The chest pump has to be the most satisfying of all body part pumps, with a chest pump comes that feeling of instant growth, looking swole after your set of heavy bench presses, with your shirt a lot tighter than it was when you first entered the gym. It seems everyone these days wants to build a chiseled chest, and rightly so! After all, a huge chest screams strength and power, and also looks great on the beach.
Moving away from aesthetics, functionally having a strong chest is good for everyday activities, reduces the risk of shoulder injuries and makes a pectacular statement on stage.
In this article I will go through a typical chest workout for me, you will see there is nothing fancy just good old fashioned basics that have been proven to work time after time.
After some rotator cuff exercises I'll generally start really light with a machine fly and do 4 sets of 20 reps increasing the weight each time. I do this for a couple of reasons, it ensures the chest is fully warmed up, stretched out and prepared for the heavy push movements. It also pre-exhausts the chest so you can use less weight to take you to failure. Again, this means there is less risk of injury. If you struggle with mind muscle connection on the pec’s and are shoulder dominant, getting the pec’s fired up first before moving onto pressing movements will help that.
Flat Barbell Press
Still is, and always will be the king of exercises for a massive chest. As I have no shoulder issues I’m able to complete the exercise through full range of movement, with good form and pushing some heavy weight. To get the most out of this tremendously affective exercise form is crucial. Perform the reps at a slow tempo, focus on contracting the chest muscles on both the eccentric and concentric parts of the movement with a good squeeze at the top. Me personally, I don’t lock out my elbows as I like to keep constant tension on the chest and not stress the joints. I normally shoot for 4 sets, 15,12,10, 6-8 reps. Then add in some rest pause and drops sets.
Incline Dumbbell Press
Another great mass building exercise if executed correctly, using dumbbells over a bar bell has the added advantage of recruiting the stabilising muscles in the shoulders, which also act as a synergist in this movement along with the triceps. Like with the bench press form is also crucial here, controlling the weight is imperative as more injuries can occur using dumbbells over bar bells due the need to stabilise them with independently. The angle you have the bench is completely personal preference, for me 45 degrees is too high and recruits too much shoulders. So I like to have the bench around 30 degrees. I’ll do 3 sets of these, 12, 10, 6-8 with rest pause and drops sets incorporated into the last set.
I believe this is a massively under rated exercise and one that I include into every chest workout. Muscles grow by stretching and contracting and this exercise is perfect for that. Have the bench around 30 degrees, come down under control keeping your elbows back feeling the stretch across the upper chest, engage the chest, bring the dumbbells together, squeeze the chest and hold for a few seconds, the pump from this exercise will definitely induce some growth into the pec’s. I will normally do 3 sets of 12 reps massively focusing on lowering the weight slowly and squeezing the chest at the top of the movement.
I use dips to hit the lower part of the chest. Leaning forward, keeping the core tight and not locking the triceps out helps keep the tension on the chest as the top quarter of the movement is mostly triceps. You could use a dip belt, dumbbell between the feet or the chains like I’m using below. It’s an advantage using the chains as they bring you forward so help to keep the tension on the chest. I’ll do 3 sets of these till failure.
“DON’T WISH FOR IT, WORK FOR IT"