T Nation

Building up a bigger chest

Hey, I have been consistantly lifting wieghts on a regular basis for about 6 monthes now. I am happy with the results so far, except for my chest, I really want to bulk it up. So if you guys have suggestions on how to focus on building a huge chest that would be awesome. Thanks alot.

What have you been doing for chest? To really hit the chest use dumbells and do both presses and flyes. Weighted dips and push-ups are great also. Give some more background and I can give you some other ideas.

keep working out. it takes more than 6 months

well, flat benches aren’t going to help much in adding thickness… but a lot of us love to do heavy benches !!.. i think one thing a lot of beginners (and i’m not calling you a beginner, i don’t know) neglect in their chest training is two things: flyes and incline excersizes. good, deep streching flyes are the best. incline and flat bench flyes. parellel bar dips and normal incline/flat bench dumbel presses are great too. stretching the muscle is one of the ways muscle grows.

BENCH PRESS W/ PROPER FORM…i had been doing this exercise wrong for such a long time…basically i stopped when i couldn’t do another rep, not because my pecs were exhausted…flyes are good for getting a good stretch, which will facilitate growth, but there is a better way to get that stretch, and the bench press is the numero uno exercise for building bigger stronger pecs…due to its awesome pec recruitment…no othehr chest exercise compares to the pec recruitment of the bench press…try this and your pecs will get a superior workout (not like those old bench presses when you didn’t even feel the pecs being worked)…

  1. pull your shoulder blades together as if you were trying to touch the left one to the right one

  2. stick your chest out (kind of redundant since this will automatically happen if you do step one)

  3. grip the bar with your thumbs running along the bar pointing towards each other, this is a much better grip than the standard “wrap around” grip that most lifters use

  4. inhale deeply into your stomach at the top of the movement (you should be inhaling into your gut not your chest, practice this by standing in front of a mirror and taking a deep breath, if your shoulders come up, then you are breathing into your chest, if they stay stationary, then you are breathing in the correct fashion for this drill…INTO THE GUT) this cushion will give you extra stability and strength

  5. keep your elbows tucked back…do not let them drift foward in front of the bar…your upper arms should remain in the same plane as the bar throughout the entire movement…letting them drift forward takes the stress off the pecs and puts more on the triceps…(its really a poor habit…neither the triceps or pecs are being worked efficiently…its kind of an inbetweener between a press and an extension…US TESTOSTERONE READERS DO NOT LIKE INBETWEENERS…do a solid movement for either muscle, not a sorry-ass one that poorly works both muscles)

6. lower the bar slowly to your chest (try to take about 3 seconds...this can be switched up periodically, but this is a good starting point)...do not exhale or inhale during the lowering part of the lift...just simply hold your breath and keep that cushion of air in your gut)

  1. pause for a second when the bar touches your chest…do not relax at the bottom of the movement…just simply pause for a second while staying tight

  2. explode the bar off your chest with a dynamic effort…do not exhale until you have blown past the sticking point (if you exhale too early it will make you weaker…and getting past that sticking point is the biggest task of the lift)

  3. once you have past the sticking point…power breath the bar to lockout (i.e Sssssssssssttttttt)…take another deep inhalation and repeat for the desired amount of reps (8-12 reps is probably best for growth and hypertrophy purposes)

Now to get the stretching benefits of the fly…inbetween each set you conduct, grab a pair of moderatly light dumbells…lower your arms into the bottom of the fly position and hold that SUPER stretched position for 10 to 20 seconds (this is a superior stretch that you just dont get from doing regular flyes)…rest one to 2 minutes between sets and be sure to include this stretching exercise between all your sets…be sure to take 3-4 grams of Vitamin C when doing heavy stretching like this…this will help to repair the fascia tissue that you are stretching…also, periodically take breaks from this type of stretching, as it is very destructive to fascia tissue

After about 4 weeks of the PROPER FLAT BENCH…switch to the incline…then decline flyes or BP with dumbells…

Assuming that your diet and rest are taken care of…i guarantee that this exercise and stretching program will give you the hypertrophy that you are looking for…best of luck, and please, keep me posted

Also, if anyone else wants to use this info…go for it and please, keep me posted!

Try Ian King’s 12 weeks to super strength program.

I have noticed a few things. First, if anyone thinks that how they feel during an exercise can predict growth vs. strength gains is ridiculous. I think it was Stuart McRobert that said, “don’t chase butterflyes”. Meaning training for appearance gains is pointless. If you can do, I am exaggerating here, 20 chins with 100 extra pounds and do 10 dips with 300 lbs strapped to you, do you think it is possible to maintain a skinny appearance? move a lot of weight, often, track your progress with progressive weights, and when you cease to be able to move more weight, change. Change the tempo, rep scheme, order, exercises. you’ll be fine. Flyes are a great accessory, not a staple. keep your journal. If you don’t get bigger shoulders, pecs and lats, ask yourself, did you earn 'em?

I say if you’ve got big, say, legs, train your chest a similar way. For example, if you did heavy singles to build up your legs, do the same sort of thing for chest. Or if you did sets of 12-15 on legs, do sets of 12-15 on chest stuff. Also I agree with pete, it takes more than 6 months to get huge. Work on chest stuff for another 6 & you’ll probably go up a couple cup sizes.

Here’s the ultimate secret to getting a huge chest, real fast: take 2 grams of androstenedione, every day for a month. No?
But seriously, train your chest every three days. For example: Day 1-Chest, Shoulders; Day 2-Hip Dominant Legs, Calves; Day 3-off; Day 4- Chest, Horizontal Back; Day 5-Quad Dom. Legs, Calves; Day 6-Chest, Vertical Back, Arms; Day 7-off; Day 8-off, or repeat.
On day 6, you don’t want to blast your chest though, limit the number of pec sets to 6. Here are a couple tips: flys are a waste of time for mass-gain, declines are a waste of time period (just use them rarely, for a change), dumbbells are superior for stabilizer strength, but should not be used exclusively for mass gain. Remember, you don’t have to do what I recommend. Just use what you think is appropriate for you and combine it with info that you get from others. Good luck!

I almost forgot, you must EAT. and eat and eat and eat! Good food. If you don’t know nutrition, learn it!