How to Get a Bigger Chest: 10 Tips.

People don't recognize me with my shirt on.

Because my pecs have become something of a Davey Wavey trademark, it’s no surprise that I get a number of emails about chest workouts. More specifically, most guys write asking for tips to increase their chest size. It’s a common goal and the game plan necessary to make it happen is fairly straightforward.

Here are 10 tips for getting a bigger chest.

  1. Bench press. Tried and true, there is no better exercise for building up your chest than the bench press. You can do bench press exercises with either dumbbells or a barbell – and each have their own advantage. With dumbbells, you’re able to work through a great range of motion. But with a barbell, you’re able to press heavier amounts of weight. Since heavier loads will result in bigger gains, I recommend using the barbell – though it’s fine to use either or both.
  2. Low reps, heavy weight. Doing a lower number of repetitions at a heavy weight is best suited for increases in size. I usually target 8 repetitions. On the last repetition, your muscles should feel fatigued. If you can do more than 12 repetitions without feeling fatigued, then the weight is definitely too light.
  3. Do at least four sets. It’s true that you get a ton of benefits from performing only one set, but if you’re looking for maximized results, the additional sets are important. I do four sets on the bench press, then four sets each on the incline and decline bench press.
  4. Only train your chest once or twice per week. Since I train different muscle groups each day, I usually only work my chest once per week. Sometimes twice. I don’t train my chest often, but when I do, it’s a quality workout and that’s what matters.
  5. Increase the amount of resistance or number of repetitions. If you did 6 repetitions at 180 pounds last week, try for 7 repetitions at the same weight this week. Or if you did 8 repetitions of 150 pounds last week, go for 7 or 8 repetitions at 160 pounds this week. You need to overload your muscles to increase their size.
  6. Keep a log. Because the exact number of repetitions and amount of resistance can be difficult to remember, bring a notebook and log your progress. When you go in for your next workout, you’ll know exactly where you were last week – and exactly where you want to be this week.
  7. Try drop sets. Once a month, really mix things up by doing a drop set or two. To perform a drop set, select an amount of resistance that will result in muscle failure after 8 – 12 reps. While you’ve reached relative failure, you haven’t reached absolute failure; quickly decrease the amount of weight by about 15% and continue. After 8 or so reps, you’ll hit failure again. Reduce the resistance by another 15% and continue. Keep going. It’s a great way to build size.
  8. Don’t overtrain. More isn’t better and your muscles need time to rebuild and recover. Don’t train your chest more than twice a week.
  9. Eat right. Ensure that you’re eating enough calories and getting the required amount of protein to support muscle growth.
  10. Keep good form. While the occasional cheat is acceptable, the majority of your bench presses should demonstrate proper technique. Most people cheat by not lowering the bar fully to their chest before pressing it back up. Ensure that you’re getting a full range of motion.

Building a bigger chest isn’t rocket science – but it does take a little know-how and some real effort and dedication. And if you have any other chest-building tips, share them in the comments below.

About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.

Comments

  1. Kris Patrick says:

    if anyone knows how to get an amazing chest, its Davey! thanks for another great tips page. cant wait to try it out! 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing, Sensei!

  3. Dear Davey, I got some questions while translating your article to Portuguese language.
    – you wrote you lift 180lbs in a barbell, I wonder if it is 90lbs each side or 180lbs barbell’s each side;
    – do I really need to decrease 15%? When I calculate 15% of 20kg or 15kg and so on it never gets a decimal number [5, 10, 1… but 17, 9,5kg..].. can I decrease 1or 2 or 3 kg? I.M.H.O. I think it’d be better decrease 1 or 2 kg.. is it ok?
    Also thank you for sharing those tips, I’ll def add them to my workout routine.

    • When he says 180 pounds on a bar bell that is including the 45 pound bar. So that would be nearly 70 on each side. Also the 15% is a general rule so if you are using 75 kg dropping down 10-15 kg would be ideal.

  4. I have noticed swimming mixing with freestyle and backstroke has helped me gain a bigger chest and arms. Alternative to using barbells and dumbells

  5. I usually work out my chest 3 times a week. I guess I’ve been overdoing it. Do you recommend working your chest on a Monday and then a Thursday?

  6. christopher says:

    whats wrong with high reps-low weight?does this work?or am i wrong?as far as bench press.

  7. Also, when lifting a barbell weight, it’s good to keep your hands a little further apart from each other than your shoulders; this will put more of an emphasis on your chest (Hands further apart – arms wider).

  8. good point however you missed off the best exercise to do to get the perfect chest. “press ups” are an amazing exercise. after every chest seasion i do 4 sets of 20 press and 4 sets of 20 no weighted dips. each to their own i guess 🙂

  9. href="https://sewalaptopjakartatimur1.blogspot.com">rental laptop says:

    Ada sebagian orang yang beranggapan bahwa membeli laptop lebih mahal, lebih baik menyewa saja, karena belum begitu mendesak. Sasaran pasar kita rental laptop