Beginners Guide To Building Your Chest

Beginners Guide To Building Your Chest
Learn chest anatomy and function, and build the upper, middle and lower chest with these 5 amazing workout routines from Betancourt's Alex Stewart.

Chest workoutsDoes your chest resemble a sheet of plywood instead of the mountains of muscle you have always wanted? Do you spend countless hours on the bench press with no gains in size? Have you started to think that you were just no meant to have a big chest?

Well stop right there, you're wrong. I can’t promise you will ever have the chest of the great Arnold Schwarzenegger, but I can promise you can make a difference to your chest and put some great size on it if you are willing to just hear me out.

In the article below I will discuss the anatomy of the chest, its function, location in the body and some exercises for each area of the chest. Finally, and what you have been waiting for, I will include 5 of my favorite chest workout programs to help turn your flat chest into massive slabs of muscle.

The chest is made up of 2 muscles that work together to make the chest function. These muscle are the Pectoralis Major and Pectoralis Minor. Basically the Pectoralis Minor is located directly under the Pectoralis Major.

Location: Starts at the clavicle inserts at the sternum and the armpit area (Humerous).

Function: 3 different functions:

  • Side arm pitching motion.
  • Bring your arm up and down at your sides.
  • Arm wresting motion.

Exercises: Bench Press and Flys.

Though the chest is made up of one single mass of muscle it should be trained like it was broken into 3 parts. The Upper, Middle and Lower portions of the chest are stimulated best from changing the angle in which you execute the exercise.

The Upper Chest is best stimulated from exercises done on a 30-45 degree incline bench. For example, Incline Barbell and Dumbbell Bench Press or Incline Dumbbell Flies are great Upper Chest exercises.

The Middle Chest is best stimulated from exercises done on a flat bench. For Example Flat Barbell and Dumbbell Bench Press or Flat Dumbbell Flies are great Middle Chest exercises.

The Lower Chest is best stimulated from exercises done on a 30-45% decline bench. For Example Decline Barbell and Dumbbell Bench Press or Decline Dumbbell Flies are great Lower Chest exercises.

I find all areas of the chest respond best in the beginning to low (4-6) or moderate (8-12) rep ranges. Rarely, I will include higher rep ranges for beginners, as I believe the heavier weight helps build a more solid foundation that beginners need. I also find that free weights should be your entire focus in the beginning, especially if chest is a weak point for you. The free weights just develop the chest a lot better than machines do in my opinion.

Now that you understand about what muscles make up your chest, their function, location and the rep range needed to stimulate them, let’s give you some workouts to help you build your chest.

All exercises should be performed in perfect form because bad form or habits that you start now will follow you and will lead to lack of progress or worst off injury in the future. Many if not all the exercises will be new to you. So make sure that you use the Exercise Guide on to help you with your form.

Chest workouts

5 Chest Building Workout Programs

1. Upper Chest Day

* The lowering portion of the exercise should take 5-10 sec.

2. Middle Chest Day

*The lowering portion of the exercise should take 5-10 sec.

3. Lower Chest Day

* The lowering portion of the exercise should take 5-10 sec.

4. Barbell Strength Day

*Lean forward to in gage your chest.

5. Dumbbell Size Day

*Lean forward to engage your chest.

These 5 workouts I use to this day. They help bring up my chest which has been a weak point for me since my shoulder surgery back in 2005. Yes, I am using more weight than when I started but basic free weight workouts are the best for putting on dense thick muscle mass in your chest that you have always been looking for. I want you to pick one of the workouts above and use it for 4-6 weeks trying to increase the weight each workout (while still using perfect form), then rotate to a different chest workout and repeat the process.

Now comes the fun part, “It's Chest Building Time”. You have your knowledge and your workouts are laid out for you so “JUST GO LIFT.”

Alex Stewart is the Sales Manager for Betancourt Nutrition Supplements. For more information on Betancourt Nutrition supplements, click here.

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About The Author
Once I saw how lifting could change my body, my passion turned to bodybuilding. I loved the feeling of pushing my body to its physical limits.

23 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Tue, 02/25/2014 - 02:35

I have flabby flesh on my chest. I want them flat and wide.
How could i do it ? Please help.

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Posted Tue, 05/10/2016 - 15:56

Just use the flat barbell lifts and the flys to start out with and that should help you alot

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Posted Thu, 01/30/2014 - 20:54

Do I do all of these exercises in one day or over a period of time?

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Posted Thu, 06/20/2013 - 02:24


Can i do all of that chest exercise in one day and alternate it with other parts of the body after 2 days and do it again all in one day?

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Posted Fri, 06/28/2013 - 17:34

I'm not an expert, but I wouldn't do them all in one Day. Why? You're gonna have to lift really light on top of the fact that will be a lot of Reps when you add them all up and he talked about not doing too many Reps. I am gonna try these workouts, I hope you do too.


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Posted Tue, 05/21/2013 - 17:10

Hi, can any body tell me the parts of the chest and what kind of work
out that i need to do to get a nice chest :-)

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Posted Tue, 04/30/2013 - 11:08

i am having size difference that my right chest is 1 inch less then my less how can i recover that

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Posted Sun, 03/31/2013 - 10:53

can i work on my chest 2 time in a week or is tht a bad idea?

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Posted Sun, 10/28/2012 - 05:27
vernon pickett

as a begginer fantastic videos and easy to follow instuctions great

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Posted Tue, 08/21/2012 - 19:05

dont mean to be a troll however its 'engage' no 'in gage'

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Posted Tue, 04/01/2014 - 07:52


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Posted Sun, 03/18/2012 - 16:56

Can someone tell me where the flat bench with 21' fits into muscle construction? Thanks

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Posted Thu, 03/01/2012 - 22:37
lenny zenatti

good job!

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Posted Wed, 02/15/2012 - 17:03

so would it be counterproductive if I do one of the 5 once a week and rotate them?

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Posted Wed, 01/25/2012 - 21:07

what about for man boobs

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Posted Thu, 01/12/2012 - 04:43

Can i do Pushups/Dips everyday at the beginning of these workout ?
As after doing the first three exercise my muscle gets breakdown & then if i do pushup/dips my hand shivers & i fall :(

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Posted Sun, 12/18/2011 - 14:55

do you do 1 of these workouts per week or 1-5 everyday?

Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 12/21/2011 - 15:41

One every 5-7 days.

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Posted Sun, 12/04/2011 - 14:41

i used this routine for 4 weeks doing one chest workout twice a week and i got soar all those times i did chest,and i increased from doing 180 3 times at the end of my bench press now i can do it 7 times.

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Posted Mon, 11/28/2011 - 15:51

When doing these workouts, what percentage of your max should be used

Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 12/14/2011 - 15:23

Using good form, always push yourself on every set. When you can perform the recommended number of reps for a set, add weight.

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Posted Sun, 10/30/2011 - 14:30

I would like to know how heavy I should go if I want a flat chest, I don't want a bulky chest

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Posted Tue, 10/23/2012 - 17:50

then dont train chest, or use a program whihc will focus mostly on certain parts of the chest.