One of the most usual physique weak points is the upper chest. Some people, myself included, have a hard time actually feeling the pec contraction/activation, so mind-muscle connection is definitely a very important aspect that shouldn’t be neglected.


The pectoralis major muscle is a fan-shaped muscle that consists of three parts that originate from three different sites:

The clavicular part originates from the anterior surface of the medial half of the clavicle.

The sternocostal part originates from the anterior surface of sternum and the anterior aspects of the costal cartilages of ribs 1-6.

The smallest, abdominal part originates from the anterior layer of the rectus sheath.

The muscle fibers from all three parts run laterally, converging towards the proximal humerus. They give off a broad tendon that inserts along the crest of the greater tubercle of humerus.

The pectoralis major acts as a strong adductor and internal rotator of the humerus at the shoulder joint. Acting independently, the clavicular portion of the muscle flexes the humerus up to 90 degrees in a horizontal plane.

To explain it like you’re 5, the pecs help you push your arms forward (shoulder flexion to a degree) and bring your arms together (horizontal adduction).


You’ve probably heard from various people that all they had to do was the bench press on a flat bench and they managed to build bigger pecs. These people are either blessed with top tier muscle insertions or are on PEDs. You’ve also heard that opting for the incline bench press, will target the upper pecs a lot more, hence why it’s better for bodybuilders.

The way that powerlifters bench, aims to make the bench press primarily a tricep movement with shoulders and the pecs being activated at a lower degree. In my opinion you should never bench like a “bodybuilder” and instead of having the arms at a 90 degree angle opt to have the arms at a 45 degree angle.

Doing it that way, you make the lift a lot safer on the shoulders and you avoid any unnecessary overuse injuries.


Truth be told, unless you’re an enhanced lifter, it’s extremely rare to get a pec tear. PED users although they get to increase their strength their strength and muscle mass at an accelerated rate, they always do so with the absence of stronger tendons. That’s why 99% of all pec tears you can see online are from enhanced lifters.

If you’re a natural athlete that’s progressively getting bigger and stronger, you will also get stronger tendons at the same rate as you’re gaining muscle, therefore making you less susceptible to injuries compared to a guy that’s juicing.


Tendons and ligaments have very little blood flow so if you actually want to get them stronger and bulletproof, you have to use very light weights for ultra high reps. An example can be high rep bodyweight pushups, ultra high rep sets of bench presses with 10-20lb dumbbells from a flat, incline and seated position etc.


First of all you have to stop comparing yourself to roiders. They’re abusing their androgen receptors with the assistance of a bunch of drugs while you’re not. So first you shouldn’t have unrealistic expectations. This doesn’t mean however that you shouldn’t go all out in your training.

We know that strength training is essentially performing the movements that the targeted muscle group is capable of, but with added resistance. So it makes sense to perform flies from various positions with bands, pulleys and dumbbells. A couple favorite variations of mine are the Bayesian Flies and the bent over flies/crossovers with a pulley or bands. Use different angles to target as many muscle fibers as you can, instead of doing the same thing over and over again.

Now that we got that out of the way, the first thing you need to do is to activate your pecs before you perform your accessories. Simply stand in front of a power rack post or a door and actively palpate your upper chest while your adducting your arm pushing against the post. After you do so, palpate your upper chest fibers when performing single arm chest flies. That’s a MUST do, because you increase mind muscle connection, something extremely important for size gain. If you do so while looking at your pec in the mirror you’re definitely going to feel it a lot more. In fact I’d rather you do your flies one arm at a time, palpating the upper chest throughout the movement, over the traditional bilateral way.

The key here is to internally rotate the arm. I know you always hear about external rotation and how you should always externally rotate the shoulders, whether in Olympic lifts or shoulder training, but completely neglecting internal rotation will leave a lot of strength and muscle size gains on the table.

Upper chest shrugs and decline pushups are also another tool in your toolbox and you should be incorporating them into your training.

Obviously, you’re still going to be performing incline Bench presses with a football bar, a straight bar, or dumbbells with or without a pause. Think of them as the basis of your training while the flies, upper chest shrugs etc as the icing to the cake.

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