A Big Barrel Chest

If you're reading this blog you're probably looking for an answer to your lagging chest development. Well, I'm here to save you from the headache of searching for that elusive answer to a big barrel chest.


As many of you may know, Monday is coined "national chest day." There is nothing wrong with starting your week off right with a good chest pump, but if you don't see results along with it I'm sure you're not amped to hit some heavy weight when Monday rolls around. I'll tell you one thing that can help with this scenario already. If you train at a commercial gym, more times than not it's crowded, right? This can only mean one thing, your wait time for a bench or machine is like waiting in the DMV for a new ID! If this is the case, avoid "national chest day" and choose your own when everyone else is not hitting chest. By doing this you now have time to focus and keep the chest full with nutrient enriched blood, which aids in growth.


Before I get into depth about chest training and the beneficial exercises to see results, let's touch on the antagonist muscle group. More times than not, the back is a neglected body part to train. Many do not realize the importance of back training when looking to grow a bigger chest. To assist with this, try some rowing motions for the upper back as they are crucial because the chest will not grow efficiently if there is an imbalance in that muscle group. So, moral of the story, do as much training for the upper back as you would for the chest!


Three key components for chest training:


1. Range of motion with correct form will allow the chest muscle to stretch and break down in the correct position. This will also decrease the risk of joint problems and scar tissue build up due to lack of stretching range.


2. Rep range with optimal weight is usually what slows down ones progress in the chest department. We all know the famous question "How much do you bench?" That question means nothing and no answer should ever be given, because it has no correlation with the size of one's chest. Using weight that is challenging is our goal. Be sure to use weight that can be controlled while still heavy enough as it allows you the opportunity to train in the hypertrophy rep range of 8-12, which stimulates muscle growth. Lastly, squeezing the chest helps connect the brain to what we're actually training, this is called "the mind muscle connection."


3. Variations of exercises are always something we want to implement. Stick to the basics first using barbell and dumbbell presses (in all angles: flat, incline, and decline.) Also use dumbbell flys, pushups, cable flys, and peck deck machines. These are staple exercises to elicit growth. Always keep it simple with basic fundamentals and you will climb your way to that big barrel chest.  

Now that you have the tools, coin your chest and back day and get to the gym! No room for error, consistency is key.