Updated: Jan 31
Naturally due to our own individual genetics we may find that certain body parts lag behind and may need some kind of specialization. Personally during my early years of training I struggled with chest development. It wasn't until the last five years or so that I finally learned how to deal with it. This took me many years of trial and error, but I finally nailed it and was able to bring my chest development up to par with all other body parts. Let me save you all the hassle and share with you the best exercises and workout methods to build gladiator pecs.
1. Avoid Too Much Variety
Focus on building the mass of the body first before specialization. This means training with an abbreviated routine consisting of compound exercises. Keep isolation exercises minimal. The mistake I see all too often is people early on in their training career, using far too many exercises and neglecting the key compound exercises.
For the chest you need to focus on compound pushing movements such as the barbell and dumbbell bench press, the barbell and dumbbell incline press, and dips. These exercises are the meat and potatoes for building mass in the pectoral area. Squeezing exercises such as flies, although important, come second. Yes isolation movements are important but think of them as the icing on the cake. The main thing is to build strength and mass.
2. Full Range Of Motion
For maximum chest development, you need to work with a full range of motion and get a good stretch on the eccentric phase of the movement, and a full contraction on the eccentric. The classic mistake people make is that they limit the range of motion as you can lift more weight. But you will be straining your joints, tendons and overall reducing muscle stimulation.
3. Focus On Strength
Strength is the foundation to size. You need to track your strength on the key exercises. Chest pushing movements such as incline presses, flat bench presses and dips. If you are getting consistently stronger in these exercises you are heading in the right direction. Lifting progressively heavier weights in good form is one of the surest objective measurements of progress. To make sure you make consistent progress in strength of you need a good solid minimal program, correct frequency, volume, intensity and rest.
4. Squeezing Movements
Do not neglect squeezing movements such as dumbbell flies and cable flies. As I have said before I think that the foundation to good chest development is a strong bench and incline press. However squeezing type movements should be added to top off your routine. Full range of motion is key with a good stretch on the eccentric and squeezing the pecs on the concentric.
5. Do Not Neglect Incline Movements
Incline presses using the barbell and dumbbell focus on the upper pectoral area. Building this aspect gives a very aesthetic square slab like look to the chest, instead of round droopy pecs which can happen if your focus is entirely on flat movements. Even if you focus on inclines exclusively you will have amazing chest development overall. The best practice however is to do both incline and flat.
I hope you enjoyed this article and that it helps you with your training.