Welcome back to the page, or welcome if you are here for the first time!
Today I wanted to share with you four exercises that will really hit your chest and help it grow. I have done a lot of research, watched a lot of videos, and read a lot of articles, and I can’t seem to find exercises better than these four to build your chest, whether you are a man or a woman.
I’ll talk about weight, sets, and reps in each section, so let’s get started!
Exercise 1 – Barbell Bench Press
For those of you who have been around weight lifting for a while, this will come as no surprise. The bench press is one of the nine fundamental exercises that we all need to be performing on a regular basis. The barbell bench press has always been included in my rotation of exercises, no matter which type of split or rotation I am working on. It is a fundamental “push” day exercise. I generally do chest and triceps on the same day, as they are both classified as “push” exercises.
One day I will do 5 sets of 5 repetitions at 85%of my one-rep max, and the next time I do Barbell bench press, I will do 3 sets of 15 repetitions at 60% of my one-rep max. This confuses the muscles. We don’t want them to know what is coming! This will cause extra growth.
Again, man or woman, it doesn’t matter. My wife and I work out together, changing the weight between us and spotting and encouraging one another. This will warm up your chest nicely and hit all the muscles in your chest; then on to the next exercise.
For the Incline Dumbbell Press, you will need (you guessed it!) dumbbells and an incline bench. If you only have a flat bench, you can prop up one end of the bench on a step or box to achieve the same results. the idea is, that with the bench inclined, you will be working your upper chest muscles.
With this exercise, I just do 3 sets of 15 repetitions with the heaviest weight I can handle. You should be finishing rep 15 and thinking to yourself, “I could do one or two more!” That’s when you know you have the correct weight for the exercise. Don’t leave it all on the floor, but you should be able to finish all 15 reps without assistance.
I alternate the incline dumbbell press with the decline dumbbell press, week to week.
Exercise 3 – Decline Dumbbell Press
The Decline Dumbbell Press will target your lower chest muscles, giving you that rounded looking muscle where it transitions to your abs.
I like to use dumbbells for these two exercises (incline and decline) as it calls into action many of the other muscles in your core to stabilize the weight as you lower it and push it back to the top. Again, as with the incline, I like to use a weight that allows me to complete all 15 repetitions without assistance but with some difficulty. When I am finished the set, I should still have one or two reps left in the tank!
You really need to push yourself on these exercises to see the growth you want in the chest muscles. Trust me, if you pick the correct weight, and push yourself almost to the limit, you will be sore the next day.
The final chest exercise in your rotation is a transitional exercise that will prepare you to move right into your tricep exercises for the day.
Remember, chest exercises are push exercises, so your triceps will already be starting to feel the burn as they were involved in every repetition of your chest exercises.
My wife and I perform different versions of the pull-over. I prefer to support my shoulders on the bench, feet a little wider that shoulder width, glutes pressed toward the floor, and I use one dumbbell supported by both hands, above my head. I then lower the dumbbell back and lower than the bench, stretching the chest muscles on the way down. I then tighten my core and chest muscles and bring the weight back up over-head. I do 3 sets of 15 reps.
My wife uses an E-Z curl bar and lies on the bench. She holds the bar over-head and lowers it below bench level. She then brings it back up to the top. She also does 3 sets of 15 reps.
This is an excellent stretch for the chest muscles you have just worked, and an excellent warm-up for the triceps you are about to work.
Research has shown that you really don’t need to do more than three exercise for each body part during a workout. Three exercises, three sets, fifteen reps per set will break down the muscle enough to cause growth. And that is the goal. Growth.
I will share the tricep exercise we do in the next post.
I will also review the supplements we take and how we eat before and after our workouts.
So there you have it. Three simple exercises to do to continue to see growth in your chest. We do an intense chest/tricep workout once a week, and I supplement that with another lighter chest workout (no spotter needed) half-way through the week, just to keep the muscles guessing.
Thanks for listening. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.
See you in the next post.
Have a great day!