In this workout we are going to focus on training the chest muscles and work really hard at building up the size and thickness in the pecs. We are going to include three exercises in this workout and they consist of the incline dumbbell press, flat dumbbell press, and then we’re going to finish up with cable flys to get a great burn at the end of the workout. So, let’s get started!
Incline Dumbbell Press
First off, you want to make sure your exercise technique and form is always controlled throughout the entire movement. You are going to warm up with at least twelve to fifteen reps with a very light weight to get some blood in your muscles and get your chest fully warmed up before moving onto heavier weights.
Position an adjustable bench at approximately a 45 degree angle to allow the upper pectoral muscles to be activated and targeted on this exercise. Grab two dumbbells, sit down on the bench and slowly lean back at an upward incline. Bring the dumbbells up and hold the weights about even with your shoulders. Press them up over your head with a controlled motion all the way to the top. Pause for a moment at the top and then lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position for a full repetition.
Make sure to always use a very slow and controlled tempo while doing this exercise to avoid any possible injury to your shoulders or rotator cuffs. It’s also important to adjust the bench at the correct level (45 degrees) to target the upper pecs but not too vertical (closer to 90 degrees) where your deltoids come into play too much. You will be training your front deltoids as a secondary muscle group when you train your upper chest but you always want to try to focus the primary tension on the upper portion of the chest muscles as the main area of resistance. Shoot for 8-12 reps on the incline dumbbell press for a total of 3-4 sets.
Flat Dumbbell Press
This is similar to the incline dumbbell press although the angle of the bench is different. This time, lower the bench so that it is completely flat and parallel with the ground. While holding two dumbbells, slowly lie back on the bench and position the weight so that your elbows are at a 90 degree angle and you are in the starting position to begin the exercise. You will be pushing the weight directly up while focusing the tension on the middle part of your chest muscles. Again, going too fast and using a jerky motion will only cause issues with your form and technique which could possibly lead to injury. Always try to form a mind-muscle link where all of your mental attention is on the movement with maximum focus on the muscles being trained. Try to complete 8-10 reps for this exercises for a total number of sets of around 2-3.
The last exercise in this chest workout is going to be cable flys. This is a great finishing movement to add at the end of your chest workout and a wonderful shaping exercise for your pecs. Using a cable machine, grab two pulley attachments with both hands and position your body slightly in front of the machine to create some resistance in the pulley cables. While pulling the cables towards you in front of your chest, try to act like you’re hugging a big tree. Cable flys are the perfect exercise to allow for an amazing peak contraction at the finishing point in the exercise. Try to pause for a moment at the bottom and really flex your chest muscles. Since this is a shaping exercise, shoot for 15-20 reps on this movement and do 2-3 total sets to finish off your chest workout.
The total number of sets along with the number of reps should depend on the personal skill level of the individual. While beginners who are just starting out lifting weights should only do 1-2 sets for each exercise, advanced bodybuilders with many years of experience can use much heavier weight with lower reps and more overall sets for their workouts. It’s always important to train your muscles hard but then to make sure to allow them to fully rest and recover so they can repair themselves and grow. Muscles won’t be able to grow and become stronger if they’re tired and overworked, so focus on training your chest only once per week to allow for maximum recovery.