3 Best Chest Workouts For Pecs of Steel

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Chest is the ultimate measure of a man. Even in the animal kingdom, gorillas puff up and beat their chests to assert their “Alpha Status” over another gorilla.

When about to fight, men naturally puff out their chest to intimidate their opponent. When people see me, despite my larger than normal quads and delts, people don’t ask me how much I squat or lateral raise, they ask me, “How much ya’ bench?”

And most of my questions asked on various social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tinder (sometimes when I swipe right the lady of choice wants to pre-qualify my chest strength prior to sexual relations) are about building pecs as big and as dominant as mine. But there has been much confusion about creating chest workouts.

Article titles like “Targeting Upper Chest,” “Targeting Inner Chest,” “Sculpting Your Perfect Chest,” “Chest Workouts Using Your Cat As Resistance” …these have all have us confused about what building a perfect chest workout entails. They also make us overthink the shape of our muscles.

While we can put more focus on different parts of the chest during a chest workout, at the end of the day a press, whether incline, decline or flat during your chest workout will hit your entire chest. The shape of your chest is mostly determined by two things, your mommy and your daddy. In these programs we will work all angles to add a variety of stimulation.

In this article I will outline chest workouts that are tailor-designed for three individuals:

  • The Arm-Dominant Pec-Seeker
  • The Powerlifter Who Still Wants Pecs of Steel Combining Muscle AND Strength
  • The Normal Guy Who Likes Hypertrophy Gains First And Foremost

Without further ado, here are the guidelines to making gains, booby gains, and the perfect chest workout for YOU!

Marc Lobliner and Steve Shaw explain chest pre-exhaustion for the lifter who is triceps dominant.

Chest Workout #1 – The Arm-Dominant Pec Seeker

You have seen this guy. Sleeves bursting on his XXL shirt yet he has the chest of an eight year old boy. He targets chest twice a week yet still cannot make gains.

The reason is simple, his arms take over the movement. There is a simple fix for this… pre-exhaustion with flyes.

By pre-exhausting with flyes, the chest is going to be already fatigued. The time and volume needed to overload the muscle will be less. By the time he gets to the pressing movement, the pecs will already be at the point of overload.

So, while the arms are still taking over, the chest will still be pushed beyond their normal levels. This will lead to progressive overload, leading to gains!

Arm Dominant
Chest Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Flyes  4  8-15
Incline Bench Press  4  8-15
Dumbbell Bench Press or Machine Bench Press  3  6-12
Cable Crossovers  3  10-15
Dips  3  Failure
Push Ups  3  Failure

Dumbbell Flyes. Start with lighter weight for 15 reps and as you add weight, go down in reps. Reps will be:

  • Set 1: 15
  • Set 2: 12
  • Set 3: 10
  • Set 4: 8

Incline Bench Press. Pyramid up in weight. Start with a lighter weight for 15 reps and work up to a heavier weight at 6 reps for 4 sets. For example:

  • 95 x 15
  • 135 x 12
  • 185 x 10
  • 225 x 8

Dumbbell Bench Press or Machine Bench Press. Start at 12 and work down to 6 as you fatigue – pyramid UP as you did with bench press.

Cable Crossovers. Start at 15 and work down to 6 as you fatigue – pyramid UP as you did with bench press.

Dips. Start at 10 and work down to 6 as you fatigue – pyramid UP as you did with bench press.

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Chest Workout #2 – The Powerlifter Who Still Wants Pecs of Steel Combining Muscle AND Strength

Perhaps not a competitive powerlifter, but someone who wants an impressive answer when he is asked how much he benches. This program will help you do both with progressive overload!

Progression Chart for weeks 1-6

Calculate your workouts before you even go into the gym to help yourself start to visualize the lifts. If your estimated 1 rep maxes are accurate, you WILL accomplish these lifts and it is more of a to-do list than a question of if you can or can’t do it!

If any calculations give you a number that isn’t whole or not possible, round up or down to the nearest possible weight depending on how you feel, just make sure you note what you did. For example, 265lbs x .65 = 172.25lbs(not a possible weight), I am feeling strong so I will round to 175lbs.

  • Week 1: Warmup, 1RM x .65 x 8 reps, 1RM x .60 x 9 reps, 1RM x .55 x 10 reps
  • Week 2: Warmup, 1RM x .60 x 10 reps x 5 sets
  • Week 3: Warmup, 1RM x. 70 x 7 reps, 1RM x .65 x 8 reps, 1RM x .60 x 9 reps
  • Week 4: Warmup, 1RM x .8 x 5 reps, 1RM x .75 x 7 reps, 1RM x .70 x 8 reps
  • Week 5: Warmup, 1 RM x .50 x 6 reps, 1 RM x .70 x 5 reps, 1RM x 1.05 x 3 reps

*The Final set of our main movement from Week 5 is 5% greater than your initial 1RM, and provided you are able to complete 3 repetitions, it is your new 1RM to be used starting in Week 6, and through the next cycle of your progression.

