The Essential Guide to Training Your Upper Chest

The Essential Guide to Training Your Upper Chest

If you’ve ever wanted to find out how best to develop your upper chest, look no further than this guide.

The chest is comprised of the pectoralis major, a thick fan-shaped muscle at the front, and the pectoralis minor, which is a small triangular muscle underneath. The pectoralis major is further divided into upper (clavicular), middle (sternocostal), and lower (abdominal) parts. Although these parts work together to flex, adduct, and rotate your arms, they contribute in slightly different ways. It’s important to keep in mind that different chest movements can engage each part of the pectoralis major to a larger or smaller degree, so we can use this knowledge to our advantage.

In order to get the best overall results for pectoral strength and size development, it is traditionally recommended to work on the chest twice per week when following a weekly split. However, if you always do the same old push exercises, it’s easy to reach a plateau and thus limit your body’s ability to grow. The better and smarter approach is to exploit your ability to focus on different parts of your pectoral muscles, and target the upper chest one day and the lower chest the other.

Overview:

We will be concentrating our efforts on the upper chest in this specific routine.

The very beginning of your workout is when your body has the best chance of performing quick, powerful movements and of recruiting type-2B muscles fibers(the fast-twitch fibers that grow the biggest). Because of this, we start out with the incline bench press using resistance bands that are attached to the bar, as outlined in this video:

 

 

After the initial fatigue from the high-volume band exercises, we continue with a regular incline bench press. This time, we want strength to be the primary focus, so load as much weight as possible for just three sets of three reps. The rest of the program has a combination of super-sets with other auxiliary lifts. The very last exercise is a reverse-grip incline bench, which some studies have shown to hit 30% more upper chest fibers than any other exercise outlined in the program. For maximum gains, keep the reps going on this last set until you reach muscle failure.

The workout below was designed to emphasize the upper pectoral muscle fibers, so be sure to counterbalance it with a mid/lower chest workout routine, and alternate between the two.

 

Day 1
Exercise Sets Reps Muscle
Barbell Incline Bench Press On Bench With Band 5 25 Chest
REST 1 60 TIPS
Barbell Incline Bench Press On Bench 3 3 Chest
REST 1 45 TIPS
Super-Set
Dumbbell Incline Bench Press On Bench Both Arms 3 6 Chest
Standing Chest Fly With Band One Arm 3 10 Chest
END 0 0 TIPS
Super-Set
Standing High Cable Flys Both Arms 3 12 Chest
Standing High Cable Chest Press Both Arms 3 12 Chest
END 0 0 TIPS
Reverse Grip Incline Bench Press 1 30 Chest

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