How much weight should I lift to get my chest bigger?


Progression and periodization are the keys to getting any muscle bigger.

  • Progression is the means by making progress every single workout.  This can be more weight but this can also mean more reps or less time in between sets.  The only way to gauge your progress is if you write down your workouts on paper, record them, keep them consistent and make improvements within each workout
  • Periodization is the method of changing your training systematically.  You can only follow the same workout until you reach a plateau or get injured.  Progressing through your workouts through different periods is the best way to break through plateaus.  If you follow the NASM model you may have periods of stabilization endurance, strength endurance, hypertrophy, maximal strength and even power.  Progressing through each period will give different adaptations that will end up giving you the best overall fitness.

The thing to remember about lifting weights is if you keep doing the same thing all the time your body will adjust and you will hit a plateau.  Being in the hypertrophy phase is the best way to increase overall skeletal muscle but going through different phases allows for improvement in other areas that all together can lead to more growth in your chest.

Hypertrophy training and progressing through that generally will last for about 4 to 8 weeks.  At that point you can either progress into maximal strength training, into power or stabilization training and then go back to the next burst of hypertrophy training later in the year.  Hypertrophy training works best in bursts!

If you’re working on size then pick one strength exercise and lift a weight 75 to 85% max, 3-5 sets, 6-12 reps, with a tempo of 2-0-2, with a rest period in between sets of 0 to 60 seconds.

To increase the size of the muscles you should lift a weight which is between 75%-85% of your one repetition maximum. A one repetition maximum, often referred to as a one rep max, is the amount of weight you can lift only one time with good form and proper control. In order to safely perform the training, it is necessary for first work on your body’s ability to stabilize joints through stabilization training. Another important factor concerning muscle growth is the volume. For muscle growth (hypertrophy), you will want to use a higher volume such as three to five sets of six to twelve repetitions.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.