Bodybuilding.com Information Motivation Supplementation
in:
Wimpy Chest No More: 3 Chest Routines For Massive Growth!

What can I do to lose my small, weak chest? This seems to be the most common weak point I hear about. Here are a few routines that are sure to blast new growth into your chest. Good luck!

By: Jim Brewster

Article Summary:
  • Knowing the anatomy of the muscle you're training is critical.
  • When training the chest, you have to ensure complete development.
  • Remember to work chest first or on its own day for best results.
  • I get a lot of questions from people who complain of having a weak chest. This seems to be the most common weak point I hear about. I can relate because I've always felt my own chest was weak in terms of both size and strength, so it's only fitting that I start off this new series on weak point training with an article on chest training.

    The chest is a complicated muscle, and one of the larger areas of the body. In fact, you can have several different problems with the chest: good size but a weak upper chest, not that much size and still a weak upper chest, maybe your inner chest just isn't right, maybe your outer chest seems weak, or worse yet, maybe your chest doesn't respond at all and you feel your bench presses in your front deltoids and in your triceps instead of your chest.

    The Chest Is A Complicated Muscle, And One Of The Larger Areas Of The Body.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    The Chest Is A Complicated Muscle,
    And One Of The Larger Areas Of The Body.

    Knowing the anatomy of the muscle you're training is critical, so we'll take at look at that first.

    dot
    Chest Anatomy
    dot

    Once you understand how the chest works during normal activities, you will find it easier to visualize how your chest works during your training. Often a weak muscle can be traced back to not feeling that muscle working.

    With chest, it's easy to feel it much more in the triceps and front deltoids; this is a common problem we will address shortly. The chest is made up of two muscles:

    1. The pectoralis major
    2. The pectoralis minor

    The pecs are attached to the humerus of the arm, right near where the shoulder joint is. They then run across the front of the body and originate on the breastbone.

    The pectoralis major is attached to the front of the body on the rib cage. The pectoralis minor is found underneath the pectoralis major. It originates on the ribs and attaches up to the scapula, specifically at the coracoid process.

    RELATED VIDEO: Getting Cut With Glass!
    Episode #3: Chest Training!

    Watch as IFBB Pro Trainer Charles Glass and IFBB World Masters Champion Bob Cicherillo train Adam Kirby for the upcoming 2007 Mr. Venice Beach competition, and train you on how to Get Cut With Glass!
    Watch More From This Series Here.

    The pectoralis major brings the humerus across the body while the pectoralis minor moves the shoulders forward. Together, you get the bench press movement. Brining the arm across the body only gives you the fly movement.

    The chest may seem simple, but in reality it is not. When training the chest, you have to ensure complete development: overall chest mass, adequate upper chest development, adequate outer and inner chest development.

    When Training The Chest, You Have To Ensure Complete Development.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    When Training The Chest, You Have
    To Ensure Complete Development.

    The middle and lower areas are usually not a problem as the flat bench hits these areas pretty hard, but otherwise, no one exercise will completely work the entire muscle evenly.

    dot
    Building Your Chest
    dot

    Of course, everybody wants to do the bench press, and everyone wants to know how much you can bench. While the flat bench press is a critical exercise, it cannot be the only exercise.

    Yes, you want to lift heavy for reps to build overall mass and the bench will be the core mass movement in the routine options I present, but you have to include a number of other movements and techniques to bring up a weak chest.

    RELATED ARTICLE
    5 Chest Workouts For Mass - A Beginner's Guide!
    [ Click here to learn more. ]
    Chest Workouts For Mass!
    This guide discusses the chest, its function and exercises. Try these 5 great chest workout programs for size.
    Author:
    Alex Stewart

    Alex Stewart

    Going back to feeling the muscle work, many people don't feel the chest muscle at all, this is largely a result of poor form and poor rep performance as well as not knowing what the chest muscles are supposed to do during the exercise.

    When setting up to do a bench press, you must stick your chest out and push your shoulders back into the bench. Stay on the bench, none of this twisting and arching like you're having some kind of seizure!

    Squeeze the chest muscles at the start, and do a slow, controlled rep - not some super fast rep, this isn't a race! Grip width and elbow angle in relation to the bar is important: you want a grip that's around shoulder width and elbows straight out at a 90 degree angle. However, play with both of these if it helps find a way to feel the muscles easier.

