Here is all the information you need to know about training chest!

And if you dont want to read, you can just check out this video!

Exercises and movement patterns

There are 3 types of exercises that you need to include in your chest workout:


1. Horizontal press

2. Incline press

3. Isolation exercise


Horizontal exercises

These are the horizontal exercises that I recommend:

Barbell bench press, dumbbell bench press, weighted pushups, smith machine bench press, machine chest press, dips.

And yes, dips are not a horizontal exercise, but if you want to use them, i would just stick them into this category.



Incline exercises

These are the incline exercises that i recommend:

Barbell incline bench press, dumbbell incline bench press, decline push ups, incline machine chest press, incline smith machine bench press.


Isolation exercises

My best recommendation here, would be some type of a chest fly, either with dumbbels, cables, or a machine.

So these are the isolation exercises that i recommend:

Dumbbell fly, cable fly, or the pec deck.



What about the decline bench press?

This is something that you should not worry about.

The decline bench press might be a consideration for people who have been lifting for years, but even then, its not mandatory.

Your chest doesnt look small because your lower chest is small – your chest looks small because your whole chest is small, so stop trying a problem that doesnt exist.

Go back to basics, learn, grow.



Number of workouts

As with most body parts, 2 workouts per week is the sweet spot.

In some niche cases, you could theoretically bump that up to 3 sessions per week.


Number of sets

The number of sets that i recommend is between 12-20 sets, you can go a little bit over that number, but its not necessary most of the time.


Rep ranges

You need to split your exercises into:


1.Main exercise

2.Secondary exercise

3.Isolation exercise


This will help you to simplify your workout a lot.

And it will also make sure that you hit your chest from all the angles necessary while also taking advantage of every single useful rep range.


Main exercise

The exercise that you select as the „main exercise“ will be the one that you will do first in your workout.

For this muscle group, it doesnt have to be the first exercise of the whole workout.

Because its the first exercise of the workout, for this muscle group, you will have the most strenght available.

Thats why the rep range for the main exercise will be 5-8 reps.

In most cases, the main exercise for the chest will be a horizontal press.

But it can also be an incline exercise, if you find yourself in a specific situation that requires it.

Like for example, if you know that you are really weak at incline pressing, then having an incline press as the main exercise, might help you to improve that.


Secondary exercise

If you chose a horizontal press as your main exercise, then the secondary exercise will be an incline press.

And if you chose the incline press as your main exercise, then the secondary exercise will be the a horizontal press.

You can switch the main and the secondary exercise every couple of months, to have some variety.

And you dont have to just switch around the order, you can also chance the exercise itself.

For example, if you are stuck on the bench press for some time, and you did it as your main exercise – you can switch from the bench press to some other horizontal exercise, and do it as the secondary exercise for some time.

And after couple of months, when you put the bench press back as your main exercise, you will see, that you can easily progress from the weight that you were previously stuck on.

So because this is the secondary exercise, we wont be using the 5-8 rep range here, because we already did that on the main exercise, and we are a little bit weaker after that.

And we also want to diversify our rep range, thats why the rep range for the secondary exercise will be 8-15 reps.

So it can be something like 8-12, or 12-15, thats up to you.


Isolation exercise

The isolation exercise is always done as the last exercise for the chest.

Use 15 to roughly 20-25 rep range, you can go up to 30 reps if thats something that you enjoy.

If you set up all of this up properly, you will hit your chest from every single angle necessary, while also getting all the benefits from all the different rep ranges.

Its the best way to make sure that you maximize everything that you can, without making it complicated.

So this is how the example chest focused part of your workout could look like:


Arching: Important!

When doing a bench press of ANY KIND, you should focus on keeping your body in an arched position.

This is the most important thing you must remember. Doing so will not only keep the load on your chest rather than your shoulders, but it will also allow you to press more weight.



While this might take a while to get used to, don’t get stressed or sad; just keep practicing, and you will get there.

But please, dont do an EXTREME arch like this:



This is the exact opposite of helpful, a small arch is all you need.


Pre-exhausting: A hidden gem?

Pre-exhausting is all about flowing some blood into the muscle before your main press, which should in theory lead to some growth enhancement.

I personally love doing 2 sets of ring pushups with the wrist turning out at the end of the movement before my main press.

But you can do just normal pushups, or anything similar.

You just need to make sure that you don’t overdo it, you want to get the blood flowing - you dont want to get so tired that your main press will suffer from it.



What is more important than the pre-exhausting, is using controlled movement, and focusing on the eccentric, which is the negative portion of the movement.

So instead of just instantly dropping your bar to your chest, try to control it on the way down.

But i dont want you to go extremely slowly on purpose, to the point where it doesn’t even make sense anymore.

You want to be in control of the weight, but you dont necessarily want to go extremely slowly on purpose.

I know that it might sound weird, but thats the best way of thinking about it.

Thats all you need to know about training chest!


Try applying all of this knowledge to your training plan, and im sure that you will see much better results..or you can just try one of my training plans!

And if you still have any questions about this topic, or about anything else that is related to bodybuilding, join my Patreon, and i will answer all of your questions!

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