Many people tell me my pecs are WAY too huge. Many people comment that I should do legs instead of chest (Does Scooby Doo Legs?). Many say I should wear a bra when running. To these folks I say – You jealous haters! If you dont want a muscular, powerful chest then skip this page. I have obviously got chest figured out and I am going to let you in on my TEN secrets to building huge pecs. I’m also going to share with you why people who do Starting Strength (SS) and 5×5 stronglifts typically have lagging pec development. OK lets get to my TEN secrets for huge pecs.
Patience! There is so much hype from magazines, supplement makers, and eBook writers about what reasonable expectations are for adding muscle that much of the public has completely distorted sense of how fast it is possible to add muscle. Building muscle is a *very* slow process – YEARS slow. If you want huge pecs this year or next year then I cant help you – I suggest you checkout the $97 bigmuscleshortcuts.com program. If you are willing to work on it long term, stick around and I will tell you how to do it for free.
Dont neglect squeezing. The biggest mistake people make when training chest is that they only do pushing exercises like bench press and dumbbell presses. The world seems bench-press crazy. Even people who have never lifted a weight in their life can tell you how to do the bench press because its in all the movies. Its no wonder that beginners are unhealthily biased towards bench press and curls, its all they have seen done in the movies! To build a massive, powerful chest you gotta do squeezing exercises! 5×5 and SS make this huge mistake. I have found that a mix of about 50/50 is optimal. What I typically do in my chest workouts is alternate squeezing and pushing exercises. A squeezing exercise is an isolation exercise like flys where you squeeze rather than push.
Dont workout shoulders or triceps in the 2 days before your chest workout. This is another reason why people who do 5×5 and SS have lagging chest development – every other day they are either doing chest or shoulders. Thats too much pushing and the tired shoulders and triceps interfere with their ability to give chest workouts the maximum intensity required for strength and mass increases.
Dont overtrain! Many people do pushups every day thinking that is the way to huge pecs, WRONG, it isnt even the way to strong pecs. Doing pushups every day optimizes your pecs for doing pushups every day. The body adapts to whatever tasks you want it to accomplish. After you get past intermediate stage, optimal every 5-7 days. There are two groups of people who benefit from training chest more often than this: steroid users and newbies. Steroid users have chemically enhanced recovery times so that they are ready for another chest workout much faster than natural bodybuilders, they can take advantage of more multiple chest workouts a week whereas in a natural bodybuilder it would just result in overtraining. The other group that benefits from more frequent chest workouts is beginners and intermediate bodybuilders because they have not yet developed the ability to workout with enough intensity to cause serious muscle building micro-tears. More training is not better!!
When you DO train chest, hit it HARD. Many people fall into this trap, in the interest of time they couple chest with other bodyparts or do sets really quick with little rest so they can finish their chest workout in 30min instead of taking the full hour. You need to workout chest with intensity for 50-60 minutes. Building a big chest takes intensity and it takes volume. No abs in there, no shoulders, no nothing else – just chest. It helps think of it this way, you only get to do chest once every 5 days for these few precious minutes so give it all you got and all your focus. No you CANT do half your chest workout in the morning and half at night – do it all at once!
Vary rest and rep range weekly. Vary rest from week to week. Sometimes take a minute between sets and sometimes take 5 minutes between sets – YES a full 5 minutes. Mix it up. When you go really heavy with low 3-5 reps use 5min rest between sets. When you are going lighter with 8-12 reps only do a minute between sets. You can decide how you want to vary reps and rest over time, doesnt matter how you vary it as long as you DO vary it. Many think I am crazy with this suggestion because it means you will be doing a massive number of sets when you are only doing a minute between sets and it means you will only be doing 10 sets when you are going heavy. Trust me, I’m a scientist!
Drop sets. Use drop sets when working out heavy. When your reps for a set drop below 6, do drop sets! Otherwise your heavy workouts dont have enough volume. I drop the weight by enough that I can do a total of about 12 reps. If you do 4 reps of a heavy weight, the drop to a weight that lets you do 8 more reps.
- Shoulder packing. Shoulder packing is important for two reasons. First because it helps prevent shoulder injuries. NOTHING is more detrimental to bodybuilding progress than an injury, remember this! Keeping the shoulder in the packed position makes it more stable and less prone to injury. As an added bonus, the packed position gives you additional mechanical leverage which allows you to lift more weight but this is secondary. Please read about shoulder packing.
Good nutrition. Many people seem to get the silly notion that good nutrition means taking a protein shake after their workout, NO. You need good, high protein nutrition not only on your workout day but also for the next 5 days after the workout. The rebuilding of your pecs can take up to 5 days after you have decimated them in a workout. You need to get enough protein each daty during that entire time.
- Hydration. You are up to 19% stronger when you are fully hydrated. Stronger means that you will lift more weight. Lifting more weight means you will grow more muscle. If you wait till you arrive at the gym to start sipping water then you are wasting your time. I get a good laugh at people who show up at the gym with their gallon jug of water and take a few sips over their workout, a jug of water is NOT a fashion accessory! If you are having to pee every 15-30 minutes and the pee is clear then you are hydrated sufficiently for maximum performance in your workout. Hydrate *before* starting your workout!
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