Check out these 3 chest exercises better than bench press for muscle growth! If you want to add variety to your chest training, you have landed on the right page.
The bench press is widely acclaimed as the ultimate exercise for chest development. It effectively targets all areas of the pectoral muscles and allows for progressive overload to drive muscle gains. However, relying solely on bench pressing may not be the optimal approach for maximizing chest development. In this article, we explore the reasons why you should consider diversifying your chest workouts and introduce three alternative exercises that can help you achieve peak performance and stimulate greater pec growth.
According to Dr. Mike Israetel from Renaissance Periodization, there is no single exercise that is a “must do” for building muscle. While the bench press is highly regarded, it is not the only exercise capable of promoting significant gains. To overcome plateaus and continue making progress, incorporating exercise variety is key. Your body can adapt to repetitive bench pressing, leading to diminishing returns in strength and muscle growth. By incorporating different exercises, you introduce novel stimuli that challenge your muscles in new ways, promoting greater muscle activation and growth.
3 Chest Exercises Better than Bench Press for Muscle Growth
Troy Adashun, co-founder of the popular fitness lifestyle company Alpha Lion and a renowned figure in the fitness community, is a strong advocate for reducing reliance on bench pressing. With a vast YouTube following and a wealth of gym tips and workout knowledge, Adashun encourages individuals to explore alternative approaches to maximize their training results.
Here are his top 3 chest exercises better than bench press for muscle growth.
1. The Komodo Chest Flyes
The Komodo chest flyes are performed using a cable machine. To optimize muscle activation, execute the movement in a slightly high-to-low trajectory while crossing your hands in front of your body. At the end of the movement, squeeze your chest muscles for a full second. Aim for three sets of 30 seconds under tension, and on the fourth set, increase the weight and perform 8-10 reps with perfect form. This exercise primarily targets the inner and lower chest muscles.
2. Low Flyes
Similar to dips, low flyes primarily target the lower chest. With this exercise, your goal is to “punch down” toward the floor, as opposed to an inclined position in Komodo chest flyes. Like the previous exercise, squeeze your muscles at the top of the movement and maintain tension for a second. Apply the same sets and reps technique as before: three sets of 30 seconds under tension, followed by one set of 8-10 reps with heavier weight.
3. Wolverine Low Cable Fly
Targeting the upper chest, the Wolverine low cable fly exercise employs peak activation. Cross your arms in front of your body and focus on peak muscle contraction. Perform three sets of 30 seconds under tension, and in the final set, aim for 8-10 reps with appropriate resistance. This exercise resembles other cable crossovers but emphasizes peak activation to elicit maximum muscle engagement.
It’s important to note that while diversifying your chest workouts is beneficial for advanced trainees, beginners should initially focus on mastering the bench press. Starting with lighter weights allows beginners to develop proper technique and gradually increase resistance as they progress.
In summary, understanding the benefits of diversifying your chest workouts and incorporating alternative exercises can lead to enhanced chest development. While the bench press remains a valuable exercise, incorporating exercises such as the Komodo chest flyes, low flyes, and Wolverine low cable fly can provide new stimuli and promote optimal muscle activation for greater pec growth.
Watch the accompanying video to learn more about why diversification is crucial and to gain a comprehensive understanding of each exercise’s proper execution with the peak activation technique introduced by Troy Adashun.
How Often Should You Train Your Chest?
The frequency of chest training depends on various factors such as your training experience, overall workout schedule, and individual recovery ability. As a general guideline, most individuals can benefit from training their chest muscles 1-2 times per week.
For beginners or those new to weightlifting, it is often recommended to start with 1-2 chest workouts per week to allow for adequate recovery and adaptation. As you become more experienced and your body adapts to the training stimulus, you may consider increasing the frequency to 2-3 chest workouts per week.
However, it’s important to listen to your body and avoid overtraining. If you experience excessive muscle soreness, lack of strength or energy, or feel that your chest muscles are not recovering between sessions, it may be necessary to reduce the frequency and allow for more recovery time.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that chest exercises are often incorporated into compound movements that target multiple muscle groups, such as bench presses and push-ups. These exercises indirectly work the chest along with other muscles, so it’s essential to consider the overall balance and distribution of your training program.
Ultimately, finding the right frequency for chest training requires personal experimentation and monitoring of your body’s response to exercise. It’s recommended to consult with a qualified fitness professional or personal trainer who can assess your individual needs and help design a well-rounded training program.