Intermediate Chest - Spruce Up Your Chest Routine
Updated: Sep 22, 2021
Is your chest routine getting a bit stale? Have a go at this new routine that we've been doing for the past couple of weeks which includes the new isolateral chest press machine. The workout combines a mixture of volume and intensity....it's very simple yet very effective and has left our chests hanging!
I've seen a lot of people over complicate their chest routine (and other bodypart routines for that matter). Doing excessive movements (often done with suboptimal performance) only leads to unnecessary workload thus having little or no benefit.
The chest is made up of the pectoralis minor and the pectoralis major. The smaller pec minor lies underneath the major and cannot be seen (see pic). Pec major is the largest of the two and is split into 3 main parts: Upper, lower and mid and it is these that we mostly work on developing.
One exercise for upper, lower and middle plus an isolation movement is enough for a good chest workout if you train effectively enough. Occasionally we'll add in an extra exercise for a weaker area as you will see outlined in the workout below.
Warm up shoulders, rotators and triceps using light weights and/or bands at the start of your workout.
1. Isolateral Flat Chest Press Machine
4 warm up sets building weight, dropping reps e.g 5kg x 15,10kg x 12, 15kg x 10, 20kg x 8.
WORK: Double drop set to failure e.g 25kg x 12, 20kg x 6, 15kg x 6
You always want to progress with weight or reps on all exercises, so as an example, because I have reached 12 reps with my main working weight of 25kg above…. next session I will move up to 27.5kg each side for 8 reps minimum. When I can perform 12 reps with this weight, I will go up to 30kg and so on. This is the progressive overload principle and is part of the reason why we log our workouts. When you start to stall/go backwards/get no progress…swap the exercise out.
2. Mid Cable Flyes
1 warm up set e.g 1 or 2 plates for 12-15 reps ( if your working weight is heavier, obviously you warm up will be heavier, aim for around 50-75% of your work weight)
WORK: 3 volume sets with the same weight and reps e.g 3 plates x 15 for 3 sets. The last set should be very challenging but not to failure. Aim to add a rep each week, when you can get 3 sets of 20 add more weight and start again.
3. Dumbbell Incline Bench Press
1 warm up set e.g 17.5kg x 10 reps
WORK: Single drop set to failure e.g 25kg x 12, 17.5kg x 7 (NB: on a single drop, the drop weight is often the same as my warm up set)
4. Barbell Decline Bench Press or Dip Machine.
Chris does dip machine and I do decline bench press as my shoulder is still not great on dip machine for chest (it's ok narrow for triceps). Both of these movements will hit lower chest.
WORK: 3 volume sets with the same weight and reps, e.g 50kg for 3 sets of 12. When you can perform 3 sets of 15 reps it's time to add more weight and start again. Be careful not to add too much weight when you go up, the aim is constant progression.
5. Plate loaded incline chest press
EXTRA WORK FOR UPPER CHEST! Heavy volume sets for extra blood flow through the upper chest to help build that shelf. I'll be sticking to an upper limit of 12 reps on these, when I can get 3 sets of 12 I'll add a touch more weight and start again for a minimum of 8 rep sets.
6. Abs or calves. Make sure you do each of these a couple times a week at the end of your workouts!
Stretch off pecs, delts and triceps when you're done. There is a stretching poster near the fire exit in the fitness room if you are unsure of how to do these.
Let us know how you get on if you do it!
Save this workout as a PDF here:
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