6 Mistakes When Trying to Build a Muscular Chest
Are you trying to build a bigger chest, but are not getting the results you desire? Building a big chest requires challenging training and consistency, but there are many other factors as well. Some people make mistakes in regards to nutrition, training, or rest when they are focusing on building more muscle mass in the chest.
Elbows Flared Out When Performing Chest Exercises
Although most chest exercises will also target the front shoulder muscles (anterior deltoid), there is a way to reduce the strain on the shoulders when performing chest exercises. If your elbows are flared out when performing exercises like bench press, incline press, or decline press, you are putting more emphasis on shoulder muscles, instead of the chest. Additionally, it can be dangerous to flare your elbows out when doing an exercise like the barbell bench press, as it puts more pressure on the joints. Since there is more pressure on the joints, there is a higher risk of getting a rotator cuff injury.
Tuck your elbows in more when performing pressing chest exercises. The pectoral major and pectoral minor will be activated more when tucking your elbows in, allowing you to build more muscle and get stronger. It also gives you more leverage.
Only Doing Isolation Exercises for Chest
While isolation exercises like dumbbell flies or cable crossovers are good exercises, they are not as effective as compound movements, like barbell bench press or dumbbell bench press. Isolation movements are not as stressful on the fast twitch muscle fibers; therefore you will not build as much muscle mass. Compound movements are better exercises for building muscle mass, while isolation movements are supplementary.
Not Resting Enough
A lot of chest exercises require a lot of energy output. It is extremely crucial that you get enough sleep each day. If you do not get enough sleep, the fast twitch muscle fibers in the chest will not be able recover from hard workouts. Muscle mass is actually built when sleeping, not when training. Training merely breaks the muscle tissue down so it can grow bigger and stronger.
Rest between Sets
Make sure you get sufficient rest between sets when doing chest exercises. If you’re only resting 30 seconds between sets, for example, you will not be able get as many repetitions on your next set. Why is getting more repetitions important? More repetitions mean more muscular contractions in the chest. Muscular contractions cause muscle growth, also known as hypertrophy.
Insufficient Amounts of Calories and Protein
Your nutrition must be on point if you wish to build a bigger chest. In order to gain muscle, you need to be in a caloric surplus of about 300-500 calories. For instance, if you maintain your weight, eating roughly 3000 calories, then you need to eat 3300-3500 calories each day consistently. You could have a perfect chest routine, but if you do not eat enough food, then all that hard training will be in vain.
Also, adequate amounts of protein are required for muscle growth in the chest. About 20-30% of total calories should come from protein. Ideally, make sure the protein is from quality sources like eggs, steak, whey protein powder, and lean chicken breast. Soy protein is not a quality protein.
Using Momentum on Chest Exercises
Using momentum will negatively impact how much muscle you can build. Momentum can also cause injuries. Always make sure to lower the weights in a slow, controlled manner. Otherwise, you will not target the pectoral major muscles in the chest effectively. Do not control the weight too slowly, though, as you will use up too much energy, and will not get enough muscular contractions.
If you follow the proper protocols for building a big muscular chest, then you will reach your goals. Lack of consistency will hinder progress. As long as you train your chest properly, eat properly, and get enough sleep, you will reach your goal of building a large chest.