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Chest Workout

Chest Workout


Before  you have to understand that your  pecs are unique.  There are a lot of fibers working in different directions and that is why different angels are necessary for complete chest workout routine.    The second important rule is that chest – power muscle group and needs heavy power workout.


I’d like to share a secret of my chest workout and, possibly, you’ll be surprised because I do neither Bench Presses nor Dumbbell Flyes on a horizontal bench at all!

Approximately five years ago I, having lent an attentive ear to my muscles, excluded all horizontal exercises from my chest workout routine. I believe that bench incline is of top-priority importance for proportional growth of pectoral muscles. When expressed in percent, my chest workout looks like this:

my chest workout
Incline (presses and flyes) – 70-80% of the whole chest workout Decline (presses and flyes) – 30-20% of the whole chest workout Horizontal (presses and flyes) – 0%

In practice, my chest workout routine includes three incline exercises + 1 decline one. Take a notice that, according to the priority principle, in my chest workout incline exercises go first while decline one is left for the very end.

Why do I work so much on an inclined bench? The idea is that the mass of the upper part defines the shape of the whole chest! Take a look at your gym neighbours and try to find at least one person whose chest wins admiration. If you manage to find such person, no doubt, his chest is distinguished exactly by the state of its upper part.

The moral of all said above is as follows: train the muscle part that is more difficult to be trained but not the one that easily responds to any load. What comes to your chest – this part is its upper sections. ‘And what about lower ones?’ you can ask. Forget about them at all. Just tell me, whether you had ever seen a bodybuilder with well-developed upper parts of chest and lagging lower ones?.. And vice versa?

Use different incline angles when performing presses and flyes. My advice is the following:

chest workout angles
incline bench presses (with a barbell or dumbbells) – 30-35° bench flyes 45-20° change incline angles when workout

If there’s an athlete in your gym who works hard on inclined benches I’m quite sure that this person has big and well-defined pecs muscles. So, what prevents you from becoming this person?


There are a lot of methods to build pecs muscles. The majority of them are copying each other and look almost the same: Barbell Bench Presses + Incline Barbell Bench Presses + Dumbbell Flyes + Pullovers or Pec Deck Flyes.

Stereotyped nature of proposed chest workout schemes simply alerts: one should always start with Barbell Bench Presses that is considered a kind of fundamental exercise though there are a number of exercises that train your pectorals much more effectively than this one. What Barbell Bench Press can give your chest? – Shapeless mass at best (and even this possibility is rather questionable).

Anatomic peculiar features of muscle construction of the majority of athletes make exercises on a horizontal bench almost useless for growing mass of pectoral muscles. That’s why I call you to experiment with different incline and decline bench angles. You need to understand that different chest parts work differently depending on incline angle of a bench. When experimenting with incline angles you will be able to achieve comprehensive training of all muscle fibers. Such training style distinguishes chest muscle from other ones. If a person lacks development of a certain chest area it means that he simply doesn’t understand this conception.

When workout chest you need to remember that incline bench flyes and presses build first and foremost the upper chest part while decline ones – the lower chest part. Remember, however, that the lower part grows much easier than the upper one. Take the following fact into consideration when performing Crossovers: when crossing your arms high you put an emphasis on the upper chest part; when low – on the lower one.

If your pectoral muscles don’t grow you need to make the two following steps:

1. Half your basic weights and when performing exercises try to concentrate on the way you perform them but not on the weights. Try to change the movement amplitude (either reduce or increase it); try to make a short pause in the upper and lower movement points; try to experiment with the point when a barbell is touching your chest: even in case of a small shift of it upward or downward against the usual position your pectoral muscles can start working absolutely in another way. In short, I advise you to experiment but not copy different complexes and techniques unthinkingly. Try to learn to feel your pectorals; ‘imaginable’ exercises can be a good tool to do it.

2. The next step after you learned to feel your muscles (learned to ‘press with your chest’) is the following: direct all your enthusiasm to increase of basic weights used in press exercises but with keeping the correct performance technique. Training weights progression is the main stimulus of muscle growth. Everyone knows it but goes on ignoring it and trains with the same weights for years. The main rule is simple: the heavier weights – the bigger muscles.

Ok. It’s clear about presses. But what about flyes?

Dumbbell Flyes is an indispensable  exercise for growth of pectoral muscles. It’s usually considered to be not that very effective for mass gain and more effective for shaping chest muscles but I don’t agree with it. I believe that flyes can really help you grow muscle mass if you perform them in the end of your chest workout routine. The way you perform this exercise is very important: your movements should be smooth and slow and followed by a good extension in the lowest movement point.

Now, I hope, you understand why I recommend  perform only 2 exercises during the first 12 weeks. These are the best chest exercises and if you master them and are able to increase basic weights without sacrificing their performance technique your progress will be fantastic:

chest workout routine for beginners (first 12 weeks)
Barbell Incline Bench Presses: (30°) 2X15 (warm-up) + 3X6-8 Dumbbell Incline Bench Presses: (45°) 4X6-8

In the future, when we switch to a three-day split our chest workout routine will be added with Dumbbell Flyes. By that time you’ll be trained enough for this additional exercise:

Chest workout routine (pre – intermediate level – after 12 weeks)
Barbell Incline Bench Press: 2×15 (warm up) + 3X6-10 Dumbbell Incline Bench Presses: 4X6-10 Incline Dumbbell Flyes (20-45°): 3X8-10

How do you have to workout your chest afterwards? My friends, as soon as you reach the corresponding intermediate level only one person will be able to answer this question correctly; and this person is you.  I can give only few variants of chest workout routines:

Chest workout routines for intermediata level
Chest workout routine # 1
Incline barbell bench pressIncline dumbbell pressIncline chest fly

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