How to Get a Bigger Chest (LIGHT WEIGHTS!!)

  • Published: 06 September 2017
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    If you want to build a bigger chest you are going to have to lift lighter weights. Wait, what was that? That’s right. While heavy lifting is an important part of the equation when it comes to building a bigger chest it must be complimented with some lighter training or you will not see the best chest gains that you are capable of.

    In this video, I show you why it is important to lift light weights in order to build your pecs. More importantly, I will show you exactly how to make sure you are getting this right every single time you do it. To start, it is important to stress why this is so crucial to your chest growth. First of all, any heavy bench press is usually done with the goal of simply moving the bar or the dumbbells away from your chest. The use of the triceps and shoulders to achieve this is common and the amount of work that is actually done by the chest is greatly limited.

    Throw in the fact that the exercise itself limits the actions of the chest because of the tendency to push the weights straight up and avoid the all important horizontal adduction of the shoulder that allows the chest to contribute more. This can all be fixed however and it can be done with lighter weights than usual.

    At the bottom of the press, you want to first be sure that you are putting the pecs in a position to be the primary mover in the bench press. You can do this two ways. First you want to posturally put your chest in the right position by moving your shoulders down and back. If you peek to the side you can see that the chest will become more prominent and the shoulders should settle back a bit. The chest should literally be more forward than the shoulders if you are positioned properly.

    Now, before you press you want to quickly squeeze your armpits tight to create a pre-activation of the pecs. This minor horizontal adduction of the shoulder is enough to make the chest tighten up and become the active driver of the movement from here on out. Even with just this one simple change alone you will instantly feel much more work being done by the chest and the lighter weights you are using will be enough to challenge you.

    But that is not enough. You also want to now focus on what is moving during the press. The mistake is to think about the hands or the dumbbells. It is easy to do this however because that is after all what you are pressing. Do not do this. Instead, focus on the elbows during the descent and the biceps during the press. Yes, you heard me right. The elbows should travel outward as you lower the dumbbells and the biceps should attempt to be squeezed together during the press.

    If you can get the biceps close then you are getting the upper arm close. This is horizontal adduction at its best and it is critical to a completely contracted chest. If you have to spin the dumbbells at the top to allow the arms to get even closer than that is ok too. The key is not to be fooled by the dumbbells. You may think that they are close to each other at the top of the movement but if you still have a decent bend in the elbow then the arms may not be adducted nearly as much as they can be and the chest is not contracted as hard is possible.

    With just these couple of tips you are going to see how shifting the majority of the load to the pecs (for maybe the first time ever) will require far less weight than you think to overload them. Mix in some of these lighter sets with your traditional heavier pressing and you will get far better results than had you just lifted heavy.

    It is never about what exercise you are doing but how you are doing it when it comes to getting maximal muscle gains. If you want to build muscle and get the most out of every workout, head to and use the program selector tool to find the program that is best aligned to your current fitness goals.

    For more videos on how to build a bigger chest and the best way to bench press for bigger pecs be sure to subscribe to our channel here on RUclip at
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Comments • 1 441

    ATHLEAN-X™   8 months back

    Want to win an ATHLEAN-X program for free, no strings attached? Click the link below to find out how!

    • Denis M.
      Denis M.  1 days back

      Fantastic information and training methods with the scientific explanation behind the "why" to do it this way ! Thank you !

      • Johnnie Owens
        Johnnie Owens  5 days back

        Can you imagine disliking this.

        • Freddy Johnson
          Freddy Johnson  5 days back

          FANTASTIC VIDEO !!

          • Daniel Colucci
            Daniel Colucci  5 days back

            I learn something new every video

            • Víctor Riofrío
              Víctor Riofrío  6 days back

              Thank you

              • Spencerianism
                Spencerianism  1 weeks back

                SUPER POWERS ACTIVATE!

                • The Lords Table Prophets Corner

                  I’m definitely going to start doing this Jeff thanks.

