We know that you want a chest that you can be proud of – but to get there, your chest workout must be equally pride-worthy! There are many great chest builders out there, but they don’t work the same for different people, so from time to time you should make sure to breathe new life into your chest training program by trying new things or re-introducing some classic moves into your routine.
The following article highlights five old-but-gold chest busters (and how to perform them for best gains!) that will help you separate your pecs from those of the average bench pressing guy and load some serious muscle mass. Let’s get started!
1. Barbell Bench Press
When performed correctly, this popular exercise can definitely help you get the huge, mighty chest of your dreams. But just as with any other exercise, proper form and solid technique aren’t the only requirements for success. In order to reap the benefits of the bench press, you also need the right workout structure.
First of all, don’t be that guy who neglects the importance of a good warm up and then ends up being unable to give their max or getting injured. For the warm up, perform two sets of 15 reps with just the bar, then increase the weight by 25% of your 1RM and perform another 12-15 reps. This will stimulate blood circulation and warm up your muscles, preparing them for the working sets, which you will perform in a pyramid to maximally fatigue your pecs.
Start your first working set with a weight that allows you to get 12 reps with good form, then increase the weight by 20 lbs for the second set and perform 10 reps. Increase the weight again by adding 20 lbs and perform 8 reps, then add another 20 lbs and go for 6 sets. Again, add 20 lbs and perform 4 reps, then get to the top of the pyramid by adding the final 20 lbs and perform only 1 rep.
Now it’s time to come back down by reversing your steps. Decrease the weight by 20 lbs and perform 4 reps and keep removing 20 lbs on each set and perform the same number of reps you did while coming up the pyramid. Take no longer than 2 minutes of rest between sets.
2. Incline Barbell Bench Press
The incline barbell bench press is another exercise that’s a key part of developing chest thickness. After the pyramided flat barbell bench presses, your chest muscles will be severely fatigued and this will limit the weight you can lift on the incline bench, so keep it real.
Pick a weight that’s roughly 70% of what you would normally lift on this exercise and go for 5 sets of 6-8 reps with 2 minutes of rest between sets. Focus on perfecting your form – take it slow on the eccentric part of the movement but perform the concentric portion in an explosive manner.
- The bench should be at a 30-45 degree angle.
- Your feet should be flat on the floor at all times.
- The back is slightly arched and the wrists are straight with the elbows directly beneath your wrists and arms tucked at a 45 degree angle.
- Use a medium-wide grip.
- When going down, the bar should either touch your chin or the upper chest area.
- Inhale on the way down, exhale on the way up.
- Avoid bouncing the weight off your chest by pausing for a brief moment at the bottom. Focus on executing the movement in a controlled manner.
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