A chest workout for men looking to develop masculinity "Square" pectorals
If you want to create a great chest workout, it’s important that you define your goals. In this article, I’m focusing on a chest routine with the goal of developing a chest along the lines of what a Calvin Klein model might have. If it’s pure bench press strength you’re after, you’ll obviously want to use a different workout. This routine will build some strength, but it is not the main focus of the workout.
What should a “male chest” look like?
A male chest should look square and angular, not round and smooth. Traditional chest training focuses on the basic bench press. While the bench press is great for building size and power, it can overdevelop the lower chest. A bench press-focused chest workout develops the lower pecs so much that they can start to resemble breasts. The part of the chest that is underdeveloped in most men is the upper chest. If your chest workout focuses on the upper chest and not so much the mid to lower chest, then you’ll build square pecs.
How to build upper pecs.
To complete the upper pecs, you need to include a variety of incline pressing movements in your chest workout. You need to make sure that your chest routine starts with some type of incline press. I recommend starting your chest workout with incline dumbbell presses on an adjustable bench. I like dumbbells as you can really work that inner part of your upper pecs that is hard to hit. If you develop this part of your chest, you will get that “line” from the middle of your chest to the clavicle.
Here’s a great chest workout that targets those hard-to-develop areas.
1) Incline Dumbbell Press: Set the bench to about 20-30 degrees above the flat setting. Choose a weight that you can press 10 to 12 times. Click the bank to the next higher angle setting. With the same weight, try to do 8 to 10 repetitions. Click the bench up to a steeper angle and aim for 6-8 reps. Keep clicking at a higher angle until you are close to upright or until you can’t get more than 5 reps. I like to start my chest workout with this exercise, because it hits every part of the upper chest.
2) Incline Smith Machine Presses: Then I take this same adjustable bench and bring it to the Smith machine. I set up the bench so the bar hits my clavicle at the bottom of the lift. I will choose an angle of 20 to 45 degrees. I put on a fairly light weight and my main goal is higher reps to really fatigue the muscle. This is more of a finishing move. The Smith machine ensures that I keep all the stress on the upper pecs. I find that if I use a regular incline bench press in my chest workout then I can cheat and take the stress off my upper pecs. Include the incline Smith press in your chest workout if you have access to this equipment.
3) Cable crossings: You need to include cable crossovers in your chest workout if you want to develop the line that defines your mid-chest. You can also get a similar effect using automatic flies. Dumbbell flyes are a great mass movement, but you won’t get enough tension in the center of your chest. When doing machine flyes or cable crossovers, make sure to strongly flex your mid-chest when your hands meet at the bottom of the movement.
Avoid all flat bench movements in your chest workout for a while.
If you’re like most guys in the gym, your upper pecs probably need to catch up with your middle and lower pecs. You should consider removing all flat bench movements from your chest workout for a while. I stopped all flat bench exercises for over two years and the appearance of my chest improved dramatically. Another nice benefit of leaning movements is that your shoulders will also look better.
Keep the main points in mind when setting up your chest workout.
When setting up your chest workout, you can be flexible with the exercises you use. Just make sure to focus on the boxy, angular look. Having good pecs has less to do with size and more to do with proper proportion and definition.