What’s the quickest way to add size and strength to your chest? To work these muscles through a variety of angles, using different set and rep ranges. This six-move chest workout does all of those things, and more, to help you get bigger and stronger in the fastest time possible.
Start with the two straight sets, then move on to the two supersets so you work your pecs – as well as your shoulders and triceps – hard, so you can start building an impressive new upper body right away.
This is a six-move session made up of two straight sets then two supersets. Do all the reps of move 1, sticking to the sets, reps and rest shown, then do all the reps of 2. Then do moves 2A and 2B as a superset, and the same again for moves 3A and 3B, to work your chest hard.
Warm up thoroughly, starting with some shoulder, elbow and wrist movements, followed by some light dumbbell bench presses and dumbbell flyes, interspersed with more mobility work in the rest periods between warm-up sets. Gradually increase the weight of each warm-up set while reducing the reps until you’re fully ready to go.
1. Bench press:
Why: The classic big lift for a bigger, stronger and wider chest.
- Lie flat on a bench holding a barbell with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Plant your heels on the floor, tense your glutes and core, then lower the bar to your chest and press it back up.
Sets: 5 Reps: 8 Rest: 60sec
2. Cable cross-over:
Why: It isolates the chest muscles and hits the inner and outer sections of the pecs.
- Stand tall in the middle of a cable machine, holding a D-handle in each hand attached to the high pulley.
- With a slight bend in your elbows, bring your hands down and in so they cross in front of your body.
- Pause for a second, then reverse the move to the start.
Sets: 5 Reps: 12 Rest: 60sec
This superset is designed to work the upper, lower, inner and outer portions of your pec muscles from a different angle so you recruit and then fatigue fresher muscle fibres, allowing you to make greater gains in less time. Keep the weights sensible, especially for the incline dumbbell flyes – it’s smarter to go lighter with great form instead of flinging too-heavy weights around.
3A. Incline dumbbell hammer press:
Why: The incline and this hand position work the chest in a different way for greater gains.
- Lie back on a incline bench, holding a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height with palms facing.
- Press the weights up until your arms are straight, then lower them back to the start.
Sets: 4 Reps: 12 Rest: 30sec
3B. Incline dumbbell flye:
Why: It works your upper and outer pecs to build a broader chest.
- Lie back on an incline bench, holding a dumbbell in each hand with arms straight and palms facing.
- With your chest up and a slight bend in your elbows, lower the weights out to the sides until you feel a good stretch across your chest, then raise them back to the start.
Sets: 4 Reps: 12 Rest: 60sec
This final superset is designed to fully fatigue the chest muscles in a safe way so you end the session with a big chest pump and the maximum amount of muscle tissue damage, which will be rebuilt bigger and stronger.
4A. Dumbbell pull-over:
Why: It works (and stretches) your chest in a unique way.
- Lie flat on a bench, holding a dumbbell above your chest in both hands with straight arms.
- Plant your feet on the floor, then, keeping your chest up and arms straight, lower the weight behind your head in an arc until you feel a good stretch in your lats.
- Raise it back to the start position, keeping your arms straight throughout.
Sets: 3 Reps: 15 Rest: 30sec
Why: A great move to really blitz your chest in a safe and strategic way.
- Start in a press-up position with your hands underneath your shoulders and feet together.
- Engage your abs and glutes, then bend your elbows to lower your chest towards the floor.
- Pause for a second at the bottom, then press back up to return to the start.
Sets: 3 Reps: 15 Rest: 60sec