Chest Workout Tips for Size (HARDGAINER EDITION!)

  • Published: 12 April 2017
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    A chest workout for hardgainers must do more than just advise you to train heavy. Heavy lifting is important for hardgainers to begin to build muscle mass and size, however it isn’t the only key element of shoulder training. In this video, I’m going to show you how important it is to learn how to lift lighter on certain exercises and how to lift heavier on the right chest exercises, if you want to start adding serious size fast to your chest or pecs.

    Before even getting started however, one of the most effective chest workout tips I could give anyone (not just a skinny guy looking to add muscle) is to train shirtless. Now of course, this advice is best followed if you are training in the comfort of your own home gym! That said, many hardgainers find themselves in this exact situation because they feel self conscious about going to the gym and training in front of the much larger and more muscular guys.

    When you train without a shirt, you not only face your insecurities but you allow yourself a chance to watch your muscles as they work and use the visual feedback to more accurately focus your effort on the muscles you are actually trying to build. Let’s face it, if you are a beginner lifter or are not carrying large amounts of muscle you are likely not mastering the mind muscle connection with the muscles you are trying to develop. You don’t have the “feel” of what the muscle is supposed to feel like that you are training.

    Training shirtless allows you to watch the muscle contract and therefore tweak your form to enable a stronger contraction in the target muscles. When you do this, you will be surprised just how much quicker you can get that muscle to respond.

    Next, you will want to start with a few chest exercise activation tips to help you build a bigger chest. The most important thing you can learn how to do is to press with your chest and not your front delts or shoulders. This is easier said than done. You can learn how to activate the often dormant scapular muscles that increase your awareness of how this should feel by starting with a few sets of scapular hanging pulls. From here, do some standing barless chest presses to ensure that your shoulders are staying back and that the press is coming from the chest muscles.

    You will then head to the bench press where you will face your typical hardgainer insecurity of the amount of weight that is on the bar that you are pressing. The big mistake is to think that it is not macho to be benching lighter weights. This doesn’t matter since trying to push weights you can’t handle will do nothing to help your chest grow. Start with a weight you can control and learn to press it correctly with your chest instead of your shoulders.

    That said, heavy weight lifting is important for overloading the muscles of a hardgainer to build more muscle size and strength. We can do that with the use of touch up sets. These allow you to feel the heavier weights (generally 20 percent heavier than what you will use in your working sets of 6-8 reps). Just unrack the weights a few times and rack them again to feel what it is like. From here, perform one touch up set with the pins set high to allow you to get as many reps and then safely let the bar rest on the pins. You have neurologically awakened your muscles to the heavier weight and allowed your body to become more confident in the weight you will use for your working sets.

    The tips shown here are just a few of the best ways to build a bigger chest with your chest workouts. The complete ATHLEAN-X Training System available at is a step by step 90 day program that will transform your entire body by training you like an athlete.

    For more chest workout videos and tips on how to get a bigger chest and pec size, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on RUclip at
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Comments • 2 255

  • Abel Sosa
    Abel Sosa  5 days back

    I've been following a ton of these steps to proper lifting and the results are outstanding. Thank you for sharing the knowledge and breaking it down with a purpose.

    • Craig Reiling
      Craig Reiling  6 days back

      Another great vid Jeff, love the assisted dip's. Would love to see you describe at what point we should stop the dip, coming back up as locking out the elbow to get the triceps squeeze defeats the lower chest focus? (yes, it's a question) Also, big up Jessie for cracking your head on the bar in bench press, we've all done it lad... Just not on camera.. You styled it out really well though... LMAO

      • Jason Samonte
        Jason Samonte  1 weeks back

        I want to see the outcome please make the video of his success in building his body to a bodybuilder

        • IzzaBumminz
          IzzaBumminz  2 weeks back

          “The big 45lber” lmao shit you need 225 in my gym just to be relevant 😂

          • Brett Cody
            Brett Cody  3 weeks back

            How do you push through failure if you train with only your body weight?

