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Chest Workouts

Looking for the best chest and pectoral workout routines to build a strong, defined chest muscles?

An effective chest workout is central to any weekly routine and is complimentary to a strong back, as it not only builds pectoral muscle, but also your triceps and shoulders. The pectorals are large muscles and therefore both lower and upper chest workouts are needed to really build size and strength.

WorkoutBOX contains great upper and lower chest workouts that will push your chest muscles to the max and help you get great definition. With these workouts it won’t be long before you’re bragging to your mates about how many push ups you can do!

Chest Workouts

Beginner :

Beginners Chest Workout

Chest Workout
This beginners workout is the best chest workout to get you started on the road to building a killer set of pecs.

This workout incorporates supersets to really hit the chest muscles hard. A Superset more...
Level : 
Beginner
Length : 30 - 60 mins Routines : 1
  
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Intermediate :

Dumbbell Chest Workout

Chest Workout

This is a chest workout performed exclusively with Dumbbells. It would be ideal to have Dumbbells of varying weights on hand to ensure you can provide ample resistance to force the muscles to grow during more...

Level : 
Intermediate
Length : 30 - 60 mins Routines : 2
  
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Chest and Triceps Workout

Chest Workout

This is a Chest and Triceps workout to help build and define both areas. These Workouts should both be performed in the same week with 2-3 days between sessions to allow for ample recovery.

The first more...

Level : 
Intermediate
Length : 30 - 60 mins Routines : 2
  
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Chest and Biceps Workout

Chest Workout

This is a Chest and Biceps Workout to help build and define both areas. Ideally, you’ll want to perform this workout in a gym. These Workouts should both be performed in the same week with 2-3 days more...

Level : 
Intermediate
Length : 30 - 60 mins Routines : 2
  
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Chest and Back Workout

Chest Workout

If you want to create the illusion of an hourglass physique – which means wider shoulders, a more trim waist and wider hips, you can do yourself a favor by increasing the width of the chest and back more...

Level : 
Intermediate
Length : 30 - 60 mins Routines : 2
  
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Best Chest Workout for Mass

Chest Workout

So you want a larger, stronger, more muscular chest? You’ve come to the right place. By utilizing basic, powerful exercises like the Bench Press, the Dumbbell Flye, Cable movements and the Push Up, more...

Level : 
Intermediate
Length : 30 - 60 mins Routines : 2
  
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Advanced :

Ultimate Big Chest Workout

Chest Workout
If you want to build serious chest muscles then this is your ultimate workout.
The chest muscle is really difficult to isolate. The reason for this is that the tricep muscles are also used in the majority more...
Level : 
Advanced
Length : 60 mins + Routines : 1
  
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FEATURE ARTICLE

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Chest workouts

When it comes to working out their chest, men and women have different goals. Men who are concerned with this type of activity typically want to achieve the ultimate ‘ripped’ look, while women are usually more into ‘toning’. Both genders, however, dream of chest muscles as hard as rocks and as flexible as those of pro athletes.

Chest workouts for men

Contrary to what many men may think, a huge number of reps is not the key to building better, bigger, more massive pecs. There are plenty of intense exercises, which are based on isometrics, mostly, that won’t have you exhausted at the end of your regular pectoral workout. The problem with putting in too many repetitions is that it will take just enough time for you to start getting big like Arnold Schwarzenegger as it would with a more intelligently constructed workout – but, in the meantime, you’ll be feeling completely depleted of energy.

Chest workouts for mass

One common mistake thatmens DIY weight lifting programs for the chest suffer from is that they include moves which have you hitting the chest muscles from all possible angles. This is a myth. If your goal is to one day end up looking like Scott Herman or Phil Heath, it’s not necessary to check all the angles. Yet it is important to work the chest muscles by involving them in all the natural patterns of movement of the human body. That means you need to include horizontal, vertical, and rotational presses. This way, you’ll be including all your chest muscles in the workout, while also maintaining proper balance, effort and posture-wise.

