Maybe you just blend in with the
crowd. Or perhaps you’re that
distinguished person who stands
apart and catches peoples’ eyes. So much of
our physical presence has to do with how
we hold ourselves. And a prominent part of
how we hold ourselves is our chest.
A well-defined chest establishes a strong
“presence” and sends a message to the
world that we are confident and competent.
The pectoral muscles, or “pecs,” are an
important symbol of physical strength: A
powerful chest is something everyone
recognizes. For the exercises we chose to
help you develop a strong chest, we
followed the tried-and-true philosophy
that basics are best. Of course, some of
them, like the classic bench press, can
boost your ego as well as your muscle
mass. But remember, form is everything.
Without proper form, you may lift
more weight, but you won’t get the
results you desire. If you succumb to the
temptation of overloading the weight,
you’ll shift the focus away from your
chest and make yourself more susceptible
to injury. Your goal is to build your best
body—not set Olympic records.
E V E R W O N D E R
H O W
Y O U
A P P E A R
O T H E R S ?
1 barbell bench press
This exercise provides big returns for the energy you invest. Barbell bench
presses help you build strength and muscle density, not just in your chest
but in the front of your shoulders and your triceps as well.
Starting Position: Lie on a bench and
firmly position your feet flat on the floor a little
more than shoulder width apart. Keep your
back flat on the bench. Using a grip broader
than shoulder width, hold the barbell above
your body, then lower slowly to the middle of
The Exercise: Without bouncing the
weight off your chest, drive the barbell up
over the middle of your chest until your arms
are straight and your elbows are locked.
Pause briefly, then lower slowly back to the
your back during this exercise.
Try to keep your butt, hips, back
and shoulders flat against the