Keeping Chest Simple

Right, I’ve done a fuck ton of research on building chest and there are so many differing routines with seemingly over complicated variations.
Is there, and this might be a very novice question, a simple set of say 3/4 workouts (press-ups, bench, fly’s etc) that I could really focus on to build a decent size chest?
Or am I barking up the wrong tree

What does your current training look like?

Is there any particular reason you need to specialize training your chest?

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How are your other body parts responding to your training?

When I first started training I wanted most for my pecs to grow. Over the years I grew to see that in competition, if you had to pick a body part to lag the others, pecs would be the best choice.

I’ve just started lifting after years of cardio based training and so I’ve tried to set myself small goals to keep motivated, first is a 3x3 100kg bench (I’m still incorporating all other body parts, just chest focused)

Shoulders are coming on ‘ok’ and back is fine. Chest is just not quite responding so I think I’m over complicating it

If your goals are go make muscles grow AKA “Hypertrophy”, then why are you training for this?

I would be inclined to agree. If you’ve just started training for muscle growth, you’re very early on to be seeing any body parts lag. Stick with training all major muscle groups (push, pull, legs, hinge) and reassess a good 6 months to a year in… you can’t really tell a body part is lagging if everything is mostly untrained (in the bodybuilding sense).

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If you just started training, your chest will grow by sheer nature of training it. Wait until you have a problem to solve before you try to solve it


Slight incline bench x 15-20 reps x 3 times per week.

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Exercises matter very little. Pick 1-2 exercises you like and if progressive overload will be present, you will be fine.

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to build pure size, I would pick the press variation that works for you the best, and hammer it with varied reps and lots of sets. I don’t agree with the “don’t worry about it it will grow”. IME, bad bodyparts tend to get worse. They don’t miraculously fix themselves. This is assuming other bodyparts are growing.

The “go to” IMO for people with lagging pecs would be a slight decline DB press. Why? Decline minimizes shoulder involvement. The angle of the decline matches the angle (line of force) of a majority of the pec fibers. DBs allow stretch and contraction v. BBs. You may need to use higher reps for chest, depending on what is causing the issue (strong surrounding muscles? small muscle belly? Weak “nerve force”? etc).
Often, using heavy weights will decrease the amount of participation of the “weaker” muscle-your body will recruit the strongest, not the weakest. Bret Contreras’s EMG studies show many instances of LESS weight targeting MORE muscle in compounds, including, specifically, Chest pressing (BBs/DBs)
Oh…in terms of what you “should” work. Let’s face it. Many guys want to work chest/arms. That’s what gets many of us “hooked”. Train what you want. Avoid disproportion, of course, but unless you are getting ready for a contest then what you build is your own business.


Thanks for this, great response