My chest will not grow! It doesn’t matter what type of exercises I do, my pecs just will not get any bigger. What can I do to add some muscle mass and size to my chest?
Having a thick muscular chest is the dream of almost every male fitness enthusiast and physique conscious individual. A big chest enhances your visual appeal but many times it becomes a Herculean task as the chest simply becomes stubborn and refuses to increase in size. So, despite intense strength training workouts, no visible results are achieved which is very frustrating. Below are a few recommendations and tips to help make your stubborn chest finally start to grow.
Training heavy with great mass building exercises like the dumbbell press and barbell bench press are effective movements when it comes to a solid chest building workout routine. Try to use a wider grip on the barbell which helps in the development of pectoralis major and minor. When using the bench press you can actually press more weight than you can do with dumbbells. Do not increase the weight until you fully complete a certain number of repetitions with strict form. The reason behind this is that training in such a fashion ensures consistent progress. Increasing the weight too quickly may lead to overtraining issues. Slowly increase the weight by very small increments (5 pounds) each week and watch your strength levels slowly climb.
Another great chest exercise is the incline barbell bench press which develops the upper portion of the chest (clavicular head of the pectoralis muscle). Make sure to pause for a few seconds at the bottom portion of the exercise in the completely stretched position. This causes isometric contraction that primarily focuses on the clavicular fibers. Doing this works wonders and aids in the rapid growth of the chest muscles.
For a killer burn and massive muscular pump at the end of your chest workout, cable crossovers are among the most intense, hardcore exercises for this. Try to shoot for much higher reps in the range of 25-30 to really annihilate your chest muscles. You can also try incline cable flyes by setting the pulleys below your torso or at floor level. The machine chest press is another fantastic exercise to make a stubborn chest grow bigger. Increase the reps and the weight very slowly as this will start to build up your endurance and will target your pecs in a much better way by overloading them with higher volumes.
Many certified personal trainers recommend pre-exhausting the pecs with isolation movements first (cable crossovers, dumbbell flyes, etc). This is contrary to what most people usually do who want to build up their chest. The logic behind doing this is that the triceps, which are a smaller muscle group, fatigue much faster than the larger chest muscles when doing pressing exercises. Therefore, by doing the isolation work first you can make the pecs fatigue early on. By changing the order of your workout, you hit the pectoralis muscle in a unique way and may result in additional growth in the chest muscles. It’s worth a try to see if this technique works well for you.
One of the most important training principles is to always try to keep your exercise routine innovative and fresh by including a wide variety of different resistance exercises which will help to build muscle mass and make a stubborn chest get bigger. Avoid making the mistake of stagnating your schedule by repeating the same exercises everyday as this will not spark new muscle growth and will actually cause you to hit a plateau. Shock your body by changing your workouts each week. It is the one of the most proven techniques for tremendously improving the appearance of your chest and has been advocated by professional bodybuilders and personal trainers across the globe.
Remember that nutrition plays a pivotal role in your overall fitness plan. In order to add quality muscle to your chest, your diet should be rich in protein. Eggs, fish, tuna, chicken and lean meat are all high quality protein sources to include in your diet. Whey protein powders are a great source of fast acting protein and a very convenient way to satisfy your requirements each day. Protein helps in repairing and rebuilding the wear and tear of muscle fibers that breakdown during intense resistance training exercise.
Healthy fats rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids like almonds, flaxseeds, cod liver oil, avocado and walnuts also aids in the development of the chest by providing quality nutrient dense calories which are needed for growth. It is a good idea to include nuts in your diet since they are extremely portable and easy to snack on during the day. Olive oil contains healthy fats and peanut butter is also a good choice for getting in your healthy fat requirements.
Carbohydrates are essential as they provide the much-needed energy for workouts and to prevent you from feeling sluggish and drained at the end of your hardcore training sessions. Clean carbs like whole wheat pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, sweet potatoes and quinoa are great choices for quality carbohydrates to include in your diet.
By including the best mass building exercises and training principles, quality nutrient dense calories and lots of rest, you will be well on your way to adding slabs of dense muscle tissue to your pecs and building an impressively thick chest!