Go to any gym and you’ll find most of the people with good arms, straight back and maybe good legs, but what you won’t find very easily is people with good chest muscles.
When I asked this question to my trainer, he gave me two reasons:
Reason #1: Most of the people don’t work chest muscles as much.
Reason #2: Chest is a big muscle and it takes more time to build.
I found both of these explanations quite convincing. But, as I got more involved into fitness and I talked to more and more people; I found out many people who did lots of chest workout and they have been doing it for so long. Even then, their pecs were not up to the mark.
Then came to my my mind another reason that could be the causing small pecs in men.
Reason #3 – Genetics
The more I read, saw and talked about body building the more I realized that genetics played a major role in muscle building. Some people naturally have good biceps, some people have good back and some people have good leg muscles.
And, even if they don’t do much about a particular set of muscles, they still grows. Like, a friend of mine literally did nothing for this calves, yet he had very thick calve muscles. How unfair!!!
This was another convincing reason, but I wasn’t satisfied. This couldn’t be it.
So, I thought some more and came up with bunch of my own reasons behind it.
Reason #4 – Other muscles, too much
Almost all the chest exercise we can do takes the help of the other muscles. Like, when you are doing biceps or triceps, you are doing most of the work from them, but this is not the case when you do chest exercise.
For example, push ups is a very good exercise for chest, but in that you use your arms the most, especially when you are a beginner or not focusing well.Or when you are doing dumbbell press, most of the work in done by arms and very little chest muscles are used.
Reason #5 – No explosiveness
No matter what muscle you are targeting, you’ll seldom get great results if there isn’t a level of explosion. This is the case especially with huge muscles, like leg or chest. I know it is good to be in control while working out, and you might have heard a billion number of times, how you should take things slowly.
I agree that the technique of taking things slowly can be very useful in many cases, but it doesn’t work well for the chest muscles. Of course this won’t apply to people who have genetically very good pec muscles.
I rarely saw anyone doing explosive chest workout and that is one very big reason why most of the people don’t have good chest.
Reason #6 – Myth of bench press and chest
There are million of people who think that bench press is a good exercise for chest. That is so not true. Bench press is a compound exercise, which means, it utilizes multiple groups of muscles. And, chest is one of them. FYI, compound exercise helps in increasing testosterone.
While doing bench press you use biceps, triceps, shoulder chest — if you are doing it properly, then your back also. The use of chest is minimum, as other muscle group provide major part strength for bench pressing.
Most of the people do a lot of bench press and they focus less on other chest building exercises. And, that is a major problem.
Okay, just analyse this on your own. Go to gym and use a good amount of weight and see for yourself which muscles are you using the most. Depending up on your grip, you’ll either be using biceps and front delts or triceps and front-outer delts the most.
So, here were few reasons why most of the people don’t have big chest muscles. Now, we will see some genuine solution for this problem.
This is probably the best way to build chest muscle. While doing any of the chest exercise, whether it is push ups or dumbbell press or pec deck, make sure to be explosive.
I’ll give you a trick. While doing push ups, instead of doing 15 X 3 or 20 X 3 kind of thing, do as much push ups as you can in a limited amount of time.
For example, try to do 30 push ups in 15 seconds. Or 20 push ups in 15 seconds. Whatever suits you the best. The thing to remember here is that the better pushup:time ratio you have the bigger muscle you ‘ll build in a very less amount of time. Believe me, you do this and you’ll start seeing results in the first session.
Tip: For better pushup:time ratio, listen to most electrifying music you have. I use to listen to the WWE theme songs.
Focus on chest
When I said bench press is not a very good exercise I am sure many people will disagree with me. And, they would be right at their place. The thing is, it actually depends on how you are doing it. People who are well trained can use the chest muscle much more if they want to.
But, this is not easy for beginners. Specially, in bench press, with lot of weights.
This goes for all the exercise, if you focus well, you can use you chest muscles more in exercise like, push ups or dumbbell press. All you have to do is keep bringing back your attention to chest muscles. Analyse if you are using or not using your chest muscles.
