The 'ABC Guide To Big Pecs'

As part of our ‘ABC guide to big. . . .’ we will be discussing in depths the fundamentals of developing a strong looking chest this week. As we covered with our arms guide last week it is so important to have a grasp of the basic fundamentals. As you read through our guide to chest development you should become equipped to avoid all of the common pitfalls and mistakes people make, so here goes!

Your pectorals are split into two separate muscle groups, the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor. It is often the case that people overlook the importance of stimulating both muscle groups, which is partly the reason as to why people struggle with chest development.

To really accelerate your chest development you need ensure you are covering all bases and that includes knowing a basic set of rules, a list of ‘do’s and don’ts’ if you will. To help you gain a basic understanding below is your chest training checklist.


. Use a range of angles when you press including incline, decline as well as flat, WHY?

This will ensure you are hitting your upper chest and lower chest areas which are often neglected.

. Use dumbbells more than barbells to press, WHY?

Dumbbells allow for a further range of motion and they also enable you to achieve a better muscular contraction. Furthermore, dumbbells place your connective tissues under far less stress than a barbell, potentially limiting your risk of injury.

. Train your chest for around 40 minutes once a week, WHY?

Your chest is very easy to over train especially because as you fail you your deltoids and triceps take over. This can lead to a lack of chest muscle stimulation, hindering your progress.


. Don’t lift too heavy, WHY?

This isn’t as daft as it sounds! Go as heavy as you possibly can as long as you can CONTRACT your pecs on the way up of the repetition. Pressing a huge weight from A to B often means your triceps and deltoids are taking a lot of the stress which isn’t achieving what you want it to.

. Don’t use a full range of motion when you press, WHY?

If you lockout your arms when you press your pecs catch a break as your triceps take the strain. This isn’t going to help your cause as you aim to breakdown your chest muscle fibres. Lowering the weight so it touches your chest is also potentially going to take the weight transfer away from your pecs and on to your deltoids. Again this isn’t necessarily going to help you!

. Do flat barbell bench press every week, WHY?

Flat bench barbell pressing is often hailed as the ‘ultimate’ chest exercise, and although it is good it certainly isn’t the only way. If you do this every week I think you are risking taking the stress of the weight away from the pecs and to other muscle groups. This is why I advocate the use of dumbbells more than barbells when you press!

There are a basic set of rules for you to follow to help ensure your chest development progresses better than ever! With that being said you now need a training plan to follow. As always, I think it is best to follow a 3 week training cycle as I do with the Y3T workout principles devised by IFBB pro trainer Neil Hill!

Workout 1 –

3 X incline dumbbell press 8-12 repetitions

3 X decline barbell press 8-12 repetitions

3 X dumbbell flyes 10-15 repetitions

Workout 2 –

3 X incline barbell press 12-16 repetitions

3 X flat dumbbell press 12-16 repetitions

4 X cable cross-overs 12-18 repetitions

Workout 3 –

3 X flat dumbbell press 20-25 repetitions

3 X decline dumbbell press 20-25 repetitions

2 X cable-crossovers 20-25 repetitions

2 X dumbbell pullovers 20+ repetitions


Ok guys there are the basic fundamentals of chest training. Now all you have to do is implement the key points in our ‘ABC guide to big pecs’ and watch your chest grow!

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