So, if you want to make your chest workout more efficient, toward building massive pecs with better definition, check out our guide below. As is the case with any workout, it includes a main lift, an assistance (or accessory lift), and a rotational movement. Here’s an example of a killer workout for your pectorals:

·         4 sets of 6 bench press reps (with 3 minutes rest in between the sets);

·         3 sets of 12 dumbbell overhead press reps (with a neutral grip and 90 seconds of rest between sets);

·         3 sets of 6 feet elevated T-pushup (performed on both sides, with 60 seconds of rest in between the sets).

Another useful pointer from professional trainers targets the beginner, as well as those who naturally have trouble in putting on lean muscle mass. Both these categories might find it difficult to grow their pecs, but we’re here to tell you that this is not impossible. All it takes is more time under tension (or TUT). In other words, you need to keep your muscles contracted for longer spans of time during each chest set of reps and during every single one of your workouts. There are two ways to achieve this. On the one hand, you can perform more repetitions of the sets your workout includes; however, the risk to this is that you may end up feeling over-exerted and underwhelmed with the results. On the other hand, you also have the option of isometric contractions, during the bench presses and cable flyes that your chest workout already includes. Here’s an example of such a workout plan:

·         4 to 6 sets of 8 to tenbench press reps (with low double contractions);

·         3 to 4 sets of 6 cable isometric flye reps;

·         3 to 4 sets of 6 to 8 plyometric one-arm push-ups;

·         1 to 2 sets of push-ups, band flyes or band presses (the number of repetitions will vary with each different type of movement).

Here are some guidelines on how to perform the most popular isometric and non-isometric chest exercises for mass.

The bench press with low double contractions

Bring the bar down into your chest, then press it back up, but only halfway. Bring it down all the way into your chest, then lift it to the full length of your arms. That’s a single repetition. For this exercise, use a barbell with a medium-width grip. Grab a tight hold of it and squeeze it with both your hands, as if you were trying to bend the bar.

The cable isometric flye

For this exercise, grab a hold of the cable handles and press them together, with your arms fully extended straight ahead and your palms facing each other. At the top of the movement, hold the pose for 12 seconds on your first repetition. Gradually decrease the time you hold the position with each rep (10 seconds on the second rep, 8 seconds on the third one, and so on). One set is six reps.

The plyometric one-arm pushup

Get into conventional pushup position and place one hand on a low box, while the other is resting on the floor. Extend both your arms. At the top of the movement, lower yourself down into the push-up per se, making sure you’re in full control of your muscles throughout the descent. Once you’ve reached the bottom-most point of the movement, push up in an explosive move, away from the low box. In order to complete a full repetition, you need to resume the initial position. Pause in this pose, to gain back your balance, then repeat.

The isometric press movements

This group of movements includes the push-up, the band flye, and the band press, since they’re all great for testing your TUT limits. You will need a dedicated resistance band, or just a simple elastic band, wrapped around a pole, or any other stable element in the room. Do 10 push-ups, 30 seconds of band flyes, 30 seconds of band presses, and alternating band presses with each arm for another 30 seconds. At the end, do 10 more band push-ups – all of this without stopping for rest in between the exercises. This is a circuit-type exercise for the chest, that’s bound to increase the time under tension for your pecs.

There’s yet another trick to building chest mass and that’s focusing on your upper chest area. Many weight lifters disregard this area, as they strictly target the pecs with their workouts. Thus, some don’t even realize that the upper part of their chest is lagging, slouching, drooping, or flabby. Recently, several weight training professionals have started advocating balanced pec workouts, which target all areas of the pecs, including the upper pec. Of course, flat benching is one way to go about this, but dedicated upper pectoral work is far more efficient. If your upper chest is flabby, here are a few tips and tricks on how to remedy that:

1.       Inclines should always come first. As most bodybuilding experts will tell you, the best way to deal with flabby upper pectoral muscles is to always start your chest workouts with inclines. Inclines can be achieved in a great variety of ways, including with a set of dumbbells, a barbell, or a specialized Smith workout machine. The incline will help you make sure you’re giving that part of the muscle fiber a proper workout. Your upper pecs may be insufficiently used now, but an incline will help you refresh them. Flat moves and declines will then follow in a natural progression and help you activate better developed parts of your body.

