Everyone loves a chest day workout, right?
It’s time to turn that 2d pigeon chest into a monstrous, well rounded, thick and powerful muscle that Arnold Schwarzenegger would be proud of.
When tyring to maximise chest hypertrophy it’s important to remember that there are 3 different sections of the chest. The upper, the middle and the lower, so a combination of flat, incline and decline pressing should be incorporated into your routine to ensure the whole chest is being worked.
When training chest we would recommend focusing on form rather than weight, yes somebody who can bench 140kg will probably have a bigger chest than someone who can bench 80kg, but if your form isn’t on point, you probably won’t be putting maximum stress on the chest, and other muscle groups such as the shoulders will come into play to help lift the weight - thus increasing the risk of injury.
Only increase the weight when you can comfortably hit the desired amount of reps with good form. It’s important to focus on the mind-muscle connection with each and every rep to ensure maximum chest engagement throughout the exercise.
We have rounded up 5 of the best chest workout routines to take your chest gains to the next level and leave you with a chest you’ll be proud to show off. In no particular order, here they are!
The best chest exercises for mass and muscle - Myprotein.com
This is a brilliant chest workout as it doesn't try to over complicate things.
The workout comprises 4 simple exercises, which target different portions of the chest for an overall developed look.
As we know, time under tension is critical for growth, so in this workout, the recommended rep ranges are 10-15 to maximise muscle hypertrophy.
This workout isn’t just for experienced gym goers; the detailed ‘Technique’ section describes exactly how each exercise should be performed making this workout available to everyone regardless of how many times they have stepped into the gym.
Difficulty Level – Beginner.
The perfect workout for a monster chest - Bodybuilding.com
This workout begins with a compound exercise, and contrary to other workouts, the first set focuses on building strength by selecting a weight you can achieve only 6 reps with.
The idea here is that you can build strength so that you can lift more in your hypertrophy sets later on in the workout, thus increasing overall chest muscle mass.
Again, this workout stresses the importance of hitting the chest from multiple angles to maximise chest development.
After the first strength building exercise, you’ll move onto your hypertrophy sets. In total, the workout comprises the 5 best chest exercises for mass, a good amount to maximise chest growth.
Another great thing about this workout is that it doesn’t simply focus on the standard hypertrophy rep range of 8-12 reps, it gives you the option to supercharge each set by introducing drop sets, pause reps, and different techniques.
Difficulty Level – Advanced.
Build a bigger chest with this intense mass building workout - muscleandstrength.com
This workout is available as a 'Chest Hypertrophy Program PDF' download from Muscle and Strength which is a nice touch as you can take it into the gym instead of your phone, meaning no distractions!
The principle of the first 2 exercises is to start heavy(ish), between 6-8 reps, and on the final set of each exercise, introduce a drop set.
Unlike some workouts found on the internet, this one encourages the use of machines. They mention the use of the machines allows you to really focus on pushing the weight rather than having to balance and stabilise yourself.
At the end of the workout, you find yourself head to head with a tough finisher! 3 sets of press-ups until failure, these may sound easy, but they’ll be sure to leave you with nothing left in the tank, and a decent chest pump!
Difficulty level – Intermediate.
This monster chest workout utilises the pyramid style of training, an ascending pyramid to be exact. Not only are pyramids good for building a big chest and getting stronger; they reduce the risk of injury as you gradually add the weight each set.
Pyramid training has been found to be highly effective at building muscle, couple this with progressive overload and your chest will explode into new growth.
The chest workout encourages time under tension, a key ingredient to building muscle. The high volume means that the muscle fibres are broken down, forcing them to grow back stronger.
If you're looking for an easy workout, then this is not for you!
Difficulty Level – Intermediate.
Arnolds classic 4 exercise routine - gymguider.com
“His iconic chest was one of the biggest and fullest in all of bodybuilding history”
This workout seems pretty straightforward with it only being made up of 4 exercises, but what makes it extremely intense is the way it is implemented.
Arnold was a massive fan of muscle confusion and Time Under Tension. He would change his workouts every week that his body did not know what to expect, forcing his body to adapt and grow.
A set of dumbbell flies isn’t just a set of dumbbell flies with Arnold. He had to make it as hard as possible. When performing the dumbbell fly his hands would nearly touch the floor to maximise the stretch and when reaching the top he would contract his chest as hard as he could.
Introducing drop sets, supersets, ¼ reps, ¾ reps and forced reps helped him achieve what could be considered the best chest in bodybuilding history.
Difficulty Level – Advanced.
Give the following 5 workouts a try and report back to us how you get on! Like every muscle group, in order to grow, you need to be fuelling your workouts with the correct nutrition. Check out our How Many Calories Do I Need When Bulking post to see how much you should be eating to fuel muscle growth.
Lastly, 1 of the key components to building muscle is progressive overload. Check out our recent article 'The importance of progressive overload' so that you are best equipped with both the nutritional and training knowledge required to build a chest to be proud of.