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9 Tips That Will Help Your Chest Grow

Cultivate a strong upper body foundation.

Check out these 9 tips that will help your chest grow even further!

But it isn’t BOXROX who came up with these tips. Rather this list was curated by Max Posternak,  the founder of Gravity Transformation, boasting a massive following of over 5.5 million YouTube subscribers. While Max typically delves into weight loss advice, this time, he shares invaluable insights on achieving an impressive chest size.

Cultivating the size and strength of your chest goes beyond aesthetic appeal; it significantly enhances your physical prowess in daily tasks such as opening doors, getting up from the floor, and effortlessly lifting heavy objects.

The chest, a prominent aspect of your physique, plays a pivotal role in commanding attention and exerting influence over your upper body strength due to its substantial muscle mass. Despite its importance, many individuals, especially men, face challenges in developing chest muscles, particularly in the upper chest region.

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9 Tips That Will Help Your Chest Grow

Explore these nine valuable tips designed to propel your chest into unprecedented growth.

Begin by adopting a bodybuilding-style bench press technique, veering away from the current powerlifting trend. Distinguishing between these two methodologies is vital, with the primary disparity lying in the range of motion.

Powerlifting bench press prioritizes minimizing the range of motion to ease the lifting of maximal weights. This can be achieved through a wider grip or a pronounced lower back arch, drawing the body closer to the bar. Conversely, the bodybuilding bench press advocates for maintaining a less pronounced arch, allowing for a broader range of motion.

This approach proves advantageous for muscle growth due to three key factors. Firstly, a full range of motion triggers heightened muscle activation. Secondly, various segments of a movement engage different aspects of a muscle, and a complete range of motion ensures comprehensive muscle engagement. Lastly, muscle stretching under load, achievable through a full range of motion, effectively promotes muscle overload. In the pursuit of optimal muscle growth, the bodybuilding bench pressing style triumphs over powerlifting.

Man bench pressingSource: Michael DeMoya on Unsplash

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Another effective technique involves directing your hands inward during barbell bench presses and dumbbell hex pressing movements. This seemingly subtle adjustment can significantly enhance chest development. Picture attempting to bring your hands together while bench pressing, despite the barbell remaining fixed and unyielding. This technique amplifies chest activation by stimulating the shoulder’s horizontal adduction function. Although the hands remain stationary, the deliberate hand-squeezing action intensifies tension on the chest muscles.

For those with a consistent training background, consider ramping up the frequency of your chest workouts to maximize gains. This recommendation extends beyond the beginner stage, as research suggests that beginners can effectively stimulate muscle growth by training each muscle group once a week.

As you progress, achieving weight increments in nearly every workout becomes more challenging. To optimize muscle development, research supports increasing training frequency. According to Posternak, a 2016 systematic review and meta-analysis concluded that training a muscle group twice a week leads to superior muscle growth compared to training it once a week. Additional studies have corroborated this finding, highlighting enhanced muscle and strength gains with higher workout frequency.

Prioritize a full range of motion during barbell bench presses. Consider going lower during the presses as it has a multitude of benefits:

  • Engages more muscle fibres.
  • Increases time under tension for hypertrophy.
  • Enhances eccentric loading and damage.
  • Activates more motor units.
  • Encourages stretching under load for protein synthesis.
  • Elevates functional strength and joint stability.

Emphasize proper form to prevent injury and seek professional guidance for optimal results.

Adopting a smart approach to enhance chest muscle growth involves alternating between different weights and rep ranges, known as periodisation. This strategy offers multiple advantages by engaging a wider range of muscle fibres, targeting both fast-twitch and slow-twitch fibres through different rep ranges. This comprehensive stimulation promotes more well-rounded muscle development and prevents muscle adaptation, ensuring continuous progress and averting plateaus.

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cable crossoverSource: Total Shape

By alternating between heavier weights and lower reps and lighter weights and higher reps, you tap into diverse pathways for muscle hypertrophy. Higher rep ranges induce metabolic stress and swelling, fostering cell growth, while lower rep ranges with heavier weights create greater mechanical tension. This dynamic combination maximizes muscle growth potential. Additionally, this variability minimizes the risk of injury, keeps workouts engaging, and contributes to long-term adherence.

