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Add Size And Strength To Your Chest

How To Add Size to Your Chest

Let’s face it, no matter how much we workout and improve and grow our whole physique, gym and muscle performance is always judge on that age-old question “how much do you bench?”

How to add serious size to your chest

It seems to be the ‘go to’ question for anyone who’s looking to square up and find out if they can go toe-toe with you in the gym. When I visit the gym, the benches are always the most popular areas, with guys trying to improve their one-rep max to gain bragging rights over one another.

In this article, I’m going to take you through a workout plan for your chest, that’ll make your pecs pop. There are two clear objectives with this workout –

  1. To increase the size of your chest – look fuller
  2. To improve the strength of your chest – drastic improvements!

There are two phases to this workout method, you could even align the phases to cycles but the end goal for both is to increase strength and size, making you look and feel much stronger.

The workouts are split into raw power and explosive strength lifting, then into what’s commonly known as German Volume Training, where you’ll need to get into the mind-set where you can lift 10 sets of 10 reps totalling 100 reps in total. This is where you’ll be ripping the muscle and generating fast growth.

Phase 1: Strength Training

As I’ve just mentioned, this is where you’re going to work on pure power. To do this, you’re going to focus on lifting in the region of 6-8 reps maximum per set with an aim to reach 4 sets per exercise.

This type of training working on the raw power of each muscle by allowing your short / fast twitch fibres to operate at their maximum before exhaustion. The rush of oxygen into your muscle is where your initial strength comes from, and lower reps at higher weight allows your muscles to absorb this oxygen in one hit. This is why you’ll only be able to operate at this level for a shorter period.

Phase 2: Size Training

This is where I start to add GVT (German Volume Training) into my workouts. If you’ve not used this method before, you’re in for a surprise!

The aim with this method is to perform 10 reps for 10 sets, equalling 100 reps in total. This pushes your muscles to exhaustion, bringing into play all of your muscle fibres, and really improving your muscle endurance and recovery.

How to add strength and size to your chest

The Exercises –

  • Barbell Bench Press
  • Dumbbell Bench Press
  • Dumbbell Incline Bench Press
  • Dumbbell Incline Fly’s
  • Dumbbell Bench Tricep Extensions

I’ll now go into a little detail on each exercise to give you an idea of how to complete them. Please bear in mind that although there are guidelines of what “good” technique is, each of us will have our own unique way of completing a particular exercise, so don’t be overly concerned with following this to the letter – do what works for you, within the guidelines of a safe technique.

Barbell Bench Press

I see many people, both those just starting out with their training as well as “hardened” gym-rats, either throwing the barbell up and down as fast as possible to get the exercise over with, or going the other way and loading to the bar with too many plates and struggling to even do one “full” and complete rep.

  • For Strength Training: 3×6-8 reps (Find a weight where you can complete 6 reps and would need a spotter for the final 2 reps)
  • For Size Training: 10×10 reps.
  • Once you have the bar lifted away from the rack and you’re supporting the weight, I try to align the bar with the lower part of my chest. Using your nipples is a good guide to where you should be lowering the bar.
  • The trick with a good bench press is to lower the bar at the same speed as you lift it back to the top / starting position.
    • This is called controlling the negative part of the lift. If you’re strong enough to lift the weight, in my mind you should also be strong enough to control the lowering of the weight as well.
  • Lower the barbell until it touches your chest, but do not rest it. As soon as the bar touches your chest you should reverse the movement and begin to press it back to the starting position.
  • Once you’ve completed the controlled lowering and then the pressing part of the exercise, you’ve completed one full rep and you only have seven more to go.

Dumbbell Bench Press

The movement in this exercise is very much the same as the previous, only this time you’re using dumbbells in place of a loaded barbell. The reason why I add this into my chest strength training is because dumbbells force each side of your body to work equally whereas with a barbell, your strongest side will naturally take more of the strain – even if not intentional.

  • For Strength Training: 3×6-8 reps (Find a weight where you can complete 6 reps and would need a spotter for the final 2 reps)
  • For Size Training: 10×10 reps.
  • The actual movement for this exercise is the same as before with the barbell, only as you’re now using dumbbells, each muscle (side of your body) will be working with equal measure. Sometimes, even if you don’t realise it, when using a barbell, your stronger side, or more dominant side will also take more of the weight on the bar.
  • Lift each dumbbell so they’re level above your chest. Once you have them stable, begin to lower them towards your chest
    • Importantly focus on the speed at which you lower the dumbbells. Try to stick to the 3 second rule.
      • That’s 3 seconds to lower, then 3 seconds again to raise back to the top, starting position.
  • Like I said before, this is very similar to using a barbell but with dumbbells your focus is on control and bringing the weights together when you’ve lifted them to the peak above your chest.
  • Remember to squeeze and fully contract the chest muscle when they are raised to the highest point.
    • Being able to contract the muscle fully, will force the muscle to rip and increase your gains!

Dumbbell Incline Bench Press

Following on the bench press theme, the ‘Dumbbell Incline Bench Press’ is essentially just like a “normal” or flat bench press, but by adding an incline element into the lift is putting more emphasis on the upper part of your pectoral muscle. As well as continuing to engage the deltoids in your shoulders and your triceps.

