can someone recommend specific exercises, including number of sets and reps with which they've had real success getting their pecs to grow? I can get a good pump with guillotine incline bench, dumbell bench etc, but just can't seem to get any long-term growth proportional to the rest of my body. Chest has been a problem since I was in high school (34 now). To be clear, I'm talking hypertropy, aesthetic size-growth only - my chest is strong in proportion to the rest of my body, just small. And yes I've read the articles on this issue but was looking for some real-world advice based on actual success.



The articles are written by in the trenches coaches and people that know their shit.

And you want an "opinion" from the Internet???

Here it is: lift that bar off your chest and stop using pussy weights.

Repeat for one year.


if you can feel your pecs being stimulated, and you can progress to heavier weights and eat to put weight on the scale, inches on your chest and more plates on the bar.... what else is there???


Seems like there needs to be some type of magic spell after that or something


Warm-up before bench press. Do standard push-ups and then do some of those clapping, high velocity push ups where you explode to fire up the CNS.

Move over to the bench press and ramp up to around 6 sets with the last set using around 90% of your 1RM. At this point, depending on how you like your training you got either bang out some floor flyes or go straight to unilateral dumbbell floor presses. With the floor presses you can do a multitude of variations with reps and sets - it's up to you.

And that's basically it. You can also incorporate incline smith machine press for sets in that work-out or delegate another training session in the week for pecs.

Follow this and you'll get pecs so big you'll be able to absorb bullets. Fuck yeah.


Would help to know what you've been doing that didn't work.
Example: I get better hypertrophy from heavy flies.
How are your shoulders and triceps, in proportion? maybe they're taking over?


Yes, this is the problem, I think. I've got strong shoulders and tri's relative to my chest and I think they do most of the work in bench press. I've had better luck getting a good pump with wide-grip guillotine incline, but even with dumbells I feel like I'm getting a lot of shoulder and tri. I can press 155x5 but can only bench about 250x5, which I understand to be proportionately weak. I'll try flies tonight - thanks for the suggestion!


After your heavy set of 'normal' presses:

Do a more pec dominant movement - don't lower the bar all the way down (stop as soon as pecs are fully stretched and tight), keep elbows out more, wider grip on the bar (just outside shoulder width)...do some sets of that, around 6-8 reps, keep adding weight and you'll be sorted.

^ That's all I've ever done to bring pecs up. Like any bodypart, it takes time and good strength increases to make it grow...but as soon as the target muscle takes much of the load and weak links removed (e.g. shoulders) the weight increments will flow along (like it did for me) and you get strong pretty quickly


Variety works for me, chest and otherwise.

I do a three day split currently, 6 days per week and hit chest twice weekly during upper body "push" day.

One day I'll do flat bench heavy followed by weighted dips for hypertrophy. Next time incline heavy and flys for hypertrophy, either dumbell or pec deck for example.

Works for me.

Also pushups, lots of pushups.


It sounds simple and it is but just make chest a priority. Hit it first in the week and do more exercises for it than for any other muscle group. Also figure out which exercises you feel better than others and focus on working your chest instead of just moving the weight up and down


u need to do heavy compound lifts like bench pres to overload the muscle.


Do you ever notice how the guys coming in here complaining about a lagging chest are NEVER the ones bench pressing in the 300s for reps? Hmmmm....interesting.


Also keep in mind CT's suggestion to do a push workout by starting with pressing, then moving to inclined, than flat bench. This way, your shoulders and triceps get tired by the time it comes to train chest. I dont press in the 300's for reps, but my hypertrophy is OK. With my long arms, flies are better use of my mechanics for the desired result.


yes this is what you should do, good answer.
You could also add some oly ring push-ups with your feet on a bench and the rings set at bench hight, that will pre-fatigue the stabilizers surrounding the shoulder muscles a bit.
Good luck mate.


bench 4 plates


Thanks. I tried flies and this is giving me a much better pump than bench. Yes, I'm sure that if I woulc bench 405x10 my chest would be huge. Is this really a suggestion though or just a put-down? I'll take you seriously though, and say that yes, there's a guy in my gym who can deadlift 680, squat 650 and bench 315x5, and no his chest isn't impressive at all related to the rest of him. I'm talking proprotion, not just pure size. There is a difference.


It wasn't a put down at all. I can't bench in the 3s for reps yet. Just pointing out the fact that you'll get hoards of advice before anyone even thinks to offer the suggestion that maybe you just need to get your chest stronger. It doesn't even seem like it's something you originally considered considering your OP has no mention of your strength levels.

I'm guessing the guy at your gym is a powerlifter? In which case, he's not trying to bring up his chest, just bench in the way that most optimally utilizes his leverages, pulling in alot of delts, tris, lats, and leg drive. But I'm talking about Bodybuilders, as you did post this in the BB section. And of course, there are also guys who can't bench in the 300s for reps, but have well developed chests. On this site, I would say a good 99% of posts started about a lagging chest are NOT from guys benching in the 3s for reps.


You only bench 250x5 and military press 155x5. I wonder what the problem is?!


he also has a relatively weak bench


Yes, he's a powerlifter. I don't know many bodybuilders on or off this forum though that focus much on bb bench. They seem more generally into dumbell work or in general doing chest moves that are more about isolatoin than about pushing big weights.