  • Week 6: (DELOAD) Warmup, NEW 1 RM x .65 x Failure, NEW 1 RM x .65 x reps from first set/2, NEW 1 RM x .65 x reps from first set/4

***After setting a new 1 Rep Max in Week 5, Week 6 is meant to serve as a functional deload, where repetitions are increased and weight is decreased. After Week 6, start again with Week 1.

***In each week except 2 and 5, feel free to exceed the prescribed repetitions for the second and third working sets if you are able, to challenge yourself further!

Gains For Powerlifters
Chest Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press
Machine Chest Press  2  20
Dumbbell Flye  3  12

Bench Press. Can be free weight or Smith machine, barbell or dumbbell, incline, decline, or flat; just be consistent for AT LEAST the entire 6-week phase.

Dumbbell Flye. Stretch emphasized.

If you need to determine your one rep max, use this calculator. You can estimate your one rep max based on a heavy weight and number of reps you know you can perform. For example, 225lbs x 5 reps on the bench press. You will need to calculate your estimated one rep max (1RM) for the bench press, squat, deadlift, and shoulder press

All calculations for weeks 1 – 5. Use the 1RM you calculated above, and week 6 uses the new 1RM value you earned in week 5.

Chest Workout #3 – The Normal Guy Who Likes Hypertrophy Gains First and Foremost

The normal, old school bro split. We start with the hard and heavy then go for more volume for more stimulus and more gains. Overload combined with volume. Try to add either weight or reps to every single workout for progressive overload, the ultimate determinant in gains.

Normal Gain Hypertrophy
Chest Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Incline Bench Press  4  8-15
Dumbbell Bench Press or Machine Bench Press  3  6-12
Incline Dumbbell Flyes  3  6-12
Cable Crossovers  3  10-15
Dips  3  Failure
Push Ups  3  Failure

Incline Bench Press. Pyramid up in weight. Start with a lighter weight for 15 reps and work up to a heavier weight at 6 reps for 4 sets. For example:

  • 95 x 15
  • 135 x 12
  • 185 x 10
  • 225 x 8

Dumbbell Bench Press or Machine Bench Press. Start at 12 and work down to 6 as you fatigue—pyramid UP as you did with bench press.

Incline Dumbbell Flyes. Start at 12 and work down to 6 as you fatigue—pyramid UP as you did with bench press.

Cable Crossovers. Start at 15 and work down to 6 as you fatigue—pyramid UP as you did with bench press.

Dips. Start at 10 and work down to 6 as you fatigue—pyramid UP as you did with bench press.

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Supplements for Chest Gains!

We will keep it simple. A pre-workout with adequate beta alanine and creatine, an intra-workout to fuel your muscles during training, a pump inducer to provide sick blood flow and pumps, a NAD-enhancer and a carb and protein for fuel!

Pre-workout (Consume 30 minutes prior to lifting)

Intra-workout (Sip during training)

Post Workout (Consume immediately after training)

If under 200lbs, consume 1 scoop Carb 10™ with 1 scoop Machine ISO™. If over 200lbs, consume 2 scoops Carb 10™ with 1 scoop Machine ISO™.

HPN P3® or MTS Nutrition CLASH: Hard-hitting, clinically dosed pre-workout to create the perfect training environment.

MTS Nutrition Vasky™: The Ultimate pre-workout pump inducer PERFECT for stacking with P3.

HPN Nr™: Increase NAD levels to take muscle endurance and pump beyond imagination.

MTS Nutrition Carb 10™: Low molecular weight carbohydrate designed to saturate muscles quickly with fuel for the most epic pump.

MTS Nutrition Machine Fuel™: Hyper-Saturate your muscle cells with BCAAs alongside agmatine and taurine.

MTS Nutrition Machine Whey™: Create rapid amino flooding into your muscles to maintain the pump and promote recovery post workout.

Chest Building Diet

Simple and to the point!

*Note, when adjusting these diets, the workout nutrition and supplementation never changes, the diet itself changes. The workout nutrition is a fixed variable.

Putting Your New Chest Workout to Work For YOU!

There you go, the perfect chest workout for darn near everyone, written just for you! Start this program today, hit these workouts once per week in your training program, and be on your way to the chest you always dreamed of.

Because having a chest that makes women drool and other men jealous, that’s not a game!

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Name: Marc Lobliner

Bio: Marc is currently Chief Marketing Officer of TigerFitness.com, a 2012/2013/2014 INC. 500/5000 company as well as Owner/CEO of two of the fastest growing supplement companies, EthiTech Nutrition and MTS Nutrition.