Shock Your Pecs: Top Muscle Building Chest Exercises

By

Vince Del Monte, WBFF Pro Fitness Model, Certified Fitness Trainer
and Nutritionist and author of No Nonsense Muscle
Building.

The #1 Secret To Having The Best Chest Workouts Of Your Life

Use dumbbells. Not barbells, not cables, not bodyweight and not any pushup gimmick machines you see on T.V. Stick to good old fashioned dumbbells for the best chest workout ever and to build chest muscles fast.

Dumbbells allow you to work through a full range of motion and recruit far more muscle fibers without beating up your shoulder joint which means you’ll be able to train into your 60’s and 70’s pain free. You’ll make the best gains on your chest using dumbbells because they give your chest muscles an honest workout and isolate the target chest fibers that thicken and widen your pecs.

The #2 Secret Focus On Your Upper Chest

The key to big pecs is to focus on the upper chest with an incline barbell press or db press. The upper chest is what will gives off the symbol of power and strength, but the incline bench does not allow you to flex your ego as much as flat bench, which allows you to focus on better technique.

Use a wide grip outside of shoulder width for maximal pec stimulation and lower the bar slowly until it dips underneath your chin. The bar does not need to touch your chest but should come within 1-2 inches. Once you’re finished the lowering portion, push the bar up slowly to keep emphasis on your pecs rather than your deltoids, squeezing your upper pecs the entire way up.

How To Build Your Chest Muscles:

Focus primarily on compound movemens like flat and incline dumbell presses. Incline presses around the 55 to 65 degree range will isolate your upper pecs the most. Isolation exercises like chest flys don’t allow your shoulders and triceps to assist your chest so you can not use the maximal weight which is mandatory in maximizing the size of your chest muscles.

Upper Chest Workout:

A massive upper chest relies a lot on bone structure and the pectoral attachments to that structure. My secret for upper chest workouts is to vary the angle you do your incline presses with a major emphasis on the 55 to 65 degree angle. Targeting the uper chest muscles can be achieved by varying your grip from palms facing each other and palms facing the mirror.

When your palms are facing each other you can achieve a deeper stretch. I always prefer the dumbbels during my upper chest workout because I get a lot of “bad” stress on my collarbone when using a barbell. I also don’t like the shoulder stress or rotation when lowing the bar with heavy incline barbell presses. Stick with dumbbells and flex your upper chest so hard simulating popping the top button off your shirt.

Here Is A Sample Upper Chest Workout:

Incline DB Presses (65 degree angle) 4 sets of 12-10-8-6 reps. Increase the weight 5 lbs each set

Barbell Presses (45 degree angle) 3 x 8-10 reps

High Cable Flys 1 x 25

Rest 60 seconds between everything.

Lower Chest Exercises:

The fascination about lower chest exercises blows my mind! I probably get a few emails a day asking, “How do I build my lower chest?” Or, “What are the best lower chest exercises?” or “How do I build that line in between my pecs?” I have some answers for you below my friend!

Lower chest exercises are not as important as you might think but will give a more complete and full look and when you combine that with single-digit body fat than your turning a lot of heads! Especially when a ripped lower chest ties into a defined set of abdominals and obliques – now you have that bodybuilder and fitness model look you’ve always wanted.

Here are some Lower Chest Exercise Tips:

  • The lower the angle of the bench, the more emphasis on the lower chest muscles. I find a 45 degree declined angle is perfect but a little higher or a little lower will build your chest muscles fast too.If your lower chest is your priority then give it priority in two ways. Do your lower chest exercises first in the workout and first in the week while they are the most fresh. This will help you get the most out of their assisting muscles like the shoulders and triceps.
  • Don’t expect overnight results. Like any bodybuilding program you need to be disciplined and committed and give the program at least 12 weeks to work fully.
  • And if you want to look like a bodybuilder than you need to eat like a bodybuilder which is another topic.
  • Use these lower chest exercises: Decline bench press, Decline Dumbbell bench press, Wide grip dips, Low-to-high cable flys, Decline dumbbell flys.

Here Is A Sample Lower Chest Workout

Decline Barbell Press (65 degree angle) 4 sets of 12-10-8-6 reps. Increase the weight 5 lbs each set

Wide Grip Dips (45 degree angle) 3 x 8-10 reps

Low-to-High Cable Flys 1 x 25

Rest 60 seconds between everything.

