How to Build an Impressive Chest – Mind Pump

Check out the Mind Pump Episode Page and Show Notes

Key Takeaways 

  • For women, building the chest muscles cause the breasts to sit more upright
  • When bench pressing, keep your shoulders retracted, not rolled forward
  • Do these priming exercises prior to bench pressing to aid shoulder retraction:
  • Train your chest 2 to 3 days a week – frequency is king
  • The most effective chest exercises (the must-dos):
    • Incline barbell bench press
    • Barbell bench press
    • Dips
    • Dumbell or cable flys
  • Every chest workout should have at least one fly and one press movement

Products Mentioned

Intro                                                                      

  • Mind Pump consists of Sal Di Stefano (IG: @mindpumpsal), Adam Schafer (IG: @mindpumpadam) and Justin Andrews (IG: @mindpumpjustin)
    • The trio have 50 years of combined fitness experience as personal trainers

How does the pec (the chest muscle) function?

  • As one of largest muscles in the upper body, the pecs help stabilize the shoulder joints for pushing and throwing movements
  • Chest anchor points:
    • On one side, the chest attaches at the upper arm
    • On the other side, the chest muscles fan out over the ribcage and attach all along the sternum and collar bone
    • (Because of these attachments, you have a greater ability to change the shape of the chest compared to other muscles)

How the Chest Muscles Differ for Men and Women

  •  Pecs have always been valued by men
    • Great looking pecs are essential in bodybuilding competitions and a must-have component of a top-tier physique
  • For women, breasts cover the pec muscles BUT chest exercises can make you look sexier/healthier
    • Building the chest muscles cause a woman’s breasts to sit more upright
    • Myth! – Working out chest muscles will NOT give you smaller boobs

Using Your Back and Shoulders to Aid the Bench Press

  • When bench pressing, keep your shoulders retracted, not rolled forward
    • Otherwise, your shoulders and triceps take the load, not the chest
  • Do these priming exercises prior to bench pressing to aid shoulder retraction:
    • Cable or barbell rows – really focus on squeezing the shoulders at the top of the row
  • It might also help to do combine your back/chest workout days – do the back exercises first, then move on to the chest

Must-Do Chest Exercises

  • 1) Barbell bench press (works the mid to lower chest)
    • Advantage: More load
    • One variant is the dumbbell bench press
      • Advantage: Greater range of motion
  • 2) Incline barbell bench press (works the upper chest)
    • This exercise gives the pecs more of a well-developed look
      • For women, it gives the breasts a nice lift
    • Nothing changed my chest aesthetically more than the incline press”
    • A slight variant is the decline bench press, but it’s probably best to avoid
      • “It’s awkward to teach, you’re more prone to ego lifting, and it’s more of a dangerous press”
  • 3) Dips (great for shoulder joint and the lower chest)
  • 4) Dumbell or cable flys (activates the bicep-chest connection)
  • Note – every chest workout should have at least one fly and one press movement

Workout Specs

  • Train your chest 2-3 days a week: – Frequency is king”
  • Train hard but…
    • Don’t train to failure: “Leave two in the tank!”
      • If you max out at a weight with 12 reps, do 10 – stop two reps short of failure
  • A “sore feeling” doesn’t indicate a good workout
    • If you overreach, soreness carries over to the next workout and it becomes counterproductive

The Best Chest Workout Regimen

Monday –  Do 8-12 reps for 3 sets

  • Incline barbell press
  • Incline dumbbell flys – focus on the stretch on the fly and squeeze your pecs at the top
  • Cable flys or pec decs

Wednesday  – Do 5 reps for 5 sets

Friday  – Do 12-15 reps for 2-3 sets

  • Push-ups – do them on the ground or with your feet on an elevated bench
  • Barbell bench press
  • Dumbbell flys (one arm at a time)
    • Start off with wide stance and make sure to keep your glutes engaged
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