            • Aj Calisthenics
              Aj Calisthenics  2 weeks back

              Brett Cody just do it as a drop set go to failure and then go to an easier progression so say if your doing weighted dips, go to failure and then do normal dips failure, push ups failure, explosive knee push ups failure, knee push ups failure and finish with incline push ups to failure and you will feel like dying at the end

          • Josh Christensen
            Josh Christensen  3 weeks back

            Can you do a series for hard gainer with just bodyweight.

            Also you did a back body weight but with out a pull up bar. Can you do one with a pull up bar! Thanks!\

            • Aj Calisthenics
              Aj Calisthenics  2 weeks back

              Josh Christensen I’m happy to help all you need to do is just think when your doing them that what your trying to do is drive your elbows down and behind you and after a while you’ll be doing chest to bar and then high pull ups it’s what I’ve been working on for a while and I’ve definitely seen that my form is better which has given me better results than before

            • Josh Christensen
              Josh Christensen  2 weeks back

              @Aj Calisthenics Adam Thank you so much for the response! I will work on those!!

            • Aj Calisthenics
              Aj Calisthenics  2 weeks back

              Josh Christensen the best way I’ve found is do different variations of pull ups but make sure you’re doing an active hang to create more activation on your back. You can also do bodyweight lat pull downs where your arms are straight and you lean back so your chest is facing up if you e got proper form you will feel a decent strain on your lats especially if you finish off with holding it there eventually move to front lever raises when you build up the core and back strength

          • I'm a life form known as Manuel

            I wonder how much Jesse benches now

            • 9mm Berreta
              9mm Berreta  4 weeks back

              Jesse is weak af

              • Tamer Said
                Tamer Said  4 weeks back

                Train through failure ,, that's what is holding my gain.or killing my gain..fear

                • Tamer Said
                  Tamer Said  4 weeks back

                  Concussion #18 is coming up 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

                  • Corkbubble82187
                    Corkbubble82187  1 months back

                    Rub those hand Jessie

                    • the fadugba
                      the fadugba  1 months back

                      Hey, is there any way to contact Jessie. I love what yall did with him Jeff and I'm just like how Jesse started, pushed myself to the gym, but I really need the motivation. Is there any way i can contact Jessie, thanks

                      • braedench
                        braedench  2 months back

                        And this, is to go even further beyond

                        • Pentzzz
                          Pentzzz  2 months back

                          Is it ok to do bench press excises if I have a posture issue, namely kyphosys and hyperlordotic lumbar spine (aka anterior pelvic tilt) ? I'm mainly concerned about the lumbar because we know we tend to arch it while pressing and right now I'm trying to pull it back, not arch it. So, what do you think ? And as I side note, when I did try bench press (and other exercises as well actually), I always get sore shoulders; I always assumed it's because of the bad posture, but now you confirmed it.

                          • xisotopex
                            xisotopex  2 months back


                            • Issai Gonzalez
                              Issai Gonzalez  2 months back

                              Why is he always rubbing his hands like a fly rubbing it's hands

                              • Badboy Killa
                                Badboy Killa  2 months back

                                jeff you are a beast and your videos helped me so much

                                • Robert Aultman
                                  Robert Aultman  2 months back

                                  Love Jessie’s “Partner statue” tattoo

                                  • Raymond Kisun
                                    Raymond Kisun  2 months back

                                    I’m 53 years old, appreciate the science and exercises that work and range of motion explanations. It’s making a difference to my training.

                                    • david torres
                                      david torres  2 months back

                                      Damn I wish he could train me. I would finally grow some muscle and look like I workout. I’m embarrassed of my disgusting body.

                                      • Giga Urchuxa
                                        Giga Urchuxa  2 months back

                                        3:50 I thought I invented that

                                        • Hayes Dabney
                                          Hayes Dabney  2 months back

                                          Is Jesse pumping up a basketball with his right leg?

