It's time to reclaim 'chest day' from the average gym bro, who gets no further than the basic bench press. Our workout, designed by Ross Edgley and extracted from The World's Fittest App, fuses sports science with serious bodybuilding know-how, first building real strength and then hitting accessory lifts to work every angle of your pectorals. All that pushing has the added benefit of giving your triceps an almighty pump, which is nice. You're starting off with your biggest lift. Deep breath now.
1) Barbell Bench Press: 5 reps, 3 sets, 3 minutes rest
You're going for your 5-rep max here, so make sure you take the full rest between sets. Lie back flat on a bench and grab the bar slightly wider than shoulder-width. Fire your glutes and drive your feet into the ground to make your whole body as rigid as possible.
Take a breath in and use it to 'pack' your core. Lower the bar slowly until it touches your chest in line with your nipples. Now press back up into into the bar with maximum force. The more direct the bar path, the more strength you can put into each rep.
2) Barbell Floor Press 8 reps, 3 sets, 90 seconds rest
Now take a load off. With the big lift done, train your accessory lifts and you'll continue to progress. Start with your back on the floor, knees bent at 90 degrees. Hold the barbell at arms length above you.
Lower slowly until your triceps are completely on the floor. Pause for second here. This removes the 'stretch-reflex' action of the muscles, ensuring you have to use your strength to press the bar back up to the top.
3) Reverse-Grip Bench Press 12 reps, 3 sets, 60 seconds rest
Performing the bench press with a reverse (or underhand) grip can build extra muscle in your upper pectorals. Lie back flat and grab the bar at shoulder-width, with your palms facing you.
Lower the bar slowly until it's touching, or close to touching your chest. Be aware that you may not be able to go as low as a regular bench press. Push the bar back up as hard as you can.
4) Dumbbell Tate Press 12 reps, 3 sets, 60 seconds rest
Lie on a flat bench and hold two dumbbells directly above your shoulders. Now slowly bend your elbows to right angles, bringing the end of the dumbbells towards your chest.
Your palms should be facing outward and the ends of the dumbbells will be pointing to the ceiling. Push back up along the same path to return to the start position.
5) Dumbbell Incline Flyes 20 reps, 5 sets, 60 seconds rest
A final pump for your upper pectorals. Sit back on an incline bench, dumbbells held together above your upper chest. Bend your elbows slightly.
Lower the dumbbells outwards to either side of your shoulders. When you feel a good stretch in your chest, bring them back together above you. Do your last set to failure.
THE WORLD'S FITTEST APP
From the team at Men’s Health UK and athlete-adventurer Ross Edgley, The World's Fittest App puts 4 individual 12-week training plans at your fingertips. They have been designed using simple moves — each with an easy-to-follow video demonstrations — and only basic gym kit. All the plans are based on sports science fundamentals to make you fitter, leaner, stronger and faster, whatever your starting point and whatever your goal. Available on iOS and Android, start transforming your fitness today. It's the best day to start.
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