Who doesn’t want bigger pecs? To strengthen your chest muscles and make them pop, focus on doing chest-enhancing exercises, using the right workout techniques, and eating a healthy muscle-building diet. Follow along after the jump to learn how to get bigger chest muscles in no time at all.
EditExercises to Get Bigger Pectorals
- Do push ups. This often-neglected exercise focuses on building up your shoulder and upper chest muscles. Lie face-down on the floor and start with your hands about shoulder-width apart, with your legs stretched behind you. Push your body up from the floor with your hands until your elbows are straight, then lower yourself back to the floor.
- Do 3 sets of 15 push-ups, or as many as you can before growing fatigued. Add more reps as you gain strength.
- Push ups also work your triceps and shoulders (deltoids).
- Try this variation: elevate your legs by placing our feet on a block or step before doing the exercise. This puts emphasis on your shoulders and upper chest.
- Get into bench pressing. This is the most popular chest building exercise of all time, and for good reason. Weight a barbell with weights appropriate for your strength level. Lie on a bench with your feet flat on the floor. Lower the barbell down to chest until you reach about 1″ from your chest, then lift it straight above your chest.
- To build muscle mass and hypertrophy it is best to do between 8-12 reps of 1-3 sets. This helps the blood flow carry glycogen throughout your body, so calories will be easily burned and the exercise can continue with the help of adrenaline.
- You can also do incline bench presses by using an inclined bench. This is the same as bench pressing, only it focuses more on your upper pectoral muscles. Decline bench presses focus more on your lower pectoral muscles. Most people don’t perform this exercise but it is essential in obtaining a full and rounded chest.
- Do bar dips. Stand in front of a wide-grip parallel bar. Pull the bar down and slowly raise it back up. This can be a strenuous exercise that gives you some trouble in the beginning. But it’s one of the best pec workout movements you can do to build lots of chest muscle fast.
- Focus on the pecs separately. Lie down in the push up position and push up. Hold for 3 seconds, then transfer all your weight to your right hand and foot. Stick your left hand and foot up in the air as if you are doing a sideways jumping jack. Hold for 3 seconds. Repeat with your left hand and foot. Again, hold for 3 seconds.
EditTechniques to Remember When You Want to Build Muscle
- Don’t overwork your muscles. Many people make the mistake of lifting weights every single day, thinking that the more they work out, the bigger their muscles will get. This is actually detrimental to muscle growth; your muscles get bigger on the rest days in between workouts, when the tissues repair themselves. To make sure you’re not overworking your muscles, follow these tips:
- Work out your chest muscles no more than once or twice per week. On the days when you aren’t working out your chest, work other muscle groups, like your legs, arms, and back.
- Don’t work out for longer than 30 minutes in a session. You’ll risk damaging your muscles, and you might have to sit out for awhile instead of working on building strength and mass.
- Work out as hard as you can. When you do work out, you need to go all in. Challenge yourself to lift as much weight as you can without risking muscle damage. To find out how much weight you should be lifting, try doing reps with different weights. You should be able to do 8 – 10 reps without having to put the weights down, but you should be sweating and panting by the end of the set.
- If you can’t do more than 5 or so reps without stopping, you’re lifting too much weight. Scale back. As you get stronger, you can start lifting more weight.
- If you can do 10 reps without feeling a burn, add more weight. You need to challenge yourself if you want to get bigger.
- Use the right form. Have a personal trainer, instructor, or seasoned gym member show you how to do your exercises using the right form. You should generally start with your arms fully extended, and use your muscles, not momentum, to complete each motion.
- Using the wrong form can cause muscle damage, so make sure you know what you’re doing.
- If you can’t complete a motion with a particular weight, it might be too heavy for you. For example, if you can’t straighten your arms while you’re bench pressing, ease off on the weight.
EditDietary Habits that Increase Muscle Mass
- Don’t eat too many calories. People often believe that to get big muscles, you need to eat a lot of calories. You do need to be eating enough calories to give you energy through training, but not so many that your body has to work on burning fat instead of building muscle. Being lean helps the muscles you’re working so hard to build look more visible.
- Stay away from empty carbohydrates like pasta, white bread, cakes, cookies, and other baked goods. Choose whole grains.
- Don’t eat too many foods that are processed or fried, and limit fast food and snacks.
- Eat plenty of protein. Protein is a building block for muscle, and you’re going to need a lot of it if you want a big chest. You can get your protein from a multitude of sources – not just meat. Consider these options:
- Lean meats like chicken, fish, lean beef, and pork.
- Eggs and low-fat dairy.
- Nuts and beans.
- Kale, spinach, and other vegetables that have protein.
- Tofu and soy
- Consider taking supplements. Many people who are working on building muscles take creatine, a powdered amino acid that is mixed with water and ingested three or more times daily. It is considered safe to consume by the FDA, since it’s composed of the same protein that our bodies produce naturally to build muscle.
- You may also consider taking a protein shake supplement it is one of the most beneficial supplements to gaining muscle and leading an overall healthy life.
- Listen to music while working out!
- Don’t stop working out just because you don’t see results in a week. Over time change will come.
- Do swimming. It’s great for upper body strength.
- Don’t eat too many calories, but keep in mind to not starve yourself either.
- Always warm up before doing exercise.
- Drink plenty of water.
- While working out, you have to remember that you have to get other vitamins as well. So pack up on fruits, vegetables, and grains(very little). Try to get sugar from only fruits.
- Leave at least 100 hours between working the same muscle group, preferably until ALL soreness is gone.
- Vegetarians do not have to lack protein. Soy products (usually contain the most protein of all) are sold in grocery stores and food markets.
- Concentrate on the motion. If you’re not feeling the muscle tense (shake), you’re not doing it correctly or the weight is too low. Also remember to take your time with the motion. Slow and steady reps is more beneficial to your body than fast, shaky reps.
- Make sure to get a healthy amount of sleep when exercising or physically exerting yourself. It is important that you rest your muscles in order to grow.
- Consistency is the key! Be sure to have a proper diet without skipping meals.
- Don’t doubt yourself, work hard!
- Get .5 to 1 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Get your protein from meat, chicken, milk, beans, pulses, fish (tuna has a very small amount of fat and calories but a large amount of protein), and eggs as they are cheap and a good source of protein.
- Make sure to do all the exercises with proper form. Once you do that you can add weight to your routines.
- Don’t start with too much weight. Always start small, otherwise you might risk pulling a muscle or two.
- Don’t over exercise yourself, it can cause serious injury.
- Though dips are good for your pecs they are hard on your shoulders. Use caution when doing dips to avoid shoulder injuries.
- Always consult your doctor before starting any exercise program.
EditThings You’ll Need
- Weights and exercise equipment
- Local gym (optional)
- Trainer/physical instructor
- Work out Pectoral Muscles With a Resistance Band
- Work out Deltoids Without Weights
- Build a Big Chest
- Exercise Your Creativity
- Work out Without Weights
- Do 1000 Push Ups
EditSources and Citations
- Videos provided by Rob Riches
How to of the Day