Suggestions on making your chest/pecs pop?

  • Hotgymguy22

    Posts: 98

    Jun 21, 2012 3:00 PM GMT
    Hey guys, I know there are other threads devoted to chest but I had a specific question and I didn't want to hijack other threads. I'm happy with my progress with my arms, my core is fine, and I'm happy with legs... But I feel I have a small chest. I want a bigger chest with bigger pecs! I see guys with these massive chests and then see my puny chest. Help!!!

    This is what I normally do on my chest day:
    Bench: 3 sets of 8 reps; first set slightly lower weight than max to warm up then 2 sets where I max out at 8 reps.

    Dips: Dips have gotten too easy. I guess I should look into getting a weight belt? I do 3 sets of at least 16.

    Cable chest flies: 3 sets of 12

    Dumbbell fly: 3 sets of 12; not seeing as much improvement here in terms of being able to increase weight as other exercises.

    Chest press machine: I finish on chest press; 3 sets and max out for muscle fatigue on last one (when I can't do the current weight I steadily decrease it until I get to a very low weight and my muscles are exhausted).

    There are other chest exercises I do on occasion, but I do the above exercises every time. I know muscle confusion is part of the game and I'm about to mix it up some, but what are some ways you think I could see more chest gain?

    Thanks in advance.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Jun 21, 2012 4:53 PM GMT
    push ups with push up bars so you can dip below will make your pecs bigger and will work your back as wellicon_idea.gif
    Do them is sets to failure.
  • Hotgymguy22

    Posts: 98

    Jun 21, 2012 5:15 PM GMT
    Thanks Mike. I have the perfect pushup things. A push up bar sounds like a good idea. I've been trying to incorporate more pushups into my workout and that seems like the best way to include them. I'll definitely look into this!
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    Jun 21, 2012 8:24 PM GMT
    more weight, less reps.

    when you're doing as many as 12 reps, you're training muscle endurance, and that doesn't necessarily make your muscles bigger.

    I'd say 6-8 reps max. if you can do 8 reps you need to add more weight.
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    Jun 21, 2012 8:35 PM GMT
    1) too many reps - increase weight, reduce your reps, go for quality technique, and slow smooth range of motion. get a spotter so you can lift to muscle failure.

    2) you are doubling up on your flies with cables + dumbbells. you risk over-training. take one of these exercises out or alternate from week to week. when doing it, make sure you squeeze and hold at the maximum point of contraction.

    3) you are doubling up on your presses with bench and the press machine. you risk over-training. take out the machine press, or alternate from week to week.

    4) add incline bench press with free weights. it works the upper pec.

    5) add decline bench press with free weights. it lifts the lower pec.

    6) don't forget your back muscles. working only your chest will cause muscle contraction, and you could develop bad posture of always hunching over or caving in your chest. always work opposing muscle groups of the upper back (lats, rhomboids, traps, deltoids too!)

    7) feed your body. consume lots of protein.
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    Jun 21, 2012 8:40 PM GMT
    Have you tried a sharp knitting needle?

    Seriously, don't forget the opposing exercises. Superset presses with rows, etc.

    Also a few seasons of manual labor on the farm...
  • Hotgymguy22

    Posts: 98

    Jun 21, 2012 8:48 PM GMT
    Thanks guys. I will definitely start doing less reps with more weight. I know I've been doubling up and didn't think too much about it but alternating seems like a good thing. I have been intending to get on the incline bench and now seems like a good time. I'm hopeful I can start seeing more gains in my chest.

    On another note, does anyone have a reccomendation on a good protein mix? I had some chocolate flavored garbage at one time that was disgusting. I'd like to try a good tasting vanilla flavored one and make shakes. A good tasting chocolate one would be fine as well but I want something that isn't disgusting.
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    Jun 21, 2012 8:49 PM GMT
    amp up your intensity level, you can be doing all these exercises but ask yourself are you really focused and intense when you work out. Thats the key to build any body part
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    Jun 21, 2012 9:03 PM GMT
    Try a little device called the "Perfect Pushup," two cylinders that you rotate as you do the pushup. I got them about a year ago and they really pumped up my chest. They're available on line or at most big box stores.
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    Jun 21, 2012 9:11 PM GMT
    Protein? I find a good tasting vanilla protein is Vanilla Ice Cream flavor of Syntha 6.

    For what this is worth, I asked a seriously built, strong guy with a balanced physique (in his mid thirties?) a similar question about my chest. He had a big chest, but was overall fit, with defined strong muscle, like from a fitness magazine. His answer was direct and clear. It worked for me more than any other workout, though I am still working on it. My routine was much like yours, and it was hard to imagine going to just three exercises. I just tried it to say I did, and it worked. My chest was pumped after I finished. Once it plateaus, just switch up the routine.

    He said if you want to build mass (get bigger):
    - Stick with the "power" exercises that are meant to build mass (bench press, or dumbbells, etc. basic mass building exercise.)
    - Flys and so forth don't build mass, and not to bother with them if you are wanting to building mass.
    - Flat, incline and decline, that's three exercises and enough, end of chest workout for the week. Of course, do a good workout with those three exercises.
    - People wreck it by overtraining, and you lose what they could have gained if they just stuck to mass building exercises and stopped while they were ahead.