                  • Kurt Sloop
                    Kurt Sloop  1 weeks back

                    He just scienced the shit out of that

                    • JP Dayrit
                      JP Dayrit  2 weeks back

                      Awesome! Useful as always!

                      • Stephen G
                        Stephen G  2 weeks back

                        Huge fan Jeff on behalf of the serious mind body connection athletes I would like to say thank you for your ongoing advice encouragement and analysis which makes a huge difference in our workouts and how we approach them.
                        I was hoping you could give advice and tips on which exercises and how much weight is best to train for martial arts especially increasing muscle speed and mass to absorb blows while maintaining good mobility.
                        Thank you and please continue to impart your vast experience and knowledge with us all its literally priceless and it works !
                        Respect, Stephen Gormley

                        • Christ Brown
                          Christ Brown  2 weeks back

                          30 pound is light weight to you??

                          • Mr. Amaya
                            Mr. Amaya  3 weeks back

                            Awesome video

                            • J B
                              J B  3 weeks back

                              Wouldn't kettlebells allow more amplitude then?

                              • OLA0X
                                OLA0X  3 weeks back

                                Este tipo es un puto dios real!

                                • Joshua Miller
                                  Joshua Miller  4 weeks back

                                  Great workout!!!!

                                  • Greg S
                                    Greg S  4 weeks back

                                    1:36 too much technical lingo Jeff. Keep it laymen for us.

                                    • Rapid Foal
                                      Rapid Foal  4 weeks back

                                      But Jeff doesn't have a big chest AT ALL. Look at him side on. It is literally 3 inches from his back to his chest. LoL his six pack sticks out farther than his chest. The title should be "don't do this If you want a big chest." Not trying to be a dick, but anyone that has such a low body fat percent and has a little bit of muscle will look like jeff. Personally I'd rather be at 12% body fat and have muscle instead of looking like I haven't ate in a week.

                                      • Memester _
                                        Memester _  1 months back

                                        Yeah baby light weight

                                        • Semiah Father
                                          Semiah Father  1 months back

                                          Thumbs up

                                          • Sabir Ali Mir
                                            Sabir Ali Mir  1 months back

                                            It seems like press fly and in one of his video he said dont touch dumbell together because it remove the tension from your chest bcz in that position u muscles take rest and tension removes at that time.

                                            • The Seeker
                                              The Seeker  1 months back

                                              damn 30plbs is just lightweight..well this is pretty heavy for me. lol

                                              • Eddy Jimenez
                                                Eddy Jimenez  1 months back

                                                Jeff, ur goona be the couse of my divorce! Ur on my fone day n nite, wife says shes lost me to a youtube celebrity! Haaaaaa! At least ill be the fittest 63 yr old in Chicago! 😆

                                                • Ajaz Nawaz
                                                  Ajaz Nawaz  1 months back

                                                  Added like regardless

                                                  • Ajaz Nawaz
                                                    Ajaz Nawaz  1 months back

                                                    Turning the dumbells didn’t make any noticeable difference - check the video yourself

                                                    • Halvin Winata
                                                      Halvin Winata  1 months back

                                                      that black glossy dumbbell handle ❤

                                                      • MrMorlaf
                                                        MrMorlaf  1 months back

                                                        yeah check the ego at the doors guy! 'cos, right, if you can bench press two 30-lb dumbbells like that you need to be a little bit embarrassed! :-P

                                                        • vijay sreeharshan
                                                          vijay sreeharshan  2 months back

                                                          no use

                                                          • Nothing
                                                            Nothing  2 months back

                                                            Light weight baby light weight

                                                            • Harish R P
                                                              Harish R P  2 months back

                                                              All your videos are awesome (and science-backed)… I have been following and implementing your workout techniques at the gym and the results are immediately visible (in 2 weeks!). Thanks!

