Of all the body parts you train at the gym, few are as rewarding for work or as powerful as the chest. The chest is what gives you the strength to do hundreds of push ups, or to lift jaw-dropping loads. It is he who delivers a truly heroic, Superman-style form, and he protects his ribs and chest from damage.
But if you want a massive breastplate, what should you do to get it? There are a lot of workouts out there, but of course, all are different. What works for one person may not work for another.
That’s why we take the liberty of collecting three of the best chest routines on the face of the earth for you to try. Each one works the breastplate in a unique way, using different strategies and series of movements. Try them and you will find that at least one of them will put you on the path to greatness. Chances are you’ll find that combining all three leads to overall gains and huge improvements in size and strength!
- Isometric Training with Jason Wittrock
- The first workout we’ll see is an isometric training with Jason Wittrock. It uses the following exercises:
- Dumbbell incline press (Dumbbell Incline Bench Press)
- Machine press
- Barbell decline press (Dumbbell declined bench press)
- Incline bench cable fly
- Super Series:
- Dips (Triceps Dip)
- Push ups
By now you can see that this routine is different from others. First, because there is no normal bench press! You will be using dumbbells, machines, and cables, but not free weights. This is because you will be using isometrics and this requires that you do not depend on a normal bench press.
Most of you know what isometrics are. Isometric means that you are holding the weight in place. Plyometrics are explosive movements, and isometric means no movement. In this case, you will be running four series:
1 heating series (15-20 reps)
1 work series (10-12 reps)
1 isometric series (10 reps)
1 ‘shock series’ (6-8 reps)
Warm-up serves to engage the mind-muscle connection and helps perfect the technique before it gets to the hardest part. You will then do 10-12 reps to failure using normal moves. And as soon as you do that, you will do a high inclined ‘chest flexion’. This means pressing your hands together while pointing them slightly upwards and then squeezing them, flexing your chest as much as possible. In the last repetition, hold this position for 10 full seconds. This will flood the muscles with blood and metabolites, and maximize muscle fiber engagement. Finally, the shock series boils down to 6-8 reps of good technique, which will seem insane after that last series. This is a drop set, so you will reduce the weight to make sure you can do all 8 repetitions.
Sequence with isometrics for each exercise, using the corresponding height for it. This is smart , scientific training , and it’s perfect for developing real strength as well as encouraging hypertrophy.
2 5 Moves to a Hunter Labrada’s Powerful Breastplate
Now it is Hunter Labrada’s turn to blow his chest.
This time, we are focusing on five specific moves that will start with free weights and then reach the machines.
Start with the warm up. Be sure to train the rotator cuffs to prevent injury to the site.
We’ll start with the dumbbell incline bench press. Hunter recommends doing 3 sets of 12 reps. This should focus on good technique and you will stop after 10-12 reps to avoid injury and because that is a good number to encourage muscle development.
Next comes the slanted dumbbell crucifix. Using dumbbells again allows us to stay in the same position for maximum training efficiency – no time is wasted looking for other equipment. Again the goal is to do 12 reps and this should take you to failure comfortably. The slight inclination takes the strain off the shoulders and holds it firmly in the chest.
Then it was time for the bench press to fail – using a 3 series smith machine. Again, let’s avoid injury here and keep everything clean with great technique. Hunter takes us from the free weights to the machine as at this point you will see that your stabilizing muscles will sag. By isolating the pectoral halfway, you prevent this from becoming a limiting factor during the routine.
Your goal is to keep the pump and time under tension. So do not lock completely at the top and take a good stretch at the bottom.
Now let’s make a superseries that combines a peck deck fly (2 x 15) with a dumbbell pullover (2 x 15). This allows us to add even more pump to the chest using another machine, but we will stop just before the failure. And finally, the pullover will help to lengthen the chest.
Like both other workouts mentioned, Rob also includes a warm up. During the dumbbell bench press, he explains that he uses warm-up sets for the first two, and then starts for the workouts.
This is not Rob’s normal training, but what he uses to innovate and mix things up at the gym. That’s why he puts so much emphasis on trying different types of surveys, different angles, and more. Although he usually focuses on the upper chest area, for example, he chose to include the declined bench press this time just to force the muscles to work differently and prevent himself from reaching a plateau. Similarly, choosing a dumbbell bench press rather than a barbell is a great way to ensure greater symmetry between the chest regions, since your muscles cannot cheat and allow one area to work harder than the other. It also demonstrates how maintaining variety helps prevent other problems.
And there are three incredibly powerful and effective chest workouts, all completely different. Just looking at the different approaches used by the first two is enough to really draw attention to how many options are available to you, even when training the same body part. While Jason used variations in rhythm and static contraction to increase the mind-muscle connection, Hunter focused on staying safe and switching to chest isolation machines as the supporting muscles failed.
And then we have Rob Riches. In his training, the focus was on attacking the breastplate from many different angles to not only ensure a balanced physique, but also to maintain the newness and keep challenging the muscles. He talks about the importance of varying your routines and using different techniques to continue encouraging development and avoiding falling into a simple pattern.
But one thing they all have in common is the amount of attention to detail they all show. These highly successful bodybuilders all demonstrate a clear understanding of their training and the science behind the development they are trying to encourage.
There is much to learn from all this. First, try these three workouts and see what works for you. You may end up discovering something new that provides a real challenge. And in the meantime, think about how these routines were developed and how you can apply the same level of reason and science to your own routines.
And be sure to innovate and train with different techniques and moves! There are a lot more videos like these on the internet, so you’ll have no trouble finding inspiration.