A guide to the perfect chest

Health & Fitness

A guide to the perfect chest


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Muscle Health and fitness gym trainer Ramadhan Okutoyi demonstrates how to perform squat and press at the gym on August 3, 2021. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

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Summary

  • If you ask many people what their perception of an ideal male body is, they will most probably point to a muscular, wide chest that creates an overall V-shaped torso.
  • Fitness trainer Ramadhan Okutoyi explains that the first step to building a bigger chest starts with your diet.
  • He points out that it is recommended that a person eats 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight every day.

If you ask many people what their perception of an ideal male body is, they will most probably point to a muscular, wide chest that creates an overall V-shaped torso.

For most guys then, hitting the gym is about getting that perfect upper body shape that they can flaunt and be proud of.

Fitness trainer Ramadhan Okutoyi explains that the first step to building a bigger chest starts with your diet.

Exercising is only half the battle, he says, with diet completing the other half of the fight. Protein is the go-to food if you want to gain body mass. But this does not mean that other foods, especially carbohydrates, should be ignored because they are equally important.

He points out that it is recommended that a person eats 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight every day, but when looking to build muscles, the intake should be doubled to around 1.6 grams to 2.0 grams per kilogram of bodyweight.

“Carbohydrates will ensure you have enough fuel to push harder, lift heavier and last longer during a workout while ensuring your glycogen stores do not drain,” he says.

The trainer says that the chest is made up of pectoralis muscles which connect the front walls of the chest with the bones of the upper arm and shoulder.

There are two muscles on each side of the sternum — the pectoralis major and the pectoralis minor where the former makes up most of the chest muscle while the latter is underneath the pectoralis major and helps in pulling the shoulder forward and down.

Consequently, to build huge and impressive pecs, you will need to exercise all the chest muscles. However, he advises that a person should warm up before starting any workout to activate the muscles.

Incline barbell bench press

The bench press is a chest-bulking favorite as it works the pectoralis major. To perform an incline bench press, lie back on a bench set to an incline angle and lift a barbell to shoulder height, palms facing away.

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Robinson Joel a fitness trainer at Skynet plaza in Westlands, Nairobi demonstrate incline dumbbell chest press exercise on April 5, 2022. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

“Breathe out as you press up with both arms then lock out your arms and squeeze your chest before returning slowly to the start position to create tension,” says the trainer.

Push up

A push-up can be done in many variations including the basic one, decline, diamond, wide, or one-leg. The decline push-up involves putting the feet on a higher level – bench, chair, or box – than the hands. This makes it more difficult and intense leading to better outcomes.

For diamond pushups, the technique involves having the hands closer together to form a diamond or triangular shape below the chest.

“Get into a high plank position with your weight on your hands directly beneath your shoulders and your feet close together, keeping a straight spine with your core and glutes squeezed. Lower your chest down to the floor, keeping your elbows close to your torso. Push straight off the ground up to the top position with your elbows straight. ”

Incline dumbbell chest press

The workout is an upper-body exercise targeting the pectoralis major (upper chest), as well as the triceps, and biceps.

To perform the exercise, lie on a bench with the backrest set at a 45-degree incline. Hold a pair of dumbbells above the chest with the arms straight and palms facing away.

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Robinson Joel a fitness trainer at Skynet plaza in Westlands, Nairobi demonstrate incline dumbbell chest press exercise on April 5, 2022. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

“Feet flat on the floor and butt glued to the seat while keeping the core tight and avoid arching your back, press the dumbbells up, directly above the shoulders then lower them to chest level before pressing them back up,” he explains.

The dumbbell press is preferred as it gives variations and range of motion that work better to activate and stabilize the pecs in the journey to building a bigger chest.

Cable fly

Cable fly workout adds constant tension providing stimulus to the pectorals. Attach two stirrup handles to the high-pulley cables of a cable-crossover station. Grab a handle with each hand, and stand in a staggered stance in the middle of the station.

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Robinson Joel a fitness trainer at Skynet plaza in Westlands, Nairobi demonstrate Cable fly exercise on April 5, 2022. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

The arms should be outstretched but slightly bent, lean forward slightly at the hips, and without changing the bend in your arms, bring your hands together. Slowly reverse the movement.

Chest dips

This exercise helps in burning chest fat as it works the entire upper body, the arms, shoulders, and upper back.

Grab the bars of a dip station with the palms facing inward and arms straight then slowly lower until the elbows are at right angles, ensuring they stay tucked against the body. Then drive back up to the top and repeat.

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Robinson Joel a fitness trainer at Skynet plaza in Westlands, Nairobi demonstrate Chest press exercise on April 5, 2022. PHOTO | LUCY WANJIRU | NMG

Mr Okutoyi recommends 10 reps of three sets for at least four days a week for better results while emphasizing that technique is everything.

“Slow, controlled lifts performed to fatigue produce greater rates of muscle growth than the same movement performed rapidly.”

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