5 Key Reasons Your Chest Isn't Growing

5 Key Reasons Your Chest Isn't Growing

Achieving your dream chest requires more than just heavy benching and measuring tape. Avoid these common training mistakes for better chest workouts that inspire and pump you up every time!

 

You might believe that determination, focus, and guts are all that's standing between you and your dream physique. That's what the influencers might tell you. However, there might be other barriers blocking your progress: training mistakes that leave you feeling disappointed and prone to injuries, rather than inspired and motivated.

 

Renowned bodybuilder and coach Dylan Thomas is here to help you fix your favorite training day of the week: chest day!

 

Mistake 1: Going Too Heavy and Hard During Warm-Up

We understand your excitement on International Chest Day, but pushing too hard while warming up can lead to diminished performance and falling short of your rep targets. Also, going too close to muscle failure during warm-ups can adversely affect your overall exercise performance.

 

A Better Way: Limber up with light weights, focus on speed and form, and gradually pyramid up in weight over 2-4 warm-up sets. Save your heaviest sets for each exercise to take them to failure without compromising your strength.

 

Mistake 2: Incorrect Flyes Technique

Building a great chest workout often starts with multi-joint movements like presses and progresses to single-joint movements like flyes. However, improper form, like bending your elbows too much, can turn flyes into more of a press and diminish their unique benefits.

 

A Better Way: Use lighter weights for flyes and cable crosses, and focus on proper form. During the lowering phase, take your hands out wide from your body to stretch your pecs effectively. If needed, use the pec-deck machine to maintain the right position.

 

Mistake 3: Using an Incline That's Too Steep

Excessively steep bench angles can shift the focus from your chest to your front delts. Optimal upper chest engagement occurs at about 30 degrees, while anything above 45 degrees primarily targets the shoulders.

 

A Better Way: Press at a 30-degree incline or use multiple descending angles, starting at around 45 degrees and adjusting it gradually to 30 degrees or slightly lower.

 

Mistake 4: Taking Too Many Sets to Failure

Pushing yourself to failure on every set may seem like the way to build a big chest, but it can suppress important growth factors and hinder progress.

 

A Better Way: Advanced lifters should limit taking only 1-2 of their heaviest sets to failure or beyond. Beginners may benefit from taking only compound exercises like presses to failure. Balance volume and intensity for optimal growth.

 

Mistake 5: Always Starting with the Bench Press

While the bench press is a classic chest exercise, relying solely on it can lead to diminishing returns over time as your body adapts.

 

A Better Way: Switch up your "big move" periodically. Try pressing dumbbells instead of barbells or start with incline or decline presses to stimulate different regions of your chest.

 

Remember, creatine is highly effective for size and strength gains. Take 5 grams daily, and watch your chest gains take off!

Back to blog