Build Big Chest: How To Build Chest Muscle Fast

If you train in a big commercial gym, you’ve probably noticed Monday is National Bench Day. Everyone seems to be training their chest. Tuesday is often National Bench Day part 2 with more of the same.

But how do you train your chest efficiently for maximum growth?

In this post I’ll explain you which mistakes you must avoid to build a bigger chest and the right method to increase your chest size.

Chest Anatomy

The chest anatomy includes the pectoralis major, pectoralis minor and the serratus anterior. Learn about each of these muscles, their locations, functional anatomy and exercises for them.

This page provides an overview of the chest muscle group. Find out more about the individual muscles within the chest anatomy by clicking their respective links throughout this page.

Function of the Chest Muscles

The chest is part of a larger group of “pushing muscles” found in the upper body. The chest, as part of this group, enables you to perform pushing actions such as the barbell bench press or a daily activity such as moving a heavy dresser.

To fully develop your chest, you need to hit it with heavy weight using a couple smartly chosen exercises. Read on and learn more about each chest muscle, and how to properly perform exercises that adequately challenge them.

Pectoralis Major

Build Big Chest

The pectoralis major is a large, substantial, fan-shaped muscle. And as you might guess from the word “major,” it makes up the majority of the chest muscle mass.

It originates at your clavicle, ribs, and sternum, and inserts into the upper portion of your humerus (upper arm bone from elbow to shoulder.)

The pectoralis major helps flex the shoulder joint, and moves your arm toward and across your chest. When training your pecs, you’ll likely notice that your shoulders and triceps also benefit.

Pectoralis Minor

 Build Big Chest

The pectoralis minor is a thin, triangular muscle that is found underneath the pectoralis major. It attaches at the 3rd, 4th and 5th rib, and it reaches to the scapula (shoulder blade.)

Think of it as the little (yet very powerful) brother of the pactoralis major. Its job is to help pull the shoulder forward and down.

Serratus Anterior

Build Big Chest

The serratus anterior, although not truly part of the chest anatomy, is commonly grouped as part of the chest muscle group because attaches near the pectorals on the ribs.

It’s functions are to move the scapula forward and upward.


There is so much hype from magazines, supplement makers, and eBook writers about what reasonable expectations are for adding muscle that much of the public has completely distorted sense of how fast it is possible to add muscle.

Dont neglect squeezing.

The biggest mistake people make when training chest is that they only do pushing exercises like bench press and dumbbell presses.

The world seems bench-press crazy.

Even people who have never lifted a weight in their life can tell you how to do the bench press because its in all the movies.

Its no wonder that beginners are unhealthily biased towards bench press and curls, its all they have seen done in the movies!

To build a massive, powerful chest you gotta do squeezing exercises! 5×5 and SS make this huge mistake. I have found that a mix of about 50/50 is optimal.

What I typically do in my chest workouts is alternate squeezing and pushing exercises.

A squeezing exercise is an isolation exercise like flys where you squeeze rather than push.

Dont workout shoulders or triceps in the 2 days before your chest workout.

This is another reason why people who do 5×5 and SS have lagging chest development – every other day they are either doing chest or shoulders.

Thats too much pushing and the tired shoulders and triceps interfere with their ability to give chest workouts the maximum intensity required for strength and mass increases.

Dont overtrain!

Many people do pushups every day thinking that is the way to huge pecs, WRONG, it isnt even the way to strong pecs. Doing pushups every day optimizes your pecs for doing pushups every day.

The body adapts to whatever tasks you want it to accomplish. After you get past intermediate stage, optimal every 5-7 days.

There are two groups of people who benefit from training chest more often than this: steroid users and newbies.

Steroid users have chemically enhanced recovery times so that they are ready for another chest workout much faster than natural bodybuilders. 

They can take advantage of more multiple chest workouts a week whereas in a natural bodybuilder it would just result in overtraining.

The other group that benefits from more frequent chest workouts is beginners and intermediate bodybuilders because they have not yet developed the ability to workout with enough intensity to cause serious muscle building micro-tears.

More training is not better!!

When you DO train chest, hit it HARD.

Many people fall into this trap, in the interest of time they couple chest with other bodyparts or do sets really quick with little rest so they can finish their chest workout in 30min instead of taking the full hour.

You need to workout chest with intensity for 50-60 minutes.

Building a big chest takes intensity and it takes volume.

No abs in there, no shoulders, no nothing else – just chest. It helps think of it this way, you only get to do chest once every 5 days for these few precious minutes so give it all you got and all your focus.

No you CANT do half your chest workout in the morning and half at night – do it all at once!

Vary rest and rep range weekly.