2.       Power presses, which work a lot like deadlifts. Think about it: with deadlifts, there’s no momentum and no elasticity to help you lift. You’re simply taking the barbell off the floor, from a position of total rest. This way, your muscles are quickly developing and strengthening, as you perform the positive segment of this movement. Power presses work much in the same way; to properly execute them, you’ll need either a power rack, or a Smith machine. Before you begin, though, you need to make sure that the safeties are set at a point where your range of motions during the exercise will be limited. As you lower the rack or the bar, allow it to come down completely, before you press back up again. As you grow in strength, remember to lower the safeties, so as to give your upper pecs more of a workout.

3.       Dumbbells will help you develop your upper pecs. For working out certain groups of muscles using a barbell is not much different from using dumbbells. This, however, does not apply to the upper part of your pectorals. While both barbells and dumbbells help create tension in the muscles and involve a certain range of motions, the two fitness devices are entirely different. When you’re doing those inclines that we just advised you about, make sure you’re not strictly using the barbell; use the dumbbells in all possible angles and see how they can help enhance your upper pecs.

4.       Flyes can work wonders, when done right. There’s yet another element that can help you sculpt your chest to great detail, while simultaneously enhancing the look of your upper pecs. When combined with incline movements and dumbbells, flyes will work wonders for the superior part of your chest. We’re referring to incline dumbbell flyes, of course – especially those executed with the palms facing forward throughout the duration of the exercise. Not only will these incline dumbbell flyes help you etch your upper pecs, but they’ll also put your deltoid muscles to some good use. They work by adding tension to the upper part of your chest and giving your upper pecs a good stretch.

5.       Get a flye machine and stay on top of it.Flye machines, such as the pec deck, will really put the inner fiber in your chest to good use. They will also give the entire muscle complex in that area a good stretch and help you make sure that you’re working out the whole chest, both on the inside, as well as on the outside. There is a way to maximize upper pec stretching on a pec deck (or any other type of flye machine for that matter): lift your elbows as high up in the air as you can and keep them parallel to the floor throughout the whole movement.

6.       Yes, stretching does work. Some believe it’s a myth, but, in fact, as many professional weightlifting trainers can explain, stretching definitely helps with increasing the size of your muscles, post-workout. It also helps your muscle fiber recover faster, especially after you’ve put in a difficult, complex workout. If you haven’t been training your upper pecs too much and have just now started, you could definitely benefit from a good stretch once you’re done working out. Aside from recovery assistance, stretching does another good thing for your muscles: it provides them with ample room for them to grow.

Chest workouts without weights

We’ve already established that the chest is essential for both men and women who want to achieve that healthy, fit, and toned look. But what happens when you don’t have the time or the money to sign up to a gym, where you have access to sophisticated training machines and weights? Can you still exercise your chest without weights? Can you still tone your chest and improve your energy and health? As many of you already know, the calves, arms, and thighs can be easily worked out without them, but does the same hold true of your pectoral complex? Of course it does; all you need is a bit of expertise and some tips and tricks. Check out our list below for starters.

Chest workouts without weights for beginners

1.       Regular pushups. By this point, you should know how to perform a pushup in proper form, but here’s a primer, just in case. Touch your feet and rest your palms on the floor and make sure your back is completely straight. Each palm should be positioned underneath each shoulder. Bend your arms from the elbows into a 90-degree angle, then come straight up again for a full repetition.

2.       Knee pushups. Start out by assuming the knelt position, with both knees firmly on the floor and your palms also on the floor, right in front of you. Move your hands forward, until your entire upper body is being supported by your arms. At this point, your back should be straight enough for your shoulders and knees to draw a straight line in the air. Lift your feet up in the air by bending your knees, then bend your arms down toward the ground. At the bottom-most point of the movement, they should form a 90-degree angle with the floor. To perform a full rep, straighten out your arms.

Chest workouts without weights for intermediates

1.       Elevated pushups. Prop your feet up on a sturdy chair, which can hold your weight without sliding across the floor. If it moves in the least, then prop it up against a wall, use a heavier one, or try using a couch for a change. Keep your back straight and your palms flat on the floor, so that your back is perfectly parallel to the ground. Bend both arms simultaneously to a 90-degree angle, then straighten them out again for a full repetition.

