A sculpted well defined chest is probably the ultimate sign of masculinity. For ions the male form has been portrayed in sculpture, paintings and artwork with models boasting massive well defined pecs. While most guys may think that they know the basics for building a bigger chest (which they may) what they don’t realize is what they’re doing wrong! Here are the most common chest training mistakes you may not even know you’re doing!
Common Chest Training Mistakes
1. Focusing on Weight vs Form
The amount of weight you can press on a standard Chest Press may be great to determine your 1RM (1 rep max) but it’s not indicative of how strong your chest is in general. Trying to lift too much weight with improper form isn’t doing you any favors. Over extension of the shoulders or limited range of motion are pretty common with most guys who are more interested in showing how much they can press versus properly executing the exercise.
2. Working Upper Chest
Let’s face it, we workout chest to get that thick bull dog mass of muscle, however you need to be training the weaker “parts” of the muscle as well as the stronger. Your chest muscles “fan out” from the front of the shoulders. The thinnest part of the muscle is that which is furthest away from the insertion point at the shoulder. You can easily vary your current chest workouts by using progressive loading and varying the angle of the exercise. For example an incline chest press will hit the muscle at a different angle and can help “work” the upper chest (although all the chest muscles are engaged with every movement).
3. To Much Focus on Free Weight or Machines
Yes machines can be just as effective as free weights. While machines may limit some functional training benefits because they can limit range of motion, they are very effective at isolating and targeting muscle groups. A couple months ago we reviewed an ACE sponsored study that showed that the Pec Dec was one of top 3 chest exercises to Build a Bigger Chest and engaging the chest muscles in general. Your goal should be to mix it up.
This should be a no brainer, but you’d be surprised how many guys (and girls) hit the gym every week and do the same routine over and over. If you’re not growing or developing the muscles that you want, it doesn’t mean you need to work them MORE it means you need to work them BETTER. You shouldn’t be training any muscle group more than twice a week at most. The muscle grows and repairs when it’s at rest, not when it’s pumpin out reps!