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I get so many requests for good chest workout routines. Below are several chest workouts that can be performed depending on your level of bodybuilding experience. One workout is for beginners, one for intermediates, and the other one is for advanced bodybuilders. The last chest workout routines are for competitive bodybuilders. It is also designed for highly advanced bodybuilders who want to challenge themselves and try them out.

Even though these routines will add size to your chest, no amount of chest training will give you a chiseled pectoral look. Unless, that is, you have lost enough body fat to display those muscles. Losing body fat depends on what your diet plan looks like along with your cardiovascular exercise program.

Nutrition / Supplementation Tips
For Getting The Most Growth Out Of Your Workouts

While this article is about chest training, I would feel that I am doing a disservice if I don’t at least provide some tips on how your diet should look like. The reason for this is because nutrition and training go hand in hand. As IFBB Bodybuilding Hall of Famer Lee Labrada likes to say, training and nutrition are like the two wheels of a bicycle. If you only have one wheel, it will be hard to get somewhere. With that said, here are my recommendations:

PROTEIN
Everyone should consume a minimum of 1 gram per pound of bodyweight in grams of protein per day. So if you weigh 200 lbs then you need 200 grams of lean proteins per day. If you are training 5-6 days a week and have body fat levels below 12%, I would suggest you consume 1.5 grams. Good protein sources are: chicken, turkey, lean red meats, salmon, tuna, any lean fish, egg whites, and whole eggs.

CARBS
If you have a slow metabolism, start out with 1 gram per pound of bodyweight in grams of carbs per day. Again, our 200lb subject will consume 200 grams of carbs per day. A medium metabolism can start with 1.5 grams while a fast metabolism needs 2-3 grams per day! Good complex carb sources are: sweet potato, potatoes, oatmeal, brown rice, brown rice pasta, and plain rice cakes. Also, don’t be afraid to consume some simple carbs as well in the form of a piece of fruit at breakfast and/or pre or post workout. Finally, don’t forget to include a serving or two of vegetables in at least 2 of your meals.

FATS
For growth, take in 0.3 grams of good fats for every pound of bodyweight. Thus, if you weigh 200 lbs you will need 60 grams of good fats per day. Good fats are: extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, nuts like cashews/almonds, and fish oils.

WATER
Do keep in mind that your body is mainly made out of water so drink it up! A lack of water will cause lack of performance in the gym, and has a myriad of health issues. It will also will have an adverse effect in your ability to gain muscle and lose fat. Shoot for a minimum of bodyweight x 0.66 in ounces of water per day.

MEAL & NUTRIENT SPACING
Be sure to space out your meals 2-3 hours apart. I always recommend a breakfast, lunch, and dinner – with a protein shake, such as Lean Pro8 in between meals. Look at the example of our 200lb subject. If you split your nutrients over 5 meals you have 40 grams of carbs (assuming his metabolism is slow), 40 grams of proteins, and 12 grams of fats per meal.

PERFORMANCE SUPPLEMENTATION
If you want to give your workouts an extra kick, try out my favorite Pre-Workout supplement: Labrada Super Charge! It has both a stimulant and stimulant free version! This formula is loaded with the efficacious dosages of every single performance ingredient that has been proven to work!


Let’s talk about how we can get those chest muscles to grow regardless of what your experience level at the gym may be:

Beginners’ Bodybuilding Chest Workout
• Monday: Incline Bench Press, Dumbbell Bench Press
• Wednesday: Incline Dumbbell Bench Press, Chest Dips
• Friday:  Incline Dumbbell Flyes, Flat Dumbbell Bench Press

   Beginning Trainer’s Notes
•Perform 2 sets per exercise of 10-12 repetitions with good form.
•Use slow and deliberate movements, pause at the contracted position for a couple of seconds and then slowly come back to the starting position.
•Only rest 60 seconds in between sets.
•Incorporate these workouts in a full body routine.


  Intermediate Bodybuilding Chest Workout
• Monday: 75 Degree Incline Dumbbell Press, Flat Dumbbell Press. Incline Flyes
• Thursday: Incline Bench Press, Chest Dips, Flat Dumbbell Flyes

   Intermediate Trainer’s Notes
•Perform 2 sets of each exercise for 10-12 reps with good form. Go up to 3 sets per exercise after 4 weeks.
•Use slow and deliberate movements, pause at the contracted position for a couple of seconds and then slowly come back to the starting position.
•Only rest 60 seconds between sets.
•Perform this workout as part of a split routine where you work out four days a week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday) and split your muscle groups in the following manner:
-Day 1: Chest, Back, and Arms (Monday/Thursday)
– Day 2: Shoulders, Legs, and Abs (Tuesday/Friday)


 InclinedBenchPress  Advanced Bodybuilding Chest Workout
At this level you will use periodization to get the best results. You will be performing your chest workouts twice a week.

