Authored by Andy Chasse’ in Exercise
Published on 08-27-2009
Walking into the gym, what’s one of the first body parts you notice on someone? Probably the arms, right? That’s the answer most come up with. However, the chest is a very close second. In fact, there are plenty of gym goers out there who appreciate a barrel-chest even more than gorilla arms. Getting the perfect chest isn’t the easiest task in the world, unfortunately.
To get that perfect chest, it is first necessary to understand the muscles that make up that particular area. The chest primarily consists of the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor. The serratus anterior is commonly grouped with the chest region too. The function of these muscles is simple – they each allow some type of movement from the scapula. Without the strong muscles of the chest, there wouldn’t be any scapular adduction, abduction, depression, elevation, and all of the others movements that the human body performs.
I hope the above description gives a little insight into how crucial a strong chest is to everyday performance and function. However, many people neglect the chest in favor of the coveted biceps. While it is also important to develop the arms to allow for proper elbow flexion and extension, you must pay equal attention to the chest as well. Follow my tips below and you will get the perfect chest in no time.
- Vary your exercise selection. One of the most common problems when training any muscle is a lack of variety. Get used to the fact that your body is extremely smart. It adapts very quickly and needs new exercises on a regular basis to keep progressing. Choosing a number of different exercises shouldn’t be a problem, though – a wide range of movements hits the chest hard. Alternate between flat bench press, incline bench press, and decline bench press. Perform flyes with both dumbbells and cables. Switch from barbell pressing to dumbbell pressing.
- Train to elicit growth. Sets of 15 aren’t going to do much for your chest size, nor will sets of one. Choose your repetition and set numbers carefully. Hypertrophy, or muscle growth, is commonly believed to happen mostly in the repetition range of 6 to 12. Stick between those numbers to ensure progress.
- Be careful not to overtrain. Getting the perfect chest isn’t all about exercise selection and amount of repetitions. It is crucial that you understand the concept of overtraining to prevent injury and a halt in progress. As with any other muscle in the body, the chest needs at least a few days of rest between workouts. If you push it too hard, there are two different results you may experience. Number one – your progress is likely to either slow down or stop completely. This is obviously not beneficial to you in any way whatsoever. Number two – you will pull or strain a muscle. This will slow your progress down more than any other alternative. Don’t let it happen.
Getting the perfect chest is just a matter of proper exercise selection and constant variation while avoiding injury. Fortunately, this concept applies to just about every single muscle in the body. Stick to the basics.