2.       Reptile pushups. Start out in standard pushup position, then bend your right knee till it touches your right elbow. Then, bend your arms into a 90 degree angle, followed by a complete straightening out. Switch sides and repeat the same motion with your left knee. The secret to the efficiency of this type of pushup is that, each time you bend one knee, a part of your bodyweight shifts over to your arms. This, in turn, will help you build your chest muscle. For a full rep, you need to perform a pushup on each side of the body.

3.       Dips. You will need to chairs of the same height, positioned back to back. Spread them apart, so that you can fit in well – place them at shoulder-width distance. Make sure they are strong and sturdy enough to hold your weight, then place one hand on each chair and lift your entire bodyweight with your arms. Your body should be straight and your knees should be bent, so that they can’t touch the floor. Then, slowly bend your elbows down, until your arms and the floor form a 90-degree angle. Complete a full repetition by raising your body once again, with your arms held straight up. It’s good to include dips into your chest workouts, since pushups alone can’t properly exercise your inner chest muscles the way dips can.

Chest workouts without weights for advanced users

1.       Backpack pushups. Sure, you don’t need actual weights in order to work out your chest muscles from the comfort and privacy of your own home, but who’s to say you can’t add some extra weight anyway? As you progress with your workouts, at some point you’ll notice that pushups alone aren’t much of a challenge anymore. Take that as your cue to add some extra weight, by putting on a backpack. Not only can you perform any type of pushup listed above with a backpack on, but you can also experiment with the amount of weight inside it, by increasing or decreasing it, as you see fit.

2.       Backpack dips. The same principle that applies to pushups is definitely also valid for dips. There comes a point when a regular dip becomes too easy to perform. This is also the point at which your chest muscles are no longer receiving enough of a workout. Luckily, you can easily add strength and endurance to your muscles by amping up the stress levels that your chest is exposed to. Simply put on a backpack whenever you do dips!

Full at-home chest workout without weights

If you’re looking for one of those quick, yet challenging plans for your chest, which you can perform at home every other day, then look no further. We’ve got a full ten-minute workout that you can do right at home, as often as you want, without the need to use anything else except for your own body weight. It burns between 64 and 113 calories, depending on how much you weigh, and it’s bound to help you get ripped, without doing pushups like crazy. It is intermediate to advanced, in terms of difficulty. It’s great for your upper body and also uses your core muscles for support. You’ll find similar programs on bodybuilding.com, where you can also watch an informative video on how to perform each movement.

Most of the workout is based on pushups and can be used on its own, but yields the best results when integrated into more complex, full-body routines. Alternatively, you can try doing some cardio before you begin, as well as adding some upper back and biceps exercises afterwards. That’s because this workout targets the precise opposite muscles, so adding these activities would help you achieve a balanced routine.

You can start out by doing no more than a single set each day. One exercise superset should last for 30 seconds, with a 30 second break for rest in-between. Don’t let that fool you – it’s a tough workout, so don’t be surprised if you wake up with sore chest muscles the following day. If you’re aiming to build mass or enhance the strength of your chest muscles, you should perform this exercise twice per day, with a couple of hours’ break in between sets. Additionally, those of you looking to add size should concentrate on the negative, not the positive movement of each exercise. For pushups, the negative is the part in which you drop to the ground. Focusing on this segment of the activity means lowering yourself down very slowly; even if you have trouble pushing back up, you’ll still be getting stronger and more sculpted thanks to this at-home workout.

So take out your exercise mat and get crackin’ – here’s what you’ll need to do:

1.       The single leg pushup. Start in standard pushup position, with your feet and hands on the ground. Both the feet and the palms should be spread at least to shoulder-width distance, but aim for wider, if you can. Lift each leg up in the air, in turn, then complete the rest of the pushup just like you would a ‘normal’ one. Be aware of the fact that this is by far the most difficult movement in the workout and you can make it as hard on yourself as you want, by spreading your feet wider apart. You can also opt to use a single hand to support your body weight. Remember to switch sides and put in as many reps with the opposite leg in the air, too.

2.       The wide pushup. As its name suggests, this variation on the traditional pushup will have you on your hands and feet, with the back straight and parallel to the floor, but your arms as widely spread apart as you can control. Ideally, you should aim to position your palms at least 2 to 4 inches outside your elbows, with your arms extended straight from the laterals of your body. This exercise will take a heavy toll on your chest muscles, so if you feel your form is slipping, support your lower body by dropping your knees.

