4 Simple Chest Exercises to Build Huge Pecs Fast (with Pictures)

By Kyle Milligan / March 13, 2017
4 Simple Chest Exercises to Build Huge Pecs Fast

You want a bigger chest, but you're not sure where to start. It's super easy to spot novice lifters chugging away on endless sets of cable crossovers, hoping for larger pecs. There is a lot of conflicting information on the topic. That's because everyone wants a bigger chest. You can find tons of variants of chest exercises like chest flies, cable and dumbbell workouts, decline stuff; it's enough to make your head explode, am I right? No worries, I like to keep chest exercises crazy simple. I am going to give you a list of the best chest exercises ever. This plan is great for beginner lifters and experienced alike. This is a chest workout guide for anyone who has a chest.

The Best Workout for Chest to Make Your Pecs Bigger

incredible hulk big chest muscles

Let's keep it simple. I won't confuse you with a ton of different chest exercises and variants. I'm just going to give you the best chest workout for mass as I know it. We will only mention 4 chest exercises. They are:

  1. Incline Barbell Bench Press
  2. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
  3. Flat Barbell Bench Press
  4. Dips for Chest​

I do it this way because fitness is simple. You lift heavy weights. This creates micro tears in your muscle fibers. Afterwards you rest (or you should), you eat some food (or you should), and you sleep enough (...you should) and your body repairs your damaged muscles. The muscles rebuild themselves stronger to better handle the stress of lifting heavy weights. This is creates "hypertrophy."

Hypertrophy - noun. The enlargement of an organ or tissue from the increase in size of its cells.

So now you see, all you have to do to get bigger chest muscles is create micro tears in your muscle fibers and induce hypertrophy. The best way to do that perform your chest exercises with heavy compound lifts. Another tip: For this chest workout to give you the most mass possible, you'll want to keep your rep count right around 6. Except for dips (which I'll explain) you want your chest workout to be failing at rep number 6. 

Chest Exercise 1: Incline Barbell Bench Press

When to perform: Incline barbell bench press is one of the best chest exercises ever. I like doing incline bench at the start of my day, when I'm fresh. By putting incline first, when I have the most energy, I have been able to significantly improve my incline bench press strength and mass. This allows you to have the best workout for chest, and keep it extremely simple. I have watched my workings sets grow from around 155 lbs when I started to over 200 lbs. This kind of improvement will get you huge pecs fast. 

Why Incline Barbell Bench Press: Studies have shown that barbell exercises are best for increasing strength (compared to smith machines and dumbbells) by about 17%! That makes incline barbell bench press a great chest exercise for tearing muscle fibers up and building big, beautiful pecs.

How to Perform / Form: I really can't stress form enough for these chest exercises. And in cases where your shoulders are at risk under heavy weight, I realllly want to stress form, and then stress it again. If you are a true blue beginner, you may get away with this while you move up in strength and weight. Once you are pushing 200+ lbs, you risk serious shoulder injury.

Incline Barbell Bench Press Form Chest Exercise
  • Step 1: Sit back on the bench
  • Step 2: Lock your shoulder blades back. This should draw your shoulders back and create a natural arch in the small of your back. You should be able to fit a fist between your back and the bench.
  • ​Step 3: With your shoulders locked back, grip the bar at just a little wider than shoulder width apart. Squeeze the bar tightly. For the best results, grip the barbell like you are trying to bend it into a bow.
  • Step 4: Inhale while you lower the bar ALL THE WAY TO YOUR CHEST. Touch your chest, touch your chest, touch your chest. Do NOT bounce the weight. Don't bounce the weight, don't bounce the weight, don't bounce the weight. ​
  • Step 5: Exhale as you straighten your arms out. Do not move your shoulders forward. Keep your shoulders locked back and your back arched.

(You'll want to make sure you have some solid wrist wraps for these lifts. I use these guys and I love 'em.)

Chest Exercise 2: Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

When to perform: I do my incline dumbbell press directly after my incline barbell press. I like to do these while I still have a decent amount of energy left because getting into form with dumbbells requires some effort. You have to pick up the dumbbells, sit, then get them to your chest. I don't want to do that and then try to exercise my chest when I'm exhausted.

Why Incline Dumbbell Bench Press:​ Stability and symmetry. The same study I referred to in incline barbell bench press showed increased bicep activity for dumbbell presses, compared to smith machine and barbell presses. That's because dumbbells are kind of willy nilly. It's up to you to keep them from flying all over the place. Chest exercises using dumbbells trigger stabilizer muscles. 

Symmetry is much more important for dumbbells than barbell. For instance, if one of your sides is significantly weaker than the other, you can compensate with barbells. That's not true for dumbbells. If you are pressing 90 lbs with your right hand, your left hand must also be able to press 90 lbs.

How to Perform / Form:​ Dumbbell chest exercises require greater care than barbells. You heard me right. You need to be much more careful with how you handle your dumbbells. Most people completely space out on lifting fundamentals until their butt is on the bench. You can't do that with dumbbells! You risk injuring your back or shoulders!

