The first thing that everyone notices on a great male physique is a big, thick, round chest. It doesn't matter whether the guy is in a bar or at the gym, when his muscle-bound chest goes by, everyone takes a peek. If you already are that guy, congratulations—you can celebrate a set of primo pectorals. If you're not there yet, then you did the right thing by clicking on this article. I am going to let you in on a few secrets to developing the chest you always wanted.
There are no two ways about it, if you want a big chest, you better get ready to lift big. The biggest mistake I see in the gym is the rookie 17-year-old doing endless sets of cable flyes. Everyone seems to worry about the small details before they even have the muscle to make those details stand out.
Keep It Simple
For a big chest, the best things you can do are heavy compound (multi-joint) movements. No matter if you're hitting a flat bench or an incline bench with dumbbells, you have to put extreme stress on the muscle fibers to make them grow.
Generally, this happens best in the six-rep range. Now, I know every bodybuilding book you have ever read says to do 12 reps, but in my experience that number isn't enough to stimulate the proper motor units and fast-twitch muscle fibers.
You need to do heavier sets. Teach the central nervous system to fire more motor units at the same time, and muscles can contract faster, tighter, and harder.
But we're not done yet! Even after we have taught more muscle fibers to fire more effectively, we need to cause hypertrophy to get that muscle to blow up.
The most effective way to do this is by training your chest twice per week, every week.
The Big Chest Breakdown
Your split for chest should comprise two days. The first chest day will be low-volume, high- intensity training. Even though you only do six reps, the weight should be heavy enough that you reach failure on that sixth rep. You'll do 10 total sets in the 6-rep range over three different movements. Give your chest at least 72 hours of rest before you hit it again.
The second day will consist of higher-volume, lower-intensity work. Notice, I didn't say "low intensity"—I said "lower." For this workout, you do 15 total sets in the 12-30 range over four different movements.
Better Chest Moves
What separates the big boys from the rest of the crowd is that nice V-shaped notch of muscle right by the clavicle. No one respects droopy-looking pecs—they just look weird and weak. Here are some effective moves you can implement for a bigger, badder chest.
1. Incline Bench Press
The most common exercise to create that upper chest is the incline bench. And while it's effective, guys tend to cheat by lowering the angle so it's almost like a flat bench. If you choose to do incline, use strict form and remember to contract your chest; do not rely on your shoulders.
2. Barbell Neck (Barbell Guillotine) Press
Set up the flat bench on the Smith machine for safety and align the bar so it will come down right below your Adam's apple. Begin with light weight and do the movement slowly. Make sure you are not overly externally rotating your shoulders and that you come down as close as you can to your neck without pain.
You'll feel a big stretch across the top of your chest and should get a dramatic feeling of contraction along the clavicle. Remember to concentrate on squeezing your chest. You don't need to lift a ton of weight.
3. Modified Incline Dumbbell Flye
Do this movement on a 45-degree incline bench. Start with your hands supinated at hip level with a moderately light dumbbell in each hand. Arch your back, keep your chest high, and scoop the weights up across the body in a hugging motion until they reach face level. You should feel a contraction in the top of the chest and also in the front deltoid.
This will give you that great chest/deltoid tie-in that everyone wants. Concentrate on the contraction of your chest—not how much weight you can do. For an added burn, follow this movement with normal incline flyes until failure.
Do a total of 10 sets in the 6 rep range in three different movements.
Do a total of 15 sets in the 12-30 rep range in 4 different movements.