Name: Scott Herman
Occupation: CEO of MuscularStrength.com and BSN-sponsored athlete
Given how badly a lot of guys want a bigger chest, you’d think they’d be more creative in building it. But instead, look in any weight room, and you’ll see the script of chest day being followed to the letter: bench, incline press, decline press, fly, pec-deck machine, rest and repeat.
If that sounds familiar, well, your chest probably agrees. You’ve no doubt heard a million times that as you perform the same exercises over and over, your body becomes increasingly adapted to those now-familiar movements. But what’s the solution? Simply changing up the order and doing the same stuff a little differently? That won’t work for long.
What worked for me and many others is to take an altogether different approach: training chest twice over the course of a split. But on the plan I’m about to lay out, you won’t simply be repeating the same movements for the same sets-and-reps scheme.
One routine will be slightly heavier, the other slightly lighter. But both will finish with a unique finishing circuit that will have you leaving the leave the gym with every last muscle fiber exhausted.
How to build a twice-a-week split
It normally takes 48-72 hours for your muscles to recover from a workout, but many training splits require you to wait a full week before training the same muscle group again. Those extra days offer you an opportunity to complete a second workout, and it’s an opportunity you’re going to take advantage of for the next six weeks.
Scott Herman Build A Three-Dimensional Chest
Watch the video - 13:51
You no longer have to wait a full week to stimulate the pecs again, but how you design your training split now becomes more critical, because where you place other push-day muscle groups (shoulders, triceps) can affect your performance on chest day, and vice-versa.
Here’s a sample split that would give all those push muscle groups at least 48 hours between workouts:
- Day 1: Chest workout 1, abs
- Day 2: Back, biceps
- Day 3: Shoulders, triceps
- Day 4: Rest
- Day 5: Chest workout 2, abs
- Day 6: Legs
- Day 7: Rest
While designing your split is a bit trickier, you can see how the twice-a-week approach can work for any other muscle group you want to bring up. But most likely you’ll have to fiddle with your muscle groups and rest days to ensure you don’t mistakenly train a given body part on back-to-back days.
Chest Workout 1 Pyramids and Heavy Weight
This workout is the one that focuses on training with heavier weight. That’s indicated by lower rep targets. Choose your weight so that you just reach the target rep, but close to muscle failure.
The rest periods are a bit longer, and you’ll be pyramiding up the weight from one set to the next as the target reps drop. At the end of the workout, perform the finishing circuit to ensure every last muscle fiber has been torn to pieces!
Incline Dumbbell Press (with bench set to 45 degrees)1 set of 15 reps
Incline Dumbbell Press (with bench set to 30 degrees)1 set of 15 reps
Chest Workout 2 Volume and Supersets
With your first chest workout complete, you’re going to give your central nervous system a bit of rest while before attacking it again. Lifting heavy places greater strain on your CNS than a typical bodybuilding workout, and we want don’t want to cause burnout from constant heavy lifting over the next six weeks. So you’ll focus on the two other growth mechanism beside mechanical tension: metabolic stress and muscle damage.
Workout two is a high-volume routine. Supersetting exercises puts greater tension on your pecs in the stretched position for maximum damage to your muscle fibers. The rest periods are much shorter as well, using higher rep targets with lighter weights.
Choose a weight you can handle for 12-15 reps per set during the working sets. Then you’ll once again conclude this routine with my pec-blast finisher.
Finishing circuit: repeat 2 times
Incline Dumbbell Press (with bench set to 45 degrees)1 set of 12 reps
Incline Dumbbell Press (with bench set to 30 degrees)1 set of 12 reps
If you're not used to such an intense workout, don't overdo it your first time you go through this split. For the first week, push yourself but keep the intensity a bit lower than your max. This will minimize soreness and allow you to perform the following week's workout adequately.
Remember, if you are used to the same old chest routine, your body has already adapted to those exercises. And if that’s the case, the amount of muscle stimulation your chest will be exposed to with these workouts will be significantly higher.
You and I are both are looking forward to seeing your results. Be sure to post a comment below if you have any questions and most importantly, go take a picture of your chest right now! In six weeks I want to see the side-by-side comparison.