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 youtube at
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Comments • 1 459

    ATHLEAN-X™   11 months back

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

    • Bar rag Osama
      Bar rag Osama  2 weeks back

      "Wonder twin armpits activate!"

      • iam plant
        iam plant  2 weeks back

        you talk too much instead of demonstration

        • Charlie Duong
          Charlie Duong  1 months back

          1. Take lighter weight 0:40
          2. Preactivate your chest 0:47
          2.1 Chest proud of shoulder 0:55
          2.2 Try to activate the chest 1:30

          • saurabh nainwal
            saurabh nainwal  1 months back

            Is it to be done before going to benchpress

            • David Kinnear
              David Kinnear  2 months back

              Love this mans knowlodge🤙

              • John Smith
                John Smith  2 months back

                I just repeated " anomaly of your anatomy" 3times fast.

                • Vilbert Keshishi
                  Vilbert Keshishi  2 months back

                  great info

                  • ygtcbee23
                    ygtcbee23  2 months back

                    You know the exercise is activating when Jeff cavaliere is out of breath doing it!

                    • Raouf BouCh
                      Raouf BouCh  2 months back

                      You are a ducking genius keep it on coach 💪💪💪

                      • JUST FOR FUN
                        JUST FOR FUN  2 months back

                        Wife: i should go and check what my husband do at gym all year!
                        Jeff: 1:50

                      • Tyson Dupps
                        Tyson Dupps  2 months back


                        • FromBeToReality
                          FromBeToReality  2 months back

                          THUMBS UP!!!!
                          then watch!

                          • RABIN RAI
                            RABIN RAI  2 months back

                            NICE IDEA!

                            • mike r
                              mike r  3 months back

                              That's like a hybrid exercise it's like you're benching and if the top you're doing a fly thank you for the video

                              • Ihaka Stock
                                Ihaka Stock  3 months back

                                Tighten my arm pits

                                • Denis M.
                                  Denis M.  3 months back

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

                                  • Johnnie Owens
                                    Johnnie Owens  3 months back

                                    Can you imagine disliking this.

                                    • Freddy Johnson
                                      Freddy Johnson  3 months back

                                      FANTASTIC VIDEO !!

                                      • Daniel Colucci
                                        Daniel Colucci  3 months back

                                        I learn something new every video

                                        • Víctor Riofrío
                                          Víctor Riofrío  3 months back

                                          Thank you

                                          • Spencerianism
                                            Spencerianism  3 months back

                                            SUPER POWERS ACTIVATE!

                                            • The Lords Table Prophets Corner

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

                                              • Kurt Sloop
                                                Kurt Sloop  3 months back

                                                He just scienced the shit out of that

                                                • JP Dayrit
                                                  JP Dayrit  3 months back

                                                  Awesome! Useful as always!

                                                  • Stephen G
                                                    Stephen G  3 months 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  4 months back

                                                      30 pound is light weight to you??

                                                      • Mr. Amaya
                                                        Mr. Amaya  4 months back

                                                        Awesome video

                                                        • J B
                                                          J B  4 months back

                                                          Wouldn't kettlebells allow more amplitude then?

                                                          • OLA0X
                                                            OLA0X  4 months back

                                                            Este tipo es un puto dios real!

                                                            • Joshua Miller
                                                              Joshua Miller  4 months back

                                                              Great workout!!!!

                                                              • Greg S
                                                                Greg S  4 months back

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

                                                                • Rapid Foal
                                                                  Rapid Foal  4 months 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.

                                                                  • LeanOn _
                                                                    LeanOn _  4 months back

                                                                    Yeah baby light weight

                                                                    • Semiah Father
                                                                      Semiah Father  4 months back

                                                                      Thumbs up

                                                                      • Sabir Ali Mir
                                                                        Sabir Ali Mir  4 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  4 months back

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

                                                                          • Eddy Jimenez
                                                                            Eddy Jimenez  4 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  4 months back

                                                                              Added like regardless

                                                                              • Ajaz Nawaz
                                                                                Ajaz Nawaz  4 months back

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

                                                                                • Halvin Winata
                                                                                  Halvin Winata  4 months back

                                                                                  that black glossy dumbbell handle ❤

                                                                                  • MrMorlaf
                                                                                    MrMorlaf  4 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  5 months back

                                                                                      no use

                                                                                      • Nothing
                                                                                        Nothing  5 months back

                                                                                        Light weight baby light weight

                                                                                        • Harish R P
                                                                                          Harish R P  5 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  5 months back

                                                                                            A real inspiration for us beginners thankyou

                                                                                            • Clint Basile
                                                                                              Clint Basile  5 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  5 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  5 months back

                                                                                              I keep replaying 4:05