Try This 4-Week Plan for a Bigger, Better Chest

This 4-week program will help to shape your chest and banish any lingering man boobs.

This 4-week plan will help you develop a bigger, better chest — without the flab.

By Ebenezer Samuel C.S.C.S., Men’s Health

The secret to building a chest that pops out of your shirt and helps make you look like a superhero: Stop training like everyone else.

Forget all that time on the barbell bench press and focus on training with dumbbells and learning to make your movements precise. Concentrate on maintaining a tight core and squeezing your pecs hard on every single rep — which is exactly what you will be doing throughout this month’s program.

Avoid Booby Traps

Preventing man boobs involves more than pushups.

If you want a bigger chest, do back exercises. Doing only pushups and bench presses will lead your chest-muscle fibers to tighten, pulling your shoulders forward (especially if you have a desk job). Offset that with rows; stronger back muscles will pull your shoulders back, allowing your chest fibers to broaden out visually.

Your chest muscles are also responsible for more than just pressing weight upward; they also adduct your shoulder, pulling it toward your chest. When you do your chest moves, stimulate your inner chest fibers by squeezing your chest hard as you straighten your arms. Keep that in mind during this workout, especially when you’re doing crossover pushups and incline pushups.

The War Chest Workout

Directions: Do this workout on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Rest from all training on Sundays. On the other days, row 1,500 meters on the cardio machine and do 4 sets of 10 to 12 single-arm dumbbell rows per arm.

The Warmup

To protect your shoulders, awaken your back muscles before you start training your chest.


Superman Hold

Lie facedown on the floor, arms and legs extended. Tighten your glutes, raising your feet and thighs a few inches in the air. As you do this, squeeze your back muscles, lifting your arms and chest off the floor. Hold for 2 seconds, then lower back to the floor. That’s 1 rep; do 3 sets of 10.


Shoulder External Rotation

Stand with your right side a few feet away from a light resistance band set waist-high; grasp its end with your left hand. This is the start. Keeping your upper arm perpendicular to the floor, rotate at the shoulder, pulling the band away. Go only as far as is comfortable. Return to the start. That’s 1 rep; do 2 sets of 15 per side.


Row-to-Pushup Complex

Stand holding medium-weight dumbbells at your sides. Bend your knees slightly and hinge at your hips; let the dumbbells hang. Row them to your rib cage, squeezing your shoulder blades; do 6. Place the dumbbells on the floor, then do 6 slow pushups, squeezing your shoulder blades on each rep. Repeat.

The Workout

Focus on form as you build size and strength during this 3-step chest workout.


Dumbbell Bench Press

Lie on a bench, holding medium-weight dumbbells directly over your shoulders. Keep your core and glutes tight. This is the start. Squeeze your shoulder blades and bend at the elbows and shoulders, lowering the dumbbells to your chest. Pause, then drive the dumbbells back upward. Try to squeeze your chest once your arms are straight again.
That’s 1 rep; do 4 sets of 12.


Mixed-Style Incline Dumbbell Press

Lie on a bench set to a 30-degree incline, holding medium-weight dumbbells directly over your shoulders. Keeping your left arm straight, lower the right dumbbell to your chest and press it back up; repeat. Next, keep your right arm straight, lower the left dumbbell to your chest, and press it back up; repeat. Now lower both dumbbells to your chest and press them back up; repeat. Go through the sequence 2 more times for 1 set. Do 4 sets.


Crossover Pushup

Start to the left of a resistance band. Grab it and get in pushup position, far enough away that you feel light tension. Do a pushup. As you raise your torso, lift your right hand and pull the band across your chest. Place it on the floor, hold, then return to the start. That’s 1 rep; do 8 to 10 reps per side. After each set, without resting, do exercise 3b. Do 3 sets.


Incline Pushup

Get in pushup position, hands directly below your shoulders on a bench. Do pushups for 30 seconds, focusing on aggressively squeezing your chest at the top of each rep. Rest for 30 seconds after each set.

The Finisher

This farmer’s walk drill hones posture, which can help your chest look bigger.

Start standing with heavy dumbbells at your sides. Take 10 steps forward, then 10 backward. Do this for 5 minutes. For the first minute, walk for 30 seconds, then rest for 30. Walk for 5 more seconds each minute after that. Do 2 rounds.

See more at: Men’s Health


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Men's Magazine: Try This 4-Week Plan for a Bigger, Better Chest
Try This 4-Week Plan for a Bigger, Better Chest
This 4-week program will help to shape your chest and banish any lingering man boobs.
Men's Magazine
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