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Build A Stronger & Bigger Chest With 3 Simple Changes

Joe Fazer has built a reputation for overcoming some of the challenges of putting on muscle. A self-described “skinny guy”, he struggled for years with bulking, but he cracked it in the end. And his almost 800,000 YouTube subscribers are testament to that. He may have finally got the hang of bulking, but he isn’t stopping there.

Recently Joe set himself a new area to work on — his chest. While his lifts are more than respectable Joe is his own worst critic and has never been entirely satisfied with how much he could bench press. With a squat PB of 150kg and a 180kg deadlift, he was still disappointed with his bench press coming in at under 100kg.

So, Operation Bigger Chest was go. After three months, the results are impressive — Here’s what Joe has done to achieve them.

Tip #1

Stop bench pressing. This might sound counter-productive, but there’s method behind it. Stick with us.

Like many gym-goers, Joe focused on exercises because of their reputation rather than whether they worked for him. Joe would hit the bench press every upper body day without fail, but never with much success.

In the last few months he’s steered away from the bench press and switched to an incline dumbbell press instead. Having never felt much activation with the standard bench press, the switch allowed Joe to feel a fuller range of motion and better activation across his pecs. And while still focusing on progressive overload, Joe’s been able to lift heavier and heavier, going from 24kg to 38kg in a matter of months.

Joe promises you’ll love it, but we’ll let you be the judge of that.

Tip #2

Next up on the journey to a bigger chest — add an extra chest session. This sounds like a simple fix, and it is.

Traditionally Joe was on a four day a week upper/lower split, which looked like this:

  • Monday – upper
  • Tuesday – lower
  • Wednesday – rest
  • Thursday – upper
  • Friday – lower
  • Saturday – rest
  • Sunday – rest

But over the last three months he’s added an additional push day, so now his split looks like this:

  • Monday – upper
  • Tuesday – lower
  • Wednesday – rest
  • Thursday – upper
  • Friday – lower
  • Saturday – push
  • Sunday – rest

Adding this extra volume to his split has helped develop his physique. Over-training isn’t going to help anyone reach their goals, so Joe goes a bit lighter on additional sessions to avoid putting too much strain on shoulders. He instead focuses on achieving a mind-muscle connection to achieve the desired burn.

Tip #3

Last, but certainly not least, Joe stopped doing standing incline cable flies and instead started doing seated cable flies. This looks like a minor change, but he thinks the change has allowed him to feel a greater mind-muscle connection and greater activation across his chest.

Here’s what he recommends:

  • Add three sets to the end of your session for optimal burn.
  • Set one: this will be your heaviest set; perform until failure
  • Rest for two mins
  • Set two: go slightly lighter; again perform until failure
  • Rest for two mins
  • Set three: go slightly lighter again; perform until failure

Really squeeze your pecs throughout the movement, and your chest will really feel it. In a good way.

Take Home Message

Joe’s struggled with putting on muscle in the past, so if you’re looking to build muscular size, he’s worth listening to. Three months after making these three simple adjustments, he’s finally reached a three-digit bench press and has seen some growth in his chest too. Let’s see where he goes from here.

 



Emily Wilcock

Emily Wilcock

Writer and expert

Emily is studying Business Management & Marketing at the University of Birmingham and is currently on her intern year. She has a keen interest in both writing and fitness, so is happy she can now combine the two. She likes to spend time with her friends, both in & out of the gym.


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