Have your upper body workouts become a bit mundane? Have you been doing the same, tired chest and arms workout routine day in and day out only to experience stagnating results after a matter of a few months or even weeks? If so, we’ve got something special for you.

In the following workout routine, we’re going to blast your chest and arms with a variety of high-intensity training protocols. You’ll notice that the rest periods are aggressive and short, and the volume is ultra high.  If your upper body has been lagging and you’re looking for a challenge, this is the chest and arms workout to leave you in a pile on the floor.

Not everyone is going to be able to finish, and be warned that if you do, you may need help brushing your teeth later that night. Keep the rest periods honest with the timer on your phone or a stop watch. It will also help to have a good workout partner to help spot when you’re nearing the end of a set. As fatigue sets in, you’ll want to focus on form to keep the right muscles engaged and stay safe.


1. Dumbbell Bench Press: 3 sets / 15 reps

Superset with Push-ups: 3 sets / 20 reps / 90 sec. rest

2. Heavy Weighted Dip:* 3-4 sets / 8-12 reps

Superset with Incline Dumbbell Flye: 3-4 sets / 12 reps / 90 sec. rest

3. Cable Crossover Ladder: 5** sets / 8-20**reps

4. Cable Pressdown: 120***

*If you don’t have a weight belt for dips, hold a dumbbell between your feet.

**Rep counts for the five sets are as follows: 8, 10, 12, 14, 20; start heavy and drop the weight 10 pounds on each side on every set.

***Do 120 reps in the fewest number of sets possible. Pick a weight that you can initially do for 20 reps, but no more, and rep out, resting when necessary, until you reach 120 reps. Focus on squeezing each repetition at lockout and controlling the weight on the way down each time.


Jim Smith is a highly respected, world-renowned strength and conditioning coach. A member of the LIVESTRONG.com Fitness Advisory Board, Jim has been called one of the most “innovative strength coaches” in the fitness industry. Training athletes, fitness enthusiasts and weekend warriors, Jim has dedicated himself to helping them reach “beyond their potential.” He is also the owner of Diesel Strength & Conditioning in Elmira, NY.

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