                                                              • Salim Patel
                                                                Salim Patel  2 months back

                                                                A real inspiration for us beginners thankyou

                                                                • Clint Basile
                                                                  Clint Basile  2 months back

                                                                  I think this is my biggest problem with working out. I without like this all of the time but don't really know how to lift heavy for maximum gains. Every time i lift heavy it's like the muscles i don't want to target are the ones that get sore.

                                                                  • Hakeem Olajuwon
                                                                    Hakeem Olajuwon  2 months back

                                                                    All that means is you need to lift lighter weights. When i lift heavy i don't have full control so i start using other parts of body to compensate instead of focusing on specific i.e. chest.

                                                                • Clint Basile
                                                                  Clint Basile  2 months back

                                                                  I keep replaying 4:05

                                                                  • focob55
                                                                    focob55  2 months back

                                                                    My man puts the WORK in workout, God damn. He knows his stuff. I will give him that.

                                                                    • Vishal Jagannath
                                                                      Vishal Jagannath  2 months back

                                                                      Holy shit this exercise made my chest BURN for the first time ever! I've benched 190 lbs (yeah yeah not much) but goddamn this shit gave me a run for my money with 25 lb dumbbells!

                                                                      • Mark Henderson
                                                                        Mark Henderson  2 months back

                                                                        Thank you Jeff , I appreciate your videos very much , I was having a hard time with my chest and this has been helping me out tremendously, thanks again man

                                                                        • Sharfin tripple
                                                                          Sharfin tripple  2 months back

                                                                          Awesome man !! I'll try it today thanks !! For your advice !

                                                                          • Heath Brockway
                                                                            Heath Brockway  2 months back

                                                                            Gimmicks, quick tips, light weights, bigger, leaner, whatever it takes to draw you in.

                                                                            • Elijah Cox
                                                                              Elijah Cox  2 months back

                                                                              *Jeff comes home from store*
                                                                              Wife and kids: Hey daddy!
                                                                              Jeff: WHAT'S UP GUYS,JEFF CAVELIER ATHLEAN X. COM

                                                                              • James Nicholson
                                                                                James Nicholson  2 months back

                                                                                I'm in the gym 3 times a week,I'm going to give this ago,but I'm into cardiovascular work,as in my heart& lungs,I keep my self very fit,I mean as fit as I can by doing the cross training machine,and believe me I sweat like a rightpig,but very good advise,il be doing this down the gym,see how it helps me.

                                                                                • John Smith
                                                                                  John Smith  2 months back

                                                                                  these videos are always helpful, not to have you rethink training all together, but just that extra little insight that might give you that extra burn, and thats what we want

                                                                                  • iamjim723
                                                                                    iamjim723  2 months back

                                                                                    this video is very helpful. ill try this method. thank you.

                                                                                    • Mike Brock
                                                                                      Mike Brock  2 months back

                                                                                      I really enjoy your videos Jeff!

                                                                                      • Brad Serafin
                                                                                        Brad Serafin  2 months back

                                                                                        Now can I split my chest workout in 2 days or ideal to workout the whole mass at once ?

                                                                                        • Brad Serafin
                                                                                          Brad Serafin  2 months back

                                                                                          Yes focus. I can not do to much heavy training I'm big enough but I have half a lung on one side so I add more as time progresses but go back to lighter to focus cause alot of times the area I want to workout feels abandoned while I'm working area like chest
                                                                                          Feels like arms are getting the work out. So I'm taking out straight bar incline and replacing it with cables from straight to all variations to 90 degree sitting up

                                                                                          • Mr Strawberries
                                                                                            Mr Strawberries  3 months back

                                                                                            My biceps are so big that they touched each other

                                                                                            • Steve White
                                                                                              Steve White  3 months back

                                                                                              I always felt like a lighter weight is more important to make the right range of motion then it is to lift a heavier weight it’s so important to lift the right way to get the right results

                                                                                              • dodavega
                                                                                                dodavega  3 months back

                                                                                                Great educator