Everyone wants to know how to build a chest. Few know how to build one fit for a God.
The chest is anatomically made up of two muscles. They are known as the pec major (the lower chest) and the pec minor (the upper chest). If you want to know how to build a chest of the Gods then you have came to the right place.
The chest is part of the centrepiece of any physique should they want to emulate a god. I appreciate it is Sunday while writing this but I thought I would get a head start on international chest day.
The chest is a favourite for many to train due to the fact it requires a lot of heavy pressing to grow. Movements that train the chest require a lot of tricep and anterior (front) deltoid (shoulder) strength as well.
Training the chest will cause growth on these muscles too.
As mentioned earlier the chest can be split into two parts – the upper and lower portions. Each part has different exercises which are preferred to optimise growth.
The preferred exercises for the lower chest will grow the upper also, just to a lesser degree and vice versa.
How to build a chest of the gods will come down to ultimately increasing your strength on the main pressing movements.
Exercises to target the lower chest
We will take the lower chest first as it is the largest of the two parts:
Wide grip dip
The dip, done with a wide grip can build your lower chest fantastically well. Compared to the narrow grip dip it focuses more on chest and less on the triceps.
If you are first beginning this exercise, ensure that you do the movement with only your body weight to start. Like pull ups, dips require a fair amount of relative upper body strength to do them properly.
When progressing on the dip, a dip/pull-up belt is needed to hang the weight from yourself.
My favourite is The Kino Belt: Kinobody – Best In Class Dip Belt and Pullup Belt – Any Size – Any Experience Level:
This exercise can put a lot of stress on the shoulder joint so it is best to avoid if you experience shoulder pain.
The movement only needs to be done to parallel and any lower will put undue stress on the shoulder joint and rotator cuff muscles.
Here is a great video tutorial:
Barbell bench press
This is a movement that nearly everyone who has went to the gym has done before. It is quite rare to see people doing it right however. Common mistakes are:
- Not touching the chest (not lowering the bar low enough)
- Not retracting the scapula
- Not creating an arch with the back
- Lowering the bar to the upper chest and not the lower chest
- Taking too wide of a grip (specific to individual)
- lifting their butt up in the air while pressing
- Flaring the elbows too wide (should be approx 45 degrees)
Dumbbell bench press
A ‘how to build a chest of the gods’ article would not have been complete without the inclusion of the dumbbell bench press. It is another great chest movement that will put on a lot of muscle if done correctly.
There are benefits to the dumbbell bench press and the barbell bench press and one does not have to be done to the exclusion of the other.
The dumbbell bench press allows more focus to be put onto the chest as the dumbbells can be brought closer together to squeeze the pecs. The barbell bench press allows a greater range of motion as the bar will touch the chest as opposed to the larger dumbbells.
A downside of using dumbbells is that the greater the weight you use and thus the stronger you get, the less range of motion takes place. This is due to the dumbbell weights getting larger as the weight increases.
Exercises for the upper chest
The upper chest is a necessary component if you want to know how to build a chest of the gods.
A common sight is guys with huge lower chests but without much upper chest gains in comparison.
The upper chest is harder to build as it is a smaller muscle but it’s still completely possible to bring up.
A large, thick, flat chest is considered by many to be the most aesthetic chest look. To pull this off it is important that you do not neglect your upper chest. This means that a lot of incline pressing will need to be done.
With incline pressing ensure that the incline is not excessive. Too much of an incline will cause the shoulder to take over from the upper chest, turning it into more of a shoulder press.
Barbell incline bench press
The barbell incline press can build that thick upper chest which completes the look.
As with the flat barbell bench press, it is important to maintain a tight core and a strong base with your feet on the floor.
Dumbbell incline bench press
A lot of the same talking points are related to the flat dumbbell bench press. The big difference is that there is a small incline which targets the upper chest.
Less weight can be used for the incline variation but it will pack on a lot of size none the less.
How to progress, get stronger and build a muscular chest
Progressive overload is the key to both size and strength
For natural lifters the main route to getting bigger is by getting stronger, period.
Strength gains can be visible by either one of two ways:
- Increased weight (with the same reps) = increased tension on muscle = muscle growth
- Increased reps/sets (with the same weight) = increased workload on muscle = muscle growth
Either way you have still gotten stronger.
Every session should be seen as an opportunity to get stronger. This means you should be trying to increase the weight or increase the reps with the same weight.
What to eat to build a chiselled chest of the Gods
There are a number of things that you should do to build a chest that even Mars the God of War would be proud of.
If you are a beginner who has trained for less than one year then it will be possible to both lose fat and build muscle at the same time. This means you do not have to take muscle gain and fat loss to be two different occassions.
If you are an experienced lifter then things are a little different. To build muscle you want to push your body towards anabolism rather than catabolism.
To do this, a small calorie surplus of about 250kcals is required. A small calorie surplus will also minimise fat gain whilst not causing muscle growth to suffer.
By getting stronger on all the lifts outlined above and eating in a calorie surplus, you will be optimising your chest muscle growth.
A high protein diet is also required. This can be anywhere from 0.8-1.2g per lb of body weight. More protein does not necessarily mean you will get bigger once a level of consumption is reached.
How to build a chest of the gods is almost complete. It is all well and good having a huge muscular chest but if it is puffy and soft then it is no good.
A chest of the gods must be lean and defined. For this to be the case some fat loss may have to occur if you are holding too much.
To lose fat then you must simply be in a calorie deficit. To do this you should try to move more and eat slightly less while still maintaining a high protein diet. This will help to conserve your hard won chest of the gods.
Thanks for reading,
P.S Leave a comment down below to let me know what you think. What is your favourite chest exercise?