– Make training with dumbbells a priority rather than using barbells. That’s because dumbbells allow you to increase the range of motion on all exercises and they are very helpful when it comes to achieving maximal contraction of the muscles. What’s more, by using dumbbells you decrease the risk of injury by posing significantly less stress to your connective tissues than barbells.
– Make chest training sessions shorter. For example, around 40 minutes once per week. This is because the chest is easily overtrained because going to failure on chest exercises forces your triceps and posterior deltoids to take over, which can lead to improper chest muscle development and unbalanced physique.
Things you shouldn’t do!
– Don’t go too heavy. This might seem a bit contradictory, but you should be going as heavy as possible as long as you are able to contract the pecs on the concentric part of the exercise. If you go too heavy, your posterior deltoid and triceps will almost definitely take over some of the burden and the stimulus on the chest will not be enough.
– When pressing never use a full range of motion. When you lockout your arms at the top of the movement your pecs relax and your triceps take over. This again is not effective as it won’t stimulate your chest muscle fibers. The same applies to the bottom of the movement. Lowering the weight so that it reaches and touches your chest will also transfer the load from the chest to the deltoids. Again, the same thing happens. Insufficient chest muscle stimulation.
– Do flat bench pressing every week. Even though the flat bench barbell press is one of the “Big Three” in powerlifting along with the deadlift and the squat, and even though it is tremendously efficient it is not the be-all and end-all of pressing. If you do it every week you will again take all the stress away from the chest muscles and direct to the deltoids and triceps. And it’s another reason why you should use dumbbells instead of barbells when you are pressing.
Those were the tenets of chest muscle training you should follow that will help you optimize your training and make you grow better than ever. You would also need a sample training plan that you could follow that implements the rules listed. You can do it three times a week. Here it is:
3 X incline dumbbell press 8-12 reps
3 X decline barbell press 8-12 reps
3 X dumbbell flyes 8-11 reps
3 X incline barbell press 12-15 reps
3 X flat dumbbell press 12-15 reps
4 X cable cross-overs 12-15 reps
3 X flat dumbbell press 15-20 reps
3 X decline dumbbell press 15-20 reps
2 X cable-crossovers 15-20 reps
2 X dumbbell pullovers 15+ reps
So, there it is. The fundamentals of chest training. You can implement them in your workout routine immediately and start seeing your chest growing bigger by the day.