by Tony Gjokaj February 23, 2020 3 min read

One of our goals at Reforged is to simplify fitness so that people can leverage it to transform their lives. This will allow us to create positive habits overtime.

The Chest is one of those beach muscles everyone wants and strives to develop. When I think of the Chest, I think of Arnold Schwarzenegger's iconic side-chest pose.

Now there are various strategies and methods to target the chest, and some of them typically get complicated.

In this blog post, we simplify the chest so that you may optimize its development!

The Chest

Anatomy and Function of the Chest

The Chest consists of two major muscle groups: the Pectoralis Major and Pectoralis Minor. These muscles allow the shoulder joint and our arms to move in its various directions.

Many people will segment their chest into an “upper, middle and lower pec”. However, there are many ways to effectively segment your chest.

Chest Training Strategies

Our strategies consist of many ways to optimize chest development. Please note that most are suggestions and are based upon a general population from scientific research.

  • Do about 12-20 sets weekly. As studied, this is an optimal range of volume for the chest. Sometimes, more than this may impede recovery.
  • What type of Pec Do you have? I recommend checking out this excellent video by Omar Isuf on Pec development.
  • Train your chest from various angles. Recall that the Pec Major's function is to move the shoulder joints and arms in various directions. This means you should train your chest from various angles.
  • Emphasize a "Stretch" exercise and a "Squeeze" exercise. Pressing exercises like the bench typically emphasize a stretch. Chest fly variations typically emphasize a squeeze. Do both.
  • The Chest responds well in the 5-10 rep range for heavy compound exercises. Heavy compound exercises are typically a Barbell Bench Press or Incline Barbell Bench.
  • Train your chest about 2-3x weekly. Make sure you hit about 3-9 sets of chest exercises per session. This will average to about 6 sets per session if you train chest 3x per week.

An Effective Chest Session

Instead of targeting an upper, middle, and lower pec, we typically strategize our chest sessions in this way:

  • A Pressing exercise. 
  • An Incline Press exercise.
  • A Chest Isolation/Fly exercise.

Pressing and Incline Press Exercises

The following exercises can be Barbell or Dumbbell exercises:

  • Flat Bench
  • Incline Bench Press
  • Decline Bench Press
  • Close Grip Bench Press

Chest Dips can be added as a pressing exercise. For some people, weighted dips can really add development to the chest.

Chest Isolation/Fly Exercises

Recall that Chest Isolation exercises really focus on "squeezing" the chest. We typically recommend choosing the isolation exercises that benefit you the most.

  • Cable Fly
  • Incline Cable Flys
  • Pec Deck/Machine Fly

Chest Training Summary

To summarize, we recommend that we train your chest with 12-20 sets weekly. This would equate to training your chest 2-3x weekly. To optimize your chest training, you should train your chest from various angles.  We can do this in the following way:

  • A Pressing exercise
  • An Incline Pressing exercise
  • A Chest Isolation/Fly exercise

As you can see here, the chest is a simplistic muscle to train. If you constantly progress while targeting these angles, you will develop a solid chest over time.

If you have any questions or additional information, let's keep the discussion going and throw it in the comments before.

Tony Gjokaj
Tony Gjokaj

Tony is the Owner of Reforged Performance Nutrition. He has been in the fitness space for over a decade, previously coaching individuals in body recomposition and strength training. His goal is to connect others with the knowledge they need to reach their greatest potential.


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