Clapping push ups
Remember that scene from “You don’t mess with zohan” when Adam sandler claps while doing push ups. Although, it looks funny, but most of people don’t realize that it is a very-very effective chest building exercise. To be frank, the clapping it not the main part, actually it just tells how far have you pushed yourself off the ground.
The main purpose of this exercise is to push yourself off the ground, when you do that, you’ll break lots of muscle fibre, and breaking muscle fibre is the first step in building the muscle.
Important: Focus of two things, throwing yourself as far as you can from the floor and while going down, go as deep as you can, that is going closest to the ground.
Just follow these three techniques and you will start seeing result not in months or week, but within days. Also, the diet you are on also plays an important role. Remember to eat lots of protein and lots of food to increase the level of testosterone. Because having good amount of testosterone will help you build muscles quicker.
Testosterone to build chest muscle
Chest is a very big muscle and as we know in order to build muscles we require testosterone, to build such a big muscle we require more testosterone. Compound exercises are known to increase the production of testosterone as they target a large number of muscles all at once. So, in order to build chest muscles you also need to include various compound exercises in your workout routine. Bench press, deadlift, pull ups and squats are some examples of compound exercise.
There are also some foods that you need for the production of testosterone. Foods like Oats, Oysters, flax seeds etc. Without implementing these foods in your diet, you can’t expect more free testosterone to be produced by your body. And, as I said before for a big muscle like chest, you do need more testosterone.
Target chest muscle from different angle
In general, when you are working on your chest from an incline position you are targeting your upper pecks, when you are on a flat bench then you are targeting your middle pecks and decline position for lower chest. It doesn’t matter whether your are doing dumbbell press or dumbbell flys the same logic applies. I see many people skip the decline part and some of them miss the incline part. It doesn’t work that way, it is similar to only training your long head of the biceps while ignoring the short head. For overall development of you chest muscles you need to target it from all the angles, it will also help in releasing more growth hormone.
What are the best exercise for chest?
Dumbbell press and dumbbell flys are probably one of the best exercise for chest. One helps with the width of the chest and the other adds mass to the chest. All you have to do is keep few things in mind while doing these exercises. First of all, while bring your elbows down to your side, to must take them as low as you can, till you feel a tight stretch on your chest. Secondly, this do can do more in dumbbell flys, while going to the top, make sure to squeeze your pecks as hard as you can. Most of the people who dumbbell flys are too much worried about going with the flow that they forget about squeezing which is the most important part of this exercise.
Building chest muscle is already a difficult task and it will become more difficult if you don’t have proper diet. You must make sure to add both protein and carbs in your diet. If you are under training you’ll need more carbs than usual. Most of the people who are trying to build lean muscle prefer to stay away from carbs and it is not entirely wrong. But, you should know that your body can only convert a limited amount of protein into muscles, the rest of the protein is used for energy(4 Kcal/gm).
Carbs not only prevent body to use protein as an energy fuel but it also provide glycogen to your muscles, which is the energy currency for your muscle. It is also said, only 25% of the muscle is made up of protein and the rest 75% consists of water and glycogen. So, to build chest muscles you’ll need lots of carbs. Although, excess carbs can be converted into carbs but don’t be over cautious. Over cautious people limit their carbs intake too much which not only smothers muscle development but it also effects their performance in gym.
You need heavy weights to build chest muscle
Just a general rule that can be applied to all muscles, you just can’t build thick and big muscles without lifting heavy, especially when the muscle you are targeting is big. The chest muscle, as I have said, is one of the biggest muscle in your body. You must use heavy weights if you want to get big chest muscles. But, you have to do all this without losing your form.
Tip: When you are doing dumbbell press or any other muscle you tend to use other small muscles too much. These muscles aren’t as effective in lifting heavy weight as your chest is. So, you feel start feeling and tiredness while lifting. You must analyse on your own that you only use chest muscles and nothing else. That way you’ll able to lift heavy and with ease.