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Dave Bautista’s Muscle-building Chest Workout

Lift like the 'M&F' May cover star with this workout that will grow your chest.

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  • 30 min.

  • 5

  • Yes

Dave Bautista's Chest Workout
Per Bernal
Dave Bautista's Chest Workout
Per Bernal

For the past year, Dave Bautista has been doing more weightlifting. It has a lot to do with his role in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2. “With Drax always being shirtless, there’s no room to hide any fat,” says Bautista. “I really focused on being in better shape and more muscular.”

When he’s not filming, Bautista likes to train three days on, one day off. “I still do a lot of cross training, a lot of boxing and grappling,” he says. “But I did gear a lot of my training toward weights this past year.”

He also loves to bike, but it’s been tough recently due to his schedule—and his size. “I’ve kept my weight up, right around 275 lbs,” he says. “Long-distance cycling, when you’re that heavy, it gets uncomfortable.”

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Foodwise, Bautista eats a lot of poultry, fish, and eggs. And recently, he ate more red meat to pack on a little muscle for the M&F photo shoot. “I play with my diet a lot,” he says. “During the day, I am all protein and fats. And then at night, I’ll usually have one very low-carb meal. But I change things up depending on what I’m preparing for.”

Unlike most guys, he says he hasn’t found it more difficult to stay lean as he gets older. “I think it’s because I’m in this for the long run,” he says. “I don’t let up.”

His advice for others? First, make sure your diet is on point. “You can’t leave a gym and go eat like shit,” he says. “You just can’t do it. So diet is always going to be a huge factor.”

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Second, be consistent. “Some people get all fired up and they want to get bigger arms, and they go in and work themselves out till they’re so sore they can barely move. And then they get burned out and they don’t go for two months. And it just doesn’t work like that. It’s got to be a lifestyle thing. Whatever you choose to do to be active—whether it’s cycling or weight training or MMA—it has got to be part of your daily life.”

Joe Bennett, Bautista’s trainer and a hypertrophy coach at MI40 Gym in Tampa, FL, let us in on Bautista’s chest workout so that you, too, can look like a guardian.

Dave Bautista’s Muscle-building Chest Workou...

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Routine

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Dave Bautista's Chest Workout

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 5

Cable Crossover

Equipment
Adjustable Cable Machine, D-Handle Attachment
Sets
5
Reps
--
Rest
30 sec.
*“These are done extremely light and not taken to failure,” says Bennett. “These are a warmup. We just go until Dave feels mentally and physically ready to work—sometimes one set, sometimes 5."
Exercise 2 of 5

Weighted Dip

Equipment
Ankle Weights, Dip Station
Sets
5
Reps
8-10
Rest
90 sec.
Equipment
Bench
Sets
5
Reps
10-12
Rest
90 sec.
**“Dips and presses are done with a two-second complete pause at the bottom,” says Bennett. “This is the point of the range of motion [ROM] where both exercises are most taxing. The pause also eliminates bounce on direction changes.
Exercise 5 of 5

General Pushup

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
to failure
Rest
45 sec.
***“Slowly, with intention. “Each rep should take four to five seconds to complete." says Bennett. The ‘intention’ pushups have the added challenge of trying to drive your hands together—without moving them—the whole time you push up to increase tension.
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