Matt Weik looks at the anatomy of the chest, and helps you to build thicker, more massive pecs.

Introduction to Chest Building 101

Massive ChestA new course is available at Weik University on building a massive chest.  Those interested in sitting through an easy course, no need to look any further because class has just begun.  Everyone is guaranteed an “A” for the course as long as you sit through the course and pay attention (you can take notes if you wish).  From there, all you have to do is take what you learned from the course and utilize it in the gym for massive chest gains.

Let’s start with the basics of Chapter 1 and then get into more detail later on in the course.

Chapter 1:  Anatomy of the Chest

Let’s start off by explaining the anatomy of the chest.  It’s not very complicated and not much to it.  Once you understand how the chest works, you will find it easier to visualize your chest workouts.

The chest is made up of two muscles: the pectoralis major and the pectoralis minor.

The pecs are found attached to the humerus of the arm, right near where the shoulder joint is. They then run across the front of the body and originate on the breastbone (picture a chicken breast). The pectoralis major is attached to the front of the body on the rib cage. The pectoralis minor is found underneath the pectoralis major. It originates on the ribs and attaches up to the scapula, specifically at the coracoid process.

The pectoralis major brings the humerus across the body while the pectoralis minor moves the shoulders forward.  Together, you get the bench press movement.

Like I said before, once you understand how everything works it makes it much easier to visualize the muscle fibers contracting during each set.  When you have a good mind-muscle connection you get more out of each rep.  Too many people try to load on a weight that they can’t handle and end up using more accessory muscles rather than the chest alone.  That’s fine if you are trying to impress chicks, but in terms of results it’s not efficient.

Chapter 2:  Different Parts of the Chest

When hitting the chest you have 3 different areas that you want to hit hard with compound movements.  You have the upper chest, mid chest, and lower chest.

The upper chest is something that some gym rats forget about.  The best exercise for hitting the upper chest is incline barbell presses.  For this you want to have the bench on an incline where you can specifically feel it working your upper chest.  Different people feel the exercise at different angles (45 degrees works for most people)—but the best thing to do is try different angles to see what works for you.  If you feel the exercise more towards the middle of your chest then you have the angle too low and it will feel more like a flat bench press.  On the flip side, if you feel the exercise more in your shoulders, then you have the angle too high and you need to decrease the angle.

The mid chest is hit with the famous exercise—the bench press.  Everyone does it in the gym (unless you are injured, have a disability, or simply have no idea what you are doing in the gym).  Too many people are in the gym trying to impress everyone with how much they can bench, yet more than half of them are doing the exercise incorrectly in which they can cause serious injury to themselves.  The famous saying, “What do you bench?” is said around the gym more than any other saying—I cringe at the sound of it.  Not because I don’t care what they bench, but because I know that person is one of the many that I mentioned above that are probably executing the exercise incorrectly.  So let me say it once and get it over with…  It’s not how much weight you can lift, leave your ego at the door—concentrate on feeling the weight and using the correct form.  Another exercise that involves no weights that hits the mid-chest is the pushup.  These are great for if you can’t get to the gym or you want to pump up a little bit.

The lower chest I believe is the most neglected portion of the chest.  When you look at the best chests in bodybuilding you notice from top to bottom the chest is fully developed and full.  If someone neglects the lower portion of their chest you will notice fullness in the upper half but below mid-chest they will be flat and without the roundness at the bottom portion.  Doing decline presses as well as dips can develop the lower chest.

Exercises And Workouts

Chapter 3:  Different Chest Exercises

Chapter 4:  Mass Building Chest Workouts

Workout #1

Workout #2

Workout #3

Workout #4 (bodyweight workout)

  • Bodyweight Incline Pushup on Stability Ball  5x8-12
  • Bodyweight Pushup  5x8-12
  • Bodyweight Dips  5x8-12

Workout #5 (Smith Machine workout)

Course Conclusion

When it comes down to it you want to focus on the mind-muscle connection.  You should really feel each rep and feel the muscle working.  If you don’t feel an exercise in your chest, then you are probably doing it wrong or are using a weight that you can’t handle and are using more than just your chest.

Make sure you are hitting each part of the chest equally (unless your chest isn’t balanced then you need to work on that section more).  Focus on compound movements for the upper, mid, and lower chest.  Then utilize shaping movements such as flys to finish out your chest workout.

Most of all have fun with your workouts.  If you aren’t having fun, then what’s the point?  Utilize what you learned in this course and see where it takes you.  Good luck and see you at graduation!

*Weik University is not a real college and therefore this is not a real course.  The materials found in this article are those of the author and will not give you college credits (sorry)*

Posted on: Sat, 09/11/2010 - 01:12

thanks steve. one more question. should i use the same weight for each set or increase weight each set? this goes with any muscle group, not just chest. thanks again.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 09/15/2010 - 14:12

Hi Tony,

There are several ways to approach progression and weight. I recommend the easiest method - using the same weight for each set. From workout to workout, try to add weight when possible, even if you can't complete all the reps.

Posted on: Mon, 09/06/2010 - 16:27

do you alternate the workouts by week or do 1 group for a few weeks then move on to the next? thanks

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 09/08/2010 - 10:06

Hi Tony,

If you are looking for muscle mass, I would stick with a single workout for at least 8 to 12 weeks.

Posted on: Tue, 06/01/2010 - 04:57

can i start my training every day by one of the mentioned 5 chest workout , i mean ... making workout # 1 with back , the next day workout # 2 with shoulders .... , i really want to improve my chest appearance because i have a serious problem with that .


M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 06/01/2010 - 11:01

Training chest every day will be counterproductive. You want to train chest once, maybe twice per week. Focus on progression of weight. That is the real key to building a muscular chest.

Posted on: Wed, 03/24/2010 - 00:56

I am not clear on something. Are you saying to do these 5 workouts in a week or incorporate the workouts in a program I am currently using? Also, I am going to begin doug's 4 day in April and I wanted to know if I should incoporate the workouts in your article to the program.

Posted on: Tue, 03/16/2010 - 15:53

why do all of the suggested workouts begin with an incline press?

Posted on: Tue, 03/16/2010 - 20:34

Most people have an under developed upper chest. Too many people focus just on flat bench and neglect the fullness you need which is done through inclines. So hit that hard first and then work your way down.

Posted on: Tue, 02/26/2013 - 10:25

The reason is because with incline bench presses especially with the dumbell version. There is less weight being places directly on the triceps. If you favor incline dumbell bench, like me, you can focus on pressing the weight and bring your elbows in. This takes more of the tricep out of the movement and focuses on the chest. Its good to start with incline so you don't pre-exhaust the triceps which will negatively impact how muchyou lift on your bench since they are assisting muscles. another common reason is that you want to start the workout with 100% of your energy and target the upper chest with the incline to really help the upper chest grow since its viewed as " a neglected area" as mentioned in the article.