Building the chest you want isn’t rocket science, but it’s easy to get wrong. In this article we’ll stick to the basics using different angles and rep ranges to attack every muscle fibre in your pecs to support maximum growth.
Although the exercises are straightforward, it’s up to you to add effort and intensity to the workout. As a rule of thumb for hypertrophy you should be aiming for 45-60 seconds rest between sets.
Exercise 1 – Barbell Bench Press
3 sets of 20, 15, 10 REPS
When it comes to chest day, the barbell bench press is a tried and trusted exercise as the ultimate muscle builder. Grasp the bar with a wide grip and use the first set of 20 reps as a warm-up set. Add more weight as you move through to the final set, in which you perform only 10 reps but with a weight heavy enough to test your mettle.
Exercise 2 – Incline Dumbbell Press
2 sets of 10-12 REPS to failure
The benefit of an incline bench is the ability to target the upper chest, creating a fuller upper pec. Use a challenging weight for the first 10-12 reps of the first set. For the second set, keep the same weight but perform the set to failure. Make sure that your elbows never drop past your shoulders as you perform each rep, and squeeze the pecs throughout.
Exercise 3 – Flat Dumbbell Fly
2 sets of 15 REPS to failure
The dumbbell fly helps recruit a greater area of muscle fibres across your chest than some standard pressing exercises.
Complete two sets of the flat fly. The first set hit 10-12 reps but in the second set take your muscle to failure again. Form is extremely important with the dumbbell fly, so make sure the movement is slow and you can really feel the stretch at the bottom part of the exercise.
Exercise 4 – Bar Dip
3 sets to failure
Next up is a fairly underrated and largely forgotten exercise. This version of the bar dips focuses on the lower portion of the motion to really target the lower chest.
Start with as wide of a grip as you can. Drop as low as you can and bring yourself only halfway up while kicking your feet back and keeping your body forward as much as possible. Complete every set to failure.
Exercise 5 – Press Up
50-100 or to failure
Finish the session with the good old fashioned press up! If you can’t manage 50, take a short breather at your maximum then carry on until you at least hit 50 press ups.