                                          • secondintelligentWorld
                                            secondintelligentWorld  3 months back

                                            concussino omg

                                            • Deljaz
                                              Deljaz  3 months back

                                              Jessy looks like a fkn psycho tbh 🙄😄

                                              • Justin Stevens
                                                Justin Stevens  3 months back

                                                Cannot express properly how happy i am to hear Jeff say monkeyfucking. I am a child.

                                                • rude herry
                                                  rude herry  3 months back

                                                  M a hard gainer sir and i need a full series of videos ...thanks love from Pakistan

                                                  • Virus
                                                    Virus  3 months back

                                                    may be i was jessy

                                                    • Curtis Johnson
                                                      Curtis Johnson  3 months back

                                                      I want to work with Jeff and Jessie

                                                      • William Kayyalios
                                                        William Kayyalios  3 months back

                                                        hey there Jeff... would you recommend for a hard gainer heavy weights but less reps?

                                                        • ASI
                                                          ASI  3 months back

                                                          You might as well. Let the strength proceed and the gains will follow. The only problem would be shitty form but that can be dealt with by form checking

                                                      • rob
                                                        rob  3 months back

                                                        Pavel Tsatsouline says to avoid failure like the plague for strength gains. This goes completely against that notion.

                                                        • rabbit ash
                                                          rabbit ash  3 months back

                                                          He has a damn nice beard

                                                          • Brendan Obrien
                                                            Brendan Obrien  3 months back

                                                            Don’t think we didn’t see you hit your head on the bar 💀💀💀

                                                          • nick stocker
                                                            nick stocker  3 months back


                                                            • Jermaine Jones
                                                              Jermaine Jones  4 months back

                                                              Just noticed does he really have a ticker in his home gym, that is pretty cool.

                                                              • Miguel L Franco
                                                                Miguel L Franco  4 months back

                                                                HEY I WANT TO BE IN THE VIDEOS 😬I NEED TO GAIN MUSCLE 😃😃

                                                                • TheDipset1233
                                                                  TheDipset1233  4 months back

                                                                  the thing is i get that jesse knows all the physiology about working out but there is literally no results in him whatsoever.

                                                                  • Nature Good
                                                                    Nature Good  4 months back

                                                                    Proud of you Honney Bunny...

                                                                    • Nature Good
                                                                      Nature Good  4 months back

                                                                      His nose was in your balls mate... Stop mocking the poor guy

                                                                      • Bobby Boy
                                                                        Bobby Boy  4 months back

                                                                        Ok but I havent got a gym . Just dumbells at home

                                                                        • Paul Davis
                                                                          Paul Davis  4 months back

                                                                          It's in the early stages of 2019 and Jesse has gained 20 pounds in muscle, good job brother Jesse.

                                                                          • Christian White
                                                                            Christian White  4 months back

                                                                            Lowkey trying to pull off Jake Gylleynthal (I doubt i spelled that right) from southpaw😂

                                                                            • Sony X
                                                                              Sony X  4 months back

                                                                              Man.. being silence in front of camera is a really uncomfortable job for him and audience.

                                                                              In newer videos he is more comfortable.

                                                                              • Tamer Said
                                                                                Tamer Said  4 months back

                                                                                Love u man ❤

                                                                                • Sanket Saxena
                                                                                  Sanket Saxena  4 months back

                                                                                  Jessie was one heck of guinea pig for Jeff.

                                                                                  • MrShivatrip shiva
                                                                                    MrShivatrip shiva  4 months back

                                                                                    5:26 lol

                                                                                    • Aobakwe Makhoba
                                                                                      Aobakwe Makhoba  4 months back

                                                                                      Am a hard gainer and a cripple, really your channel has helped me a lot though

                                                                                      • Noah Bell
                                                                                        Noah Bell  4 months back

                                                                                        Isn't the bench press in the rack with more weight the same principal as progressive overload?

                                                                                        • Omar Balseca
                                                                                          Omar Balseca  4 months back

                                                                                          Jessye eres todo un loquillo......sigue esa mi brow