For guys, the one group of muscles that stands out the most is your chest muscles. However, adding size here can be an uphill task, especially if you are relying on only one method. Apart from being a hallmark of strength, a good chest pec can often balance out your upper and lower body. Below you’ll find great exercises and nutrition tips you can use to help see you through to your goal!
1. The Right Food
Before looking into weightlifting techniques, you need to be looking at what you’re eating, making sure it’s the right kind of food that will help you in your bodybuilding process. That is, being food rich in nutrients, and more especially proteins.
Maintaining a high quality and steady supply of food balanced in protein, fats, and carbohydrates is essential to any muscle growth. Keep in mind the amount and type of fat you’re consuming, as poor sources of fat like hydrogenated oils are easily stored in the chest, especially in men. We’re after rock hard pecs, meaning there’s almost no space for fat across the chest area.
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The type of fats you should be consuming is those full of quality omega-3s like avocados, nuts, coconut oil, fatty fish and olive oil. Not only will they help you build muscle, but they’ll keep your heart healthy and fat loss steady.
Thinking you’re going to reduce your overall fat by eating less is exactly the opposite of what will happen. Check out your recommended calorie intake for muscle building here.
Great sources of protein include fish, beef, chicken, green vegetables, tofu, nuts and protein supplements.
The timing of your protein consumption is also very important. Firstly, consuming a protein shake with 30 minutes after your workout will ensure your body had the available proteins to repair, replenish and grow your muscles. Secondly, after your workout, your metabolism is spiked – great! This means fat is metabolised faster and muscles are repairing. But, if you don’t have enough nutrients available for your body to use (i.e. enough carbs, protein and fat), it will start pulling from your muscles – not ideal when you’re trying to build them.
If you do not have enough time for a substantial meal, grasp for yourself a protein shake to ensure that your body gets a replacement of the much-needed nutrients.
Related post: Pre-workout snacks: What to eat and when
There are isolated and specific movements that you can use to build your chest muscles. Whichever workout plan that you decide to use ensure that you’re concentrating on the chest muscles. Some of the chest building activities that you can use include the following:
- Bench Press
Starting with a light weight and building your way up, the bench press is a fantastic way to grow your chest muscles. It is advisable that you use weights that your body can be able to bear comfortably. You’re also working on mobility and muscle development in areas like the shoulders and arms which round off a well-developed chest.
Pushups are an old and tested workout technique that’s a well-known chest builder. Complete your set of bench press and follow with pushups straight after. The pushups are useful in helping to increase the blood flow to your chest hence it makes you active and not to get tired quickly.
- Dumbbell fly
Take two medium weights straight above you, lying down on a flat bench. Fly the dumbbells out to the side till about 15 degrees, and then bringing them back in and holding to squeeze the chest. Complete this as part of the set with the above two exercises, for 6-8 reps each, for 3 sets.
3. Lifting heavy but not too heavy
Heavyweights are essential for chest muscle building. However, weights that are too heavy are likely to cause the muscles to tear. So, find the weight that your body can comfortably withstand and use it safely (this is where your trusty spotting partner comes in handy).
You should also consider the set and reps of weights lifted. Between 6-8 repetitions at 3 sets is a standard and useful option, or the popular ‘5×5’. In whatever set that you decide to use, ensure that you allow 1-2 minutes for resting. A good gauge of whether or not you’re lifting heavy enough is the last 2 reps of the last 3 sets – it should be almost impossible
“If it doesn’t challenge you it won’t change you”
As you lift weights for chest muscle building, ensure that you keep adding weight to every workout and keep using the same weight till you gain enough strength to move to the next weight.
You are not supposed to work on your chest muscles every day. Muscles need time to repair themselves after being town throughout your session, and a constant battering of the muscles won’t give them a chance to repair and grow. Work on your chest between 1-3 times per week is advisable. Within a short while, you will begin to see the desired results, and they will motivate you to keep going.
By following the techniques above, you will be able to build your chest and transform your shape. However, as you work to build your chest muscles, don’t forget about the rest of your body! Building a well-rounded muscular physique will not only help you aesthetically but will reduce your risk of injury and increase your overall strength.
Original article by Annie Jones
|Annie Jones is the person behind BoostBodyFit. After transforming herself, she began sharing her tips and knowledge on everything fitness! Say hi to Annie on Twitter, Facebook|
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