By Austin Perry
Before the hours leading up to many rounds of tequila shots and getting completely blacked out by 4PM, an effective workout is a must so you can show off your insane pump prior to hitting all the Cinco De Mayo festivities.
As international chest day approaches, why not start off with an intense, high volume chest workout a day earlier so you don’t have to worry about overcrowded gyms or having to wait a half hour for someone to finish on a certain machine or flat bench.
Have your EAA+ Hydration intra-workout ready to go because increasing recovery time and improving stamina is essential when it comes to hypertrophy-based workouts.
Let’s get started…
First Exercise: Flat Bench
It’s time to let the fun begin and why not start out with the most common chest exercise in the game. To start, you’ll want to warm-up prior to loading the bench with a moderately heavy weight you are confident you can do for multiple sets of without needing to drop the weight.
There are two different options you can go with for sets and reps. However, if you’re feeling good enough, I would recommend going with 5 sets and a finishing drop set while giving yourself roughly 60 seconds of rest in between. The reps for this set will go 12, 10, 8, 6, 4 with your final set going back up to 12 reps with a lower weight.
|Drop-Set Finisher||12 Reps|
For this specific exercise, you can throw in at the end of your workout as more of a burn-out finisher if you choose to. However, I prefer starting this as the first exercise so that I can start out relatively heavy without feeling overly weakened toward the end.
Second Exercise: Incline Bench
Contrary to popular belief, the incline bench is my favorite exercise by far as you can really focus on contracting the upper portion of the chest and getting the perfect squeeze to help with chest definition.
For this exercise, start out with a moderate weight as well. Nothing too heavy and nothing overly easy either as the main point of focus will be slower and more concentrated reps.
Try working with 4 sets x 15 reps each and having the same amount of rest time as the previous exercise at 60 seconds also. Making the reps count on incline bench is crucial as you want to touch the bar just below your collarbone and make the push fully stretched out on the way up while going relatively slower. Try to pause for about 3 seconds on the way down as well.
|1x||15 Reps (Moderate Weight)|
|2x||15 Reps (Same Weight)|
|3x||15 Reps (Same Weight)|
|4x||15 Reps (Same Weight)|
By now, the chest pump is unreal and you might be feeling like you’re about ready to bust through your brand new Nutrex Space T-Shirt. No drop sets are needed and by going with the same weight for each set, the weight will begin to feel heavier and heavier as you finish each set.
Third Exercise: Cable Chest Fly’s
After finishing up the second exercise of your volume focused chest workout, head on over to the cables (if your gym has them).
For this, I like to stay with 3 different angles such as high, middle and lower chest fly’s while keeping the exact same weight pinned for this the entire time. Cable fly’s are also an excellent way of contracting the muscle group and really focusing on the squeeze of certain areas of the chest.
Try lowering the rest time for these as well, because not only do you not want to be that guy/girl taking an hour to do this also but mainly to make this a true burn-out session. The sets and reps will also be uniformed at 3 sets x 10 reps for each angle.
|High Cable Fly’s||Mid Cable Fly’s||Low Cable Fly’s|
|1st Set x10 Reps||1st Set x10 Reps||1st Set x10 Reps|
|2nd Set x10 Reps||2nd Set x10 Reps||2nd Set x10 Reps|
|3rd Set x10 Reps||3rd Set x10 Reps||3rd Set x10 Reps|
It is highly recommended that you are also focusing on form for these specific angles (and all exercises) as you can hurt yourself, specifically in the shoulder area, if you’re not doing them correctly. Again, you’re going to want to stick with a weight that causes a struggle toward the end of your set but also are comfortable with not needing to drop weight at any time.
Fourth Exercise: Alternating Low Dumbbell Fly’s
In my opinion, this specific exercise can be slotted anywhere within your workout if you choose to do so. Alternating low dumbbell fly’s are one of my favorites as well and can be used with a relatively low weight.
It is very critical also to make sure that you are not in a constant swinging motion but rather controlled movements on the way up and a pause when you come back down to the starting position. By alternating arms, you can easily focus on each side and get the full pump from this exercise.
For the sets and reps, you will want to do 3 sets x 15 reps per alternation. Your rest period will need to be increased so that you can use the same weight for the entirety of this exercise as well.
Rest period can be calculated for this by your own personal estimate (I typically go around 90 seconds rest between sets). For this, you will also want to have your hand position with palms facing up and stay at this in both the resting and active positions.
Try to keep the dumbbells and your arms relatively close to your body and use each side of your chest as a contracting point on the way up.
|Alternating Low Dumbbell Fly’s|
|1st Set x15 Reps (Low Weight)|
|2nd Set x15 Reps (Low Weight)|
|3rd Set x15 Reps (Low Weight)|
Fifth Exercise: Seated Chest Press
As your strength starts to become depleted and the weight becomes heavier, focusing on a lower weight conventional seated chest press is always a great way to add in a finisher to your workout.
By adding in 4 sets of 10 with a moderate/lower weight, you can dial in on making the remainder of your workout really count. Seated incline press is a good exercise to substitute in place depending on the type of equipment your gym has.
Your rest period will also be increased to roughly 90 seconds to maintain the same weight throughout. If your body is coming close to a completely burnt-out stage, try going until failure for your reps if you cannot maintain a consistent rep range.
|Seated Chest Press|
|1st Set x10 Reps|
|2nd Set x10 Reps|
|3rd Set x10 Reps|
|4th Set x10 Reps|
By now, you can start to judge your body’s conditioning levels as well as your stamina starts to become depleted with higher volume rep ranges and sets. Depending on how you feel, try to take a quick 5-minute rest period before moving onto the final burn-out finisher exercise.
Final Exercise: Flat Bench Burn-outs
This final exercise works best with a spotter to help assist in taking weight off after each set of 10 reps. Find a weigh you know is going to make you struggle as hard as possible with and mathematically adjust this to relate to 5lb plates.
Typically, (based on judgement) you can go with six 5lb plates on each side of the bar and the next step will include the reasoning behind this.
Because this is a finishing burn-out exercise, you will have these 5lb plates added and work in a set of 10 reps, once the 10 reps have been completed, you will stay on the bench with no rest period and your spotter will need to take off one 5lb plate from each side and continue to repeat until you get all the way down to the bar.
Roughly by your second or third set is when fatigue will start to set in and you will be finding that 85lbs can feel like 405lbs. Continue this and on your final set with just the bar, get at least 20-30 reps to completely finish off this exercise and your workout.
If you do not have a spotter, try to move relatively quickly to ditch the weight after each set of 10 to avoid any additional rest time. For others, if the weight is too heavy and you find that you’re only working with about three 5lb plates, try switching it up and adding in 2.5lb plates to increase the working sets as well.
Upon completion of this workout, you may or may not feel like vomiting but you may also feel like you have the chest size and definition of Jay Cutler himself…
After breaking down muscle tissue during that workout, you are going to want to help with muscle recovery, try taking a scoop and a half of Nutrex Isofit to secure your protein intake post-workout.
Now you can go show off those hard earned gains at the local bar with a shmedium t-shirt and veins popping out during the Cinco De Mayo celebrations.