    RELATED POLL
    What Grip Do You Use When Bench Pressing?

    Narrow
    Shoulder Width
    Wide
    Varying

    I would also suggest putting your hand on your chest and, taking your other hand, slowly mimic pushing and flye movements to better feel how your chest muscles respond.

    I suggest the use of varying rep ranges and different intensity techniques to get the most out of a weak point program, which really means you'll be shocking the muscle with new and different training ideas, these will be presented in the routine options below.

    RELATED VIDEO: LiftRite Video Exercise Guides
    Episode #4: Bench Press!

    Impressive pectoral muscles are often defined as the very foundation of a manly physique. In this installment of LiftRite, learn the proper lifting techniques for mastering the bench press! Check it out ...
    Watch More From This Series Here.

    Remember to work chest first or on its own day for best results. If you do chest by itself, do deltoids and triceps on their own day, not to close to chest day to insure recovery.

    dot
    Nutrition And Supplementation
    dot

    The usual ideas concerning nutrition and supplements work well here: adequate protein intake, meaning at least 1 gram per pound of bodyweight, divided over 6-7 feedings, including the critical post workout shake, adequate carbs leading into the workout for training energy, simple carbs as part of the post-workout shake and using supplements like creatine, NO, glutamine to enhance muscle growth, and to take advantage of the "cell volumization" idea.

    You can add any number of products to this basic stack, dependent on your goals. I do think you could add a multivitamin and joint product to the above stack; you don't want to ignore basic nutrition and joint protection.

    dot
    Chest Building Routines
    dot

    dot
    Routine 1:
    dot

    Bench Press:

    Perform 3 warm-up sets of 15, 12 and 10 reps, increasing weight with each set. These sets should be easy and should also be used to focus on how the muscle is working.

    Concentrate on how the chest feels, and make adjustments in your form now as opposed to when the weight gets heavier.

    Follow the warm up with 3 sets of 6-8 reps. This will be our core exercise; we'll want to add weight to the bar every 1-2 workouts. On your 3rd set, do partial reps, the half rep is from halfway back up. Take your sets to failure.

    Partial Reps:
    Partial reps involve performing an exercise without going through a complete range of motion either at the beginning or end of a rep.

    Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip
    Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip
    Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip.

    Incline Dumbbell Flyes & Incline Dumbbell Press:

    Perform 3 sets of 8-10 reps on the dumbbell flyes, then go straight into 3 sets to failure on the dumbbell press.

    Incline Dumbbell Flyes
    Incline Dumbbell Flyes
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Incline Dumbbell Flyes
    Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Incline Dumbbell Flyes.

    These are done as a way to extend the set, you should fail on the flyes and then change the angle of the dumebbells to "press style" to bring in help from the triceps and front delts, and keep repping to failure. Keep the incline low, as in one hole up, to minimize front delt involvement.

    Incline Dumbbell Press
    Incline Dumbbell Press
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Incline Dumbbell Press
    Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Incline Dumbbell Press.

    Incline Bench Press:

    Perform 1 set of 1 negative rep. Here, add 20% more weight to your heaviest flat bench, and, using a spotter or power rack, un-rack the bar and hold as long as possible, lowering slowly.

    One rep is plenty for this; it'll be a long rep. This should feel brutal, like you're fighting to avoid being crushed by the weight. If this seems in any way easy, add weight.

    Negative Reps:
    One or two partners help you lift a weight up to 10-50% heavier than you would normally lift to finish point of movement. Then you slowly lower weight on your own.

    Barbell Incline Bench Press - Medium Grip
    Barbell Incline Bench Press - Medium Grip
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Barbell Incline Bench Press - Medium Grip
    Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Barbell Incline Bench Press - Medium Grip.

    dot
    Routine 2:
    dot

    Barbell Bench Press:

    Perform 3 warm-up sets of 15, 12 and 10 reps, increasing weight with each set. Then, perform 3 working sets of 8 rest-pause reps.

    By rest pause, I mean do as many reps as you can, rack the bar and count to 10, un-rack the bar and do as many reps as possible, rack it one more time for a 10 count, un-rack and knock out a final 2-3 brutal reps.

    Rest-Pause:
    Do a set to failure. Rest for 5-to-10 seconds then do a few more reps with the same weight. Do this once or a few times depending on your energy levels and how far you wish to push.

