THE FACTSThe average guy can bench press 60 kilos. Poor guy. Follow our rules and your chest will never be mistaken for his.
The chest is a primary muscle group that requires other, secondary muscle groups - mainly the shoulders and triceps - to assist in every exercise. If you work your shoulders and triceps beforehand, they'll quit on you before your chest works hard enough to grow.
The smartest order: chest first, shoulders second, triceps last.
THE MAIN MOVEThe barbell bench press is the grandaddy of all chest exercises, working more muscle fibres in the chest than any other move.
HOW TO DO ITLie on a bench with your head, torso and hips pressed against it and feet spread wide and flat on the floor. Grab the bar with an overhand grip. Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, remove the bar from the uprights and hold it with straight arms over your collarbone.
Pull your shoulderblades together. Lower the bar, slowly and with control, until it touches your chest just below your nipples. Then press the weight up and slightly back so it finishes above your collarbone again. You can lock your elbows or stop just short. Keep your shoulderblades pulled back.
MIX AND MAXVary your grip. Your hand position helps determine how your chest develops. A wider grip emphasises your chest, while a narrower grip involves more of the triceps and deltoids.
Change Tools. You'll lift less weight with dumbbells, but since they allow your hands to move independently of each other, it will be easier to keep your hands directly in line with your elbows, reducing the risk of injury.
Adjust your approach. Instead of conforming to the standard three sets of three exercises that most men use to work their chest muscles, perform one set of seven different exercises. This approach conditions the muscles from seven specific angles, instead of three, in one work-out, utilising a higher percentage of muscle fibres for maximum overall growth.
THE PAY-OFFBetter sex! A stronger, bigger chest will fill out your shirt in such a way that woman will be inspired to remove said shirt. In bed, the ever-popular missionary position gives her a satisfying view of your chest and you'll be able to support yourself longer.
More Power! Stronger chest muscles make it easier to push off opponents in any contact sport, whether it's football, basketball, a martial art or ice hockey.
A Stonger Swing! Forehand strokes in tennis and fielding throws in cricket rely on powerful chest muscles for velocity, in addition to your core musculature.A Knock-Out Punch! The chest's primary objective is to move the arms forward, so developing pectoral strength helps you deliver more power to your target.