If you’re looking to put more size on your chest, look past those same old bench press routines you’ve been doing—you know, the ones that stopped working for you a long time ago. Instead, it’s pre-exhaustion training that’ll allow you to get more out of conventional chest exercises and see a bigger, deeper chest inside of a month.
How it works
The basis of this workout is pre-exhaustion. In it, isolation lifts, like flyes, precede compound movements, like presses, and then those are followed by more isolation lifts to top off the pump you get and encourage an increase in blood flow, which brings fast growth.
Perform the workout once per week. Do exercises marked “A,” “B,” and “C” in sequence, resting only as directed. Repeat until sets are done for the group.
#1: 1A. One-arm flye/pushup combo
Sets: 3 Reps: As many as possible Rest: 60 sec. (after both sides)
Get into pushup position with one hand on a Valslide (as shown here), furniture slider, or paper plate. Lower your body while sliding the hand on the slider out to the side, as if performing a flye. Keep most of your weight on the non-slider arm. Go as low as you safely can, then push up and draw your arm back in.
#2A. Dumbbell half flye
Sets: 3 Reps: 10 Rest: 0 sec.
Lie back on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand, held above your chest. Lower the weights out to the side, opening your arms wide. Feel a stretch in your pecs. Bring the weights halfway up, then return them back to the bottom position. That’s one rep. Take three seconds to lower your arms and three to bring them halfway up on each rep.
#2B. Bench press
Sets: 3 Reps: 12, 10, 8 Rest: 0 sec.
Lie on a flat bench and grasp the bar slightly wider than shoulder-width. Lower the bar to your chest with your elbows slightly tucked. Press back up. Take two seconds to lower the bar on each rep and two to press it up. Adjust your weights accordingly for each set to meet the rep prescriptions.
#2C. High-cable flye isometric
Sets: 3 Reps: 5 Rest: 90 sec.
Grasp the handles of two facing high-cable stations and stand with one foot in front of the other. Your arms should be outstretched, but keep a slight bend in your elbows. Squeeze your pecs and draw the handles down in front of your hips. Contract hard at the bottom of the rep. Hold the arms-out position between each rep for six seconds.
#3A. Incline dumbbell half flye
Sets: 3 Reps: 10 Rest: 0 sec.
Set a bench to a 30° to 45° angle and lie back on it with a dumbbell in each hand, held above your chest. Lower the weights out to your sides. Feel a stretch in your pecs. Bring the weights halfway up, then return to the bottom position. That’s one rep. Take three seconds to lower the weights down and three seconds to lift them to the halfway point.
#3B. Incline dumbbell bench press
Sets: 3 Reps: 16, 14, 12 Rest: 0 sec.
Set an adjustable bench to a 30° to 45° angle and lie back on it with a dumbbell in each hand. Press the weights from shoulder-level to overhead. Take two seconds to lower the dumbbells on each rep and two to press them up. Adjust your weights accordingly for each set to meet the rep prescriptions.
Sets: 3 Reps: As many as possible Rest: 90 sec.
Place your hands on the floor slightly wider than shoulder-width and extend your legs behind you. Brace your core and lower your body until your chest is just above the floor. Take two seconds to lower down and two seconds to press back up.
#4. Dips with isometric holds
Sets: 2 Reps: 6 Rest: 90 sec.
Suspend your body over parallel bars with arms extended. Lower your body until your upper arms are parallel with the floor. Hold six seconds. Now push yourself up and perform six reps, taking two seconds to lower yourself and two to come up. After six reps, get in the bottom position again and hold another six seconds. That’s one set. If that’s too hard, just do as many normal dips as possible.
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