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Chest Training 101: Build A Chest Even Arnold Would Be Jealous Of

Chest Overview- Size & Strength

Posted by ColossusFitness - October 7th, 2015

“Chest bruh?” These would have to be the two words I hear every time I ask a friend what they feel like working on when we go to workout.

The chest, for some unknown reason, has taken dominance in the modern gym bro's life! Chest is everything. Now, when most people think chest, they think Bench Press. When someone is trying to measure your strength they will begin by asking, “How much do ya bench?”. This article is here to help you skyrocket that bench press, as well as to help you learn everything you need to know about training your chest.

This will be done in the following sections outlined in this video:

(1:23) Upper Chest Hypertrophy

(4:46) Lower Chest Hypertrophy

(7:30) Strength

Now we structured this overview very similar to our shoulder series blogs and videos. If you haven’t had the pleasure of checking those out please do so here: Colossus Fitness Blog

Therefore we divided the chest up by its sections, which are the following: upper and lower.

To make it easy we split it up to allow you to find our top three exercises for the above sections with a bonus section for strength.

Upper Chest Hypertrophy 

The upper chest is the critical component to having a huge juicy looking chest. Too often I’ll see new gym goers with a massive lower chest followed by nothing but skin and bone above. A solid chest can make or break a male's physique, whether you are looking for a bodybuilder, athlete or just average everyday gym goer 'look'. You need to make it a priority to be hitting the upper chest as hard (If not harder) than the lower chest. This will cause your chest to split and remain full all the way up to your collarbone.

Three major tips and themes, which are mentioned and explained in the opening video, are as follows:

Shoulder Strength: (2:39)

Your pushing movements, which will encompass your upper chest pushing movements, are largely assisted by the anterior deltoid. Therefore, to ensure you’re pushing adequate weight and achieving a symmetrical physique, you’re going to want to make sure you have strong and stable deltoids. If you feel you’re lacking, please refer to our shoulder blog once again.

Contraction: (3:27)

Hitting the upper chest largely relies on you to fulfill your job of achieving maximum contraction. As mentioned in the video, even if you’re doing “upper chest exercises” but not ensuring appropriate contraction and maximizing the blood flow to the upper chest, you will not see it pop out like you would hope. You want to make sure you’re doing your best to isolate and contract the upper chest as hard and efficiently as possible, to really have it grow and crease.

Angling: (1:56)

Thankfully this is pretty simple but often overlooked. To work your upper chest simply put the bench press on an incline. The higher the incline the more shoulder and upper chest engagement you will have. However, be careful not to set the bench on too high of an incline or your primary mover will now become your shoulder. If the bench is on too low of an incline, you will in turn hardly be impacting your upper chest at all.

Lower Chest Hypertrophy

Angling: (4:50)

Same as above, but instead position the bench on a decline.

Push Away: (5:27)

Instead of pushing upwards like you would to work your upper chest, push away from your face not towards. The bar should explode off the range of where your nipples lie, then travel just above your upper ribs.

Squeeze: (6:10)

Once again, there are a lot of similarities between upper and lower chest training. Well, to be honest, pretty much any muscle! To be able to really work, train, and have that muscle grow, you need to make sure you can engage the right muscle. A good tip I heard is if you can’t contract a muscle at rest, chances are you cannot isolate it fully.


Programming: (8:46)

Programming is critical to having a huge bench. Sure you can get away with newbie gains when you first come in by just going and trying to hit heavier PR’s each time with your buddies. However, what I will say is that this is not something that will cause you to gain any strength, or little to none, for intermediate to advanced lifters. That is why you need a strong benching program, some examples we have tried and enjoy are 5x5, 3x3, Bulgarian and Wendler. However I have found the 5x5 to be the most effective. You can check that out here: 5x5 Bench Update

Stability: (9:58)

A lot of newer lifters especially will have problems with their stability while benching. This can come from a multitude of reasons, however, the most common is that the person with this problem isn’t used to the movement of benching and/or has one side that is weaker or stronger and over-compensating for the other. There are some easy fixes for this! You want to begin by making sure you have similar strength and balance on both sides. Usually the pec on the side of your heart will be slightly larger so do not necessarily take this as a problem. The heart causes the muscle to be pushed out a bit farther. The easiest way to fix these stability issues is to increase your rep range, and use exercises where the arms are both individually isolated (E.g. the single arm dumbbell press).

Incorporating Strength Exercises: (7:38)

The video says it all. Just make sure to add these exercises throughout your routine based on what your weak spots are and you will see your bench skyrocket!

Alright, congratulations Natty Nation, you now have all the appropriate tools and knowledge to now build a chest that even Arnold himself would be jealous of. Of course, all that’s left is for you to get out to the gym and kill it!

If you’re looking for more chest tips, workout tips or nutrition tips please subscribe to us on youtube for dozens of monthly uploads:

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Got to work that chest!  Looks like you've covered every angle of the chest!  Nice article and videos!


@colossusfitness sure did!  These boys CRUSH IT!


awww yeah! that we did! thanks :) @heyhay5212


I love those slow tempo reps !! I use them all the time, it is the way to go !! 


Yeah @william_steinset, they make a huge difference for sure!


Arnold will be jealous of the gains made through this approach! haha


damn right he would be ;)


awesome article guys, haha i defintely need to work on my chest some more :)


thank you bro! haha well with all this information, now you can :)


Great article @colossusfitness, But Arnold is already jelly of this chizled chest 


who's? @scott_herman you must be reffering to ours 


*Safety First*Chestology is building a "Bullet Proof Chest" that consist of variation of exercise that build your chest from all angle, upper, lower, middle and side. Barbell and Dumbbell, Wires and Chest Machine, Push Up and Dip, Incline and Decline, Eat, Rest, Lift and Water.  Breath In and Breath Out. Oh Yeah Colossus Fitness! Awesome video and very informative. You guys are doing a wonderful job, keep up the awesome work! Next you too will have 500,000 viewers!


I absolutely love your comments! You describe our videos better than we do haha! I couldn't have said it better myself. Thanks for the kind words :)))


I just started reading "The New Encyclopaedia of Bodybuilding" by Arnold and drooling over his pecs. 
Incorporating this asap. Thanks @collosusfitness


Awesome, we both actually read that book. you're going to learn a lot from it :)


Awesome article @colossusfitness! Some solid info right there! Who wouldn't want to make Arnold jelly?!


Thank you brother! hahah i know right!!


Really beautiful and well presented article guys! Keep it up with these "101" articles!


really appreciate it bro! we plan to :D