4 Tips For Shaping Your Chest

Lazar Angelov
Lazar Angelov
Bodybuilder & Personal Trainer
Getting a great body is a major reason to workout for many people. Even if you’re doing it out of sport and performance related aspirations, you still enjoy the transformation your body goes through in the process.

The first thing that many of you would like to develop, I’m sure, is the chest. No surprise, as a well-built chest makes the most visual impact! You know what? It’s achievable! You need to work long and hard, but you can do it! And to help you with this, I share with you 4 tips and techniques for building an impressive sculpted chest!  


Build Up Your Chest


#1 Choosing The Weights

Weights


How much weight should you lift? There is, of course, no one universal answer to this question. We are all genetically and physically different. So you should choose the weights based on your physique, abilities, and health.  


Research showed a healthy man aged 20-29 can normally lift 106% of his weight. The upper threshold of strength was around 148%. So if you weigh 100 kg and lift 148 kg, you can consider yourself very strong! With years your strength will decrease, however. Don’t worry, though. This is only normal. Just keep up the good work!


Don’t forget that strength is a relative thing. If you weigh 70 kg and can lift 115 kg (164% of body weight), are you stronger than a guy who weighs 100 kg and lifts 130 kg (130% of body weight)? I say yes! It means that you’re ripped to the limit! In my opinion, muscle density is more impressive than muscle mass. Quality over quantity!


#2 Bench Press: Horizontal, Upper or Lower?

Bench Press


When it comes to developing the chest, your best option is either horizontal or lower bench press. Research has shown that using horizontal press yields best results when exercising the upper chest. Using the lower bench press, rather unsurprisingly, is particularly effective for developing the lower chest. But what’s wrong with the upper bench press? Let’s do a little experiment and you’ll see.


Lie on an upper bench press and straighten your arms, as if raising a bar. Then stand up while maintaining the same posture. If you did this right, you’ll notice that your arms form a 45-degree angle with your shoulders. What this means is that you mainly use your front deltoid muscles for this exercise. Your arms are away from the center line, which reduces the mechanical leverage.  

You can still exercise your chest on the upper bench press, and that’s how: recline the bar either below your nipples or just over them and keep your elbows below your shoulder


#3 Muscle and Balance

Muscle Balance

Have you noticed how many people walk around with hunched and rounded shoulders? It’s no surprise, given how much time many of us spend at a desk. In the long term this can lead to severe posture and shoulders problems. So it’s really important to work on your back in the gym. Many people, however, just focus on the chest.


And it’s not like a well-built back doesn’t help! Not only will it make your chest look bigger, but also improve your balance! And to top all of this off, training your back will add to your strength on the bench press and improve your posture.


#4 Don’t overload!

Overload

Don’t forget that your chest is just a muscle group that can be overloaded. To achieve good results it’s enough to perform around 4 exercises with 3 sets in each. You can adjust this, of course, based on your circumstances and preference. Be careful, though, not to overtrain - this will only hinder your progress. Also, try to diversify your workout. Performing one exercise too regularly results in muscles getting used to it. That’s not going to help you develop your chest. I suggest changing chest programs every 2 months.


Final thoughts…

A well-built chest is a key to an athletic-looking body and the overall body strength. Incorporate these 4 tips into your workout, and you’ll see some impressive results soon! Chest, of course, should not be the only focus of your training. Training your arms, back, shoulders and the lower body is as important. Here, for example, is a great article Develop Trapezius Muscle With The Face Pull Exercise. If you’re looking to further build your body, make sure to give it a go!
Lazar Angelov
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