Bigger Chest Now! 3 Tools to Fight Stubborn Growth By Kris Gethin
This summer marked the 10th anniversary since my first ever proper workout, where I’d pound my muscles with less than perfect form every day in my bedroom with an iron set of dumbbells I bought from a local shop. With every year that passed I’d be able to see some progress, more muscle, more shape and better symmetry.
Well, apart from my chest.
Seriously, I’ve done just about everything a man can do to his chest bar get implants to make it bigger. Then about 2 years ago things started to actually come together for me, when I made a few select changes to my training specifically for my chest.
I’d like to share these things with you because I know there’s no way your chest is as stubborn as mine, so these tips will also work for you I’m sure of it.
3 Tools for a Bigger Chest
#1 – Heavy Weighted Dips
Being strong on chest exercises isn’t hard for me because my triceps will lift a lot of weight, and they grow easily too. Unfortunately that means a lot of the weight I lift on chest day actually goes to my triceps instead.
So when it comes to dips I lean forward slightly because it stretches my pecs right to the corner of my armpits, putting me in the perfect position to get more “squeezing” done with each rep.
Heavy dips, where you’re failing in the 6-8 rep range are one of the things I started doing to see big changes. It’s the perfect compound lift for chest expansion, especially when you get strong at it. For 6 reps I’ve worked up to circa 70kg (154lbs) which is over two thirds of my body weight. Once you get to these sort of numbers your chest will have no choice but to grow.
One word of caution if I may, always use strict form and build the weight with each set. This exercise can and will injure you if you are remotely complacent about it. Be warned!
#2 – Heavy Decline Bench Press
These days I spend very little time on the flat bench, or even the incline bench. It’s my belief that the decline is the best angle for wholesale chest stimulation.
It’s widely thought that it’s just a builder for the lower pecs, but as you press from a decline angle you’ll notice that the contraction intensifies across the entire surface area of your chest right the way up to your pec minor.
On this exercise I actually like to go really low in reps, to build my overall strength and accumulate large quantities of weight lifted across the session. Then I’ll do my “hypertrophy” sets, for 6-8 reps. I’ve built up to 150kg (330lbs) for 6 reps on decline bench, which has definitely been one of the main reasons for my progress in the chest area.
#3 – More Chest Frequency
It’s all good going hard and heavy, but you need a bit more brains behind it than that to make muscle grow when its this stubborn. Rather than wait 7 days to train it again, I’ll train chest every 4-5 days so there’s an increase in frequency.
My outlook on this is that I get to re-stimulate muscle protein synthesis, which peaks then dips after 48 hours of training a muscle in natural, unassisted athletes (me). I also get to give the muscle another dose of blood, which helps expand the muscle over time.
With more frequency comes more responsibility though. The shoulder joints are the most vulnerable in the body for injuries, I think. So be clever with your assistance work to keep your shoulders healthy.
If you press more then learn to strengthen areas of your posterior chain more, namely your trap 3 muscle and posterior deltoids to retain the balance in posture. If you don’t you’ll experience excessive internal rotation.
There you have it, 3 things which I’ve used to make the world’s most stubborn chest grow. There’s no question that necking down some Pre-Kaged before I train has helped with the pump, and intensity of my chest workouts as well.