To build chest muscles quickly, stimulate growth with high frequency training (HFT) and challenge the muscle through its primary function.
The primary function of the pecs is horizontal adduction of the shoulder joint, which is what you do during dumbbell flyes or the pec deck exercise. The problem with these exercises is that they can beat up the shoulder joints when done frequently.
So my go-to exercise for chest growth is relatively new. It's called the Swiss ball squeeze, and it's proven to be the most effective way to build pecs while preserving shoulder health.
Stand and hold a large Swiss ball between your elbows. The ball should be big enough to keep the elbows wider than shoulder-width apart when you squeeze it with maximum effort. Do it as though you're mimicking a pec deck exercise. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees and keep the upper arms parallel to the floor.
- Frequency: 6 days a week (take the seventh day off)
- Sets: 5 sets a day
- Rest: 60 seconds between sets
- Duration: Start with a 20-second maximum squeeze for each set, and then add 5 seconds to the squeeze every third day. So days 1 and 2 will be a 20-second squeeze; days 3 and 4 a 25-second squeeze; days 5 and 6 a 30-second squeeze, etc. Continue with this sequence until you work up to a 60-second squeeze.
It will take you three weeks to reach a 60-second squeeze, and you'll achieve more chest growth in that time than you have in any other three-week stretch.
Can I Still Bench Press and Do Dips?
Do this exercise in addition to your current chest training, either during your workout or as a stand-alone mini session. If you want even more chest growth at the end of the three weeks, use the same progression and go from 60 seconds to 100 seconds for each set.
As a bonus, I always have my clients squeeze their glutes maximally during this exercise. So at the end of the three-week phase their glutes are significantly larger as well. Two birds, one Swiss ball.