So do you want to build a championship chest? I’m betting you do. Why? Because my email box is literally stuffed full of questions from my dear “students” about this topic. In this week’s Lean Body Tip, I’m going to reveal one of the chest routines that helped me to win over 22 amateur and professional bodybuilding titles. It’s powerful so please don’t underestimate what it can do for you!
But first, here are the nuts and bolts of my entire routine.
2 days on, 1 day off, 1 day on, 1 day off
This means I workout for two days followed by one day of rest. Then, I workout another day followed by another day off. Then I repeat. I never train with weights more than two days in a row because I find that I build muscle faster if I have enough time to recuperate. (If you’re not making steady gains with your program try adding a few extra rest days each week. You may actually gain more by training less!
Here’s how my typical workout schedule looks:
• Day #1: Chest/Shoulders/Triceps
• Day #2: Back/Biceps/Abs
• Day #3: Rest Day
• Day #4: Quads/Hamstrings/calves
• Day #5: Rest Day
Now, you can certainly adapt this workout schedule to fit your specific needs. For example: If you want to take off the weekend from weight training (and many people do) then try 2 days on, 1 day off, 2 days on, 2 days off. Then repeat. This way you’ll have Wednesday along with Saturday and Sunday off each week. (The extra day of rest may be good for you!)
Here are 8 things which you must do to make this workout as effective as possible:
1. Obtain a training log and use it to track your workouts.
2. Use as much weight as possible for the number of prescribed repetitions in each exercise.
3. Perform each set to failure.
4. Strive to increase your training poundages slowly each week.
5. Keep the total length of your workouts to 60 minutes or less (including initial warm-up.)
6. Use strict form on all exercises.
7. Minimize stress and rest completely on days off. Try to get 8 to 9 hours of sleep each night.
8. Follow a proper nutrition and supplementation program. (Tip: check out the diets presented on the goals page: https://www.labrada.com/yourgoals)
Got it? Good. Now, here comes the meat and potatoes of this week’s tip!
• Use a 3-0-2 tempo (three seconds to lower the weight, no pause at bottom, and two seconds to raise the weight). This is important!
• Take between 1-2 minutes rest between sets.
• If you’re going to complete failure, you will need to reduce the training poundage by 10% after each set, in order to manage all the reps on the next set.
• If you’re a beginner, drop one set from each exercise and concentrate on form instead of going for the heavy poundage. (You’ll thank me later!)
1) BARBELL BENCH PRESS
• After two warm-up sets, perform 4 sets of 6-8 heavy repetitions.
• On the last set drop the weight and do another 4 reps without rest. (It hurts, but boy does it work!)
• Slightly arch your back, but make sure your rear-end stays firm against the bench.
• Avoid bouncing the weight off your chest.
2) DUMBBELL FLYES (on Flat Bench)
• 3 sets of 6-8 repetitions with as much weight as you can handle with good form.
• On the last set drop the weight and do another 6 reps without rest. (You should be ultra-pumped by now!)
• Bend your elbows and keep your arms locked in this position throughout the movement.
• Avoid lifting your head or shoulders off the bench.
3) INCLINE PRESS (30° to 35° Angle)
• 3 sets of 6-8 heavy repetitions for the last two sets.
• On the last set drop the weight and do another 4 reps without rest. (You really gotta “dig deep” on this last set!)
• Arch your chest out to minimize the involvement of your shoulders.
• Avoid pushing the weight out over your stomach or behind your head.
4) INCLINE DUMBBELL FLYES (30° to 35° Angle)
• 3 sets of 6-8 reps
• On the last set, reduce the weight and do another 6 reps without rest.
• Remember to keep your feet planted and abs tight.
• Avoid using a weight that you can’t control throughout the entire movement.
So there you have it! Don’t forget to go heavy and keep your rest intervals to just one to two minutes.
Until next time, I am
Your Lean Body Coach™
About the Author
One of the world’s most well-known and celebrated bodybuilding legends, Lee Labrada holds 22 professional bodybuilding titles, including the IFBB Mr. Universe. He is one of few pro bodybuilders in history to consistently place in the top four at the Mr. Olympia competition (the “Super Bowl” of bodybuilding) for seven consecutive years—a feat he shares with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
He has appeared on the covers of more than 100 bodybuilding and fitness magazines and has been featured on CNBC, FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN and ESPN as a fitness and nutrition expert. Lee was also inducted into the Bodybuilding Hall of Fame, is an Internationally known best selling fitness authos and holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. For more about Lee please visit his page here: Lee Labrada’s page.