Workout Routines

The back-to-basics chest routine to pump up your pecs

Want a more dominant physique? These moves will help you build a supersized upper body.

Man With Muscular Chest
Sean Malyon / Getty
Sean Malyon / Getty
Duration 20
Exercises 4
Equipment Yes

Grow your chest with this high-octane routine. The varying rep speeds will have you delving deeper than most press-till-you-drop prescriptions.

The post-activation potentiation technique, a fancy name for the ability of one exercise to immediately and positively impact the performance of the exercise that follows, also recruits more muscle fibers to complete the task. A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that rugby players’ sprint performance improved after they did a heavy set (three reps at 90% 1RM) of barbell squats.

Similarly, by performing explosive moves before pushing heavy weight on the bench you can bring more muscle into play and excite the fast-twitch fibers in your chest so they’ll be primed to hoist heavy weight in your next movement.

Another technique is reverse pyramiding, in which you decrease the load on each set. As your fast-twitch fibers fatigue, you’ll recruit more muscle fiber types and increase blood flow to the pecs as the volume increases.


  • For exercise #2, reduce weight each set to fail at the rep count listed.
  • For exercise #3, use a rest-pause method: Break 12-15 seconds after failure before resuming the set, continuing until all reps are complete.
  • For exercise #4, choose a desired rep count. If you fail before then, rest only as many seconds as you have reps remaining and resume in this manner until you complete the set.

The back-to-basics chest routine to pump up your pecs Do 1 round

Exercise 1.

Plyo Pushup You'll need: No Equipment How to
Plyo Pushup thumbnail
5 sets
5 reps
2 min rest

Exercise 2.

Dumbbell Bench Press You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Bench Press thumbnail
3 sets
8, 12, 15 reps
See directions rest

Exercise 3.

Decline Dumbbell Bench Press You'll need: Bench How to
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
To failure reps
See directions rest

Exercise 4.

Dummbbell Flye You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Flye thumbnail
1 sets
20-35 reps
See directions rest