Introduction to chest building

Building a Great Chest. If this sounds like your goal, then study with me over this short time and you’ll get the grades you want!

Chapter 1: anatomy of the chest

Let’s look at the anatomy of the chest. As with other body parts, once you grasp the purpose and mechanics you will find it much easier to work on.

The chest is made up of two muscles: the Pectoralis Major and the Pectoralis Minor.

The pecs are found attached to the humerus of the arm, right near the shoulder joint. They then run across the front of the body and originate on the breastbone. The pectoralis major is attached to the front of the body on the rib cage. The pectoralis minor is found underneath the pectoralis major. It originates on the ribs and attaches up to the scapula, specifically at the coracoid process.

The pectoralis major brings the humerus across the body while the pectoralis minor moves the shoulders forward. Together you get the bench press motion.

Once you understand how everything works it makes it much easier to visualize the muscle fibres contracting during each set. When you have a good mind-muscle connection there is so much more focus and you get significantly more from each rep. Too many people try to load on a weight they can’t handle and end up using more accessory muscles rather than the chest alone.

That’s fine if you are trying to impress other gym-goers, but in terms of results it really is not efficient.

Chapter 2: different parts of the chest

When hitting the chest there are three different areas you want to target hard with compound movements: the upper, mid and lower chest.

The upper chest is something that some gym rats forget about. The best exercise for hitting the upper chest is incline barbell presses. For this you want to have the bench on an incline where you can specifically feel it working your upper chest.

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Different people feel the exercise at different angles (45 degrees works for most people), but the best thing to do is try different angles to see what works for you. If you feel the exercise more towards the middle of your chest then you have the angle too low and it will feel more like a flat bench press. If you feel the exercise more in your shoulders, then you have the angle too high and you need to decrease the angle.

The mid chest is hit with perhaps the most famous exercise of all – the bench press. Everyone does it in the gym (unless you are injured, have a disability or simply no idea what you are doing in the gym).

Too many people are in the gym trying to impress everyone with how much they can bench, yet more than half of them are doing the exercise incorrectly and can be making themselves prone to serious injury. The famous question, “What do you bench?” is asked around gyms the world over. I cringe at the sound of it.

Not because I don’t care what they bench, but because I know that person is one of the many who are probably executing the exercise incorrectly. So let me say it once and get it over with.

It’s not how much weight you can lift. Leave your ego at the door and concentrate on feeling the weight and using correct form. Another exercise that hits the mid-chest is the push-up. These are great if you can’t get to the gym and want to pump up a little bit or just tick over.

The lower chest I believe is the most neglected portion of the chest. When you look at the best chests in bodybuilding you notice from top to bottom the chest is fully developed and complete.

If someone neglects the lower portion of their chest you will notice fullness in the upper half but below mid-chest they will be flat and without the roundness at the bottom portion. Doing decline presses as well as dips can develop the lower chest.

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Chapter 3: different chest exercises

Flat Barbell Bench Press
Flat Dumbbell Bench Press
Incline Barbell Bench Press
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
Decline Barbell Bench Press
Decline Dumbbell Bench Press
Flat Bench Dumbbell Flyes
Incline Bench Dumbbell Flyes
Decline Bench Dumbbell Flyes
Flat Dumbbell Press on the Stability Ball
Flat Dumbbell Fly on the Stability Ball
Flat Cable Machine Fly on the Stability Ball
Smith Machine Flat Bench Press
Smith Machine Incline Bench Press
Smith Machine Decline Bench Press
Machine Fly
Pec Deck
Cable Machine Flat Bench Fly
Cable Machine Incline Bench Fly
Cable Machine Decline Bench Fly
Bodyweight Pushups (different hand positions available)
Weighted Pushups (different hand positions available)
Bodyweight Incline Pushups on the Stability Ball (different hand positions available)
Bodyweight Dips
Assisted Dips
Weighted Dips

Chapter 4: mass building chest workouts

Workout 1

– Incline Barbell Bench Press 3×8-12
– Flat Barbell Bench Press 3×8-12
– Decline Barbell Bench Press 3×8-12
– Incline Bench Dumbbell Fly 3×15
– Flat Bench Dumbbell Fly 3×15

Workout 2

– Incline Dumbbell Press 3×8-12
– Flat Dumbbell Press 3×8-12
– Decline Dumbbell Press 3×8-12
– Incline Cable Fly 3×15
– Flat Cable Fly 3×15

Workout 3

– Incline Dumbbell Press 3×8-12
– Flat Barbell Bench Press 3×8-12
– Dips 3×8-12
– Incline Dumbbell Fly 3×15
– Machine Fly 3×15

Workout 4 (bodyweight workout)

– Bodyweight Incline Pushup on Stability Ball 5×8-12
– Bodyweight Pushup 5×8-12
– Bodyweight Dips 5×8-12

Workout 5 (smith machine workout)

– Smith Machine Incline Bench Press 5×8-12
– Smith Machine Flat Bench Press 5×8-12
– Smith Machine Decline Bench Press 5×8-12

Course conclusion

You really want to focus on the mind-muscle connection once more. Always remember mind and body work better together for great results. You should really feel each rep and feel the muscle working.

Make sure you are hitting each part of the chest equally (unless your chest isn’t balanced then you need to work on the lesser section more). Focus on compound movements for the upper, mid and lower chest. Then utilize shaping movements such as flys to finish out your chest workout.

And as always – have fun! Utilize what you learned in this course and see where it takes you. Good luck and see you at graduation!

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Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
Lost 13 Kg in Total
Mel, 32y Location: London, United Kingdom Working with Pollyanna changed everything. I lost 13kg, got toned and have more energy than ever! Get same results!


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Lost 45 Kg in Total
Chris, 50y Location: London, United Kingdom Lost 45kg after the age of 50 and now competes and wins physique competitions and runs marathons Check our weight loss plans