Happy Monday “International Chest Day” y’all! If you’re like most people, today you will be walking into the gym to work your way to building a bigger chest. To build a bigger chest that means we have to lift some heavy weight on the bench, correct? Wrong! Building a bigger, stronger chest takes some thought. If you want a bigger chest, avoid these mistakes that will stop your gains right in their tracks.
If you are in an improper set-up, your gains will be inhibited right from the start. An improper set-up can be taking your chest out of the exercise as the main focal point putting pressure on the shoulders. Ever have shoulder pain during chest day? This is why and your proper set up is as follows: raise the ribcage, slightly arch your back, pull shoulders back and down, and now you are on your way.
Low Rep Counts
Another common mistake causing you not to be able to build the bigger chest you desire. You go in on chest day seeing people bench pressing heavy weight and think this is needed to build a bigger chest. While bench pressing 315 for 4 reps is great and fun to do, the low rep count is hurting you. Up your rep count to 8-12 reps per set and see the benefits this has on your results.
Lack of Variation
I’m not saying that the barbell bench press, incline bench press and fly’s shouldn’t be done but it’s good to mix things up. Not only in exercises but in weights as well. When building your chest or any other part of your body you do not always need to go all out or perform the same routine. Mix up your exercises with some push-ups in between sets, perform drop sets, perform some negatives. This paragraph can go on for a while, so I’m thinking I’ll write an article later on covering this. In the meantime, do some research to mix up your chest workouts.
Lack of Angles
If your chest day consists of primarily working in the seated/lying flat position on the bench pushing or pulling straight, you will be missing different areas of the chest. Taking an exercise like the dumbbell fly and changing the bench position to an incline, like the incline bench press, will target different areas of the chest building the muscle bigger and stronger. You may even take the cable fly and pull downward. Mixing up the angles of the exercises will work all areas of the chest, helping you build the chest that you want.
Written by GUADS staff member Patrick with contributions from www.menshealth.com