Turn Your Flat Chest Around With This Information!
March 24th 2020
If you ever felt that your chest won’t grow no matter what you do, it’s time to look at your overall program and approach to training.
You might feel that no matter how many chest exercises, or sets on the bench press you do, it doesn’t lead to any changes or growth of your chest.
This may be due to simple factors like you simply aren’t giving it enough time, to complex ones that require you to re-evaluate your nutrition.
The chest is a difficult muscle to grow because of how large it is compared to other most of the other muscles in the body.
Other muscles such as your biceps, triceps, and deltoids, can be fatigued quicker and more easily because they are smaller and can only handle so much load.
But your chest is large and can handle a lot more than you might expect.
With that being said, here are a few of the most common reasons why your chest might not be growing:
- Poor programming
- Not training hard enough
- Insufficient nutrition
We will go into detail on all these factors throughout the rest of the article.
Following a poorly made program is a surefire way to ensure that you will be overtraining, undertraining, or doing the wrong exercises required to grow your chest.
Starting off at the gym is difficult because you don’t really know what you are doing.
If you are just following your friend’s program that he made with little no research, it’s no wonder you might feel that your chest won’t grow no matter what.
And what’s even worse is if you aren’t following any program at all. If you are just going to the gym willy-nilly and lifting an arbitrary amount of weight, there is no way your body will grow.
A good program has the right exercises, lists pre-programmed sets and repetitions for you to follow, and has a way for you to progress.
A good program will allow you to slowly increase your weight/intensity week by week so that you are giving your body the stimulus it needs to grow.
If the program you are currently following does not allow this, then you should try and find a different program that is more suitable for growth.
One of the programs that we recommend here is Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe.
Starting Strength lists all the exercises you should do, how to do them, the amount of weight, sets, and reps that you should follow, as well as how you should progressively increase the intensity.
In addition, the exercises included in starting strength are compound exercises that target multiple muscle groups increasing your overall strength and size a lot more efficiently than isolation exercises which only target small muscle groups.
These are the same exercises that professional bodybuilders Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronnie Coleman did to help them win Mr. Olympia.
Not training hard enough
Another reason why your chest won’t grow no matter what may be because you are not training hard enough.
If you are stopping short of your targeted reps, taking a day off from the gym because you feel “tired”, or cutting your workouts short, the inconsistency will lead you in a cycle of experiencing little to no gains.
This could lead you to feel even more frustrated with your lack of progress which will make you even less motivated to go to the gym.
While you are in the gym, it is important that you are pushing yourself and working at least 70% of your maximum effort.
There is no way to easily calculate this, it is something that you must reflect on and discover from within.
If you notice yourself skipping days, or skipping exercises to go home early, figure out where your priorities lie and why you are going to the gym in the first place.
You may want to get stronger and don’t care how long it takes. In that case, then do whatever you are currently doing, but don’t complain when you don’t see much progress for a long time.
On the flip side, if you want to get bigger in a short amount of time, you must develop the discipline to put yourself in the gym and perform all your exercises to your maximum ability.
As professional bodybuilder Ronnie Coleman once said, “Everybody wants to be a bodybuilder, but don't nobody wanna lift no heavy a** weight.”
Take responsibility for your training and results.
If your goal is strength or a good physique, it is something that you must work hard in order to achieve.
If it were easy, nobody would be doing it.
Where I find most beginners struggle with is nutrition.
If you feel that your chest isn’t growing, chances are, you are not eating enough or not taking in what your body needs.
Nutrition is important for bodybuilding and strength training because it is what our body breaks down and utilizes to build our muscles.
If you are lacking in the essential nutrients needed to build muscle, then you will build muscle slowly and you will be weaker in the long run. Even if you are doing everything correctly in the gym.
Nutrition is a hard subject for beginners because it is an advanced concept that beginner lifters shouldn’t touch on until they are used to going to the gym consistently.
I recommend that only when you have been going to the gym consistently for at least 6 months, that you should implement my nutrition suggestions in this section.
So, if you are a complete beginner who has not been consistently going to the gym for at least 6 months, then I suggest skip this section and come back to it in the future once you’ve reached 6 months of consistency.
If you are already consistent, then read on.
If you want to grow big, you have the give your body the fuel it needs to grow.
This can be seen in form of calories or macronutrients.
But before you can understand calories and macronutrients, you need to first understand your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) or Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).
Day to day, your body burns a minimum amount of calories in order to fuel your body so that you can survive (breath, talk, walk, etc.).
This is known as your basal metabolic rate.
You can use this calculator to estimate your basal metabolic rate.
In order for your body to gain weight and build muscle, you must be eating more calories than your basal metabolic rate.
This is known as a caloric surplus.
Anything out of a caloric surplus, your body is in maintenance meaning it is not building muscle, or it is on a deficit which means it is burning fat but also muscle at the same time.
And to go a step further, just because you are reaching your caloric goal does not mean you are giving your body what it needs to maximize growth.
This is because calories can be further down into macronutrients, of which there are three: Carbohydrates, fats, and protein.
The most important macronutrient that you need to make sure you are getting enough of in order to maximize your muscular growth is protein.
Fat and Carbohydrate amount can vary and are based on personal preference on what types of food you like eating, as well as what energy system you are more comfortable with.
You see, calories and macronutrients go hand in hand.
If you reach your macronutrient goals, then you will be reaching your calories.
However, if you are reaching your caloric goal, it does not mean that you are reaching your macronutrient goals.
This is why specifically tracking macronutrients is important to maximize muscle growth.
By doing so, you will be able to track how much protein you need to take in on a daily basis in order to grow muscle.
Chances are, if your chest refuses to grow, it may be because you are not taking in enough protein for it to grow sufficiently.
To summarize, the most common reasons why a beginner might see a lack of chest growth is due to poor programming, not working hard enough in the gym, and with a poor diet.
By identifying which area you are in weak in, you can take the appropriate steps and adjust your approach so that your chest can grow.
Stick to the basics. Follow a proven and well-defined program, eat a healthy diet rich in protein, and push yourself hard in the gym.
If you follow this advice, over time, you will see your chest start to grow.
What is the rush?
Will you win an award if you do?
Chances are if you are competing, you will need to do a lot of prep work ahead of time, not a few weeks before a show.
Be realistic with your goals and have fun with the journey towards your goals.
One way of knowing that you are improving is if you are training injury-free for a long time.
If you are not regressing or standing still, you should be progressing!