Chest & Back (Wednesday/Saturday)
• Week 1 Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 4 sets x 10-12 reps (1 min rest) Chest Dips 4 sets x 10-12 reps (1 min rest)
• Week 2 Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 5 sets x 10-12 reps (1 min rest) Chest Dips 4 sets x 10-12 reps (1 min rest)
• Week 3 Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 5 sets x 10-12 reps (1 min rest) Chest Dips 4 sets x 10-12 reps (1 min rest) Dumbbell Bench Press 3 sets x 10-12 reps (1 min rest)
• Week 4 Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 5 sets x 10-12 reps (1 min rest) Chest Dips 4 sets x 10-12 reps (1 min rest) Dumbbell Bench Press 3 sets x 10-12 reps (1 min rest) Incline Flyes 3 sets x 10-12 reps (1 min rest)
Weeks 5-8 Modified Superset: Incline Barbell Press 5 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6, 4 (90 sec rest) Back Exercise of your choice 5 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6, 4 (90 sec rest) Modified Superset: Flat Bench Press 5 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6, 4 (90 sec rest) Back Exercise of your choice 5 sets x 10, 8, 6, 6, 4 (90 sec rest)

   Advanced Trainer’s Notes
•In a modified superset, rest the prescribed amount of time after the first set of exercise #1. Then perform the first set of exercise #2 resting the prescribed time. Go back to exercise #1 in the superset continuing this pattern until both exercises are executed for the prescribed amount of sets.
•Use slow and deliberate movements, pause at the contracted position for a couple of seconds and then slowly come back to the starting position.
•Perform this workout as part of a split routine where you work out either six days a week or three days on and one day off.

Split your muscle groups in the following manner:
• Day 1-Shoulders and Arms (Monday/Thursday)
• Day 2-Legs (Tuesday/Friday)
• Day 3-Chest, Back, and Abs (Wednesday/Saturday)

-or-

• Day 1-Shoulders and Arms
• Day 2-Legs
• Day 3-Chest, Back, and Abs
• Day 4-Rest
• Day 5-Start the routine again with Day 1 workout


   Competitive Bodybuilding Chest Workout
Alternate between the following three chest workout routines. You will perform your chest workouts anywhere from once every five to seven days. At this level, you should know what your recovery capabilities allow and you will also periodize your workouts based on how your body feels. However, I will provide repetition ranges in order to give an idea of what a competitive bodybuilding chest routine should look like.

Chest Workout #1
• Incline Dumbbell Press 4 sets x 6-8 reps
• Flat Bench Press 4 sets x 8-10 reps
• Chest Dips 3 sets x 10-12 reps
• Incline Flyes 3 sets x 12-15 reps
• High Pulley Cable Flyes 3 sets x 15-20 reps
• Dumbbell Pullovers 3 sets x 15-20 reps

Chest Workout #2
• Dumbbell Pullovers 3 sets x 12-15 reps
• Incline Barbell Press 4 sets x 10-12 reps
• Chest Dips 3 sets x 8-10 reps
• Flat Dumbbell Press 4 sets x 10-12 reps
• Flat Flyes 3 sets x 12-15 reps
• Low Pulley Cable Flyes 3 sets x 15-20 reps

Chest Workout #3
• Flat Dumbbell Press 4 sets x 6-8 reps
• Incline Dumbbell Press 6 sets x 10-12 reps
• Chest Dips 3 sets x 15-20 reps
• Incline Flyes 3 sets x 12-15 reps
• Pec Deck Machine 2 sets x 15-20 reps

   Competitive Bodybuilding Training Notes:
•Rest 60-90 seconds in between sets.
•Use slow and deliberate movements, pause at the contracted position for a couple of seconds and then slowly come back to the starting position.
•You may superset some of the exercises above. For example, in Workout #3 you could do a good superset of chest dips and incline flyes.
•Perform this workout as part of a split routine where you work out your body parts every 5-7 days. At this level, you would know what routine you need to design based on what the strength and weaknesses of your body are. However, I can offer a few sample split routines that I have used with great success:
• Day 1-Chest/Calves
• Day 2-Hamstrings/Abs
• Day 3-Shoulders/Arms
• Day 4-Quads/Abs
• Day 5-Back/Traps
• Day 6-Start back at Day 1 (take a rest day when needed)

-or-

• Day 1-Chest/Calves
• Day 2-Hamstrings/Abs
• Day 3-Shoulders/Arms
• Day 4-Quads/Abs
• Day 5-Back/Traps
• Day 6-Rest
• Day 7- Start back at Day 1

-or-

• Day 1-Chest/Calves
• Day 2-Hamstrings/Abs
• Day 3-Shoulders/Traps
• Day 4-Arms
• Day 5-Quads/Abs
• Day 6-Back/Traps
• Day 7-Rest
• Day 8-Start back at Day 1


CONCLUSION
I hope that this article gives you a nice insight on the type of routines (and diet/supplementation) that will build your chest up.  Be sure to drop me a line and let me know how you do with any of these routines. Until next time, take care and train hard!


Hugo-dumbbells-cutoutAbout the Author
Hugo Rivera is an International best selling fitness author certified in personal training and nutrition with a computer engineering degree from the University of South Florida. Hugo is owner of www.hugorivera.net, an informational, free fitness and nutrition website. He is author of over 10 fitness books (with over a million copies sold) including his best sellers: Body Re-Engineering, The Body Sculpting Bible for Men, The Body Sculpting Bible for Women, the Weight Training Diary, and the Hardgainers Handbook of Bodybuilding. Today via his website HugoRivera.net, numerous articles, book publications, TV and radio appearances Hugo continues to educate the public on how to achieve the body of their dreams via the use of weight training exercise, good nutrition and correct supplementation.  You can follow Hugo at his:

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