DSC_0923

The Best Chest Exercises To Build Chest Muscles

Flat Bench Dumbbell Presses

Incline Dumbbell Bench Presses

Wide Grip Dips

Those 3 only. If you could only do 3 chest exercises the rest of your life, those are the winners.

And If I Had To Recommend the 4th Best Chest Exercise:

Flat Bench Dumbbell Fly

Every guy wants a big chest that is defined with a line that runs through the middle, separating the two pec muscles (which also requires low body fat).

To isolate your entire pecs even more, lift your feet off the bench so that you can’t push off the floor for help. Start with the dumbbells at arms length from your shoulder and directly vertical to your chest. Begin with your palms facing each other and maintain a slight bend in your elbow.

Once in this position, lower your arms slowly as if you’re doing a reverse bear hug until your elbows are lower than your shoulders. Next, intensely contract your pec muscles on the way to finish the movement and become one step closer to a big chest.

Advanced Muscle Building Technique for Chest: Extended Sets

 

Click here to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more great chest workouts!

If you have any questions about adding inches to your chest then please post your questions below.

Talk soon

Vince

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51 thoughts on “Shock Your Pecs: Top Muscle Building Chest Exercises

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  5. Nicely done! I like the use of dumb bells for many of the chest routines. I also like the fact that you show how to attack the pecs from different angles. I’m going to social bookmark this.

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  16. hi idol im gadz from philippines i read about your story when your starting, im like you too im skinny. my question is . is this work out good for me if i filipino? it’s depend genes?

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  17. KEEP ROCKING BABY! FANTASTIC TIPS! HOPEFULY IN 9 WEEKS I HAVE TO BUY NEW T-SHIRTS.
    YOU ARE THE GREAT………………………EST!
    KEEP IT COMING.

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  18. Thanks Vince, looks like just what I need to get over the hump.

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  19. I have tried the shoulder workout and its insane, an amazing pump i had trouble getting changed after my workout, will try the other workouts soon

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  20. thanks all the tips and advice that you share all of us here in my place. as you know vince its very difficult for to have a lean body. i tried everything for my workout and maybe there is someting wrong for my workout. gud days where ever you are right now. god bless.

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  21. Having not tried this type of workout I think it looks good. However, can you advise – if you do an opposing muscle set routine i.e. biceps/triceps would you recommend an extended set for each muscle group at the end of the workout or choose biceps one day and triceps the next time you do the routine?

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  22. Yep david is right. Can’t see the core one

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  23. I like these exteed sets and will do them the next time I go to wokout I did want to see the core wokout but you had the Triceps worout shown twice and replaing the core workout

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  24. Vince you posted the triceps vid twice and left out the core vid can you fix that please?

    Thanks

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  25. Vince,

    I love the workout but on this one and several others, it looks like you are holding your breathe and/or breathing opposite of what is taught in the Exercise Science fields of study…exhale on the positive, inhale on the negative. What is your position on the breathing technique you are using?

    Awesome stuff though! Keep it up.

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  26. Where’s the extended set for core? I see the triceps video twice….

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  27. Hey Vince,

    The last two videos are the same, both triceps. There is no video for the extended sets for abs.

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  28. Whats up Vince, im Ryan and im looking to hopefully purchase your program sometime soon i am broke right now.. haha but my little story is i weight around 120 about 5’9 ish and real skinny. i dont even know what its like to not be skinny haha but im not lookin to get jacked like most people are capable of doing anyways, i would like to reach like the average size or could you say healthier size. keep up all the good work Vince im following you on all the free stuff so far! lol

    Thanks, Ryan

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  29. Hey Vince,
    Great video’s man way to go to extend the muscles more to the point of failure untill you can’t do more without losing your form. I really like your fitness tips great advice. Just one question though if you can’t keep going like you do with the reps is it ok to rest the muscle for a few seconds then go back to it will you get the same results?
    Thanks,
    Chuck Crutchfield,
    (NFPT) Certified Personal Trainer

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  30. Thought the same as Drew. You’re holding your breath in rather than controlling it = more stress on your heart! How is it going to pump that blood to your muscles when you need it!

    The legs up thing has it’s benefits though – it keeps your back flat on the bench and you are not able to arch your back when you are squeezing out the last few reps. If anything it saves your back and isolates your chest more.

    Go Vince with your great tips but don’t teach us bad habits!

    Cheers from Scotland

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  31. Hi Vince, thanks for the videos, 2 things, though:

    1. The core workout seems to be the tricep workout again.
    2. I don’t know if anyone else has the same problem, but I can’t view the bicep video, neither here, nor on youtube, in case there is some problem with that one.