    Incline Dumbbell Flyes Superset With Incline Bench Press:

    Perform 3 sets each, 8 reps on flyes, 8 reps on the bench press, rest pause 2-3 times to failure.

    Dips:

    Perform 1 set of 8 reps on the dips.

    Dips - Chest Version
    Dips - Chest Version
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Dips - Chest Version
    Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Dips - Chest Version.

    dot
    Routine 3:
    dot

    Barbell Bench Press:

    Perform 3 warm-up sets of 15, 12 and 10 reps, increasing weight with each set. Then, perform 3 working sets of 8 rest-pause reps.

    Straight-Arm Dumbbell Pullovers:

    Perform 2 sets of 12 reps here. Do these reps in an explosive manner on the rise, and slow and controlled on the lowering portion of this exercise.

    Straight-Arm Dumbbell Pullover
    Straight-Arm Dumbbell Pullover
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Straight-Arm Dumbbell Pullover
    Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Straight-Arm Dumbbell Pullover.

    Dumbbell Flyes:

    Perform 3 sets of 8 reps on the dumbbell flyes in a continuous, slow and controlled manner.

    Dumbbell Flyes
    Dumbbell Flyes
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Dumbbell Flyes
    Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Dumbbell Flyes.

    dot
    Additional Techniques
    dot

    dot
    Grip:
    dot

    You can focus in on certain areas by changing your grip. If your outer chest seems weak, widen your grip, you'll feel it much more that way.

    Don't come in with to close of a grip, while a close grip seems to hit the inner chest more it also heavily involves the triceps.

    RELATED ARTICLE
    Expand Your Chest Dimensions With Flyes!
    [ Click here to learn more. ]
    Expand Your Chest!
    Formulating a really great chest workout really goes a long way to enhancing your whole upper body. Flyes and their variations are perfect for doing this.
    Author:
    Shannon Clark

    Shannon Clark

    dot
    Ribcage Work:
    dot

    This is a theory that really applies to the 16-21 year old age group, it's dependent on being able to stretch your ribcage and enlarge it which leads to a bigger chest. A lot of the old bodybuilders had a huge side chest shot because they had a huge ribcage underneath the chest muscles.

    Ever seen Arnold's side chest shot? Now, that's a chest! That look ties into this training technique. You do this technique with high rep breathing squats and dumbbell pullovers.

    Arnold Used Ribcage Work To Build His Chest.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Arnold Used Ribcage Work
    To Build His Chest.

    I think anyone can try it and maybe see benefits and it is, in fact, a popular training theory in itself. You do this superset by performing, after warm-ups, 1 set of 20 reps on the squat with a weight you would normally use for 10 reps.

    As you fail, you pause and take deep breaths and keep going until you hit 20, then go right into a set of 12-15 reps on the pull-overs. It's a classic routine and it does deserve attention, so if you are still young, give it a try.

    Wimpy Chest No More: 3 Chest Routines For Massive Growth!
    sb5660@windstream.net

    Back To Jim Brewster's Main Page

    Back To The Articles Main Page.

    Related Articles
    Build Big Pecs One Angle At A Time With These Press Variations
    Train Your Pecs Like An Animal: Roman Fritz Workout
    Chest Workout: Hunter Labrada's 5 Moves To Massive Pecs!



    RATE THIS ARTICLE
    POOR
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 6
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
    • 10
    EXCELLENT
    OVERALL RATING
    10

    Out of 10
    Excellent
    10 Ratings

    2

    Comments

    Showing 1 - 2 of 2 Comments

    (5 characters minimum)

        • notify me when users reply to my comment
    nickiers

    Rep Power: 0

    • rep this user
    nickiers

    Reading is fundamental what better way to kill time at work. I have taken notes and will start making changes on my next chest day!

    Mar 9, 2012 3:37pm | report
     
    KirkhamUSMC

    Rep Power: 0

    • rep this user
    KirkhamUSMC

    Great info.

    Aug 24, 2014 5:27pm | report
     
    Showing 1 - 2 of 2 Comments

    Featured Product

    Give Us Feedback:
    Report A Problem
    Site Feedback
    Follow Us:
    Twitter
    Facebook
    RSS Feeds
    Bodybuilding.com Newsletter

    Receive exciting features,
    news & special offers from Bodybuilding.com