Weekly Workout for Men: 5 Ways to get a bigger, more muscular chest

muscle rope.jpg

Several years ago, I set off to get in shape. For many reasons, mostly because I saw myself in a Christmas sweater and shrieked. I looked like 10 pounds of crap in a 5-pound sack.

Not to mention my face was swollen and my eyes were puffy, I looked like what I could only describe as a beaver with rabies.

Ok, enough of the self-shaming

When I first started working out, I had no muscle definition, some serious back fat, and the love handles that were slowly turning into a spare tire…you know just in case I got a flat on the expressway.

I wasn’t really sure how to even begin structuring a workout routine. Besides, there are a million different programs out there right? Where would a person even begin?

Luckily, I was a creeper.

When I saw people doing things that I wanted to do or learn. I went and asked them how they got to be proficient at a specific movement, or even how to get muscle definition.

I didn’t know how to swim at the time either, but I watched some YouTube videos on how to do a freestyle stroke. Then when I went to the pool, I asked the people in the lanes next to me to watch my stroke and critique it. Which they did with enthusiasm.

I was of course respectful of their time and only spoke with them when they were taking breaks or resting.

I happened to talk to a guy who I had seen doing some chest exercise and he was able to bench press a lot of weight. I asked him how to increase my bench press weight and get a bigger chest. He gave me a few bro tips. I started implementing them and my bench press increased significantly and so did my chest muscles.

fitness before.png

 It wasn’t anything magical, and it didn’t happen overnight, but as I stayed consistent and resolved in my effort. I saw results.

Now I want you to have the same.

What I am going to share with you is not groundbreaking by any means, but it is very structured and will help you get the results that you are after.

Please stick to the plan and stay focused.

5 Exercises to build a bigger chest

Bench Press

In order to build a bigger chest, one can only assume that bench press is among one of the best exercises you can do. However, most people don’t know how to increase the weight, or the right rep scheme.

I’m going to teach you.

When building Strength and Size, it is important to know two things.

Eat More. Lift Heavier.

What do I mean?

I’ll give you an example.

If I can lift 100 pounds 10 times, and then I don’t rest, then I do 80 pounds as many times as I can, then no rest, then I do 60 pounds and so on… and that is all I ever do. What do you think is going to happen?

Do you think I will get bigger? Do you think I will be able to lift heavy?

On the flipside. What if I lift 150 pounds 10 times, rest 2 minutes, then Lift 155 pounds 8 times, rest 2 minutes, then I lift 160 pounds 6 times and rest 2 minutes. Then I lift 160 pounds as many times as I can.

Then the next time I lift, I start with 155 and go up from there.

Do you think I will get bigger? Do you think I will be able to lift heavier?

Exactly, in order to get bigger, you have to lift heavier and rest in between sets, so that your muscles have time to recover.

This is the difference between hypertrophy and muscular endurance.

When I first started lifting I wouldn’t go heavier or slowly increase weight. I would just do the same rep scheme every time. I never got better.

Then they guy I talked to, told me to increase the weights by 2.5 pounds or 5 pounds each time. I slowly got bigger and more muscular. Even now, I am eating more and still keeping the rep structure. I have gained weight.

This is a combination known as Overload and Progressive Resistance.

What is Overload?

Overload is taking a basic workout routine and intensifying it. It is making it more challenging than what your body is used to.

Without Overload, even a great workout program (possibly one that you are doing) can prevent you from seeing any major improvements.

The most basic way to apply overload is to increase the loads (or weight) on the exercises. However, there are other ways such as:

  • Increasing workout sessions per week (or per day)

  • Adding sets

  • Emphasizing complex exercises

  • Decreasing rest periods

The intent is to stress the body at a higher level than it is used to.


Focused Volume Training.PNG

Progressive Resistance

Progression in its simplest form is increasing reps of a given exercise. However, as I mentioned earlier, if I can do 50 bench press in 2 minutes at 100 pounds then increasing the reps to 60 in 3 minutes isn’t going to do much.

With that being said, this is where Progressive Resistance comes in and says, I am going to increase the load or weight, not the reps scheme. If you are easily doing curls with 25 pounds and can do 20 of them no problem, it’s time to increase the load to where you can only get about 8 to 10 each set.

 Much Different from When I Started

Much Different from When I Started

 Use it or lose it (just like paid time off at work)

Muscle decreases 2% every year without doing any exercise. That means if you don’t workout, you get skinnier and weaker.

However, with a resistance training program you can easily add muscle, and it doesn’t matter what age, gender or race you are. You can add muscle and weight just by doing simple progressive resistance training.

Bench Press Movement:

Lie face up on a horizontal bench, with your butt on the bench and your feet flat on the ground.

  • Grasp the barbell with an overhand grip wider than shoulder width

  • Inhale and lower the bar to your chest in a controlled motion

  • Extend the arms back up and exhale at the top


Weighted Dips

The next exercise is weighted dips. These are one of the most beastly workouts you can do.

Using a belt and a chain, you can attach a bumper plate to the belt and let it hang between your legs when you do dips.

The trick to these is leaning as far forward as you can without compromising form. The reason for leaning forward is so that your chest muscles are activated.

With these, I usually do 3-4 sets as heavy as possible for as many reps as possible, resting 2-3 minutes in between.

Weighted Parallel Dip Movement:

Using a weight belt with chain, hang from the parallel bars with arms extended and legs suspended,

  • Inhale and bend the elbows to bring the chest level with the bars

  • Return to the extended arm position

  • Exhale at the end of the movement

The more the chest is angled forward during the exercise the more the pectorals are used. This is not a beginner movement and should not be started with additional weight. As much as I don’t like machines, use one until you can understand the movement.


