BUILD A THICK AND MUSCULAR CHEST
Developing a thick and muscular chest is easier said than done. Along with the majority of individuals within the gym (with the exception of the few who have been gifted with God-like genetics), chances are higher of falling into the category of those struggling to obtain a well-defined and muscular set of pecs.
It is beneficial to first understand the anatomy of the chest, before attempting to develop a suitable workout plan. The chest consists of two muscles, namely the Pectoralis Major and Pectoralis Minor. The Pectoralis Major comprises the majority of the chest, as is visible in the diagram below.
The Pectoralis Major is separated into two groups, namely the Sternal Head and the Clavicular Head. The Clavicular Head is located on the upper portion of the chest, and is often neglected when working out. In order to achieve a full and muscular chest, attention needs to be paid to the entire chest during the workout. If any portion of the chest is neglected, a well-built chest will never be achieved.
Use the correct form
To achieve results and prevent injury during a workout, correct form is of utmost importance.
Use the correct weight
It seems to be common practice for individuals to bench press a weight heavier than they can handle. When performing a bench press, the bar should slowly be lowered to the chest, touching the chest briefly, and then extended back to the starting position. If you are unable to return to the starting position, the weight is too heavy and should be decreased. When using the incorrect weight, individuals are more likely to only do half reps, or incorrectly perform the exercise, which in essence slows down progress.
A few minutes should always initially be spent doing stretching exercises. This aids in avoiding injury. A chest stretch video has been included at the end of the article.
Before starting a workout, ensure the appropriate warm-up is done. There are numerous ways for a chest warm-up to be done; i.e. a few sets of pushups, or a few light sets (around 30 reps each) of bench press.
Workout duration and rest time
A weight lifting workout should last no longer than 45 to 60 minutes. If the workout routine is beyond this, shorter rest periods between each set should be taken. Ideally rest periods between sets should last roughly 90 to 120 seconds.
Train with a partner
Chest exercises can be dangerous when done unaccompanied. With the assistance of a training partner, if any difficulties do occur, the necessary help will be available.
Follow the above workout for eight weeks. Each week, take note of the weights being used. Slowly increase the weight for each exercise over the eight week period. If for example, on incline barbell bench press, you manage to do 80kgs for 6 reps on the last set, the next week try to attempt 85kg. It may take a while to achieve 6 reps on 85kgs, but do not give up. Remember the importance of training your chest with a workout partner!
If you are unsure on how to do any of the exercises mentioned above, below are some videos on people doing the exercises.
Incline Barbell Bench Press:
Flat Dumbbell Bench Press:
Seated Machine Chest Press
Incline Bench Cable Flies