Just about every guy who goes to the gym to build muscle wants to get a huge chest. This is hardly surprising considering the effect that a ripped chest has on the opposite sex (not to mention on other men). There isn’t anything really terribly complicated about building a ripped, attention grabbing chest. The foundation for developing your chest muscles is consistency and progressive overloading. If you are willing to put in the effort you too can have a ripped, sexy chest in no time.
The chest muscles actually consist of two sub muscle groups: the pectoralis major and the pectoralis minor. These two sub groups of muscles contained within the chest are where the slang term “pecs” come from, in case you were curious. The secret to maximizing your chest muscle gains lies in the pressing movements used in lifting weights during exercise.
Chest flyes certainly have their occasional place in an overall chest workout program but they pale in comparison to the dramatic anabolic effect of pressing movements. Pressing movements include such exercises as incline chest press, decline chest press, flat bench press, dumbbell presses, and seated dips.
The big secret to getting a ripped chest is that there really are no big secrets or magic spells or mind blowing techniques to stimulate your chest muscles into extraordinary growth. So long as you focus on pressing movements and progressive overloading you will almost certainly see substantial muscular development in your chest area.
In my professional opinion, the following lifts are the most effective for muscle gains in the chest area:
1. Bench Press – This includes all three varieties of bench press including flat, decline, and incline bench press. This is essentially a basic compound movement that will allow you to handle the maximum amount of weight through a specified range of motion. The incline press targets the upper region of the chest while the decline press focuses stress on the lower portion of the chest. The flat bench press simultaneously targets both the upper and lower chest muscles.
2. Dumbbell Bench Press – Again, this includes all three varieties of bench press. The primary advantage of the dumbbell press over the standard bench press is that dumbbells allow for a much more natural range of motion and as such help to prevent shoulder injuries. Additionally, dumbbells also help to prevent strength imbalances since each muscle must work on their own rather than in conjunction with each other. Unfortunately, you will not be able to do as much weight with dumbbells as you would with normal bench press.
3. Seated Dips – If possible make sure to use a wider grip while leaning slightly forward so as to alleviate the stress on the triceps and better target the chest muscles. Seated dips are great because you can adjust the weight according to your specifications in contrast to standing dips where the weight is limited to your body weight.