    Thanks again!

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  32. Hi Vinnie, love the workouts – though I know its steered towards men weightwise, still very useful of course – the “core” exercise is missing so if you could put that one on please.

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  33. Thanks for coming to my wedding.. It is your turn to get hitched.

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  34. Vince,

    Love the post, I love incorporating all of the different rep schemes to really get into some oxygen debt and start shocking my muscles into hypertrophy.

    Extened sets are crucial if your serious about building muscle. The increased volume is huge, thanks for the ideas and the quick teaching session, def got to favorite those,

    Chris

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  35. Something new and awesome to shock my muscles and kick-start my 2010 muscle goals

    Thanks Vince!

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  36. oyes ermano no pueds ponerlo e español jeje y yo ya cuento con tu progrma y boy en mi fase de principiante -intermedio boy en la mitad y e estado viendo resultads sorrendents. o.k. ns bems saluds.

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  37. what is the best natural way to build up body?i have weak body structure,so want to build a handsome way….!just without taking help of allopathy!just depends on ayurvedic which has no any side effects!!!plz………………………

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  38. I’ll surely follow those extended sets for the biceps. I want to have those big biceps like those with Rafael Nadal or yours.

    Just curios, how heavy are your dumbbells?

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  39. Nice Vince,

    Love doing supersets, tri-sets, etc. and partials to failure with a couple of drop set partials to really finish off a body part.

    One tip I give to personal training clients if they are doing their own workouts on top of PT, is to not just stop if they finish say 3 sets of 10-12 and feel like they can do more, or maybe just didn’t get hit the muscle properly for whatever reason.

    It’s important to really push the muscle properly and it doesn’t always have to be with heavy weights, especially at the end of a session when the muscles are a little fatigued anyway.

    Can’t remember who said this but I love the quote “You need to give your body a reason to change!” ie. Hit it hard!

    Regards, Clayton
    Adelaide Personal Trainers

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  40. Love the workouts, great way to finish off for sure. Would you suggest using a few of these sets as a workout for on the go as well. Say 3 sets of just these extended sets if you are crunched for time or away?

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  41. Hey Vince, great tips!

    I did extended sets when I was training for fights, mixed in with some heavy olympic type lifts of 3-6 reps. After my boxing career was done I exploded with this kind of lifting and gained 30 lbs.
    Love your stuff, thanks for the great content, hope you’re doing well.

    Chad

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  42. Vinny,
    Excellent concept. However, from one “iron-bug” to another, I have to caution some techniques you’re doing.
    #1 – Who told you not to breathe? This is basic safety. One should exhale on the positive, inhale on the negative. Holding the breath while pushing the weight is bad for your throat and makes you more apt to injure the muscle. It is not natural. Breathe! It also gives you more power in the rep.
    Not breathing =bad! Breathing = good!
    #2 – Why do you put your feet up when doing the DB bench press? Both on the incline and the flat, it is better to have your feet on the floor so the body is “under you” and supported. Perhaps this is some particular technique you have for a specific purpose, but I don’t understand the point. In my mind, it’s too much isolation, cutting off the supporting muscles and thus working the body less overall. The stronger those supporting muscles are, the stronger the chest muscles will be. A chain is only as strong as the weakest link!

    Th extended sets are an excellent concept, though, and ‘ll certainly be incorporating it. Thanks for the tips as always!

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  43. Sup Vince,
    really awsome tips and videos 😀 i defently gona put this in my workout.
    Please keep on you rock.

    wishes from germany your friend björn

    PS: i’ll write more next time 😉

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  44. I’ve been following your tips and advice for over a month and getting awesome results! I warm up with your 6 sets of body weight exercises, then add some other things like advanced lunges and squats with heavy weights and I get good results. After about 20 minutes of this, I move on to weights and I lift heavy. My muscles are so tired by the 3rd set, I can only do maybe 5 reps. I try to go for failure on each set. I could never do a push-up before and now I can do at least 5-6 “man style” pushups and planks. Thanks for all the info!

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  45. Awesome tips for getting awesome muscles that are as strong as they look Vince. Will definitely be rockin’ with these in my workouts. Just what was needed to add some kick to the workouts.

    By the way, what nutrition tips do you reccomend while doing extended sets?

    Enjoy a Super Day !!

    Bill

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  46. looks good, thanks vince!

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