Muscle Hack Series – Part 1

muscular chest

Muscle Hack Series. Part 1 of 3: Upper Chest

In this Muscle Hack Series I’m going to cover three specific areas that will transform your physique’s appearance.  Dapper Fitness is about having an aesthetically pleasing body, and dressing great! We are going to be covering the aesthetically pleasing part in this series and some simple, effective muscle hacks that create a great look.

I coin these muscle hacks because they don’t require tons of new muscle mass. A lot of muscle mass is not what Dapper Fitness is about, as you know. These muscle hacks will put on lean dense muscle in KEY areas and will create the appearance of more muscle. Remember that proportions are important; to read more on proportions please see this “Article”.

Part 1 of 3: Upper Chest

The chest is a key area for any male. You can visit any number of gyms in the world and you’ll be sure to see guys working their chests. BUT the problem is they all focus on their middle and lower chest region. Yes, you need to have some development there. But that is usually taken care of fairly quickly after lifting for your first 6 months.

After that, your focus needs to shift to the upper chest. I don’t care what anyone tells you, the upper chest is not part of the main pectoral regions. To keep this short and sweet, there is a muscle that forms what we call the “upper chest.” It’s known as the clavicular pectoralisHere’s what it looks like:

diagram up upper chest muscle

Again, despite what people tell you, this muscle is not a part of the big chest muscle, the pectoralis major. Yes, they are connected but they serve different purposes and need to be stimulated differently. The beauty is they cannot be separated when training, but you can emphasize one over the other.

The reason we want to emphasize the upper chest is we don’t want a big puffy lower chest. After the mid and lower chest (pectoralis major) gets some development, we need to just maintain the size. If you continue to focus on the mid and lower chest, you’re going to get the look of man boobs! That is not a dapper look.

There are two reason we want to focus on the upper chest:

  1. It is a small, stubborn muscle that takes plenty of time to grow.
  2. The movements that are best for developing it also happen to be great for growing the pectoralis major as well. I think you could build a great overall chest with 80% of your focus on just upper chest development.

The upper chest is KEY because it makes your chest pop. You can have two guys side by side, one with a huge mid and lower chest with lack of upper development, and one with modest mid and lower chest size, with a full developed upper chest, and the upper chest guy will look better for sure. Guys with upper chest development are the head turners.

The upper chest creates that wide, armor plate look that guys are really after. They just don’t know that the upper chest requires a specific emphasis and more work than the mid and lower chest.  Creating a great upper chest will really change the way your upper body looks. It will create a wide, square upper chest that will help create the proper chest to waist ratio.

This single muscle hack will have the biggest influence over your physique. They key to developing the upper chest is to get STRONG in proper movements, while keeping your waist nice and slim. This will insure you develop lean dense muscle in the key area without gaining fat. Remember the chest to waist proportion is vital to having a Dapper Fit body.

BEST Upper Chest Movements:

  1. Incline Barbell and Dumbbell Press – this is hands down the best upper chest movement there is. If you can get strong in this movement, you will develop an amazing overall chest, with proper proportions that will pop! I like to alternate between barbell and dumbbell every so often avoid strength plateaus.
  2. Close Grip Bench Press – most people would not consider this an upper chest movement. But it works the inner and upper chest wonderfully. It would not be my main focus but throwing it in there and progressively getting stronger will help develop your upper chest.
  3. Diamond Grip Pushups – this movement is also nice for hitting the upper chest. I do not recommend it as a main movement because pushups become too easy and limit progressive overload. But this movement can be used at the end of a chest day, to give a nice finish to the work out. Tip on this movement is to keep your elbows in when performing.

Now you know why and how to develop the best looking chest you can! This will make a huge difference and if you are not currently focusing on your upper chest, START! I challenge you to add 40-60 lbs. to your incline press over the next 3-4 months and see how your chest looks! I’d bet the best it ever has.

Look for part 2 of 3 soon. We will cover the next key area to develop, and the best way to do that.

Be Fit. Dress Great!


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