"If there's one thing that'll earn you respect in the gym, it’s a powerful, chiseled upper body—and that starts with your chest," says Simon King, P.T., owner of Cre8 Fitness gym in London.

For well-defined pecs, you obviously need a workout that'll add inches to your chest, and this routine is the perfect starting point.

This workout will hit your chest from every angle to increase strength and muscle size, King says. And don't sweat it if you're completely new to lifting: "Every Herculean physique achieved had to start from nothing," he adds.

As a beginner, your main focus has to be lifting safely with proper form and light weight. Once you nail that down, you can start implementing varying sets and reps.


  • For muscle strength: Complete 1-6 reps with 3-5 sets resting somewhere between 2-5 minutes between sets.
  • For muscle hypertrophy: Complete 7-12 reps with 3-4 sets resting somewhere between 1-2 minutes between sets.
  • If you're a novice, aim for 3 sets of 8 reps with 90 seconds rest to stimulate strength and muscle gains.

Once you perfect these moves, tackle the best chest workout for beginners (it includes five of these essential exercises). And when you start itching for more variety, learn how to build your chest without the gym, try these eight chest exercises that don't require a bench, and use these six strategies to make your chest workouts harder to stimulate more growth.