Contrast Chest Workout

Introduction

For this workout, we are going to do a workout that starts off from double digit reps, at a lower intensity and then contrasts with the second part of the workout, where we do less than 8 repetitions and finish the compound exercises with 2 sets until failure for 6 repetitions.

The workout ends with a cable chest exercise, where our goal is to use moderate weights, a controlled pace and an optimal contraction of the chest musculature.

Workout priorities

The workout doesn’t specifically focus on any portion of the chest, but is rather built for all-around development.

This chest workout would be perfect for someone who has no severely lacking sectors of the chest (e.g.- Overdeveloped lower chest and a flat upper chest), as it will pretty much blast the chest all-around.

The goal with the workout is to have contrasting repetitions (both single digit and double digits, going through all levels of the intensity scale).

This will allow for both types of muscle growth, which you can read about in our article- Types of muscle growth.

The Workout

Exercise Sets Repetitions
Flat Barbell Bench Press 5 15,12,10,10,10
Incline Barbell Bench Press 4 8,8,8,6
Decline Dumbbell Bench Press 3 8,6,6 (last two until failure)
Cable Crossovers 3 10

Exercise map

Flat Barbell Bench Press

Flat barbell bench press

 

Execution

  • Lie down on the bench comfortably with your head rested and feet placed stably
  • Keeping your butt in contact with the bench, grab the barbell at shoulder width and un-rack it, without locking out the elbows
  • Let the bar go down to the lower portion of your chest, stretching the pectoral muscles
  • Push up explosively and contract the chest, without locking out the elbows

Incline Barbell Bench Press

Incline barbell bench press

 

Execution

  • Lie down on the bench comfortably, keeping your butt on the seat and feet placed stably
  • Rest your head back and grab the barbell wider than shoulder width
  • Un-rack it, keeping the elbows slightly bent and let the barbell down to the upper portion of the chest
  • Once the bar touches the chest slightly, push up explosively to the initial position, out of lockout

Decline Dumbbell Bench Press

Decline dumbbell bench press

 

Execution

  • Grab the dumbbells, sit on the bench and tuck your legs under the pads
  • Lie down and keep the dumbbells above your head, while the head is rested back to avoid neck tension
  • Keeping the elbows out of lockout, let the dumbbells down to the sides of your lower chest
  • Push the dumbbells up explosively, contracting the chest- Do not touch the dumbbells.

Cable Crossovers

Cable crossovers

 

Execution

  • Grab both pulleys and stand in the middle of the cable machine
  • Keeping the body straight, bend elbows slightly and look forward
  • Push down, contracting the chest muscles
  • Hold the contraction briefly and let the weight down slowly, stretching the chest muscles

Workout tips

  • Work your way up:
    As we mentioned, the workout starts from higher repetitions at low intensity and moves on to lower repetitions with higher intensity. Make sure to carefully go through this pyramid and feel the muscles working differently. Aim for a gradual transition.
  • Don’t go too hard:
    When reaching failure, don’t try too hard to get it past the point of failure- Otherwise, you will place excessive tension on the joints and ligaments, which, if done systematically, can lead to injuries.

Conclusion

This advanced workout is perfect for people who have an evenly developed chest, but are looking to increase the size of it.

The workout offers a wide variety of exercises, sets and repetitions, giving you 3 compound movements with a barbell and dumbbells and finishing off with an isolated chest exercise.

The exercises are expressed through a progressively increasing rate of exertion. Check out our other chest workouts, if you feel like this is not what you are looking for.

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