  • For Strength Training: 3×6-8 reps (Find a weight where you can complete 6 reps and would need a spotter for the final 2 reps)
  • For Size Training: 10×10 reps.
  • Like I’ve already said, this is very similar to a flat bench press, only with a bench in the incline position.
  • The hardest part of this position, if you’re training alone, is to get into position whilst holding the dumbbells, or picking them up when you’re in the lying position.
    • I prefer to get into position, then pick up the dumbbells.
    • Ultimately the best thing to do, is get a training partner, or just ask another gym goer to help you lift the weights into position.
  • Again, just like before, using you mid-low pectoral muscle as a guide, your aim is to lift the dumbbells up until your arms are almost locked out.
    • It’s really important not to lock out your arms completely as this increases the risk of injury as well as dropping the weights.
  • You should focus on lifting and lowering the weight at a steady pace – throwing the weights around or rushing the exercise to get it over with won’t add value or give you any benefit.

Dumbbell Incline Fly’s

This is the part of the workout, where your pectoral muscles will be feeling tired, but not fully fatigued and this is where you’re going to work on the width of your chest. Dumbbell incline fly’s are great for stretching your chest in a lateral way and you’ll really feel the benefit.

You can also perform this exercise on a flat bench, but I prefer to use and incline bench position and think it puts your body in a better position to perform the lift. I would highly recommend, if this is the first time you’re trying this, to reply drop the weight and focus on the movement, until you’re feeling confident enough to move to a more advanced weight.

  • For Strength Training: 3×6-8 reps (Find a weight where you can complete 6 reps and would need a spotter for the final 2 reps)
  • For Size Training: 10×10 reps.
  • Start with the weight in the top position. This is where your arms are slightly bent at the elbow and the dumbbells are being held above your chest and head.
  • Move each arms out as far as you can reach without bending or straightening your arms.
    • You should feel a pulling sensation across your chest, but also in your biceps as you’ll be gripping the dumbbells tightly and this upper part of your arms is also being stretched.
  • When you’re at the point where you can’t stretch any further, hold the position for a second, then begin to slowly bring the dumbbells back to the starting position.
  • This is one repetition, good luck on completing the rest!

Dumbbell Bench Tricep Extensions

Now you’re into the latter stages of the workout, and at this point your chest will be feeling fatigued – the sis a good thing.

I’ve lost count with the number of times I’ve said it to people I speak to in and out of the gym, but the trick behind increasing your bench press is to enable all muscles surrounding your chest to also grow in strength and size. This is why, working on your triceps is paramount to increasing strength and size of your chest.

  • For Strength Training: 3×6-8 reps (Find a weight where you can complete 6 reps and would need a spotter for the final 2 reps)
  • For Size Training: 10×10 reps.
  • To complete this exercise you’ll need a flat bench and two dumbbells of the same weight.
    • Ideally the dumbbells will be the same as those your used for the previous exercise, the dumbbell Incline Fly’s.
  • With your head right at the end of the bench, hold the dumbbells in the air so they are directly above your head with your arms fully straight.
  • Bending at the elbow only, bring the dumbbells towards your forehead (skull).
    • This is why this particular part of the exercise is often called a “skull crusher”.
    • This is part one of the two part exercise.
  • Once the dumbbells are hovering just above your forehead, you should now extend the dumbbells as far back as you can reach.
    • If you can reach and stretch to to touch the floor without too much effort and whilst keeping your back on the bench, then consider increasing the weights.
  • Once fully extended, begin to raise the dumbbells until they are back above your forehead.
    • Your elbows should be pointing towards the sky at this point.
  • Now with your elbows continuing to point towards the sky, your lower arms should be locked in place. Begin to bend at the elbow and push the dumbbells up, back to the starting position – in the air above your head.
  • You’ve just completed one full repetition, good luck with the rest!

Adding strength to your chest using dumbbells

Remember My Advice

If you only learn a few things from reading this article, when it comes to training your chest and trying to add size as well as strength, please remember these three points –

  • Repetition isn’t perhaps the way to go. Especially if you’re always repeating the wrong things. The trick to growing your muscles is to constantly shock them.
  • Add different types of lifting like I’ve listed above – heavy weights with fewer reps and also lower weights with more reps.
  • Make sure you get enough rest and the right nutrition. These are two key elements when it comes to any method or training, no matter what muscle group you’re choosing to exercise and improve.

My Final Opinion

If you want to make gains that are eye catching, long lasting and easy to maintain, then choose a supplement that works and has a proven track record. This is why I recommend and promote something like D-Bal, which is a legal and safe alternative to the steroid known as Dianabol.

Dianabol is well known to focus on and enhance your core strength and size and D-Bal is engineered and manufactured using natural plant extracts to mimic the impact of Dianabol.

The Best Steroid for Size and Strength

D-Bal is produced by Crazy Bulk and is only available via their official website so you can be guaranteed that it’s coming straight from the source. Created in extremely well tested and FDA approved facilities, you can be assured that you’re purchasing a top grade and very high quality product. This is why I listed Crazy Bulk as one of my trusted suppliers for steroid alternatives.

Adding D-Bal to your training and workouts can unlock your potential and supercharge your results. Increase your natural, raw strength so you can train harder and lift more with will lead to you adding serious strength and size to your chest – as well as the rest of your physique.

If you’re interested in seeing what other Crazy Bulk steroid alternatives you can add to your training plan for bulking, getting ripped, burning unwanted fat or increasing strength, click on the link below and visit the Crazy Bulk official website.

The Best Steroids For Adding Mass and Getting Ripped

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