Vary rest from week to week. Sometimes take a minute between sets and sometimes take 5 minutes between sets – YES a full 5 minutes.

Mix it up.

When you go really heavy with low 3-5 reps use 5min rest between sets. When you are going lighter with 8-12 reps only do a minute between sets.

You can decide how you want to vary reps and rest over time, doesnt matter how you vary it as long as you DO vary it.

Many think I am crazy with this suggestion because it means you will be doing a massive number of sets when you are only doing a minute between sets and it means you will only be doing 10 sets when you are going heavy.

Trust me, I’m a scientist!

Drop sets.

Use drop sets when working out heavy. When your reps for a set drop below 6, do drop sets! Otherwise your heavy workouts dont have enough volume.

I drop the weight by enough that I can do a total of about 12 reps. If you do 4 reps of a heavy weight, the drop to a weight that lets you do 8 more reps.

Shoulder packing.

Shoulder packing is important for two reasons.

First because it helps prevent shoulder injuries.

NOTHING is more detrimental to bodybuilding progress than an injury, remember this! Keeping the shoulder in the packed position makes it more stable and less prone to injury.

As an added bonus, the packed position gives you additional mechanical leverage which allows you to lift more weight but this is secondary. Please read about shoulder packing.

Good nutrition.

Many people seem to get the silly notion that good nutrition means taking a protein shake after their workout, NO.

You need good, high protein nutrition not only on your workout day but also for the next 5 days after the workout.

The rebuilding of your pecs can take up to 5 days after you have decimated them in a workout. You need to get enough protein each day during that entire time.


You are up to 19% stronger when you are fully hydrated.

Stronger means that you will lift more weight.

Lifting more weight means you will grow more muscle. If you wait till you arrive at the gym to start sipping water then you are wasting your time.

I get a good laugh at people who show up at the gym with their gallon jug of water and take a few sips over their workout, a jug of water is NOT a fashion accessory!

If you are having to pee every 15-30 minutes and the pee is clear then you are hydrated sufficiently for maximum performance in your workout.

Hydrate *before* starting your workout!!!!

Limit your Range Of Motion (ROM).

This goes against what everyone else is saying.

I say, dont let your elbows go behind the plane of your back and skip the “stretch”.


Building huge chest requires consistency – strong workouts every week for years and you cant do this if you screw up your shoulder.

This is one of the reasons that I strongly recommend that you do your chest workouts on the floor, it limits your ROM to the perfect range.

The slightly better results you get from going full range of motion on chest exercises but the slight additional better results are not worth the risk of shoulder injury.

Get enough sleep.

If you are using an alarm to get up in the morning, you are not getting enough sleep. If you want to learn how you can still make it to work or school without an alarm clock, please watch my 3 part time management video series.

Have good genetics. Pec shape is genetic. If you have a gap between your pecs you will have it no matter how huge your pecs become. There are no exercises for the “inner chest” despite what the eBook hawkers promise.

Not everyone has Arnold Schwartzennegers genetics. In my opinion though, pecs like a Men’s Fitness Cover Model are within the reach of 99% of men.

If I had to rate my genetics, I would say I am in the top tenth.

If you want some examples of a good chest workouts then checkout these three:

Workout 1

Use these tips:

  • Warm up 5 mins on the treadmill or 1 – 2 warm up sets of the first exercise to save injury.
  • Use the correct form! Watch the video above to learn each exercise or click on each exercise below! 
  • After 6 weeks move on to the expert chest workout program.


Build Big Chest Workout:
Superset – Dumbbell Bench Press Press Ups 412
Incline Dumbbell Press512
Incline Smith Machine Press312
High Cable Chest Flys (DropSet)512,8,8,8
Lower Chest Cable Raise (DropSet)212,8,8,8

Workout 2

Use these tips:

  • Warm up 5 mins on the treadmill or 1 – 2 warm up sets of the first exercise to save injury.
  • Use the correct form! Watch the video above to learn each exercise or click on each exercise below! 
  • After 6 weeks move on to the expert chest workout program.


Build Big Chest Workout:
Incline Dumbbell Press412
Superset – Standing Chest Fly Press Ups512
Barbell Bench Press312
High Cable Chest Flys (DropSet)512,8,8,8
Lower Chest Cable Raise (DropSet)212,8,8,8

Workout 3

Use these tips:

  • Warm up 5 mins on the treadmill or 1 – 2 warm up sets of the first exercise to save injury.
  • Use the correct form! Watch the video above to learn each exercise or click on each exercise below! 
  • After 6 weeks move on to the expert chest workout program.


Build Big Chest Workout:
Dumbbell Bench Press412
Incline Dumbbell Press512
Dumbbell Decline Fly312
Flat Bench Dumbbell Fly512
Press Ups212