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 Stretching the tape at an incredible 58″, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s chest had it all: size, shape, balance and definition. When he hit a side chest pose, his pecs arched so high that a glass of water could rest atop them.

The chest is made up of the pectoral muscles.

The pectoral muscles are shaped like a fan and spread out to cover the rib cage like the plates of an armor.

The pectorals are made up of the:
    Clavicular, i.e. the upper portion
    Sternal, i.e. the lower portion

The basic function of the pectorals involves pulling the arm and shoulder across the front of the body.

The factors that contribute to the appearance of a fully developed chest are:

  • An expansive rib cage
  • Thick pectoral development
  • Development of inside, outside, upper, and lower areas
  • Prominent striations when flexing
  • A clear separation between lower and upper portions
  • A square look which is achieved by proper upper pectoral development. Lack of upper pec development leads to an appearance in which the chest seems to be hanging down
  • Development to the point where the pecs don’t disappear when you lift your arms over your head
Consider these world-class bodybuilders who had varying genetic gifts in terms of chest development.

  • Sergio Oliva is noted for only doing one exercise for the chest: bench press. Oliva had a chest that would rise out like a loaf of bread.
  • Reg Park had a naturally expansive rib cage which added to the impressive appearance of his pectorals.
  • John Grimek also had a rib cage that amplified his pectoral appearance.
  • Franco Columbu was noted for having insane separation between his lower and upper pecs.
When Arnold has won his 4th Mr. Olympia in 1973, he realized that his lower chest got too big and it’s out of proportion with the upper chest. This was the routine that he used from 1968 to 1973.

He decided to make changes in his workout and prioritize upper pectoral training. He removed weighted dips, because his lower pecs were already huge and they still had enough work from flat bench presses. And he started his workouts with incline benches, to improve his upper pecs. Plus he added cable cross-overs for additional striations and detail for his pectorals. This is the routine he came up with.

So the first routine could be used by everyone who needs more overall mass and thickness. It’s very easy to test if you have enough mass – just lift your arms and do a double biceps pose in front of the mirror. If your chest “disappears” (which is very common), better stick with the first routine until you will see significant improvements. If your chest still looks good in that pose, start using second routine. Oh, and please, keep the set number much lower! 3-4 sets per exercise, or else you are going to over-train and stall.

Of course you can add some variety to the routine by using Smith-machine bench presses and dumbbell bench presses. And sometimes do pullovers with a EZ-barbell. That will keep you motivated.