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How to Make An Upper Chest Growth Program

Create your own program specialised for a muscle group.

Find out how to make an upper chest growth program with the help of Dr. Mike Israetel.

Dr. Mike Israetel, PhD in Sport Physiology and co-founder of Renaissance Periodization, made a video to understand how to make an upper chest growth program.

The video itself is rather long (over 31 minutes) but full in-depth. If you don’t want to spend that much time, check out his main arguments. Otherwise, you can see the full video at the end of this page.

According to Mike, this is a sample program that you can use it yourself and you will also learn how to make an upper chest growth program so that, in the future, if you want to make one yourself, this should help you out.

Why Specialise?

Some people want to improve their athleticism overall and are not looking to build just one specific muscle group. However, that is not why you are here. So why specialise in training just your upper chest?

  • One muscle group growth in relation to others
  • More energy focused for the increased growth of prioritised muscles

Also, if you still want to train other muscle groups, but are serious about maximising your gains, you can also take into consideration some specific muscle growth programs and use them according to your needs.

You can utilise different specific growth programs to your needs, as long as you can recover from them properly without hindering your gains.

Basics on How to Design a Specialised Plan

Specificity

  • Choose exercises, modalities, and rep ranges that preferentially stimulate the target muscle.

Prioritisation

  • Train specialised muscle group first no most days on which you train it.

Frequency

  • Higher frequencies are better.
  • 2 times is ok à 3-4 times is often better.

Non-specialised Training Reduction

  • Make room for recovery
  • Consider reducing overall volume from other muscle groups
Train to Failure How to Get a Stronger Lower Back Back Exercises Ranked Best to WorstSource: Ryan Snaadt / Unsplash

Constructing Your Specialised Plan

Frequency

  • Train your chest 3-4 times per week with 2-3 of those highly focused on upper pec exercises

Exercises

  • Include a core of incline pressing
  • Consider incline flyes as well with tension at the top
  • Keep flat chest work for later in the session

Set Numbers

  • Start with 2-6 sets per session for chest

The range of sets will vastly differ from person to person. Do whatever gets you a decent pump and feels like a bit of a workout.

Loading/Reps

  • Generally start most sessions with sets of 5-10 reps.
  • Consider doing heavier work earlier in the week.
How to Make An Upper Chest Growth ProgramSource: Depositphotos / CrossFit Inc

Progressing Through Your Plan

Set Numbers

If you are no longer sore before the next time you train your chest and you feel strong again, add 1 set to that prior session.

However, if you just barely recovered from the previous session two days before, or still feel sore or weak, do not add any sets.

RIRs (Reps in Reserve)

  • Start with the usual 3 reps in reserve
  • Add load/reps weekly
  • Deload when you fail to match performance two sessions in a row (Monday and Wednesday, for example)

Loading/Reps

  • Add 2.5/5 lbs each week.
  • And/or add 1-2 reps each week.
  • Target either the same RIR or a 1 drop in RIR every week.

Sample Plan (Week 1)

This is a sample of how to make an upper chest growth program with all the information given above.

Monday

  • Incline barbell press – 3 sets of 5-10 reps (3RIR)
  • Dumbbell flat press – 2 sets of 10-20 reps (3 RIR)

Wednesday

  • Incline cable flyes – 3 sets of 10-20 reps (3 RIR)
  • Low incline dumbbell press – 2 sets of 10-20 reps (3 RIR)

Friday

  • Flat machine press – 3 sets of 10-20 reps (3 RIR)

Sample Plan (Final Week Pre-Deload)

Monday

  • Incline barbell press – 7 sets of 5-10 reps (0 RIR)
  • Dumbbell flat press – 5 sets of 10-20 reps (0 RIR)

Wednesday

  • Incline cable flyes – 6 sets of 10-20 reps (0 RIR)
  • Low incline dumbbell press – 4 sets of 10-20 reps (0 RIR)

Friday

  • Flat machine press – 4 sets of 10-20 reps (0 RIR)

Dr. Mike Israetel also talks about how long to specialise the program for, how long to take an active rest, and more. Check out his video on how to make an upper chest growth program below for all the info you need.

How to Make An Upper Chest Growth Program

Read More: 6 Tough Chest Workouts to Build Strength, Muscle and Mass

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