The 10 Commandments of Chest Training (GET A BIG CHEST!)

Thou shalt...

Everyone that loves training needs to know the 10 Commandments of chest training.

These have been brought down from the mountain and carved into stone by Jeff Cavaliere from Athlean X.

The 10 Commandments of Chest Training

“If you want to build a bigger chest you have to make sure you are avoiding the biggest chest workout mistakes while not forgetting to do the right things.  In this video, we are going to cover the 10 commandments of chest training.  The shalt and shalt nots of how to make sure every one of your chest workouts is productive and helping you to pack on those pec gains.”

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This is the complete list of chest training tips found in this video:

The 10 Commandments of Chest Training

1.  Thou shalt keep traps out of your chest training

2.  Thou shalt initiate every contraction from the chest

3.  Thou shalt adduct at every opportunity

4.  Thou shalt do drop sets

5.  Thou shalt do pullovers, yes pullovers!

6.  Thou shalt do squeeze ups

7.  Thou shalt protect your shoulders

8.  Thou shalt do overcoming isometrics for max fiber recruitment

9.  Thou shalt face pull for a bigger chest

10.  Thou shalt never train chest on Monday

“Taking from the chest master tip on our channel, you must remember to remove your traps from your chest exercises.  Far too often, the traps will engage and shrug the shoulders up prior to doing dips, bench presses or any chest exercise for that matter, and it is taking away from the health of your shoulders and the amount of work the chest can do.”

Start with a Contraction

“It is important that every chest exercise starts with a contraction from the chest muscles and not the shoulders.  A lot of this can be controlled by your posture and whether you remember to keep your shoulders back during the exercise.  You will see an example of how to apply this to your bench press but it goes for any chest exercise you do.”

Understand the Movements

“Adduction at the shoulder is one of the main functions of the chest.  It is the movement that separates the function of the chest from that of the front delt and must be present if you want to achieve a complete chest contraction.  Incorporate exercises at all opportunities that allow you to do this on your reps even if it means using lighter weights.”


“Pullovers are actually not just a back exercise.  I will show you how to tweak the exercise so that it really hits the upper chest hard and helps you to build a sculpted set of pecs that stand off your chest from top to bottom.”

Drop Sets

“Drop sets are a great way to increase the intensity put forth in your chest workout.  Use a single exercise and simply cut the weight in half that you use after taking your heavier set to failure.  This will allow you to not just train to failure (with the help of the larger assistive muscles) but then pushing through failure with just the chest doing the rest of the work.”

Protect Your Shoulders

“Protecting your shoulder joints at all costs should be a primary concern of yours during chest training.  You can do this by including some more decline bench press or even turning the flat bench you have into a decline bench by putting a plate under the end of the bench.  Either way, avoiding the traditional bench fly in favour of the floor fly is also a great way to prevent collateral damage to your shoulders when trying to build a bigger chest.”

Video – Commandments of Chest Training

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Commandments of Chest Training – Pectoralis Major

The pectoralis major is the most superficial muscle in the pectoral region. It is large and fan shaped, and is composed of a sternal head and a clavicular head:


  • Clavicular head – originates from the anterior surface of the medial clavicle.
  • Sternocostal head – originates from the anterior surface of the sternum, the superior six costal cartilages and the aponeurosis of the external oblique muscle.
  • The distal attachment of both heads is onto the intertubercular sulcus of the humerus.

Function: Adducts and medially rotates the upper limb and draws the scapula anteroinferiorly. The clavicular head also acts individually to flex the upper limb.

Innervation: Lateral and medial pectoral nerves.

Commandments of Chest Training – Pectoralis Minor

The pectoralis minor lies underneath its larger counterpart muscle, pectoralis major. Both muscles form part of the anterior wall of the axilla region.

Attachments: Originates from the 3rd-5th ribs and inserts into the coracoid process of the scapula.

Function: Stabilises the scapula by drawing it anteroinferiorly against the thoracic wall.

Innervation: Medial pectoral nerve.

Commandments of Chest Training – Serratus Anterior

The serratus anterior is located more laterally in the chest wall and forms the medial border of the axilla region.

Attachments: The muscle consists of several strips, which originate from the lateral aspects of ribs 1-8. They attach to the costal (rib facing) surface of the medial border of the scapula.

Function: Rotates the scapula, allowing the arm to be raised over 90 degrees. It also holds the scapula against the ribcage.

Innervation: Long thoracic nerve.

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