Workout Routines

The best 30-minute chest workout

Ready to break a sweat and build your pecs to perfection with our best chest workout? Take 30 minutes a day to build muscle fast with these exercises.

by
The Best 30-Minute Chest Workout
Colin Anderson / Getty
Colin Anderson / Getty
Duration 30
Exercises 8-9
Equipment Yes

Guys love to train their chests. So much so, in fact, that they'll spend an hour or more on it, pounding their pecs with so many sets that they look enormous by the time they leave the gym. As soon as their "pump" deflates, however, they're left with the same sunken chests they've always had—and a lot of soreness. Our plan trains your chest twice as hard in half as long and yields results you keep.

Actually, the chest component of each workout takes only about 10 minutes to complete. You'll hit it hard using supersets and tri-sets with little rest in between, then train the rest of your body in the remaining 20 minutes. This will allow you to maintain size and strength everywhere else, as well as cause the release of muscle-building hormones that will enhance the results you see in your chest.

The first workout starts with a modified tri-set for the chest, designed to pump your pecs and stretch the connective tissue that surrounds them, thereby allowing more room under your skin for the muscles to grow. The second chest blast is done by pairing pushups with very heavy sets of dumbbell bench presses. Though you'll be brutally sore afterward, the combination of high and low reps will flush an enormous amount of blood into your chest and maximize the recruitment of your biggest muscle fibers, setting the stage for big gains.

On the third day, you'll do a variation on an old bodybuilding technique called "running down the rack." You'll perform dumbbell bench presses on an incline bench, flat bench, and then decline bench without rest in between. Instead of lightening the load on each set and reducing the demand on your muscles (the way the technique is normally done), you'll simply change the angle from incline to flat to decline—this puts you in progressively stronger mechanical positions, so you can keep the superset going without having to stop or switch dumbbells.

Directions

Frequency: Perform each workout (Days I, II, and III) once per week, resting at least a day between each session.

How to do it: Perform the exercises marked uppercase A and B, or uppercase A, B, and C, as a modified superset or tri-set, as prescribed. That means you'll complete one set for each exercise in order, resting or not resting as prescribed between sets. So you'll do one set of A, then one set of B, and repeat, or one set of A, B, and then C. Rest after the last exercise in the group, and then repeat the process for the prescribed number of sets. Perform the remaining exercises as straight sets, completing all the prescribed sets for one exercise before moving on to the next.

Weight: Except where otherwise noted, use the heaviest weight that allows you to complete all the prescribed repetitions for a given set.

The best 30-minute chest workout: Day 1 Chest-building modified tri-set

Exercise 1A.

Bench Press You'll need: Barbell How to
Bench Press thumbnail
3 sets
8-10 reps
20 sec. rest

Exercise 1B.

Dummbbell Flye You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Flye thumbnail
3 sets
8-10 reps
20 sec. rest

Exercise 1C.

Dummbbell Flye You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Flye thumbnail
3 sets
AMRAP reps
90 sec. rest

Exercise 2.

Dumbbell Row You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Row thumbnail
3 sets
8-10 reps
60 sec. rest

Exercise 3.

Front Squat You'll need: Barbell How to
Front Squat thumbnail
3 sets
8-10 reps
60 sec. rest

Exercise 4.

Dumbbell Overhead Press You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Overhead Press  thumbnail
1 sets
8-10 reps
60 sec. rest

Exercise 5.

Dumbbell Curl You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Curl thumbnail
1 sets
8-10 reps
60 sec. rest

Exercise 6.

Triceps Pushdown You'll need: Elastic Band How to
Triceps Pushdown thumbnail
1 sets
8-10 reps
60 sec. rest

Exercise 7.

Standing Calf Raise You'll need: Box How to
Standing Calf Raise thumbnail
1 sets
8-10 reps
60 sec. rest

The best 30-minute chest workout: Day 2 The maximum muscle chest-blaster

Exercise 1A.

Pushup How to
Pushup  thumbnail
3 sets
AMRAP reps
30 sec. rest

Exercise 1B.

Dumbbell Bench Press You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Bench Press thumbnail
3 sets
1-3 reps
30 sec. rest

Exercise 2.

Lat Pulldown You'll need: Cable Machine How to
Lat Pulldown thumbnail
3 sets
8-10 reps
60 sec. rest

Exercise 3.

Leg Press You'll need: No Equipment How to
Leg Press thumbnail
3 sets
8-10 reps
60 sec. rest

Exercise 4.

Shoulder Press You'll need: No Equipment How to
Shoulder Press  thumbnail
3 sets
8-10 reps
60 sec. rest
Use a barbell.

Exercise 5.

Dumbbell Curl You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Curl thumbnail
3 sets
8-10 reps
60 sec. rest

Exercise 6.

Dip You'll need: Dip Station How to
Dips thumbnail
3 sets
8-10 reps
60 sec. rest

Exercise 7.

Seated Calf Raise You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Seated Calf Raise thumbnail
1 sets
8-10 reps
60 sec. rest

The best 30-minute chest workout: Day 3 'Running down the rack' pec-builder

Exercise 1A.

Incline Dumbbell Press You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Incline Dumbbell Press thumbnail
3 sets
AMRAP reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise 1B.

Dumbbell Bench Press You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Bench Press thumbnail
3 sets
6-8 reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise 1C.

Decline Dumbbell Bench Press You'll need: Bench How to
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
4-8 reps
90 sec. rest

Exercise 2.

Seated Cable Row You'll need: Lat Pulldown Bar How to
Seated Cable Row thumbnail
3 sets
8-10 reps
60 sec. rest

Exercise 3.

Dumbbell Split Squat You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Split Squat thumbnail
3 sets
8-10 reps
60 sec. rest

Exercise 4.

Dumbbell Overhead Press You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Overhead Press  thumbnail
1 sets
8-10 reps
60 sec. rest

Exercise 5.

Seated Incline Dumbbell Curl You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Seated Incline Dumbbell Curl thumbnail
1 sets
8-10 reps
60 sec. rest

Exercise 6.

Lying Triceps Extension You'll need: Dumbbells How to
 Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extension thumbnail
1 sets
8-10 reps
60 sec. rest

Exercise 7.

Standing Calf Raise You'll need: Box How to
Standing Calf Raise thumbnail
1 sets
8-10 reps
60 sec. rest
Comments