Chest Workouts Bodybuilding
If you came here expecting to read an article on how bench presses from various angles will build a monstrous chest, you're half right. There's no denying that heavy presses from the flat bench, incline, and decline positions are the basis of a solid mass-building chest routine, but doing that still isn't enough.
Pushing yourself hard, doing the right exercises, lifting heavy weights in the right reps-and-sets scheme—you can do all that and still not be maximizing your chest growth. The truth is, there are some monster tweaks you can implement to make your training even more effective.
It's time to abandon the expectation that doing everything "just right" is enough to bring up your pecs, because it isn't! If you can't coax muscle growth, you're going to have to force it. That requires getting into the gym and demanding more of each muscle fiber with a take-no-prisoners approach. But it's not just about training harder—no, you'll have to train smarter, as well.
Follow along as I take a basic nuts-and-bolts chest workout and supercharge it in ways you may never have considered. This will help you set a new standard on chest day and become a true monster.1
Start with a heavy multijoint movement, then reduce your reps
Starting off with a multijoint (compound) exercise is a sound approach to any body-part routine. A multijoint movement enlists more than a single set of joints working in tandem, which therefore recruits a larger degree of muscle mass.
The compound exercise of choice for chest is the bench press. When you bench, both the elbow and shoulder joints work together, which is one reason bench presses are better muscle builders than single-joint fly movements; you can use substantially more weight.
Flat bench presses are arguably the best mass builders for chest because you can move the most weight over the longest range of motion, targeting the largest area of the muscle. You can make a case for dumbbell or barbell bench, depending on your preference. In fact, it's worth noting that EMG analysis shows no significant difference between the two with regard to muscle activation.1 If you've always preferred one over the other, I'd simply say that it's time to switch for a while.
Flat bench press
Personally, I opt for dumbbells because they're far kinder to my shoulders, I feel a better contraction, and I can hit a longer range of motion. However, dumbbells are harder to control, so you'll have to sacrifice a little in terms of overall poundage.
Make It Monster: While the muscle-building rep range is often defined as 8-12 reps to failure using good form, you have an entire workout ahead to crush that hypertrophy zone. For now, while you're feeling fresh, it's time to push yourself a little harder.
Instead of choosing a weight that you can lift for 8 reps, grab a heavier load that you can do for just 6 reps. The idea here is to train in a zone that's slightly more beneficial for building strength, which will help you build a powerful base for future growth.2