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In the December 2012 issue of M&F, we gave you a Straight Up-branded chest workout that kept the exercises straightforward with the rep ranges running the gamut from low (4-6) to high (15-18) and something in between (8-10). We like that concept of meat-and-potatoes movements and varied rep ranges that promote both strength and hypertrophy, so we’re sticking with it.
But this time, instead of going low reps on one exercise, moderate on the next, and so on, we’re throwing all ranges at you with each of the first three exercises in the workout—an incline press, a flat press on a machine, and a cable crossover targeting the upper pecs. The exercises remain straight-forward (though subtly different than the first time around), but the stimulus changes from set to set to keep the muscles dazed and confused, not to mention highly fatigued and thoroughly pumped.
SEE ALSO: The Big Chest Workout
Level up difference: Inclines again lead off the workout, since most guys need more upper pec than lower pec work, but this time dumbbells are subbed in for the barbell. Be aggressive with your weight selection; the dumbbells can always be dropped if need be.
Level up difference: Moving to a machine early in the workout is great for promoting mass. Because the path of motion is dictated by the equipment, stabilizing muscles won’t have to work as hard, meaning the pecs (the target muscle) will take the brunt of the overload.
LEVEL UP DIFFERENCE: This version of crossover targets the upper pecs, just as dumbbell flyes did in the Straight Up workout. With the pulleys at the lowest setting (near the floor), pull the handles upward as well as in toward each other, finishing with your hands straight out in front of your face at the top of each rep. Crossing your arms is optional—just make sure you squeeze your pecs hard at peak contraction.
Level up difference: Nothing creative here—just a brutal way to finish off the pecs with a multi-joint movement and your own bodyweight taken to complete muscle failure. No need to count reps here, since you may be discouraged by how few you’re able to get compared to when you’re fresh. You’ll know when the set is over.
Level up difference: Flyes on a pec deck hit the chest without specifically targeting the upper, or lower areas. However, the outer and inner portions of the pecs are emphasized in the beginning of the rep (outer) and at the end (inner), provided you squeeze hard when your hands come together.