Build Monster Pecs! Workout Guide by Muscle Labs USA
Where Have All the Great Chests Gone?
Today’s pro’s and top amateurs lack impressive pectoral development of days gone by. Today’s best bodybuilders have backs and legs that put those of their predecessors to shame. Yet old-timers on average destroyed the current crop when talking about chest. In the 1970’s, when training equipment and nutrition knowledge was rudimentary by 2019 standards. It’s hard to recall a recent champion whose chest was anything less than thick slabs of dense beef. Arnold, Lou Ferrigno, Franco and Serge Nubert to name a few. Those chests were no joke! Giving credit where credit is due, in more recent years we’ve seen some excellent chests. Ronnie, Branch, Johnnie Jackson and Victor Martinez, a few examples of pecs that have been built and stacked to the max.
Top 4 Tips for Building Monstrous Pecs
Use A Full Range of Motion
Most believe in going heavy, but not if sacrificing range of motion. Get a good stretch in order to stretch the muscle fascia and allow more growth to happen. Also, you’ll need full contractions to get the best pump. You’re better off doing a full range of motion with 300 pounds than you are getting half reps with 400 or more.
Don’t Be Afraid to Hit Some Lower Reps
We are always told to do 10-12 reps, eight at the lowest to build the most muscle size. You can build the most mass doing sets in three to six rep range. Incorporate some heavy weight for maximum density and thickness. As long as you take your time warming up, stay focused on what you’re doing and keep your form tight.
Start with Inclines
Anyone who’s been training a while will tell you that the upper chest is much harder to build than the middle and lower regions. So if you wait until later on in the workout to work the upper chest with inclines, you’re really putting yourself at a disadvantage. Start with incline presses while you’re fresh and strong. Once you start doing that, your upper chest begins looking fuller and rounder within a month or two. Looking more complete from top to bottom.
Don’t Settle for Mediocre Pecs!
For whatever reason, not a lot of guys these days put the work in to build the best chest they can. As long as there is some development, they figure that’s good enough. But having some thickness in a side chest pose isn’t enough. Your goal should be to have a chest so thick that it doesn’t flatten out to nothing when your hands are up overhead in a front double biceps or an abdominal and thigh pose. When your chest still looks thick in those, you know you’ve got some serious pecs.
Incline Barbell Press 6 X 15, 12, 10, 10, 8, 6, 3
Flat Barbell Press 4 -5 X 10-12
Hammer Strength Decline Press 4 X 10-12
Seated Bench Press Machine 4 X 10-12
Pec Fly Machine 4 X 15-20
Monday – Chest and triceps
Tuesday – Back and biceps
Wednesday – Legs
Thursday – Chest (using chains ) and triceps
Friday – Back and biceps
Saturday – Legs
Sunday – OFF
Incline Dumbbell Press
Some feel this more in shoulders, but the bar lets some hit the chest perfectly. Many others have discovered the opposite to be true. Which points out the need for everyone to experiment with various types of equipment and use the tools that work best for you. Two of the best chest in the sport belong to Branch Warren and Johnnie Jackson. Read up on their chest training. They both started with incline presses.
Flat Dumbbell Presses
You don’t have to go as heavy on this, due to safety considerations and sheer body mechanics. Keep reps around 10-12 on the flat bench. You don’t want to tear a pec. Most are not as strong on a flat as an incline. Focus into getting the best contractions and stretches possible.
Seated Bench Press Machine
Machines play a key role in chest training. The Hammer Strength decline press is a good one. Mainly because it provides an angle of pressing not normally done with the barbell. Some will do several sets with the Hammer Strength decline press machine, then a few more on seated bench press machine. Keep rest periods short so the chest gets tighter and more pumped. Since no balancing required, you can concentrate on feeling it in the pecs.
To finish off the chest, head over to the pec fly machine. You can also use cable crossover station. Either way, the goal is to torch the pecs with a searing lactic acid burn and fill them to bursting with blood.
The Chain Gain
This routine works every body part twice a week. Chains give you a constant tension, pulling down ton the bar and giving you a totally different feel as you lower and press. They can also help increase strength. And strength can translate into larger denser muscles.
Fast, Explosive Training for the Chest
A fundamental rule of training is to keep your workout moving at a brisk pace. Don’t walk around the gym like you are in a coma. When it comes to chest training, there is more to making the best gains than stepping lively and “getting the lead out” while you’re in the gym. Specialized training such as fast, eccentric exercise can increase muscle size and strength better than traditional bodybuilding workouts.
It’s All About the Contraction
Fast, eccentric training is all about the contraction. The muscles of your body move in one of three ways. Through static, concentric or eccentric contractions. While each should be incorporated into your training program for best results, high speed eccentric contractions, or fast negatives, create more muscle tension than any other form of training. Lower the weight rapidly, stop suddenly and then slowly move the weight until the muscle is flexed.
The Poop on Fiber
Fast negatives will also help your body’s fiber situation. Not the whole grain variety, but muscle fibers. Your body has two major types of muscle fiber. Slow twitch and fast twitch. Larger, fast twitch fibers contract about four times faster than slow speed fibers. Because fast-twitch fibers have greater growth potential compared to slow twitch fibers. Fast twitch fibers are optimal for muscle growth. High speed training preferentially activates larger, fast twitch muscle fibers. These fibers produce greater muscle force and thy are preferred fiber type for greater strength gains. So more fast twitch fibers equals greater gains in size and strength.
Take Your Time, But Hurry Up
Be careful with high speed eccentric training because there is a greater potential for injury. Especially if you progress to quickly. Start off with light weights and don’t use this technique more than once a week.