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Struggling to build your chest? How to overcome ‘pigeon chest’ problems…


Flat Chest & No Confidence…

young nick screeton - sheffield personal trainer - online persona trainer 0 LEP Fitness

For years and years I hated the way my chest looked, it was flat and far from the ‘superhero barrel chest’ I had always wanted.

I tried everything from lifting heavy weights, to following workouts from Mens Health and Flex magazine. Nothing seemed to work. I just could not seem to stimulate my pecs for love nor money!

It was frustrating beyond belief and something just had to change (I was not content with giving in!)

Finally some Pecs!

Struggling to build your chest? How to overcome 'pigeon chest' problems - nick screeton - sheffield - fitness instructor - sheffield based personal trainer - fitness trainer in sheffield - online personal trainer - fitness coach - build pecs

Over the years i’ve learned a ton of secrets, tips and golden nuggets which have helped me cultivate a chest which i’m largely very happy with.

I’ve paid some of the top UK coaches to help me. I’ve trialled pretty much every strategy going. I’ve also studied the pectoral anatomy extensively  and looked at some of the issues that prevent us from growing a bigger chest.

I now have a bunch of tools which have helped me enormously and I want to share them with you…

I don’t want you to go through the years of heartache and frustration I had to go through!

What Do the Pecs Do?

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The pectorals are predominantly used to control the movement of the arm, with the contractions of the pectoralis major pulling on the humerus to create lateral, vertical, or rotational motion. The pectorals also play a part in deep inhalation, pulling the ribcage to create room for the lungs to expand (1).

Common Problems with Building The Pecs & Solutions…

Getting the Pecs Ready for Battle…

Something else which has helped me enormously…

A ‘pre session shoulder mobility warm up’  – this helps warm up the shoulder joints, and promotes scapula retraction (pulling the shoulders back) – which encourages more chest stimulation. The warm up below puts you in a better position to stimulate pecs and reduces the risk of injury.

Here’s the shoulder mobility warm up routine which I do before every chest session.

Pec Release Tool Kit

The following tools can be used to help release tight pecs. These can be used pre, intra or post workout to help improve stimulation, performance and recovery.

Here’s a great video showing you how to use a Thera Cane on the pecs…

Training Frequency…

Practice makes perfect. Training your pecs 1x per week (international chest day!) is just not going to cut it if you want a robust barrel chest full of strength and power! If you want to get good at something you have to practice – the same can be applied to improving a weak muscle. 

If building your chest is your number 1 priority make-sure you actually prioritise it! Ensure it’s the first muscle to be hit in your workout and increase your training frequency i.e going from 1 to 2 sessions per week and then potentially to 3 sessions p/w.

For the past 6 months i’ve trained chest 2-3x per week.

The split i’m using at the moment:

  • Monday – chest, back (1)
  • Tuesday – quads, hamstrings, calves
  • Wednesday – chest, back (2)
  • Thursday – abs + arms
  • Friday – REST

Wrapping up….

I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed putting it together for you. Hopefully you’ve learned a thing or two which will help you build that chest you’ve always wanted.

As the human body is supremely complicated (that’s putting it mildly) there may also be other factors which are inhibiting your overall chest development.

No matter your experience or fitness level I would always recommend investing in private coaching and seeking specialist help. Whether that’s 1-1 coaching, or going to see a chiropractor or physio. Just make-sure to do your research before hiring.

Please feel free to ask any questions (leave your comment below) and if this post has helped please share with a friend. It’s all about sharing the love! If you’d like more specific guidance from a coach with nearly 7,000 hrs worth of coaching experience give me a holla I would love to help…

For more of Nick’s blog’s please visit https://www.lepfitness.co.uk/blog/

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