    My routine:
    - 5 minute moderate warm up on treadmill or elliptical to get my blood flowing more around to the muscles. Some slight stretching but starting my work out ASAP.
    - 4 sets of each exercise, 6-8 reps of heavier weights.
    - My workout is no more than one hour.
    - I do biceps with my chest, for example (2 or 3 exercises).
    - As soon as I am done, I drink 40g protein with 40 grams carb from a good organic fruit juice (pomegranate blueberry is OK., white grape is too sweet).
    - Stretch a lot after my workout and protein/carb drink.
    - I switch the routine slightly from month to month or so to keep my muscles from falling into a rut, and challenging them.


  • FlypinHigh

    Posts: 465

    Jun 21, 2012 10:44 PM GMT
    These threads ar always full of tons of shitty advice. I'm not sure how someone can say 12 reps is too much when they have done studies determining 8-12 reps is the optimal range. Yes for some it may be higher or lower. There is nothing wrong with doing 2 pressing exercises or 2 fly exercises. That is no where close to overtraining. Overtraining is a long term thing and cant be the result of one workout anyways. But yes incline work would be good.

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    Jun 21, 2012 10:55 PM GMT
    timct saidProtein? I find a good tasting vanilla protein is Vanilla Ice Cream flavor of Syntha 6.

    For what this is worth, I asked a seriously built, strong guy with a balanced physique (in his mid thirties?) a similar question about my chest. He had a big chest, but was overall fit, with defined strong muscle, like from a fitness magazine. His answer was direct and clear. It worked for me more than any other workout, though I am still working on it. My routine was much like yours, and it was hard to imagine going to just three exercises. I just tried it to say I did, and it worked. My chest was pumped after I finished. Once it plateaus, just switch up the routine.

    He said if you want to build mass (get bigger):
    - Stick with the "power" exercises that are meant to build mass (bench press, or dumbbells, etc. basic mass building exercise.)
    - Flys and so forth don't build mass, and not to bother with them if you are wanting to building mass.
    - Flat, incline and decline, that's three exercises and enough, end of chest workout for the week. Of course, do a good workout with those three exercises.
    - People wreck it by overtraining, and you lose what they could have gained if they just stuck to mass building exercises and stopped while they were ahead.

    My routine:
    - 5 minute moderate warm up on treadmill or elliptical to get my blood flowing more around to the muscles. Some slight stretching but starting my work out ASAP.
    - 4 sets of each exercise, 6-8 reps of heavier weights.
    - My workout is no more than one hour.
    - I do biceps with my chest, for example (2 or 3 exercises).
    - As soon as I am done, I drink 40g protein with 40 grams carb from a good organic fruit juice (pomegranate blueberry is OK., white grape is too sweet).
    - Stretch a lot after my workout and protein/carb drink.
    - I switch the routine slightly from month to month or so to keep my muscles from falling into a rut, and challenging them.




    disagree...flies are very important
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    Jun 21, 2012 10:55 PM GMT
    I love this site for all the great info. I can see now where I'm going wrong with my chest training (I'm definitely over doing it). Thanks guys for all the great advice (esp. Kingmo & Timct).
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    Jun 21, 2012 10:59 PM GMT
    Hotgymguy22 saidHey guys, I know there are other threads devoted to chest but I had a specific question and I didn't want to hijack other threads. I'm happy with my progress with my arms, my core is fine, and I'm happy with legs... But I feel I have a small chest. I want a bigger chest with bigger pecs! I see guys with these massive chests and then see my puny chest. Help!!!

    This is what I normally do on my chest day:
    Bench: 3 sets of 8 reps; first set slightly lower weight than max to warm up then 2 sets where I max out at 8 reps.

    Dips: Dips have gotten too easy. I guess I should look into getting a weight belt? I do 3 sets of at least 16.

    Cable chest flies: 3 sets of 12

    Dumbbell fly: 3 sets of 12; not seeing as much improvement here in terms of being able to increase weight as other exercises.

    Chest press machine: I finish on chest press; 3 sets and max out for muscle fatigue on last one (when I can't do the current weight I steadily decrease it until I get to a very low weight and my muscles are exhausted).

    There are other chest exercises I do on occasion, but I do the above exercises every time. I know muscle confusion is part of the game and I'm about to mix it up some, but what are some ways you think I could see more chest gain?

    Thanks in advance.


    I don't have a huge chest by any means, but I've found I've added more mass by doing flys and bench at different angles. Also, (and this has been said by others) is you're doing too many reps. Try adding more weight and doing lower reps. Otherwise, you're not training for strength.
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    Jun 21, 2012 11:07 PM GMT
    Hotgymguy22 saidThanks Mike. I have the perfect pushup things. A push up bar sounds like a good idea. I've been trying to incorporate more pushups into my workout and that seems like the best way to include them. I'll definitely look into this!



    push up pal ...narrow grip...in the morning. Focus on your pecs when you are doing them...feel every muscle fiber