You’ve got a dilemma: you wouldn’t dream of missing that coveted chest routine this week, but you just don’t have time to fit it in. If you’re as pec-obsessed as most guys, this has catastrophe written all over it—or so you think. No worries. If you’ve got 15 minutes and a cable station at your disposal, you’ll be walking in and out of the gym in no time with a pair of pumped up pecs.

The following routine consists of four exercises, nine sets total—12 if you count the supersets as two—that can be readily achieved in 15 minutes. But to do this, rest periods can’t exceed 45 seconds, so keep your eye on the clock.

The first two exercises are to be supersetted and the next two are straight sets. The beauty of this workout is that not only is it quick and taxing, but it’s well rounded too—the superset hits the middle chest with both a press and a flye movement, the low pulley crossover targets the upper region of the pecs and the pullover takes care of the lower pecs.

The Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
Cable Chest Press 3 10-12
– Superset With –    
Cable Crossover    
Low Pulley Cable Crossover 3 10-12
Straight-arm Cable Pulldown 3 10-12

See next page for how to perform each exercise correctly.

The Exercises

Cable Press/Crossover Superset

– Adjust the pulleys so that they’re slightly above shoulder height and grasp stirrup handles with your palms facing down.
– Center yourself between the weight stacks, take one step forward and lean at the waist 15-30 degrees with your knees slightly bent.
– In a motion mimicking that of a dumbbell press, push the handles out in front of you and together, holding the contraction for a count before returning to the start position.
– After 10-12 reps, hold your stance, straighten your torso so that it’s roughly perpendicular to the floor and begin with your elbows slightly bent.
– Maintaining this arm position, pull your hands together in front of your chest and cross the handles over one another for full contraction. Do 10-12 of these, and that’s one set.

Low Pulley Cable Crossover

– This time slide the pulleys all the way down the rail and assume the same stance as in the previous exercises, except with your palms facing up.
– Keeping your elbows slightly bent and in a fixed position, pull your hands together in front of your chest and squeeze your pecs at the top.
– Return to the start position and repeat.

Straight-arm Cable Pulldown

– Stand facing the weight stack and grab a high pulley rope attachment with both hands.
– With your knees and arms slightly bent and your torso at about a 45-degree angle to the floor (bending over at your waist), pull your hands to your thighs, keeping your elbows stationary.
– Return to the start position without letting the weight rest on the stack, and repeat.