Integrating periodization into your workout regimen, organized with stages of different intensities, allows you to strategically utilize alternating weights and rep schemes. This method enhances the growth of your chest muscles while concurrently fostering strength, endurance, and injury prevention. Customizing this strategy to align with your specific fitness level and objectives is crucial, and consulting with a fitness professional can assist in crafting a well-rounded and progressively structured program.

Posternak also talked about utilising cable for presses, flyes, increasing weight, and not overdoing movements with an inclined starting position.

In a nutshell, these are Posternak’s 9 tips that will help your chest grow:

  1. Bench like a bodybuilder
  2. Press hands together when you bench
  3. Increase chest workout frequency
  4. Go lower on presses
  5. Alternate weights and reps
  6. Don’t go overboard with inclines
  7. Use Cable Presses
  8. Upgrade your flyes
  9. Increase weight

To fully understand these tips, watch Posternak’s video below.

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Benefits of Strong Chest Muscles

Training your chest is a vital component of a well-rounded fitness routine, offering a multitude of benefits that extend beyond mere aesthetics. Here are some compelling reasons why chest training should be a cornerstone of your workout regimen:

  1. Upper Body Strength: The chest muscles, specifically the pectoralis major and minor, play a pivotal role in a range of upper body movements, including pushing, lifting, and carrying. Developing a strong chest establishes a robust foundation for overall upper body strength, enhancing performance in key exercises like bench press, push-ups, and overhead presses.
  2. Symmetry and Aesthetics: A well-developed chest contributes significantly to the overall visual appeal of the upper body. Achieving symmetry in conjunction with well-trained shoulders and back muscles results in a balanced and proportionate physique. The aesthetic enhancement provided by a sculpted chest can elevate confidence and self-esteem.
  3. Functional Movements: Chest strength is not confined to the gym; it is crucial for everyday activities such as pushing doors open, carrying groceries, and lifting objects. A strong chest ensures better performance in daily movements, maintains proper posture, and reduces the risk of injuries during such activities.
  4. Core Stability: Many chest exercises inherently engage the core muscles to stabilize the body during pressing movements. This indirect activation of the core contributes to improved core strength and stability. A strong core is essential for overall body support and balance, enhancing the effectiveness of chest training beyond the targeted muscles.
  5. Bone Health: Incorporating resistance training, including chest exercises like the bench press, into your routine can have positive implications for bone health. Weight-bearing exercises stimulate bone remodeling, promoting better bone density and potentially reducing the risk of conditions such as osteoporosis.

In essence, training your chest goes beyond building muscle; it cultivates functional strength, enhances aesthetic appeal, and contributes to overall physical well-being. Whether you’re aiming for improved performance in the gym or seeking functional strength for daily life, a well-rounded chest training regimen proves to be a fundamental and rewarding aspect of your fitness journey.

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How Often Should You Train the Chest?

Determining how often to train your chest hinges on several factors, including your fitness level, experience, and overall exercise routine. Consider these options tailored to different levels:

  1. Beginners: If you’re new to strength training, it’s advisable to commence with two to three chest workouts each week. This gradual approach allows your muscles and joints to acclimate to the novel stress introduced by strength training.
  2. Intermediate and Advanced: For those with more experience and heightened training intensity, a frequency of two chest workouts per week can yield significant benefits. This frequency strikes a balance between adequate recovery and providing the necessary stimulus for sustained muscle growth.
  3. Split Routines: Many weightlifters adopt split routines, concentrating on distinct muscle groups on different days. In this scenario, chest training may occur once or twice a week, contingent on your workout structure and objectives.
  4. Listen to Your Body: It’s imperative to heed your body’s signals. If you encounter excessive soreness, fatigue, or a decline in performance, you may be overtraining. In such instances, consider scaling back the frequency or volume of chest workouts to ensure optimal recovery.
  5. Recovery: Recognize that muscle growth transpires during rest and recovery. Allocate ample time between chest workouts to allow your muscles to recuperate, promoting optimal progress and minimizing the risk of injuries.

Adding diversity to your chest workouts, incorporating various exercises and rep ranges, can further enhance overall muscle development. Always prioritize proper form and technique to mitigate the risk of injury. If uncertainties persist regarding your training frequency or program, seeking guidance from a qualified fitness professional can facilitate the creation of a personalized plan aligned with your goals and fitness level.

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