Jumping jacks, push up of all kinds (diamond push-ups, box push ups, push up & rotation, decline push-ups and many more), dumbbell routines, all sort of weightlifting and a variety of workout plans. The above mentioned should sound familiar to most guys. But if you belong to the select few who have no idea what I am talking about, it is all about the pecs.
The science of the Pecs
Pectoralis major (includes the Clavicular pectoralis) and Pectoralis minor (to a lot of people, chest muscles). These occupy a large area and make up our upper and lower chest muscles respectively. Aside from how macho and confident a good set of pecs make you look with or without a shirt, training them are also advisable, because they are crucial parts of our everyday activities and exercises.
The Don`ts of Chest Workouts and Exercises
There are quite a few mistakes that are common for those of us who like to build and maintain a good set of pecs.
- Do not neglect the Clavicular pectoralis: The Clavicular pectoralis is a thin and small muscle at the uppermost part of the chest. A lot of people tend to disregard it; hence it becomes overshadowed by the general structure of the When this gets done, we notice that we are not quite there (“there” being those set of pecs you see in movies and magazines that motivate you to work out) when it comes to chest development. You might look impressive in a shirt, but when the shirt comes off, there is a lot of room for improvement. Besides, it is a fact that any chest workout routine that develops this “little guy” (the Clavicular pectoralis), is a superb routine for the pecs as a whole.
- Do not exercise simply=== to look buff: Abstain from high-rep isolated/simple workouts. In essence, do not engage in extreme single workouts that are aimed at making you buff. That is a free pass to hit a plateau. Instead, train to get stronger. Slowly but steadily increase your workload. You could try heavy but compound routine (weightlifting). Naturally, the body will have to compensate for the increased strength by increasing your muscle mass or simply, the pecs.
- Do not overtrain: When your usual workouts begin to feel difficult, and you can`t seem to complete any of your usual routines, it is not always psychological. It is most likely, the effect of overtraining. Though it is not too dangerous as it is merely the accumulation of fatigue, it is not to be taken for granted. Fortunately, it has a quick fix, rest or in other words “deload.” A rest or deload week is very vital in every long-term workout plan. So if you do not have one, do well to incorporate it into your workout schedule. Whenever you start to notice symptoms of overtraining, it is time to establish a rest week. Or for those who already have one, you might want to consider bringing it forward.
The Dos of Chest Workouts and Training
- Make use of a routine allowing for progressive overload: Progressive overload refers to the slow but definite increment in muscle tension levels. Increase the weight you carry progressively. Do not overexert yourself as this could prove to be counterproductive (affecting your health). When you are comfortable with a certain weight on a bar or a certain number of reps, add more weight to the bar or do more reps to push your limits. At least add 1 or 2 reps every week or add weight to the bar every week or two.
- Regulate your cardio exercises: Cardio is very beneficial generally. But when you are aiming to develop your pecs, cardio could become a hindrance. It is simple science really. Cardio is aimed at burning calories. For your chest muscles or pecs to grow, you need calories. So you see? Cardio (to an excess) is just burning all the calories your pecs would require to keep improving and developing. Moreover, it could put additional stress on the body. Thereby, it contributes to overtraining. So, while involved in chest workouts and exercises to develop your pecs, do well to cut back on the cardio.
- Sleep requirement: Though there is no ideal duration of sleep due to genetics and individual physiology, it is a fact that proper rest is vital. This gives the body time to recover from previous workout sessions and “absorb” the benefits. For adult or adolescents, sleep for about 6-10 hours should be sufficient (depending on the individual).
- Do ensure your positioning and technique are Flawless: There is not much to say concerning this. While building your pecs, or your overall body workout, proper technique for the routines could make all the difference.
- Be determined: Do not fear the weight, give everything you have to the workout session. Some people hinder their progress. They half-heartedly engage in their workouts. Trust me when I say, your body knows when your mind is absent. If your mind is absent, you feel unnecessarily tired right from the onset of the session. So, for a few minutes or hours of your workout, be there. Be mentally and physically involved, hold nothing back, keep pushing.
- Try split training: I don`t mean leg splits. Split training here, refers to the exercise of various body parts during various sessions. Since we are all about chest workouts, we will be employing a large portion of the upper body. The push/pull workout split is very applicable for chest workouts. You train your push muscles (chest, shoulders, and triceps) and your pull muscles (back muscles and biceps). This could help make your work out sessions more organized. By making your upper body muscles more synergistic (they assist each other, and thus fatigue is evenly distributed).
So with these tips in mind, you can establish a suitable chest exercise regimen either at the gym with equipment or at home without. To conclude a few good chest workout exercises (with or without equipment) would be mentioned below:
- Regular push-ups
- Dumbbell bench press
- Incline dumbbell flye
- Chest press machine
- Floor press
- Incline chest press, etc.