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6 Chest Workout Tips for a Hardgainer

Updated: Sep 28, 2021

Anyone anyone ever had the thought; "Why isn't my chest growing?"

It is frustrating to desire a bigger chest but not be able to get it; I understand your frustration and that is why I collected the top 6 tips for improving chest muscle growth!

I can help you in creating a fantastic chest workout with these six chest workout ideas for a hardgainer!

Table of Contents:

It is the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor muscle groups that make up the chest musculature, therefore it is possible that a chest exercise will not be as effective as you would expect.

Many factors contribute to this, including your particular genetics, which determines how and where your tendons connect, as well as your exercise approach and even your hormone profile.

hardgainer chest workout tips

Hardgainer Chest Workout Tips

Below are some of the best chest workout tips for a hardgainer. I have researched and experimented with the best techniques and ideas to see what works best.

  1. Find the best exercise for you

  2. Get better quality reps and sets

  3. Go heavy

  4. Warm up

  5. Use intensity methods

  6. Vary your workouts

1) Find the Best Exercise for You

Discover what exercise most stimulates your chest muscles.

Have you ever tried an exercise that supposed to train a specific muscle and you feel it in another muscle instead?

This tip is based on the same principle, find exercises that work for you!

Trying a variety of exercises for your chest will help you learn what causes your chest to be optimally engaged and, as a result, what chest workouts are most effective for increasing development.

In the case of bench presses, for example, you can usually tell which exercise causes your chest to ache the most, which causes your chest to tyre out faster, and which gives you a better muscle pump.

Make a goal of finding four of these exercises to include into your chest routine.

2) Get Better Quality Reps & Sets

You should aim to get better quality sets and reps.

Once you've identified your top chest exercises, set up a chest workout program that includes 3-4 sets of each exercise for a total of 12-16 sets of chest exercises.

Within these sets, you should perform 6-12 reps, depending on the exercise; if it is a movement such as cable or dumbbell flies, or something that requires stretching, limit these exercises to higher reps and lower weight to avoid injury, as this is the last thing you want for chest growth.

If it is a bench press or other less injury-prone exercises, use lower reps and heavier weight to maximise chest growth.

According to my research, the most effective tempo of repetitions is 1/2-6. (1)

The 1 in 1/2-6 means that you should do the concentric portion of the rep (such as pushing a barbell on the bench press) as forcefully as possible but with control (usually around 1 seconds).

The 2-6 in 1/2-6 means that you should do the eccentric portion (such as lowering the barbell to your chest) slowly and with control, resisting the weight.

Eccentric movements are very beneficial for muscular development and may assist you in developing a bigger chest.

3) Go Heavy!

Heavy lifting should be included into your chest exercise. As I said in the previous section, 6-12 repetitions for 12-16 sets is generally ideal.

However, you still want some of those sets to have even fewer reps and heavier weight.

In the case of the bench press, for example, if you have 12 sets of 4 repetitions each, make one of those bench press sets a heavy set of around 4 reps each.

This will increase the stress placed on your pectoral muscles, stimulating the chest muscles to grow and develop.

Make sure you've warmed up with enough practise sets and that you always have a spotter to assist you.

4) Make Sure You Warm Up

Every exercise, regardless of its intensity, benefits from proper warm-up.

People often ignore the need of a warm-up, but this is a mistake; being injured from a lack of warm ups is not the greatest way to build your chest, I assure you that.

A warm up is a great way to prevent injury. (2) Even if you aren't concerned about getting hurt, warming up at the gym can enhance your overall performance.

79% of those who warmed up had improved exercise performance. (3)

Probably the most effective warmup is dynamic warmups, which include any stretching done while in motion, followed by a light weight warm up session of the specific muscle you will be exercising.

5) Use Intensity Methods

An intensity method is a way to increase the intensity or change the dynamics of an exercise.

Some of these intensity methods include:

  • Barbell chains

  • Resistance bands

  • Having a spotter apply resistance to a moving weight such as a barbell.

This will enhance the intensity of your chest exercise, perhaps assisting you in developing a more defined chest.

Applying intensity methods to your workouts will enhance muscle growth.

6) Vary Your Workouts

Varying your workout week to week will keep your muscles guessing and push them to adapt to new exercises, but be sure to keep at least one chest exercise the same throughout your training.

This will assist you in becoming stronger at a particular action while also strengthening your mind-muscle connection and boosting your overall strength!

Varying your workouts has been shown to improve motivation and therefore muscle growth due to improved workouts and less gym sessions skipped. (4)

Get a Better Chest Workout

Getting a better workout may be the difference between having a lot of muscular development and having none at all.

This is especially true when it comes to enhancing your chest muscular development.

Here are some of the best tips:

  • 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.


Written by Billy White

billy white

Billy White is a qualified Kinesiologist and Personal Trainer. He is an aspiring bodybuilder, fitness enthusiast, and health and fitness researcher.

He has multiple years of experience within the fitness, bodybuilding and health space. He is committed to providing the highest-quality information.



This section contains links to research, studies, and sources of information for this article, as well as authors, contributors, etc. All sources, along with the article and facts, are subjected to a series of quality, reliability, and relevance checks.

Real Muscle primarily uses high-quality sources, such as peer-reviewed publications, to back up the information in our articles. To understand more about how we fact-check and keep our information accurate, dependable, and trustworthy, read more about us.

This evidence and experienced based overview on chest workout tips for a hardgainer features 4 references, listed below.

1. Krzysztofik M, Wilk M, Wojdała G, Gołaś A. Maximizing Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review of Advanced Resistance Training Techniques and Methods. Int J Environ Res Public Health. (2019, Dec 4) ✔

2. Fradkin AJ, Gabbe BJ, Cameron PA. Does warming up prevent injury in sport? The evidence from randomised controlled trials? J Sci Med Sport. (2006, Jun) (Review) ✔

3. Fradkin AJ, Zazryn TR, Smoliga JM. Effects of warming-up on physical performance: a systematic review with meta-analysis. J Strength Cond Res. (2010, Jan) (Review) ✔

4. Baz-Valle E, Schoenfeld BJ, Torres-Unda J, Santos-Concejero J, Balsalobre-Fernández C. The effects of exercise variation in muscle thickness, maximal strength and motivation in resistance trained men. PLoS One. (2019, Dec 27) ✔

Citations with a tick indicate the information is from a trusted source.


The information provided in this article is not intended to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the guidance of a physician or other competent professional before following advice or taking any supplement. See our terms and conditions.

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