Published on November 22nd, 2012 | by bniang0
Workout Routine: 4 Weeks to A Stronger and Bigger Chest
Build a stronger and bigger chest in 4 weeks using strength and size building training techniques. Every workout, your goal is to increase either the amount of weight or the number of reps. For example, if you exceed eight reps, increase the weight so that you’re back down to six.
This routine is broken down into weekly cycles, each with a particular purpose. In week one and two, you will work on gaining strength and size. Using the strength gained in the first two weeks, you will jump right into week three and four where you will focus solely on putting as much size as possible using high volume training and high intensity techniques. By changing your training focus this way, you’ll keep your pecs constantly guessing what’s coming next, a key training principle that will rapidly shock them into massive growth.
Weeks 1-2: strength and size
The first two weeks of this routine are all about lifting heavy with mass and strength building compound exercises. Your primary goal for this workout is to move heavy weight with proper form, using almost entirely of free weights and compound exercises such as bench press, incline press, and weighted dips to build strength and size. You will train chest twice a week with a 3 day rest period to give your chest ample recovery time to ensure that you are fresh for your next chest training session. The workouts will consist of 11 total working sets to emphasize strength and size. Outside of warm-up sets, your reps will fall between 6-8 with three minutes of rest between sets. The last set of each exercise will employ strength building techniques such as forced reps and negatives to coerce the your pec muscles to get stronger and bigger. As a quick refresher, negatives are reps that concentrate on the eccentric, or lowering phase of an exercise and forced reps are ones that are done with the assistance of a spotter through 2-3 additional reps after you reach failure under your own power. Your muscles can handle 30-40% more weight on the negative portion of a rep and 15%-25% more with spotter on forced reps, so taking advantage of that taps into plenty of underexploited fibers in your muscles and trains your body and mind to deal with heavier weight by building your muscles bigger and stronger.
Weeks 3-4: size
The last two weeks of this routine is all about maximizing size with slightly higher reps. The volume also increases slightly during theses two weeks with the addition high-intensity training techniques like rest pauses and drop sets designed to involve as many muscle fibers as possible and push your body past your previous limits. You’ll continue using some of the exercises as the previous two weeks, but you will add in new ones to target your pecs from different angles. You will train chest twice per week now that growth is the sole aim, with one heavy day early on and a light day at least two days later.
On heavy days, you’ll use predominantly 8-10-rep sets for most exercises, which is ideal for hypertrophy. Selected exercises are primarily compound movements, but some isolation moves are included to promote a diversified routine that trains the pecs from all angles. You’ll also add the rest-pause intensity technique to the mix. With rest-pauses, you’ll actually use a heavier weight than you can lift for 8-10 reps, yet you’ll still reach the desired range by doing 2-3 reps, resting 15 seconds and repeating three more times. This will allow you to perform more work than with straight sets in basically the same amount of time. More work equals more gains in muscle strength and size.
On light days, you’ll flush the muscles full of blood via high-rep sets and a slight increase in set volume. The goal with these light days is to get as much of a pump as possible. The pump brings in a high volume of fluid and stretches the muscle cells, providing a momentary increase in size and sparking chemical pathways that tell the muscle to grow. you’ll incorporate drop sets as a means to increase intensity. Drop sets allow you to take your muscles beyond their limits and elicit an elevated response of growth hormone. Keep rest periods to an absolute minimum between drop sets, break only as long as it takes to lighten the load.
Throughout this 4-week routine, you should ramp up your diet to fuel your workouts and give your pectorals the nutrients needed for growth. We suggest that you apply the nutrition and supplement tips mentioned in our following articles: