Updated: Nov 1, 2019
Anyone else ever thought "why is my chest not growing"?
You want a big chest, but you cant get it, i know the feeling and i may be able to help you create a great chest workout with these six chest workout tips for a hardgainer!
The pectoralis major and pectoralis minor are the 2 muscle groups that make up the chest musculature and sometimes a chest workout isn't as effective as you would hope.
This can be caused by a multitude of reasons, such as: your specific genetics such as how and where your tendons attach, your training style and even your hormonal profile.
If you want to read the summary, scroll right down to the bottom and get my six chest workout tips in bullet points!
The Best Chest Workout Tips:
Read below my top 6 chest workout tips for a hardgainer!
Chest Workout Tip One:
Find out what best activates your chest.
Trying multiple different training styles for your chest will help you understand what gets your chest maximally activated and therefore the best chest exercises to maximise growth.
For example trying incline, flat and decline bench press and seeing which one gives you the best activation of your chest, you can usually tell by seeing which exercise makes your chest ache more, which tires your chest out quicker and which gives a better pump.
Try and aim to find 4 of these exercises to add to your chest workout.
Chest Workout Tip Two:
Getting better quality reps and sets.
Now once you’ve found your best chest exercises, create a chest workout with 3-4 sets of each exercise and in total you will have 12-16 sets.
Within these sets you should be doing 6-12 reps, depending on the exercise, if it’s a movement such as cable or dumbbell fly’s or something which involves stretching, limit them to higher reps and lower weight to avoid injury, as that’s the last thing you want for chest growth, and then use lower reps and heavier weight for bench press and similar less injury-prone exercises.
In my experience the best method of rep timing is 2-1-3, 2 seconds or less on the explosive, positive portion of the rep, 1 second pause at the top and bottom of the rep and a 3 second or more (depending on how high of an intensity you want) negative portion of the rep.
Eccentric reps are extremely effective for muscle growth and may help you get a big chest!
Chest Workout Tip Three:
Going heavy should be part of your chest workout.
As I said in the previous part, 6-12 reps for 12-16 sets is probably optimal, you still want some of those sets to be even lower reps and a heavier weight.
For example; if you have 12 sets and 4 are bench press make one of those bench press sets a heavy set where you do 2-4 reps, this will increase the load on your chest, forcing your chest to grow and adapt to the heavier weight.
Just be sure to warm up sufficiently before and have a spotter to help you!
Chest Workout Tip Four:
Warming up is an important part of pretty much any workout!
People often overlook a warm-up, but you shouldn’t, getting injured is not the best for growing your chest, I promise you.
And even if you don’t care about getting injured, warming up actually improves your performance in the gym and therefore helps you get a better chest workout!
The best warmup is probably dynamic warmups, this means any stretching while in movement, followed by a light weight warm up set of the particular muscle you are going to be working!
Chest Workout Tip Five:
Using intensity methods such as chains, bands and spotters applying resistance to the weight.
This will increase the intensity of your chest workout, possibly helping you grow your chest better.
Using bands and chains helps increase the load higher up in the rep where your stronger, asking someone to put pressure on the weight or bar your lifting can help you vary your intensity further aiding in muscle growth!
Chest Workout Tip Six:
Varying your chest workout week by week will keep your muscles guessing and force it adapt to new exercises, but make sure to keep at least one chest exercise the same throughout.
This will help you get stronger at one specific movement, improving your mind-muscle connection and increasing your overall strength!
Get A Better Chest Workout:
Make sure to use chest exercises that activate your muscles better.
Getting better quality reps and sets within your chest workout.
You should still be going heavy in your workout.
Make sure to warm up prior to your chest workout.
Implement other intensity methods, such as chains, bands etc.
Varying your chest workout week by week may help you.
These chest training tips should be useful for most people, it will take time and consistency for these to be effective and for you to get a big chest, but give them a go, you have nothing to lose!
Extra Information and Sources: