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. 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 workouts to take your chest development to the next level and leave you with a chest you’ll be proud to show off. In no particular order, here they are!
This workout is brilliant 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.
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 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. 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.
This workout is available as a 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.
A pyramid style of training is the method used in this workout. This method is used to shock the muscle forcing it into new growth, and it is advised that this workout should not be done every week, but every third week.
Each exercise comprises of 5 working sets. You start off with a light weight hitting as many as 30 reps on the first set, and you increase the weight and reduce the reps each set. If volume was what you’ve been looking for, there's no shortage of that here!
Difficulty Level – Intermediate.
“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 it a go!
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. Enjoy!