10 Tips on How to Build a Bigger Chest
Do you want a bigger chest? Do you want to have a physique that is going to stand out and look great even when you’re at the gym? Unfortunately, building muscle takes a bit of time. But, at the end of the day, the hard work is definitely worth it.
Previously, we covered how to workout the chest at home. Here, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about building a bigger chest. And we’re going to show you how to expedite the muscle building process.
- Target Each Muscle Independently
When it comes to building solid muscle mass, it comes down to isolating the muscles. This allows you to get the most out of each exercise by putting maximum strain on the targeted muscle. This means that you want to totally isolate the day that you work the chest, then target each of the chest muscles separately.
By isolating the muscles, you also avoid the energy going into other movements that will rob your chest muscles of growth in the long-term. For example, if you’re using your lower body to assist with presses, then the full benefit to the chest muscle is robbed by the lower body. You will hate the results you are getting because the muscle is not going to be as targeted as it needs to be.
- Warm Up and Burn Out with Push-Ups
Are you doing enough push-ups? There is a high probability that you’re not. Let’s face it; push-ups are often overlooked because of their simplicity. But don’t let the simplicity fool you, they’re still one of the best chest exercises of all time. Especially when used the correct way.
First, warm up with push-ups. This will get your blood going and loosen the chest muscles up for more intense activity. However, remember not to totally exhaust yourself out during this portion.
Secondly, push-ups are perfect for a burn out exercise. This means that when you’re completely exhausted from your chest day workout; hammer out as many push-ups as you possibly can. Do push-ups until your chest muscles fail.
- Resistance is the Key
If there is one tip that you have to take into account for weight lifting in general, it would have to be this one. You want to make sure there is enough resistance in your workouts to initiate growth. You cannot keep working out with the same resistance and expect new results. You have to change something for growth to take place.
You will have many options. You can add resistance by doing more repetitions using the same weight. You can add more weight. You can even slow down each repetition to add resistance and put the muscle under additional pressure. If you become to complacent with your workouts, your muscles will plateau.
- Include Incline and Decline Variations
Pushing exercises are the foundation for building chest muscle. The most popular pushing exercise, and chest exercise, would be the bench press. The bench press can be completed with either a barbell or a set of dumbbells. We prefer the dumbbell variation as it isolates the muscles but removing your ability to assist one side of your chest muscle with the other side (remember tip number 1?).
The flat bench press is the most common bench press variation. However, adding the incline bench press and decline bench press will target your muscle slightly differently and force your muscles to grow more than they would with just the standard variation.
- Fluctuate Rep Ranges
It’s true that lifting more weight for fewer reps is widely considered the way to build massive chest muscle. However, you cannot fixate on only lifting heavy. It’s essential that you fluctuate your rep ranges; which means performing exercises at different weights and for a different number of reps.
Most often, athletes fail to see gains because they go into an exercise targeting a set number of reps. Essentially, they’ve limited themselves before they began. I believe it was Muhammad Ali that said he doesn’t count reps until it starts to hurt. That is the mindset that you must have to see gains.
In the end, adjusting your rep ranges will help you to avoid a plateau. This is accomplished by making slight changes to your workout. For example, for a few weeks you might be staying in the 8-10 rep range. Then, you might want to change it to 5-6 reps per set for a few weeks. It is all about mixing it up and hitting the chest from all angles.
- Reduce Rest Periods
How long are your rest periods? There are some people who take far too long between sets which reduces the strain they put on the muscles. Sure, there are some movements such as the bench press that are going to be heavier and will therefore require at least a few minutes of rest. But this is not the norm for every exercise.
You don’t have to wait 2-3 minutes after a simple set of push-ups. You should be resting for 30 seconds at most. You don’t want the body to recover to a point where the entire set was useless. Even resting between heavier sets, such as the bench press, can greatly improve the quality of the exercise and the results.
- Eccentric Movements are Great
Eccentric movements are a great item to look into adding to your workout. Eccentric movements are a way to add additional stress to the muscle. Most of the pressure is going to come as you are pushing, but it also comes as you are coming down.
Eccentric movements require you to concentrate on the movement. Focus on contracting the muscle as you are coming down and it is going to enhance your results.
- Eat, Eat, Eat
Are you eating enough? Are you eating muscle building foods? These are simple questions that you need to answer with a “YES!”. You are never going to get a bigger chest when you are not eating as much as your body requires. You have to look at how many calories are needed to maintain your weight and then aim to increase it by at least 500. This will help to ensure that you are eating as much as you need to for muscle growth.
When you don’t eat as much as required, you are going to be spinning your wheels. You will probably get stronger, but you will not be able to increase the size of your chest as desired. You definitely will not make the kind of gains you would be when your body is receiving the proper nutrition. A great whey protein supplement could give your body the right amount of protein and carbs it needs to grow.
- Be Patient
We all want results. Results motivate us and show us that what we’re doing is paying off. The problem is, too many people quit before they see results. They will look into the mirror and think about how their chest is not growing as they had hoped. They aren’t sure why they aren’t seeing results. Is it the workout? Is it nutrition? Building muscle is complex, after all.
It is all about patience. You have to show mental fortitude when it comes to bodybuilding and that goes for any part of the body. You cannot expect results immediately.
Building muscle is a process. Just keep chugging along and you will be more than fine. Just make sure you’re following a great nutrition and fitness plan that’s designed for massive growth.
- Stretch Before and After Each Workout
You have to push blood into the chest muscles and the easiest way for that to happen is good, old-fashioned stretching. You want to make sure the stretching targets the chest. The worst thing that can happen is an injury because you didn’t loosen up the muscle as required.
Think about this before you go ahead and start pounding away in the gym hoping to grow that chest. When you stretch, you are giving the body a better chance to perform well in the gym and recover afterward. This is a must, but it’s often overlooked, when it comes to working out.
Muscle building isn’t an overnight process; however, following these tips will definitely speed up the process. But, don’t let the time it takes deter you from building a bigger chest. That’s the beauty of bodybuilding, after all. Only the dedicated will ever see the results. There’s no amount of money that get you rock solid muscle mass. Only hard work will do it.