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The Big Chest Workout

Grow your chest in six weeks with some heavy weights and basic tools.

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  • 6 weeks

  • 9

  • Yes

bodybuilder chest close-up
bodybuilder chest close-up

When your goal is to build bigger pecs as soon as possible, getting creative with exercise selection is not only unnecessary, but in most cases counterproductive. Machines certainly have their place in a hypertrophy routine, but anyone who tells you he got a big chest by doing only the pec deck is either (a) a liar or (b) a pec deck salesman. Adding size requires focusing on the most basic lifting equipment in the gym: barbells, dumbbells and benches.

The following six-week chest-building routine has you training the pecs twice a week and hitting the muscles from top to bottom with incline, flat-bench and decline exercises – four of them free weight pressing moves and one cable flye thrown in as a burnout finisher. The reps top out at 10 to encourage heavier weights and promote hypertrophy, and volume bumps up to 16 sets per workout in weeks 4-6 to maximize mass. Nothing fancy, nothing cute. Just simple and effective.   

Instructions

Perform each workout twice a week with 2-3 days between chest workouts.

Perform all pressing exercises with a pyramiding rep scheme. On your first working set, choose a weight that allows you to reach 10 reps, then increase weight on each successive set so that you can only do eight reps on your second set and six reps on your third (and fourth, where applicable).

Routine

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Weeks 1-3

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Equipment
Barbell, Bench
Sets
3
Reps
10,8,6
Rest
--
Equipment
Barbell, Bench
Sets
3
Reps
10,8,6
Rest
--
Equipment
Bench, Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
10,8,6
Rest
--
Equipment
Barbell, Bench
Sets
3
Reps
10,8,6
Rest
--

Weeks 4-6

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Equipment
Bench, Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
10,8,6
Rest
--
Equipment
Barbell, Bench
Sets
4
Reps
10,8,6,6
Rest
--
Equipment
Barbell, Bench
Sets
3
Reps
10,8,6
Rest
--
Equipment
Barbell, Bench
Sets
3
Reps
10,8,6
Rest
--
Exercise 9 of 9

Incline Cable Flye

Equipment
Sets
3
Reps
10
Rest
--
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