I like pectorals. Chest exercises are probably my favorite, especially those that help to build muscle fast and increase the size of my chest...
...because I feel good when I can fill my t-shirt!
Are you like me?
Well it doesn't matter. What matters is that pectorals are big muscles, and if you do the right chest workout you can build mass quickly.
What Do Pectorals Look Like?
I want to give some very basic info about your chest muscles.
Your chest is composed of two muscles, one bigger (pectoralis major) and one smaller (pectoralis minor).
That being said, it's a good idea to know what chest exercises you should consider when you write down your workout routine to cover both of them and build a nice shaped muscle.
As you can see from the picture, pectoralis minor is located underneath pectoralis major. You can't really see it, but if you manage to grow that then it can push the pectoralis major out, giving you the look of a full chest.
What Chest Exercises Should I Include in My Workout?
The good think about pectorals is that it's a big muscle, and when you train it well you stress a lot of muscle fibers.
If you've read Lift Heavy Weights to Boost Testosterone you already know that the bigger the muscle you train, the more fibers you stress, the more your body reacts by increasing testosterone and human growth hormone production.
Higher testosterone and HGH means big muscle gains. That's why you should never neglect legs workout.
Fortunately for us, most of the exercises for chest are compound exercises, which are always the best option if you want to build muscle faster.
All the presses work out the whole chest muscle, from the barbell bench press to the dumbbell bench press in all their variations (flat, incline and decline). Also the chest press machine is a good chest workout, but being a machine it limits the freedom of movement and doesn't train you to work out those smaller muscles that help you gain balance and stability.
Using dumbbell instead is going to work your pectorals equally developing the same strength on both sides, and involve different minor auxiliary stability muscles. Dumbbells exercises require more concentration though because they come with bigger risks of injury.
If you have time, you can also include some isolation exercises for your chest in your routine. Dumbbell flyes, or cable flyes are good examples, even tho I don't find them too effective to build mass.
It's also a good practice to alternate your chest workout by including some upper chest workout (usually obtained with incline bench exercises) and lower chest workout (with decline bench).
Decline bench exercises are good to develop a good looking line on your lower chest, but I don't think they are in the category of "best chest exercises" to build muscle fast.
If you want to work out your lower chest though, I would suggest exercises like decline barbell/dumbbell bench press, decline dumbbell flyes and especially dips with wider grip bending your body forward a little bit.
How Often Should I Work Out My Chest?
You can train small muscles quite often, even every 2 or 3 days. Because they're small they don't take long to recover and be fully ready for a new workout session.
But our chest is composed of big muscles that take longer to recover. Of course recovery time depends on your age, the younger the quicker, but generally speaking, I would suggest to include one day a week of chest exercises in your workout routine.
I don't work out my chest more than once a week to avoid over training and its consequences.
Hey, maybe you can work out your chest every 5 days and it's fine, but if you follow a weekly routine it becomes difficult.
Now that I think of it, it could be an option actually. Work out one day and take two days off and so on, no matter which week it is. That way you can end up with 10 workout sessions a month instead of 8 (considering a classic 2 day split workout) and that would be perfectly fine without over training.
But we will discuss about workout routines separately.
Another factor to keep in mind is that most of the exercises for your chest involve triceps and shoulders workout. It's good practice to train these three muscles on the same day.
Best Chest Exercises