T Nation

Pecs, Glorious Pecs


#1

I am going to keep this simple. … I want pecs so big you can ride on them. But I have personal reasons as to why this is so important (I was a rather overweight guy, and I had the infamous man boobs. I have lost a lot of weight and I NEED to build up huge pecs in order to fill that void and look decent).

I currently use 40 lb dumbells to do the following:

4 sets (12 reps) bench press
4 sets (12 reps) decline press
4 sets (12 reps) incline press
100 pushups (just started adding those and will work up to 250 pushups)

How can I truly focus on growing those pecs? Am I doing enough reps/sets? Should I go with heavier weights and less reps or lighter weights and more reps?

How many times per week should I do chest if I realllllly want to grow it? I know I need a day or two in between to rest those muscles too.

On days that I don’t do chest, should I still do the push ups - or is that counter productive?

I have pecs . . they are growing slowly, but I really want to push them. I see guys with massive pecs and I want to get there.


#2

More weight


#3

Don’t care if it’s machine based, the pec deck is great. Only recently started using it but I’m enjoying the soreness.


#4

I can’t stop seeing the word ‘pecs’…
But I’ve always rated dips of all kinds for building the lower chest over decline bench


#5

there’s only so big your pecs can get using 40lb 'bells.

I would just think in terms of the classic bro pec attack for now.

-Work up to a heavy set of 6-8 on a barbell lift (flat, incline, decline, doesn’t matter) resting as long as you need between sets.
-5 sets of a dumbbell press (flat, incline, decline, doesn’t matter but make it a different angle to your barbell lift) done in the 8-12 rep range with a moderate rest period.
-3 sets some kind of isolation exercise (I like pec dec, personally) with sets of 12+ reps and rest periods 1 minute or shorter.

Nuthin’ fancy, but it’s the [ezekial] bread and [grass-fed] butter of building a bodypart.


#6

I’ve never really liked big pecs. Ever since I read that article about weider having a muscle fetish and shit I just fell out of wanting them. How true it is, I have no clue, but I knew I didn’t want tits after reading it.

For the OP tho, do a ton of incline work. Flies, db presses, etc first to give you a more wide look, then move onto flat work. I wouldn’t ever really do decline if big pecs are the goal because the lower pec region always looks the biggest. Just do dips weighted or unweight with slow negatives.


#7

Slow eccentrics and pauses are your friends for pec growth. Plus get stronger.


#8

holy shit - when did you get so sexy? Just about came in my pants when I saw that new avatar


#9

Haha, thanks but still pointy knees clunky ankles 3/10 :grin:


#10

Tell you what Cam, everyone’s different, but flat work has been much better for me in terms of overall chest growth. Flat paused db for me has been the difference maker. Medium-high reps and heavy. Spoto pumps em up too.

I never wanted to have a big chest when I had higher bf, simply because of man boob fears. But when I leaned out, hard pecs really stood out. In a good way!


#11

funny you should say that: I’ve recently moved back to flat barbell work after literally years of avoiding it, and in only a couple of months I swear my chest looks really different.

It’s like it’s wider and thicker on the outside. I understand about nerve innervations and how you can’t target a specific portion of a muscle and blah blah blah but I swear to god my outer chest is getting significantly bigger faster than the rest of my chest.

The other thing flat bench is doing is bringing up my anterior delts. It’s not something I’d noticed but now I can see that they were really starting to lag behind my rear and side delts.


#12

I think a lot of that is dependent on grip width, how big of an arch you have, how much leg drive you use, etc. My triceps work more in my bench, but my hands are much closer than most. I don’t notice a lot of anterior felt development or outer chest and get more trice and inner chest out of it. I can see how that would happen though especially if ou haven’t been benching for a bit.


#13

I still think you should train your chest because it looks kind of goofy to be massive and shredded everywhere except your chest, I just personally don’t like the massive chest of today’s bodybuilders and such. I just don’t really like the look. My chest grows fairly fast though, so maybe that’s why. My shoulders and arms however do not at all so I guess you always want what you don’t have. Ha


#14

really narrow grip, no arch, zero leg drive. Arching my back hard to bench puts my lower back in hyperextension and that fucks me. Too wide of a grip fucks my shoulders.

Chest has always been an easier bodypart for me to grow too


#15

Are you arching your upper back when you bench? I know you already know this, but your low back shouldn’t really arch at all.

That’s strange that your outer chest is getting thicker. It’s always crazy to me what works for other people. My outer chest didn’t get any thickness until I added in incline flies and dips when I was younger.


#16

my whole body has the flexibility of a surfboard, so any significant arch at the top is going to arch me at the bottom. I do arch my upper back enough to get my upper back and lats tight, and shoulders set and to set my shoulders, but it’s not much of an arch at all; just sticking my chest out, really.


#17

This is all good solid information.

I had been working out at home, with the dumbells and bench that I had. But after reading all of the info, I think I have outgrown that phase lol.

So, I just signed up for a gym locally. And I will be going in tonight for the first time. I am very interested in the Pec Deck, and barbell presses (neither of which I have at home).

Thanks for all the info.

If I was to make Pecs my priority, how many times a week can I work pecs with positive effects? I know working them too much with no rest and without proper diet will defeat the purpose. Can I do pecs every other day for a while? Or every 3rd day?


#18

If you are a newbie you should focus on your back and legs the same way you do for chest. Yeah I know you don’t wanna hear this, but you’ll come to a point when you believe it. I once got in a nasty plateau in the bench press. I literally tried everything to make it stronger but couldn’t… Until I started training my back hard on pull ups and rows which set the foundation for new gains. That said, training chest twice a week should be sufficient


#19

Don’t know if building your chest up is going to fix skin issues.

I just wanted to say that I reckon today’s bodybuilders with their overdeveloped arms and thick midsections really dimish the look of the chest. I reckon most would be happy with Arnold’s chest.


#20

One exercise I’d recommend for upper chest if you’re just interested in building an aesthetic chest is what I call guillotine push ups. I’d always heard about the guillotine press as a great chest builder, especially for the upper chest, but it can be tough on the shoulders. So I used to set up a barbell in a power rack and put my feet up on a bench and do barbell push ups to the neck, just like you would with the bench press version. It gives you the same movement pattern as the guillotine press but gives you the shoulder health benefits of doing push ups over bench press. When I was more into bodybuilding type training, those built up my upper chest better than anything. You can load them with a weight vest or any other way people load push ups.