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press Chest Exercise

  • ​Step 1: Locate your dumbbells. Greet them. Treat them with respect.
  • Step 2: Respectfully pick up your dumbbells. People all the time bend over very casually (sometimes lifting one leg up to do so! I've seen it!) and just scoop up very heavy dumbbells. You wouldn't do that with a barbell or deadlift or anything else that was heavy. Don't do it with dumbbells. Don't just bend at the waist and grab dumbbells. Treat them like the weights they are. Bend at the knee. Keep your back straight. If they are on the floor, lift your dumbbells as though you were deadlifting them. 
  • Step 3: Approach and sit down at incline bench. Dumbbells propped on your knees. 
  • Step 4: Make sure your grip is secure, then lean back and pop the dumbbells from your knees to your chest. This should be an explosive movement. You don't want to find yourself trying to curl your dumbbells up to your chest. 
  • Step 5: Lock your shoulder blades back. Like with barbell, this should draw your shoulders back and create a natural arch in the small of your back. You should be able to fit a fist between your back and the bench.
  • ​Step 6: With your shoulders locked back, exhale as you press the weights up over your chest. Do not roll your shoulders forward. If they move, you need to drop weight.
  • Step 7: Inhale as you lower the dumbbells all the way to your chest. Don't try to see how low you can drop your elbows. Stop when your elbows are about at the same spot as your shoulder blades. ​
  • Step 8. Push weight back up. Repeat. 

Chest Exercise 3: Flat Barbell Bench Press

When to perform: Here it is! I bet you've been waiting to see this classic chest exercise since the start of this list. I save the flat barbell bench press until later in my routine because generally this is a heavier lift than incline. Even fatigued, you are still capable of putting up whatever you lifted for incline and lift it for flat bench. This way, you keep using heavy enough weight through all your chest exercises to create micro tears and hypertrophy. 

Why Flat Barbell Bench Press: Flat barbell bench press is a staple of chest routines, and for good reason. It's highly effective because you can load up relatively heavy weight for this set, and your chest size and strength will respond with dramatic fashion.

How to Perform / Form: Flat barbell bench press is basically identical form as incline bench press; just flat. Abide all the same rules. 

Flat Barbell Bench Press Chest Workout
  • Step 1: Lay back on the bench
  • Step 2: Draw your shoulder back and lock your shoulder blades. You want an arch in your lower back. All of your weight should be on your shoulder blades and butt. 
  • ​Step 3: When I grip the bar for regular bench press, I usually grip just a fraction narrower than I do with incline. Not a significant amount, though. Squeeze the bar tightly and pretend you are going to bend it like a bow.
  • Step 4: Inhale as you lower the bar all the way to your chest. Do not bounce the weight. Do not lift your butt of the bench.
  • Step 5: Exhale as you straighten your arms out. Your body should not move. It shouldn't wiggle or jerk or thrash about. Your feet should be still. A lot of people say keep your heels on the floor, but I've never been able to do that. I'm always on my toes. At the end of your motion, do not move your shoulders forward. Keep that arch in your back and keep those shoulder blades locked back. 

Chest Exercise 4: Dips for Chest

When to perform: Dips as a chest exercise? Absolutely. Dips are great for your chest workout. I do dips last because you can crank out a ton of them, even when totally fatigued. I perform almost all of my exercises at the 6 rep range. However, dips can go on for days and I hate that. I want to knock out my 6 reps and be done with it, so I wear a weighted belt when I perform dips. I still end up doing 15 reps per set. I may up my weight soon and try to get my reps down to 10. 

Why Dips for chest: Believe it or not, dips engage your chest. Also, they hit your supporting chest muscles, especially triceps.

How to Perform  Dips for Chest: To make sure your chest gets the most out of your dips, set your grips to wide grip (if you can) and make sure you are leaning forward when you perform your sets. Go as low as you comfortably can. Push out as many dips as you can until failure. Because I don't want to be up there doing 20 or 30 reps, I wear a weight belt. It's really your preference.

Dips Weighted Chest Workout
  • Step 1: Grip bars. Straighten arms out. 
  • Step 2: Draw your feet up from the platform so that all your weight is being supported by your arms. Lean slightly forward.
  • ​Step 3: While leaning forward, inhale as you dip your body as low as you can comfortably go. Don't go so low as to hurt your shoulders.
  • Step 4: Exhale as you press yourself up and straighten your arms out. I like to lock my arms out for that extra bit of tricep burn. Then repeat.


That's all there is to it! 4 simple and classic exercises to build your chest even bigger. The real key to see the best results is to progressively add more weight once you are able to perform 6 or more reps. Otherwise, you won't create enough new micro tears for further growth.

What are some of your favorite chest exercises? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!​

4 Simple Chest Exercises to Build Huge Pecs Fast (with Pictures)
Article Name
4 Simple Chest Exercises to Build Huge Pecs Fast (with Pictures)
You want a bigger chest, but you're not sure where to start. Read this for a simple routine with workouts to get bigger pecs.
About the author

Kyle Milligan

I'm Kyle Milligan. I really enjoy writing. I wrote a couple novels (The Hang-Ups and Hangovers series) and now I blog frequently on a bunch of different websites. I also enjoy lifting heavy things and and writing about it.

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