3.       The staggered hand pushup. With one hand on your waist or hip, fingers pointing toward your toes, tuck the elbow of that hand into your ribcage. The other hand should be firmly planted on the floor, with the fingers right next to your face, pointing toward your nose. Align your shoulders and hips in as much of a parallel line with the ground as you can. For this exercise, your core will be just as engaged as your chest muscles, since it will take on some of the torque required to keep your body aligned.

4.       The triceps pushup. The tri ceps pushup is also known as the narrow pushup and it’s performed with both palms under your chest and your elbows tucked neatly into your ribcage. Your fingers should be pointing toward your face, as you push up with your arms and reach the full plank position. Since this exercise puts a lot of pressure on your bicep, don’t worry if, especially in the beginning, it feels exhausted. From that point onward, simply focus on the negative, the drop from plank position, or do half a pushup, by propping yourself up on your knees. Make sure your back is parallel to the ground and your hips are aligned with your chest and your legs and you’ll still be giving your tricep a run for the money.

5.       The side pushup. As its name suggests, this pushup is performed from an initial position in which you’re lying on one side. The arm that’s closer to the ground should be wrapped around your waist, while the other one should be positioned right in front of your chest, with the palm flat on the floor, aligned with the rest of your body. Press up with the arm that’s hanging off your hip and lift your shoulders off the floor. The difficult version of this exercise involves coming up to your hands and knees instead of your hips. The impossible version is to come up on your feet.

This chest workout which involves no weight or any other type of equipment, will not burn many calories when performed, but it will give you an afterburn that’s bound to impact your calorie expenditure for the day. It’s not exactly at HIIT (high intensity interval training) level, but since it can be categorized as strength training and mass building, the effect is similar. You might not end up looking like Ronnie Coleman overnight, but, in time, you’ll start seeing the effects.

The chest building program without weights

If you’re not satisfied with a simple chest routine to integrate into a more complex, full-body workout, then you might want to check out the program below. It’s guaranteed to help you get ripped like extreme bodybuilder Kai Greene, if you stick to it long enough! It also makes no use of weights, such as a kettlebell, barbell, or dumbbell, but it lasts for 8 weeks, delineated into three efficient endurance, strength, and speed increasing stages. Like the chest workout above, this one is also largely based on press-ups. It, too, promises to chisel, sculpt, and pack on the fiber in your chest area – all in a matter of weeks. Check out the stages for each week, as well as brief description of each new exercise.

·         Weeks 1 and 2. Perform the following routine of chest exercises, with one or two minutes in between each set, for rest. Do them on 2 or 3 non-consecutive days of the week, allowing for one day of rest at the very least. A set should comprise at least 10 to 15 reps. Start with the wide pushup, then move on to the alternating shuffle pushup, and end with the diamond pushup.

·         Weeks 3 to 6. The following sequence of exercises should be performed for 4 sets each, with 1 to 2 minutes of rest in between each set, 10 to 15 reps to a set, on 2 non-consecutive days. The exercise sequence for these 4 weeks will require the use of a box or stairs, that are at least 4 to 5 inches tall. Start with the one-arm pushup, then the cross-over box pushup, the hands-on-box diamond pushup, and finally the dynamic box pushup.

·         Weeks 7 and 8. These final two weeks of the chest workout program with no weights will test the base endurance thresholds of your chest muscles. During these weeks, you’ll be working on the explosive movements and speed efficiency that will give you an edge, no matter what sport you may choose to play. It will make your upper body a lean, mean muscle machine, while also making it look chiseled enough to show off in front of a potential romantic interest. Here’s what you’ll need to do: perform the exercises in weeks 3 to 6 as a circuit training workout, with no pause for rest. Aim for at least 10 reps per set. Rest for 1 to 2 minutes after each set, then strive to complete four sets. Repeat the circuit workout on two non-consecutive days, with 3 days of rest in between. Also, try not to collapse (too often).

