Build a Defined Chest – Ways To Sculpt and Tone Your Pecs

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Having an aesthetically pleasing line down the center of your chest is not only a woman’s goal anymore. Also known as cleavage, it’s important to train the chest from both the inside and outside areas for this look to be achieved. Many male bodybuilders want a nice line down the middle of their pecs which makes their abdominal line even more accentuated as these two muscle groups meet together. The cleavage line makes the muscles of the pecs look fuller and more muscular which men and women in the iron game really aspire to!

Being lean is one of the most important factors for revealing this type of shredded look to your pecs. It’s vital to eat a proper diet with the right types of protein, carbohydrates and fats. Focus on eating clean carb sources like brown rice, sweet potatoes, oatmeal and quinoa. Increase your “good fats” with items like flax, fish oil, fresh fish, olives and nuts. Pump up your protein intake with lean choices such as poultry, fish and egg whites. Along with these foods, also include dark green vegetables such as spinach, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, broccoli and other fibrous veggies.

Drinking enough water every day is crucial because it will keep you hydrated, flush out toxins and feeling full during the day. Focus on drinking at least 2 liters of water per day. Also, make sure to avoid processed sugars, fruit juices and soda because these will definitely not help you when you’re trying to lean out. Salt should also be decreased as it sits under your skin making you look soft and bloated. If you like to eat out at restaurants, this is where a lot of your hidden sodium can come from so it’s really important to ask for everything “dry” to avoid consuming too much salt and fat.

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The fact is, you won’t really be able to visually see a truly defined chest if you have a layer of body fat covering your muscles. Being lean and vascular is all about reducing the level of body fat on your physique and this is where your diet and cardio come into play. Without these two critical areas, it will be extremely difficult to get that certain “look” to your pecs, even if you have a substantial amount of muscle mass. So, when in doubt, look at your diet first and then analyze your cardio routine to see where you can make changes. Start off by implementing cardio 4-5 days per week with 30-45 minute sessions and see how your body responds. If you’re not losing the amount of body fat that you would like, kick it up a notch to 60 minute sessions 6-7 days per week. If you can’t get lean with that amount of cardio exercise then the culprit is most likely your diet, so really analyze the foods you’re eating and make changes where needed.

The specific exercises you choose when training your chest will make all the difference when trying to shape and tone up your pecs. You want to hit your chest 1-2 times per week utilizing shaping movement such as the pec dec, dumbbell flyes, cable crossovers and pushups. You want to make sure you always train using the full range of motion for each exercise and really flex your pecs on the concentric portion of the exercise when you push and exert the most force. You want to feel your chest muscles contracting hard on each repetition!

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Using the decline and incline variations on several of the chest exercises is vital for sculpting and toning this muscle group. Examples of this might include using decline dumbbell flyes and decline pushups using an exercise ball. Focus on training with higher repetition ranges such as 15-30 reps per set and use lighter weights for a total of 3-4 sets per exercises. Remember, you’re trying to sculpt and define this area so you don’t need to use super heavy weights and low reps for this type of chest training. It’s all about using shaping movements and really feeling each and every repetition.

Sample Chest Workouts To Sculpt Your Pecs

  • Chest (Day 1): This chest workout consists of 3 sets of 20-25 reps using light weight on the pec dec machine, then moving to inclined dumbbell flies and ending with declined pushups on an exercise ball. Follow up this workout routine with 45-60 minutes of cardio exercise using the elliptical machines while using both your legs and your arms to enhance the stimulation in your chest muscles.
  • Chest (Day 2): This workout routine includes cable crossovers at multiple positions (high and low), bodyweight dips and flat bench dumbbell flyes. Follow up this weight training workout with another cardio session for 30-45 minutes. Jump rope is an excellent choice for not only burning lots of fat and calories, but also for toning the upper body and especially your pecs!

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By implementing all of these tips and hitting it from all angles which includes a clean diet, the right chest exercises and enough cardio exercise, you will be well on your way to dropping body fat and attaining the shredded and toned chest you’ve always dreamed of having!

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About Author

Linda Cusmano

Linda is a national level fitness and figure pro who dabbles in bodybuilding competitions, obstacle and strength challenges along with fitness model competitions. She is a triple certified elite personal trainer and the owner of Body Rush Personal Training. See my profile page for more information!

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