Muscle Growth, Bodybuilding

How to Develop Your Chest

By Daniel Matranga on Dec 1, 2017 9:28:00 PM
4 Minutes Reading Time

 

There is something inherently masculine about a well-developed chest. The way it makes your shirts sit, the way it extends in front of you as if almost to say “hey, whatsup, if you weren’t aware I take good care of myself and have built a considerable amount of muscle”.A muscular chest can be worn like a badge of honor, and it is a must have for anyone trying to take their physique to the next level. Don’t believe me? Think about it, almost every depiction of a superhero has a thick and well-developed set of pectorals. The chest ties the physique together from shoulder to shoulder and completes the look – training and developing it should be as important as the rest of the musculature.

For anyone who may be struggling to bring up their chest, it is usually not for lack of trying. Most guys love training their chest, and I totally understand why, it is fun to press. The problem is, most guys press once a week and wait an entire SEVEN days to press again. Gone are the days of simply obliterating your chest on Monday as per the prescription of “Muscle and Fiction”. If you want to take your chest to the next level and really turn heads you need to step up the frequency you train it. Get under the barbell two, to three times a week. Toss out the machine work, save a few cable flies perhaps, and up your frequency doing variations of the bench press. There truly is no substitute for barbell pressing when it comes to developing the chest, but the frequency with which you bench is as, if not more, important then the intensity. One session of crushing your chest per week is not going to get it done anymore. Instead I would recommend the more efficient, safe, and effective model shown below:

Day A:
Barbell Bench Press 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps
Cable Crossover 4 sets of 12
(the rest of your workout)

Day B:
Dumbbell Bench Press 3-4 sets of 8-12
Incline Dumbbell Fly 3-4 sets of 12
(the rest of your workout)

OPTIONAL*** Day C:
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 4 sets of 8
Flat Dumbbell Fly 4 sets of 8
(the rest of your workout)

While on the surface this does not seem like much, it really is. Upon closer examination you will see anywhere between 21-24 sets of volume for the chest per week. This is very much sufficient and with volume being disbursed across three training sessions in a given week the intensity can be much higher session to session. It is important to note that you can only have active muscle anabolism for around 36-48 hours after a training session. That means if you train your chest on Monday you should hit it again no later then Thursday for optimal growth. So instead of sending a muscle building signal and the various metabolic pathways for growth ONE time per week with a “chest day” you should look to maximize the time you spend growing by increasing the number of signals throughout your training week. Whether your goal is growth or performance, I also recommend priming your musculature before you train it. Priming preps the neuromuscular system to preform exercise optimally and drive better results. Check out how to specifically prime your chest here.Also feel free to click the link below to view our MAPS Prime program.

These principles are not limited to chest; I am firm believer that frequency and priming are some of the most underutilized tools of muscle growth. Opt for a training program that optimizes the utilization of priming, phasing and at least a two, and preferably three time a week per muscle group frequency to maximize your natural muscle building potential.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27102172

http://stars.library.ucf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1109&context=honorstheses

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