When we work our chest muscles most of us have the goal of building mass. We want those big hugeTerminator muscles and we want them now…but how do we get them? On the other side of the spectrum are those looking to slim down in the chest area so the pecs are the star of the show.
[When you get the best chest workout, you too can flaunt your stuff on the beach!]
The question both have is what is the best chest workout to give me the chest I want? The answer is, keep reading to find out!
Warm Up Sets
Working your chest muscles is an incremental process that will take some time, which is why warm up sets are so important. Warm up sets let chest muscles warm up in preparation for the more rigorous chest workout to come. In addition to preparing chest muscles to work harder, warm up sets help prevent injury. If you want big chest muscles or more visible ones, warm up sets get the muscles used to the activities of the day’s chest workout.
The other reason the best chest workout for your fitness goals includes warm up sets is that these sets allow you to lift more weight so you can build more muscle or burn more fat. If the first set in your chest workout is your real first set, how thorough of a workout do you really think you’re getting?
Make the first few (at least 2) sets of your best chest workout, warm up sets. Start with a much lighter weight and complete more repetitions per set. This way when you get to the meat & potatoes of your chest workout, you’ll be ready to lift more weight with fewer reps.
R & R
Getting the best chest workout isn’t about rest & relaxation; it’s about rest and recovery between sets. So many fitness “experts” and enthusiasts have opinions about resting between sets. Some recommend resting no more than 1 minute between sets while others swear it ruins the effectiveness of a good chest workout.
[There's no shame in resting between sets so your muscles can recover...it's what ALL the big boys do!]
Getting the best chest workout for your fitness goals means resting for a maximum of 1 minute—more if you really, truly need it—to allow your body to recover slightly before the next set. Why, you ask? Well for starters a recent study indicated that resting 1 minute or less between sets is ideal for hypertrophy, or building muscles. This is attributed to higher levels of growth hormones released during moderate-intensity chest workouts with a 1 minute rest interval.
Shorter periods of rest & recovery—1 minute or less—will allow you to get the best chest workout you can to achieve your chest goals.
Just like warming up before the workout begins, the best chest workouts will always include stretching before, during and after. If that seems like a lot of stretching, imagine the pain your body will be in when you wake up the next morning stiff and aching all over. Stretch for about 5 minutes before you begin your chest warm up sets just to get the blood circulating. Then give your muscles a light stretch during your rest & recovery periods just to keep those muscles as flexible as possible. A loose body is not quite as prone to workout injuries.
When you’ve completed your best chest workout for the day, another 5-10 minutes of stretching will cool down your muscles and prepare them to recover before your next chest workout!
Keep It Interesting
At TFLA we believe variety is the spice of life when it comes to pretty much most things, but especially when it comes to exercise. Getting the best chest workout for your fitness goals means performing a diverse group of chest exercises that work the pecs from varying angles. Whether you need to bulk up or slim down, the best chest workout should include exercises that target both upper and lower pectoral muscles.
[Use your workout equipment to keep your chest workouts interesting & effective!]
Give your chest workout a little variety by switching it up. If you use the bench press for your first chest exercise, change equipment for the next exercise. There are plenty of chest exercises and variations to ensure you get the best chest workout possible every time.
Even if you don’t change the equipment, change the angle to work a different part of your chest. Those of you partial to the barbell bench press should look into more options than the flat press. Both barbell and dumbbell press can be done on an incline or decline to work a different part of the chest. Adding the incline or decline option will ensure you work the entire chest for the best chest workout you’ve ever had!