How to Build a Big Chest

Three Parts:Focusing On Muscle GrowthDoing Chest ExercisesEating for Bigger Muscles

Are you ready to impress people at the gym or at the beach, with a bigger, more muscular chest? By adding more intensity to your exercise regimen, eating plenty of calories to fuel your workouts, and doing exercises that target your pecs, you can build muscle there within a matter of weeks. Whether you seek to become a professional bodybuilder or simply improve your physique, nothing is as impressive as a big, muscular chest.

Part 1
Focusing On Muscle Growth

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    Stop running around. All that cardio you've been doing religiously every other day? It's time to give yourself a break. Doing too much cardio exercise causes your body to expend energy that could be focused more precisely on muscle growth.[1] Cardio exercises like running, biking, swimming, and playing team sports use up energy for extended periods of time. At the end of the day, there's just not enough left over for your chest muscles.
    • If you love cardio, limit it to once a week or so.
    • Try walking, hiking, and doing other lower-energy activities instead of running, biking and swimming.
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    Take an explosive approach to weight training. Studies show that lifting fast and hard causes muscles to grow more quickly than lifting slowly. "Explosive" weight training is the key to getting bigger chest muscles. Instead of counting your reps, you can try timing your workouts. Set a timer for a minute or two and do as many reps as fast as you can during the allotted time period.[2]
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    Try as hard as you can. In addition to exercising more quickly, you should take a more intense approach to working out. Muscles need to be challenged in order to grow. That means you should be lifting as much weight as you can for ten reps or so. It doesn't matter how much weight you lift in relation to others; if you're lifting enough to challenge yourself, you'll see muscle growth.
    • Determine how much weight you should be lifting by experimenting with different weights until you find the one you can lift about 10 times before you have to stop. If you can only lift a weight 6 or so times, it's too heavy. If you can lift it 15 times, it's too light.
    • Working with a trainer is a good idea if you're a beginner. Make sure you don't push yourself too hard, or you'll risk injuring yourself.
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    Keep adding weight over time. If you don't, you'll end up plateauing, and you won't see your chest muscles grow. Every other week or so, determine whether you're still challenging yourself. Add enough weight to your regimen so that your muscles continue to get "shocked" during your workouts.
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    Rest your muscles effectively. You shouldn't work out your chest muscles every single day. They need time to recover and build up stronger and bigger in between workouts. On the days when you aren't exercising your pecs, work on your legs or back. Be sure to get a good night's sleep each night, too, so your muscles repair fully after workouts.

Part 2
Doing Chest Exercises

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    Do bench presses. The bench press is considered the single most effective exercise for those seeking to build a big chest. Lifting heavy weights with few repetitions is the best way to build muscle. You can use a bench press machine, barbell or even dumbbells to perform this exercise.
    • Have someone spot you. If you're lifting to failure (or the point where your muscles physically cannot support the lift), you absolutely need a spotter to catch the weight for you. Make sure that person is physically capable of catching whatever you might drop.
    • Select a weight that you can lift at 7 to 10 times.
    • Lie on a weight bench on your back. Grip the bar with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
    • Lower the bar slowly until it touches your chest. Then return to the starting position.
    • Repeat until you have completed this movement 5 to 7 times, or reached failure.
    • Rest for a bit, then do 2 more sets.
    • If you can perform 10 repetitions easily, add more weight.
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    Use dumbbells or a cable station to do flies. Lighter weights are recommended for this exercise, as heavier weights are harder to handle during this movement.
    • Lie on your back and grasp a dumbbell or cable handle in each hand.
    • Extend your arms straight up in front of you.
    • Keep your arms extended and slowly lower your hands to either side of your body.
    • Return to the starting position.
    • Repeat for a total of 3 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.
    • Increase weight after you can perform 12 repetitions easily.
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    Superset two or more exercises in order. Supersets force your muscles to work harder, because you're doing one exercise right after another. They can be very effective in building up muscle.
    • For instance, after doing 10 reps of the flat bench press, go immediately to dumbbell flies and perform as many reps as you can. Or, follow the bench press with as many push-ups as you can do.
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    Try drop sets. For a drop set, lessen the weight on each successive exercise and go to failure.
    • Perform at least 10 reps of the bench press or flies. Immediately remove 10 pounds and perform the exercise to failure. Then, remove 10 pounds again and once more perform the exercise to failure.
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    Do push-ups. For maximum benefits, do a variety of push-ups. There's nothing more effective than the classic move:
    • Space your hands farther than shoulder-width apart, shoulder-width apart or close together.
    • Place your feet on a bench and do decline push-ups, or place feet on the floor and hands on a bench for incline push-ups.
    • Push yourself to failure for each set.
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    Do dips. These can be performed on a dip bar or even between two high-backed chairs.
    • Hold yourself upright between the bars or chairs, then bend your elbows and lower your body until you feel a stretch in your chest.
    • Return to the starting position and repeat.
    • For added benefit, tie a weight plate around your waist or grasp a dumbbell between your ankles or knees while performing this exercise.
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    Do pull-ups. It will help you to have large amount of weight in your hands and also will strengthen the stomach muscles, especially the upper and lower abs. It will also make your back stronger.

Part 3
Eating for Bigger Muscles

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    Eat healthy food. This is essential when you're going for a muscular chest. Eating too many processed carbohydrates and fats will make you feel too fatigued to work out well. You may also end up gaining fat instead of muscle.
    • Eat a balanced diet of whole grains, protein (meat, fish, eggs, tofu, etc.), fruits and veggies and fiber.
    • Avoid sugary drinks and desserts, fast food, meat that is laden with nitrates and hormones, and salty snack foods.
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    Eat more than three meals a day. When you're focusing on muscle growth, your body needs a lot of fuel. Eating three regular-sized meals a day isn't going to cut it. Add two more meals and make sure all of your portion sizes are bigger than normal. You may have to eat more than you actually feel hungry for, but you'll be happy with the results when you see your chest getting bulkier.
    • Eat a healthy meal an hour or so before working out. Go for healthy carbohydrates like quinoa, beans, or brown rice, paired with a light protein.
    • Eat another meal after you work out to help your muscles repair and build up stronger.
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    Drink plenty of water. You should be drinking 8-10 glasses a day, both to keep you hydrated and to help your muscles process the protein you're taking in. Drink water before and after each workout.[3]
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    Take supplements. Big muscle growth is often helped along with supplements. Creatine replicates a natural enzyme the body produces to promote muscle growth and strength. Taking the recommended dosage has been shown to help muscles get bigger, faster.[4].


  • Warm up before performing any exercises by stretching and doing 1 set with a light weight to avoid muscle strain.
  • Incline or decline the bench when doing bench presses to attack the chest muscles from a different angle.
  • Consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.
  • Breathe properly when lifting weights. It is recommended to breathe OUT when lifting and IN when lowering the weight. The general principle being you exhale on exertion - ie - when pulling (eg cable pulls) or pushing (eg bench press)

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Categories: Building Muscle & Strength