Chest workouts for women

The difference between men and women, when it comes to chest workouts, is that most women don’t really want to end up looking like Jay Cutler or Greg Plitt. In fact, as most trainers will tell you, women usually approach them asking for a ripped middle section with washboard abs, firm buttocks, thin thighs and… a perkier chest. This is not to say that Arnolds chest, back in his Mister Universe days, wasn’t perky, but it’s not exactly close to the feminine ideal either. Yet, while most women do want a part of the muscle cutting benefits that bodybuilding offers, they’re worried that gaining muscle mass will make them look less womanly – whatever that may mean. We’re here to tell you that you’ve been fed some lies about lifting weights and we are also offering a cheat sheet of all the tips and tricks you need to know about toning your chest.

Myths about weight lifting chest workouts for women

Here are a bunch of ‘facts’ that get tossed around, when it comes to chest workouts for women. Not only can we guarantee that they’re not true, but we can also explain just how and why they are untrue.

Myth #1: If I lift weights, my cup size will go down.

No, it won’t. Simply because you’ve seen some female bodybuilders with small bra sizes on stage, it doesn’t mean that weight lifting causes your chest to magically shrink overnight. Those women are also following specialized, often extreme diets, which causes them to lose most of their body fat. Since the breasts are mostly made up of fatty tissue, it only makes sense that they should lose a couple sizes here and there. Stick to a diet that provides the proper amount of fats and you’ll be fine. If you’re trying to lose weight while chest training, make sure that you’re still getting enough fats in your daily diet to sustain the proper functioning of your body.

Myth #2: Weight lifting makes your boobs firmer

Some women wish with all their hearts that this myth were true – unfortunately for them, it’s not. Your chest will not magically turn rock hard, from squishy soft, from a few bench presses. What will happen, however, is that the muscle underneath the fatty tissue that makes up your breasts will become harder. This can provide a bit of a natural lift, as well as make for a more ample cleavage. As explained above, strive to keep your overall levels of body fat in a healthy range: that’s about 10 to 12 per cent for women. It’s highly unadvisable to go below 10 per cent body fat, since this could have you facing serious health concerns such as dysmenorrhea.

Myth #3: For chest training, pushups alone will do

So you’ve added pushups to your regular cardio, but you’re still not seeing results, in the form of a more toned and chiseled upper body. What gives? The thing with chest training, as with training any other muscle group, for that matter, is that the muscles need a constant challenge. This means you need to put in a varied range of exercises and also add some resistance training to your routine, too. Do perform pushups, but also add bench presses, incline bench presses, flyes with cables or dumbbells and you’ll start seeing the results faster than you imagined. By focusing on a single type of exercise, such as pushups, you are effectively teaching your body how to develop resistance to that particular type of activity. Unless you gradually increase the difficulty of your pushups, or add a weight plate on your back, you’re not going to be getting any stronger anytime soon.

All you need to know about chest workouts for women

Sure, crossfit may be fun and all the rage right now, but if you want rock hard muscles that look shapely, too, weight lifting is the way to go. Here are a few pointers to take along, on your journey of toning and sculpting.

·         Lighter weights may seem more appropriate for toning, if you’re a weight lifting beginner, but it’s the heavier ones that will give both your outer and your inner muscular fiber a run for the money. Your muscles need to feel challenged (read: sore, at times), in order to shape up. Don’t worry if you can only put in a few reps at first, because you’re lifting heavy weights. It’s not the number of repetitions that matters, in the long run, but the strength and resistance that your muscles are building through heavy lifting.

·         You will only bulk up and start gaining muscle mass if you supplement this type of workout with a high caloric intake. If you’re eating a regular diet or dieting for fat loss, you’re going to get leaner, stronger, and fitter, which is just what you wanted, isn’t it? Weight lifting isn’t going to magically turn your feminine chest into that of a bodybuilder, because, like other types of activity, such as INSANITY Workout or P90X, it does not add mass by default. Unlike them, however, lifting weights can target particular muscle groups, such as your pecs.

·         You want to put in a specific number of reps for effective chest workouts. Aim for 8 to 10 on the bench press and the incline bench press, but push for 10 to 12 repetitions when you’re doing flyes. Your ab muscles, as well as your chest muscles, need to be pushed, but not to the point of exhaustion.

·         The number of sets you put in also matters. Two or three sets is the ideal. Any more or any less and you may not be seeing the results you’re aiming for.

·         On compound lifts like the bench press or circuit chest workouts, take a minute’s rest between the sets, for maximizing their efficiency.

 


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