Walk into any gym environment and it is quite obvious that a well-sculpted chest is desirable by most trainee’s lifting weights.
However, the newbies stand out like a sore thumb for some common mistakes and misconceptions about how best to build chest muscles.
Here are two tips to kick start your chest growth!
Use Compound Exercises –
Compound exercises are exercises that require movement by at least two joints. Examples of compound chest exercises are the bench press and dumbbell presses.
Most people love messing around with flys and cable crossovers because they feel ‘the burn’. The first thing you need to remove from your mindset is that ‘the burn’ equals muscle because that will lead to you training your entire body with flyes, lateral raises, leg extensions, tricep pushdowns and bicep curls.
You need to lift heavy (with good technique, of course) to illicit any kind of growth response from your muscles and quite frankly, you can’t lift as heavy with these little isolation exercises. You’ll be able to shift more poundage in the bench press movement because you have more muscles assisting you.
Why does lifting heavy matter? Well, the heavier you lift, the more muscle building (anabolic) hormones are naturally secreted into your body (such as testosterone) which will help with things like muscle recovery and muscle growth. Remember that muscle building doesn’t occur inside of the gym but rather outside of it!
Lift Heavy or Go Home!
Don’t Neglect Your Back! –
When I was doing a keyword search to get idea’s for articles, common searches included ‘build bigger chest’ or ‘build chest muscles’. Not once did I come across a keyword search to do with building a bigger and stronger back.
This leads me to believe that some novices are wrongly neglecting their back training (in fact I see this mistake every day at work!) – Why wrongly and what does this have to do with building a bigger chest?
Well, mainly for postural reasons. Many people don’t know that the chest muscles actually insert on the top of your arm. Now what happens if you constantly train your chest and neglect back training?
Your chest will become too strong as well as getting shorter and tighter whilst your back muscles will get weaker.
This gives people that hunched over, rounded shoulders look because the tight chest muscles have pulled the shoulders forwards and internally rotated them. The back has also become weak and can’t bring your shoulder blades back into their correct position.
Also if your chest is shorter and your shoulders are rounded, this will give your chest and your entire upper body a much smaller appearance. Give yourself and your chest the credit you’ve worked hard for! Balance your training – work your entire body!
These are just two quick tips on maximizing your chest’s potential.
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