How to build a powerful chest—even if you have the most stubborn chest in the world
You’ve already accomplished the daunting task of building muscle, proving that you can rise to any challenge. But for some infuriating reason, your chest is still back where you started.
You’ve grown. It hasn’t. You’ve won the war. It never even showed up to the fight.
War Chest isn’t just a chest program for the average guy who wants a bigger chest. It’s a chest program for guys who wonder if they even have chest muscles. It's for guys who wonder if their pectus excavatum is making it impossible for their pecs to grow. And it's for guys who have watched their friends build massive chests while following the exact same chest routine as they are.
Your chest won’t ever get fed up with being left behind. It’s relaxing, feet up, margarita in hand, watching all of your other muscles do the work. It’s happy there. It’s not going to grow unless you make it.
If your pecs have stubbornly refused to follow every other program, this is the program they’ve been waiting for.
It will slap that margarita out of your lazy chest’s hand.
Why isn't your chest growing?
Am I bench pressing wrong?
The bench press has proven time and time again that it’s the exercise for building a powerful chest. Studies confirm this over and over again. Thing is, the studies are confirming that the bench press is the best exercise on average.
There are always people whose chests don't even activate much when benching. For them, it does nothing. If you're one of those guys, should you even be benching at all?
You know how some people are naturally overweight, and others are naturally skinny? Different problem, right? One requires a fat-loss diet, the other requires a bulking diet. Different problems require different solutions. Perhaps you need a fundamentally different approach.
Am I doing the wrong exercises?
Maybe the problem isn't that you're relying on the bench press, it's a lack of isolation exercises. What about pec flyes, close-grip push-ups, incline bench presses, and dumbbell bench presses? Most guys with stubborn chests have tried every isolation exercise imaginable and their chests are still lagging behind.
Why won’t my chest activate no matter what I try?
Let’s say that your shoulders and triceps activate more during the bench press instead of your chest. That’s a totally normal problem for guys with stubborn chests. They develop great arms but their chests stay flat. Thing is, if your arms are getting even stronger relative to your chest, they’re growing even more dominant and will try and steal away even more gains from your chest.
Benching even more won't fix the problem, it will gradually make the problem worse…
What if tips & tricks aren't working?
- Try a wider grip? Or is flaring your elbows dangerous to your shoulders?
- Stop clinking the dumbbells at the top during flys to get more time under tension?
- Build up your back, shoulder or triceps first?
- Do pause reps? Or supersets?
- Try focusing on doing cable low-to-high ultra-flyes?
- Get under a heavy bar more often and do compound lifts like bench and incline bench?
- Try pyramid or reverse-pyramid sets when benching? 5x5? Or try higher reps and focusing on a burn?
- What about chains? Elastics? The natural strength curve?
Did your chest finally start getting consistent, predictable growth? Was the mystery finally solved? Probably not.
It’s not that these tips are bad—well, some of them are bad—but rather that there’s no cohesive system tying them together.
Besides, these tips are all for people with very different problems. If you’re not a powerlifter bench pressing over 315 pounds, you don’t need to worry about chains or elastic bands.
If your bench press isn’t primarily working your pecs, doing pyramid sets or heavy strength training has nothing to do with fixing your chest activation problem.
And cable crossovers might give a larger range of motion or a smoother resistance curve than dumbbell flyes, but they’re the icing on the cake—not a cornerstone that you can build a good chest routine around.
But the real solution is to go beyond these surface-level tips and tricks. We need to build a dedicated, merciless chest routine from the ground up.
Focusing On Chest Gains—No Holds Barred
The whole routine needs to fit perfectly together:
- The perfect exercise selection to stimulate the entire chest
- The perfect volume for growth and recovery
- The perfect progression to avoid intermediate plateaus
- The perfect balance of rep ranges for growth
- And discovering why your chest is stubborn, learning about the “limb and torso” problem, and then figuring out how to overcome the problems your frustratingly unique chest is facing.
All of the true tips and tricks will be like perfectly placed gears inside a precisely made spring-powered mechanical watch.
What other guys are saying
"Gained A Solid 2 Inches on my chest"
I completed War Chest before recently signing up for the main b2B program. I have to say that the results were impressive.
Work, life, health, all competed with me at every phase. So there were many weeks I had to start over and unforuantely, some pretty large gaps due to travel, work, and health that built up between some of the weeks and the phases.
That said, I still gained a solid 2 inches on my chest, which has always been (very much appreciated the explanations at the beginning part of the book) the most obstinate part of my body to put muscle on. Super excited to be starting the b2B program.
"My wife recently put her hands on my chest, paused, and said, "Wow. That's new!"."
Guys, thanks a ton. Chest has always been a really stubborn area for me -- long arms, limb dominant, shallow chest, a mild case of pectus excavatum on one side.
Thanks to the B2B braintrust for designing this one; it was fantastic and rekindled my love for the good ole bench press.
The difference is visually noticeable under a t-shirt.
My wife recently put her hands on my chest, paused, and said, "Wow. That's new!"
"Total Pec Destruction"
Love it! Done the first week of the War Chest and wow do I have DOMS in my chest! I've had a perpetually stubborn chest so this is great for me. Total pec destruction.
"Different Muscles are being used"
I'm just finishing up phase 1 of the war chest program. So far its been amazing! Having to completely readjust my approach to the bench press has been humbling but satisfying... Haha!
Yet satisfying because I haven't had this much soreness from the bench press in a WHILE. Telling me that different muscles are being used and that chest growth can be achieved! Lol.
"my chest is screaming at me today"
If the DOMS are any indicator of the effectiveness of this program, it's worth the money. Every inch of my chest is screaming at me today.
"Such A Simple Fix"
Just started War Chest and doing it at home with dumbbells.
Didn't realise this whole time I'd been benching with a ∎∎∎∎∎∎ ∎∎∎∎. And I have very long arms.
Switched to ∎ ∎∎∎∎ ∎∎∎∎ as instructed and man oh man I can immediately feel my chest taking the lead.
Not sure I even need to pre-fatigue with pec flys.
Amazing, such a simple fix!
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