By Darren Floro-Bryant
I have talked about a number of training styles in past publications and why or how they are beneficial and have provided a few examples explaining each style. I’ve talked about HIIT style of training, a killer 20’s workout, supersets and I’ve also talked about the benefits of a full body work out, even providing a sample workout.
Now I am going to start presenting some sample workouts for specific body parts incorporating some of the styles previously talked about, but also sharing some alternate styles and showing you how they can all work together to help maximize your results in the gym.
Today, I am going to outline a sample chest workout focusing on dumbbells, body weight and a few other pieces of equipment you will find at most gyms – even most hotel fitness rooms.
Warm Up to Proper Form
Always make sure you warm up your body and your joints before starting any fitness routine. Also, make sure to consult with a fitness professional to ensure you are practicing proper form or if any modifications need to be made because of either an injury or any other form of problem areas you may need assistance with. There are always solutions and workarounds that can be implemented.
Dumbbell Chest Press – 10-12 reps
Superset with: 30-second straight arm plank + Bodyweight squats 12 reps
3 sets of each
These exercises are great to group together because you are doing 3-4 styles in this exercise grouping. You are intensifying the chest press by immediately going into a straight arm plank. A straight arm plank (or high push-up plank hold), engages the pectoral muscles you just used for the chest press along with the secondary or supporting muscles of the triceps and shoulders in an isometric hold with the added bonus of core work. The superset of the bodyweight squats is a form of active recovery, it allows the muscles for the chest press to rest and recover, but still helps keep the heart rate elevated, and the core engaged.
Alternating Incline Dumbbell Chest Press from the low or down position – 10-12 reps per arm
Superset with: Push-ups on the narrow end of a weight bench 12 reps + Angled donkey kicks 12 reps per leg
3sets of each
This is another great group of exercises because you are doing 3-4 styles in this exercise grouping. You are intensifying the incline chest press by holding the dumbbell in the down part of the range of motion while you press the other dumbbell providing time under tension and helping build stability and strength endurance in the joints and muscles involved in a chest press. Then by immediately going into push-ups on the narrow end of a weight bench, you are engaging the chest from a different angle and grip. This type of push up engages the lower side of the pectoral muscles along with the secondary or supporting muscles of the triceps. With this type of superset, you may want to gradually increase the weights of your dumbbells for the press, as you will likely find this will fatigue the muscles involved in the chest press a lot quicker. The superset of the angled donkey kicks, again, is a form of active recovery. It allows the muscles for the chest press to rest and recover but still helps keep the heart rate elevated and the core engaged.
Flat Dumbbell Chest Press HOLD from the low or down position 30sec
Superset with: Incline Dumbbell Chest Parallel (palms facing in) Press + Standing bodyweight calf raises 20 reps
3 sets of each
This exercise grouping is tough because the isometric hold at the start of the superset gradually overloads the muscles involved in a chest press. Then by immediately supersetting with the incline dumbbell parallel press, you can go a little deeper with the press creating an even greater overload while implementing a greater range of motion hitting the muscles involved from different angles. The super set of the bodyweight calf raises are used simply for active recovery.
Machine Chest Fly – 12reps
Superset with: Straight arm plank on a weighted ball or medicine ball with alternating leg lifts or glute squeezes 15reps/leg
3 sets each
This exercise pairing has multiple layers to it. First, you have the chest fly which helps target the outer edges of the pectorals in the open position of the fly right into the inner edges of the fly when squeezing or pressing the hands together at the closed or top position of the fly. Then by adding a straight arm plank on a weighted ball or medicine ball with alternating leg lifts or glute squeezes not only intensifies the squeeze from the fly but adds an element of balance to this isometric move and by adding the leg lifts the balance factor is taken up a level and challenges the full body.
Burpees 10 reps
3 sets each
Yep, I said it – Burpees! Ties it all together and finishes off the workout with high intensity and helps keep the metabolism fired up for quite some time after the workout. Yay, BURPEES!!
This workout will help with the development and growth of your chest and can easily be modified or adjusted as needed, simply by switching up a few of the groupings to switch up the target areas and intensity.