Chest Workout Notes For Beginners

Written by James C., M.S.(C), PT

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Do you know anyone who DOESN’T want to have a huge, well defined chest?

Neither do we.

Aside from looking great, well developed pecs will give you confidence and make you look jooooocy in polos (or any shirt for that matter). For those who care, there are also a number of health benefits including lower risk of cancer and heart disease and way more sex!

Clearly we’ve put together a compelling argument to take your chest to the next level – but where to start? Well, we’ve gone ahead and put together a guide here for people to get you on your way to looking like a TRUE ChestBrah.

beginner chest workout

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Most guys get super excited when they start working chest. They experience that pump feeling during a workout or get DOMS the next day and feel like they are making real progress.

Only problem is they push it to the extreme and start working chest 4 times a week with 15 different variations of bench press and flys. The truth is you don’t need to do anywhere near this amount of work. You want to start slowly and progress from there.

Pick up the lighter weights at first and work on your form so that you don’t get injured down the road. Stick to the hypertrophy range of 8-12 reps with 1-2 minutes between sets.

Once you get the form down the weight you can lift will start to go up quickly provided you are doing everything else right.

So which exercises should you perform? Everyone has their preference and over time you will learn which exercises work best for you.

Having said that, given that you are relatively new to bodybuilding you don’t have years of personal experience to draw from. A good starting point is the barbell bench press – just make sure you are using a spotter to avoid dropping that think on your neck and taking your head off.

Trust us, after spending enough time in the gym you will eventually have to bail someone out who has a barbell stuck on their chest. Apart from the barbell bench press, you will want to add dumbbell bench press, dips, dumbbell flyes, pec deck and cable crossover.

These are the staple exercises that are used by countless number of successful bodybuilders around the world.

Make sure you are doing the more difficult, compound exercises like bench press and dips first – since they require more effort – and the isolation exercises afterwards.

No Gym? No Problem

Not able to make it to the gym? Maybe you are too busy or lack the funds – regardless, you can still get a good chest workout in at home. Push ups can be performed literally everywhere and with a bit of adjustment of the hand placement and elbow angle you can emphasize different parts of the chest. Put your feet up on a raised surface to shift more of the work to your upper chest.

You can also perform dips at home by taking two sturdy chairs and placing them on either side of you, using the tops of the chairs as support as you perform the exercise.

We’re not going to lie – having a gym membership is ideal since you will have access to a wider variety of gym equipment however it’s not necessary. Look at those videos on YouTube of the plyometric training guys – they are all huge! Oh and none of them have gym membership.

You can see they spend a lot of time training different variations of dips, push ups and pull-ups to build their physiques.

As long as you are consistent and work hard you will come out ahead of all the gym-goers who half-ass it.

Stay Consistent

Whether you are going to the gym or working out at home you want to make sure you are consistent. Stick to your routines and make sure you are always adding weight. If you bench pressed 135 pounds for 5 reps last month you better be benching more now if you want to grow.

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This is the concept of progressive overload – gradually increasing the weight over time forces your muscles to get bigger and stronger to compensate.

Remember, your body will only grow as much as you needs to in order to deal with the physical demands it is presented with every day.

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