How to build chest muscle is one of dreams of many aspiring bodybuilders and is one of the reasons they started weight training. After seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger for the first time was what got me started. There are very few bodybuilders, even by today’s standards, that can turn sideways and duplicate Arnold’s chest shot.
The chest muscle can be subdivided into two parts, the pectoralis major and the pectoralis minor. The pectoralis major is the one bodybuilders are interested in when they want to build chest muscle. The main reason is visibility, because the pectoralis minor can not be seen in any bodybuilding pose.
What is the best chest exercise?
There seems to be an endless variety of chest exercises to choose from. These chest exercises are all based on angles, and fall into three categories. They focus on the upper, middle, or lower chest. The best exercises for the chest are the incline bench press, and either the flat bench or decline bench press to build chest muscle.
When you perform the flat bench, this exercise targets the center and lower chest. The incline bench press hits the upper chest muscles. The decline puts most of the stress on the lower chest.
For maximum development when you build chest muscle your routine must include inclines and either flat or decline bench. The flat bench press and the decline bench are very similar, so you don’t need to perform both in the same workout. If you have ever suffered a shoulder injury it can be difficult to perform the flat bench press.
The decline bench press puts less stress on your shoulders, and this is the reason why weight lifters with shoulder injuries often prefer this exercise. If you are injury free you are better off going with the flat bench.
To get that chiseled hard looking chest it requires training with a variety of exercises that hit the chest at different angles. Keep it simple. Don’t get caught up with all the fancy machines and equipment. To get the maximum benefits from your chest workouts use compound exercises that include free weights.
These will be your primary seize and strength builders. Start off with the flat bench and then go to the incline bench press. Or reverse the order if you like. Just make sure you perform your compound exercises first. Finish your routine off with cables or machines for refining the chest.
Sample Chest Training Routine
Barbell flat bench press 3-4 sets 8-10 reps
Incline dumbbell press 3-4 sets 8-10 reps
Cable cross overs 2-3 sets 10-12 reps
When using free weight I strongly recommend that you have a spotter to prevent injury. Take all sets to complete muscular failure(If you don’t have a lifting partner don’t push your luck!) and focus on progressing each week by using slightly more weight or performing an extra rep or two.
If you can incorporate these principles in your weight lifting routine you will build chest muscle and have a bigger stronger chest.