Incline DB Bench Press

This is the same as the regular barbell bench press except that it works different muscles and helps build the upper chest so you get more of a barrel look. Just like the brawny man.

Dumbbells require more stability and strength, and this exercise focuses more on the upper part of the chest (clavicular head).

Incline DB Bench Movement:

Sit on a bench with an angle of no more than 60 degrees, Grasp the dumbbells or barbell with an overhand grip.

  • Inhale and extend the arms vertically, bringing the dumbbells together

  • Exhale at the end of the movement

Variation: Beginning the press with the hands in the overhand grip, rotate the wrists halfway through the movement so that the dumbbells face each-other focuses the effort on the sternal head of the pecs.


Barbell Rows & One armed DB Rows

You might be thinking, how the heck to Barbell Rows and DB Rows have anything to do with the chest.

It’s a valid question. The main reason is symmetry. When you work your chest (pectorals), your muscles become tense and tight. They pull and bunch up. In order to counteract that, we have to work the opposite side, which in this case would be your back, or better yet, the deltoids, trapezius, latissimus, teres major and rhomboids.

DB Row Movement:

  • Grab a dumbbell with the arm facing in, use the opposite hand and knee on the bench to support the back

  • Inhale and lift the upper arm and elbow as high as possible next to the body with the elbow bent

  • Exhale at the end of the movement

To get a better contraction, slightly turn torso to the working side (weight side) at the end (top) of the row.

Video of Exercises:


Push-ups

These are a great chest building exercise, and the best part is that you can literally do them anywhere, even while you are at work.

It’s a simple body-weight movement, but is also challenging. There is however, a correct way to do a push-up, and an incorrect way.

Push-up Movement:

Support yourself face-down on the ground with arms extended, hands shoulder width apart, and feet touching, slightly apart.

  • Inhale and bend the elbows to bring the rib cage close to the ground without arching the lower back excessively

  • Push back up to compete extension

  • Exhale at the end of the movement

Variation: You can do these with the hands wider apart or more narrow.

Video of Exercises:


Putting it all together

Now that we have all the tools, let’s put them all together to create a complete size and strength building program. There is one caveat though. I am including a lower body portion because I don’t think that a complete workout routine comes without one.

Day 1:

  • Barbell Bench Press

    • 3 sets x 6-10 reps @ 70% 1 RM Rest ~ 2 min. between sets

  • DB Bench Press

    • 3 sets x 6-10 reps Find a weight that is challenging. Rest ~ 2 min. between sets

  • Weighted Dips (You can do these on a machine or do dips without weight)

    • 3 sets x 6-10 reps as heavy as possible. Rest ~ 2 min. between sets

  • Max Push-ups in 60 seconds

Day 2:

  • Deadlift

    • 3 sets x 6-10 reps @ 70% 1 RM Rest ~ 2 min. between sets

  • Barbell Rows

    • 3 sets x 6-10 reps Find a weight that is challenging. Rest ~ 2 min. between sets

  • DB Rows

    • 3 sets x 6-10 reps. Find a weight that is challenging. Rest ~ 2 min. between sets

  • Towel Pull-ups or weighted Pull-ups

    • 3 sets x 6-10 reps as heavy as possible. If using a towel, throw it over a pull-up bar or other structure and do 5 sets of hanging as long as you can. This is all about grip strength

Day 3:

  • Barbell Bench Press

    • 3 sets x 6-10 reps @ 70% 1 RM Rest ~ 2 min. between sets

  • DB Bench Press

    • 3 sets x 6-10 reps Find a weight that is challenging. Rest ~ 2 min. between sets

  • Weighted Dips (You can do these on a machine or do dips without weight)

    • 3 sets x 6-10 reps as heavy as possible. Rest ~ 2 min. between sets

  • Max Push-ups in 60 seconds

Day 4:

  • Barbell Back Squat

    • 3 sets x 6-10 reps @ 70% 1 RM Rest ~ 2 min. between sets

  • Barbell Step up’s

    • 100 reps. Just use a Barbell (45#)

  • Overhead Lunge

    • 25 m walking lung with 45# plate locked out overhead. Go lighter if you have to or no weight at all, but keep arms locked out overhead.

  • Run 1 mile -Go for moderate but challenging pace

Day 5:

  • Barbell Bench Press

    • 3 sets x 6-10 reps @ 70% 1 RM Rest ~ 2 min. between sets

  • DB Bench Press

    • 3 sets x 6-10 reps Find a weight that is challenging. Rest ~ 2 min. between sets

  • Weighted Dips (You can do these on a machine or do dips without weight)

    • 3 sets x 6-10 reps as heavy as possible. Rest ~ 2 min. between sets

  • Max Push-ups in 60 seconds

Day 6 & 7:

  • Rest

To continue this training program increase 2-5% every week for 8 weeks.

De-Loading

However, make sure that you de-load (A shortly planned period of recovery) after 4-6 weeks. A typical de-load will last a week, this is when you go lighter on your training. Maybe workout less, but mostly just be mindful of taking it easy.

During this de-load week, I recommend just reducing weight into the 40-50% 1 RM.

Should I take Supplements or Protein?

Short answer. Yes.

I personally use Muscle Pharm Creatine Monohydrate and EAS Protein Powder, Immediately after my workouts.

I don’t take pre-workout supplements. Mainly because I don’t know much about them, and have not researched them enough. Once I do I will post an article about them so that we all learn.

Hope this helps you begin an awesome chest building workout.

If you have any questions, or comments let me know here.


blog bio3.PNG