Insane Chest Size

Exercises for Insane Chest Size

Do you want to build a wide chest? Looking to start turning heads when you’re walking around the weight room? Tired of sporting the nickname “Chicken Chest?” Big chest muscles are the upper body foundation to a frame that is complemented by large legs and a small waist. If you want that famous X-shape, a wide and insanely big chest isn’t an option; it’s a requirement. Let’s give you the breakdown on the best exercises to build a barrel-sized chest.

Breakdown of the Chest Muscles

Before we give you the exercises you need to grow, it will be important to learn about the muscles you’ll be using. Understanding which muscles are involved in the anatomy of the chest will help to form a strong and solid mind-to-muscle connection. It’s not enough to simply go through the motions of an exercise, you want to know and feel the muscle as it contracts and releases.

There are three chest muscles that will be your focus:

Pectoralis Major

The largest of the three, the pectoralis major covers the mass of what you associate with the chest muscles. This triangle-shaped muscle spans from the sternum to the shoulder and arm.

Pectoralis Minor

Responsible for proper shoulder movement, the pectoralis minor lies beneath the larger muscle, but maintains an equally important responsibility as it acts as a synergist muscle for the serratus anterior.

Serratus Anterior

Found on the ribs, the serratus anterior connects near the pectoralis major, and is involved in most chest-focused exercises.

Best Exercises for Chest Size

Now let’s get into what you came here for: the best exercise for chest size. We’ll be covering five exercises that, when used consistently, correctly, and with the right nutrition, will dramatically increase your chest muscles.

We’ll list the exercises from bodyweight, involving no equipment, to exercises requiring advanced equipment, that is found in every gym. Best of all, these exercises will activate all three sections of the chest: pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, and the serratus anterior.

Push-Up

The classic chest exercise that you can do anywhere, the push-up is one of the best exercises for variety and complete muscle activation.

Muscles Activated:

  • Chest
  • Front deltoids (shoulder muscles)
  • Triceps
  • Abdominals.

Dumbbell Bench Press

A bench and a set of dumbbells gives you access to hundreds of exercises, including the dumbbell bench press, which is deemed one of the best ways to build your chest muscles.

Muscles Activated:

  • Chest
  • Front deltoids
  • Triceps
  • Scapulae

Incline Barbell Bench Press

Nothing says all out power like an incline barbell bench press. This exercise is a necessity when you want to build size and develop pure strength.

Muscles Activated:

  • Chest
  • Front deltoids
  • Triceps
  • Scapulae
  • Abdominals

Cable Crossover

Slow things down and develop a strong mind-to-muscle connection with the cable crossover. This exercise is an excellent way to trigger progressive overload.

Muscles Activated:

  • Chest
  • Front deltoids
  • Triceps
  • Abdominals

Single Arm Cable Crossover

This super-focused exercise challenges stability as well as placing a huge demand on the pectoralis minor and serratus anterior. You’ll instantly fall in love with this when you start to see the definition it provides.

Muscles Activated:

  • Chest
  • Front deltoids
  • Triceps
  • Abdominals
  • Obliques

Acute Variables for Growth

We would recommend following a progressive periodization program that changes the acute variables, not the exercises, from week to week. Regardless if you’re a beginner or advanced, start with the Preparatory Phase as listed below. The following week, move to the Hypertrophy-Focused, and for the third week, perform the Strength-Focused variables. Week four, return to the Endurance-Focused phase (Preparatory Phase).

Why the shifting from week to week? Known as periodization, this will help to build the endurance of the chest muscles, allowing you to lift longer during the hypertrophy and strength phases. In turn, you’ll be able to fatigue the muscles more, ensuring growth and strength gains.

Preparatory Phase (Endurance-Focused)

Sets: 2 to 4 sets of each exercise

Repetitions: 12 to 15 repetitions for each set

Tempo: During each repetition, perform the speed of the exercise as follows:

  • Concentric phase: 3 seconds should be spent lifting the weight
  • Isometric phase: 1 second pausing at the top of the movement
  • Eccentric phase: 2 seconds lowering the weight

Resistance load: 50% to 65% of your one-repetition maximum

  • Note: Your one-repetition maximum (1RM) is the greatest amount of weight that you can lift one time with perfect form.

Rest Period: 90 seconds of rest

Hypertrophy-Focused

Sets: 2 to 4 sets of each exercise

Repetitions: 8 to 12 repetitions for each set

Tempo: During each repetition, perform the speed of the exercise as follows:

  • Concentric phase: 2 seconds should be spent lifting the weight
  • Isometric phase: 0 seconds pausing at the top of the movement
  • Eccentric phase: 2 seconds lowering the weight

Resistance load: 65% to 75% of your one-repetition maximum

Rest Period: 60 to 90 seconds of rest

Strength-Focused

Sets: 3 to 5 sets of each exercise

Repetitions: 4 to 7 repetitions for each set

Tempo: During each repetition, perform the speed of the exercise as follows:

  • Concentric phase: 1 second should be spent lifting the weight
  • Isometric phase: 1 second pausing at the top of the movement
  • Eccentric phase: 3 seconds lowering the weight

Resistance load: 75% to 90% of your one-repetition maximum

Rest Period: 2 to 3 minutes of rest

Don’t Forget to Supplement

Your muscles require the right nutrition if you expect them to grow. Supplements offer an easy and quick way to feed your muscles for optimal growth.

Protein:

Providing your muscles with the building blocks of muscle tissue, supplementing with protein is a requirement if you want to see size gains.

Creatine

Your muscles are going to require all-out energy for these workouts. Creatine is converted into adenosine triphosphate in the body, which is the preferred fuel source for muscle tissue.

BCAAs

Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) have been shown to spike protein synthesis, protect lean tissue from breakdown, and support muscle growth: all things you need to see bigger chest muscles.

Which Is Your Favorite Chest Exercise?

Have you been lifting for a while? Which chest exercise do you think is the best? Haven’t started throwing around dumbbells yet? Let us help you by telling us if you have any questions below!