We're well into the era of high-tech fitness, yet most guys' chest training seems to be trapped in the Stone Age. To help modernize your workouts, we've pulled together three rules you gotta follow.
1. Do compound exercises.
Choose flat and incline presses over flys and cable crossovers. They allow you to lift heavier weight, thereby applying more tension to the muscles (and that means more growth).
2. Use progressive resistance.
Do two or three sets of one or two exercises for the chest, and increase the weight you use or number of reps you perform each workout.
3. Improve your shoulder stability.
The safest and strongest way to bench is with your shoulder blades pulled together and downward. Balance all your pressing work with rows, chinups, and cable face pulls to improve the shoulders' ability to retract.
THE TOP THREE CHEST-TRAINING MISTAKES
1. Performing too many exercises
Don't burn yourself out doing pec-deck flys in an effort to get a "defined chest." It won't happen. Instead, stick with the essential moves: dumbbell bench press, barbell bench press, dip, and pushup,
2. Lifting too much weight.
For the most steady progress, add the smallest amount you can each session (in most gyms, this means two 2.5-pound plates, making five total extra pounds).
3. Poor bench press form.
Always tuck your elbows close to your sides on the descent and touch the bar to the lower part of your sternum (this technique is great for guys with long arms).