Chest Workout for Mass, Definition, and Size - FTM Fitness
During my last 12 week bulk, this is the chest workout that I used weekly. I love this workout for getting the chest exhausted. Using this workout weekly, I was able to increase my working set weight on Bench Press by 30 pounds! I also feel way more confident with dumbbell presses and have been able to climb up in weight on almost every exercise. If you feel like you've hit a bit of a plateau on chest strength or are looking to build up this area, try out this workout to get your chest muscles growing!
HOW TO DO THIS WORKOUT
- Flat Barbell Bench Press: This workout starts out with the classic Flat Bench Press because it is the main movement that is focused on for strength gains, so we want to start strong and fresh! Lay flat on a bench with arms shoulder width or slightly further apart. Push your shoulder blades together and pop up the chest a bit. Make sure your neck isn't twisted or strained, plant your feet sturdy. Start off with warm up sets. Pick a weight that you can push up for 15-20 reps for set 1. Set 2, choose a weight for 12-15 reps. After the warm up, the workout goes into heavy sets. These are meant to really test your strength, so go heavy. Heavy set one should be 4-6 reps and heavy set two should be 1-3 reps. For your 3 working sets, pick a weight that you can push for 8-10 reps. Make sure to take decent rest periods between these sets. Your chest should be nice and worked after this, ready to head into the rest of the workout.
- Flat Dumbbell Fly: Lay flat on a bench and place weights above your chest, hands together, arms straight. Wiggle your shoulder blades together a little and put a slight arch in your back so that your chest comes up a bit. This puts you in a good position to start the movement. Bring the dumbbells out to your sides, go low as you can but don't strain anything. If something feels sharp, lower weight or don't spread arms quite as wide. Do a total of 3 sets, 10-12 reps each set.
- Incline Dumbbell Press: This exercise is excellent at filling up the top portion of your chest. It's an area that for a lot of FTM guys can be a bit deflated looking. Place a seated bench at an incline so that you are at about 45 degrees, it's ideal to be able to see yourself in the mirror while you do these. Bring the dumbbells up over the chest with arms straight for starting position. Bring them down to the sides and them up, focus on stopping for a second when you get to the top and feeling your pecs squeeze together. Do a total of 3 sets, 10-12 reps each set.
- Incline Dumbbell Fly: Same as the Flat Fly, but now on a seated incline. You should be able to go a higher weight on these than the Flat Fly. For your 3 working sets, aim to hit 10-12 reps each set. You should feel this on the chest portion closest to your armpits and shoulders. Carful not to go too fast or too wide, you can pull this area easily.
- Tricep Press Machine (Modified): Now that you're nice and hot, it's time for a new area to get a good stretch. Go to the Tricep Press Machine and place the seat a little lower than you would for working Triceps. Stand with a slight bend at the knees so that the seat is between your thighs. Grab the handles and lean slightly forward. As you press down, you should feel a slight pull in the center of your upper abdomen. Slowly come up and repeat. Feel it out until you notice these muscles engage. This is a great move to work the lower chest and stretch it. Do 3 working sets, 10-12 reps each set.
- Chest Press Machine: I only recently started using the Chest Press Machine again. I found that I was able to get a good second burn going on the pecs, so I incorporated it into my routine. These are a little funky compared to the Bench Press. I find it works best to not go too far down to the sides with these, find the hot spot where you feel a tension burn throughout the whole set. Do 3 working sets, 10-12 reps each set. That's it for push moves!
- Chest Press Machine: I only recently started using the Chest Press Machine again. I found that I was able to get a good second burn going on the pecs, so I incorporated it into my routine. These are a little funky compared to the Bench Press. I find they work best if you don't go so low to the sides. Find the hot spot where the tension burn is felt throughout the entire set. Do 3 working sets, 10-12 reps each set.
- Chest Fly Machine: Time to really fly wide! This is the last chest movement, so stretch everything out. Sit and grab handles, slowly bring your arms together and pause, then repeat. Focus on your pecs squeezing together. It's easy to engage the back on this, so sit up straight and command the weight slowly. Do 3 working sets, 12-15 reps each set.
- Abs or Calves: Finish off this training session by training either calves or abs. You could also do a mini leg workout if you wanted to put in extra leg work. A finishing session should be made up of at least 3-4 exercises for 3 working sets each. For example... Barbell Calf Raise 20 reps x 3 sets, Dumbbell Calf Raise 20 reps x 3 sets, and Calf Machine 20 reps x 3 sets. Try to work in the 15-20 rep range for these exercises.
- Cardio (Optional): Now that I'm in maintenance and conditioning (versus bulking) I add on cardio to the end of my training sessions. This could be 20min on treadmill, stairs, or bike.
Try this workout for your next Chest training session. It is great for building muscle and increasing strength. Each week push yourself to go up in weight on at least one exercise. If you can't do that, then go up in reps or the weight you push on those first heavy Bench Press sets. This workout can be done for all levels of lifters, so modify for your level by adjusting the weight you use.
If you are unfamiliar with any of the moves, check out the database on bodybuilding.com. Every exercise can be found by searching for it by name.
*I am not a certified personal trainer. My experience is limited to myself. If you are new to lifting, please seek out resources online and the help of a trainer or experienced friend before embarking on a new fitness regime.
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