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Powerful Pecs: Fred Biggie Smalls Chest Workout

Every bodybuilder has a signature body part. Fred Smalls gives us the secrets to how he built his famous chest. Try his ''Biggie Chest'' workout!

Whether you're a competitive bodybuilder or just starting out, your main goal is probably that complete physique. Yet all the greats have signature body parts. Ronnie Coleman was best known for his huge back, Dexter Jackson's secret weapon is his incredible midsection, and Branch Warren's nickname is Quadrasaurus. I could go on and on.

The body part I am most known for is my chest. When other pros wish they had a chest similar to yours, you know you're doing something right. But I can promise you this: Rome wasn't built in a day and neither was my chest. It wasn't built with cable crossovers and machines, either. My pecs were built with barbells and dumbbells, high-volume workouts using heavy weights.

Too often you see novice bodybuilders worrying about shaping exercises before they have built any muscle to shape. In order to build thick, dense, pecs, use the compound movements that place the most stress on the body part. If your quest is for a championship chest, follow my blueprint:

The "Biggie Smalls" Bigger Chest Workout ///

Perform this routine for three weeks and watch the results come. Your chest will be fuller, thicker, and stronger.

Note: Rest for 60 seconds between sets.

Chest Workout
  • Flat Barbell Bench Press Flat Barbell Bench Press

    Flat Barbell Bench Press

    7 sets of 7 reps
  • Many champions of the Golden Era considered the bench press their upper-body mainstay. I like to do 7 sets of 7 reps. Choose a weight 60 percent or so of your max and stick with that for all 7 sets. This will fatigue both your fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibers. But because of the short rest and lighter resistance, you won't place as much stress on the tendons and ligaments of the shoulder and increase your chances of injuries. You get the best of both worlds.
  • Incline Barbell Bench Press Incline Barbell Bench Press

    Incline Barbell Bench Press

    4 sets of 6-8 reps
  • If you're like me, you don't just want to look strong—you want to be strong. That is why I like using a rep range of 6-8. After seven sets of flat bench, you shouldn't need much weight for inclines. Focus on contracting the pecs and the strength will come alongside those thick and dense muscles you're after.
  • Flat Dumbbell Bench Press Flat Dumbbell Bench Press

    Flat Dumbbell Bench Press

    4 sets of 6-8 reps
  • By using dumbbells, we increase the range of motion and keep the muscle engaged for longer periods of time. The dumbbells also force each side of your body to work independently and together, which puts more demand on your muscles.
  • Weighted Dip Weighted Dip

    Weighted Dip

    4 sets of 15 reps
  • To hit your pecs and get as much nutrient-rich blood into the muscles as possible, lean forward. This position will engage your pecs more than your triceps. To keep constant tension on the chest, don't lock out your arms at the top of the movement.
  • Low Cable Cross-Overs Low Cable Cross-Overs

    Low Cable Cross-Overs

    4 sets of 15 reps
  • This exercise is unique because your muscles are stressed for a full 30-40 seconds. Keeping your muscles under tension for so long ensures that you completely exhaust your ATP glycolic system. This will force your body to call on the lactic acid threshold system and create a greater release of growth hormone. Do these slowly so you can enjoy all the benefits this exercise has to offer.
  • Push-Ups Push-Ups

    Push-Ups

    50 total reps
  • The goal is 50 reps and it doesn't matter how many sets it takes—just make sure you get 50 total before getting up. Try doing it in 3 or 4 sets.



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HealthyButhcher

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HealthyButhcher

Great..

Aug 5, 2013 6:27pm | report
 
jcdesigndesk

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jcdesigndesk

Looks like a killer workout for hypertrophy

Aug 5, 2013 6:41pm | report
 
eneaarben

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eneaarben

it is

Apr 29, 2014 9:13am | report
Jerky769

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Jerky769

That last 50 reps of push ups will be awesome...enjoy the negatives and explode. love those tear like feeling..

Aug 5, 2013 7:18pm | report
 
Busydad518

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Busydad518

Great article, gonna start this immediately

Article Rated:
Aug 5, 2013 7:56pm | report
 
Pritam75

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Pritam75

Good plan. Very effective and works great without fail for everyone.

Aug 6, 2013 2:35am | report
 
Williammm

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Williammm

gona try this one out

Aug 6, 2013 3:11am | report
 
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 5'10"
  • wt: 175.27 lbs
  • bf: 13.0%
BL17

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BL17

Seems like a lot of overkill with pointless exercises added like dumbbell flat bench as well as barbell flat bench? Why?
If this works for the average joe, I well be very surprised. and 23 sets for chest!? Not including press up's? If you follow this routine, you'll be very sore but will it lead to growth? Probably not

Aug 6, 2013 3:24am | report
 
RefreshingOJ

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RefreshingOJ

It's been scientifically shown that higher repetitions can increase hypertrophy, even with being completely natural. If you were to do this workout multiple times within a week, then one would need supplementation.

Barbell and dumbell flat bench are very different exercises as well, I often include them on the same day, as do other professional lifters. Realistically, most lifters prefer dumbell over barbell because of the fact that it activates the muscle in a different way by allowing for a more natural movement, along with activating stabilizer muscles

Aug 6, 2013 7:14pm | report
lag323

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lag323

I'm with you on that one BL17... seems like too much volume for an average gym rat. I don't know if it will lead to growth I guess we would have to try it out. But I know that I would probably be sore for multiple days and that would affect my other training days.

Aug 8, 2013 12:11am | report
Mudvayne24

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Mudvayne24

If your chest is sore for a couple of days how would that affect you training other muscle groups? Push your body. Sometimes it's good to get of a routine you may have been doing for months and just hammer the s*** out of yourself. I did this routine with 30 second rest periods instead of the recommended 60. Afterwards I felt pretty dehydrated I will admit, but my chest was quite pumped. It's 2 days out now and the soreness is almost gone. Give it a try before you knock it.

Aug 8, 2013 11:11am | report
BL17

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BL17

RefreshingOJ please do more research. If you do this without multiple times in a week then you're wasting your time. You'll learn soon enough that you can't activate different parts of the chest by using different equipment. Your chest has no f*cking idea what equipment it's using, just the movement. Having the two in the same workout is pointless.

Mudvayne you will also learn that soreness is a poor indicator of how effective a workout is. 24 sets is ridiculous if you've got nothing ELSE helping you. The idea is to stimulate not annihilate.

or you can both ignore what I just said and carry on. Let me know how it goes for you, if you think you'll end up looking like Freddie smalls doing his chest workout, think again

Aug 9, 2013 5:39am | report
TankMcRae

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TankMcRae

If it worked for Freddie Smalls, it will work for someone else as well. While I prefer DTP or HIT, there's no reason why a high volume approach like this wouldn't work for someone trying to add mass or strength to their chest, heck, at one time before I started using HIT and DTP, I was averaging 25-30 sets any time I went in to hit chest, and was seeing fantastic strength gains.

Aug 9, 2013 10:53am | report
BL17

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BL17

Okay first and foremost, I'm not saying you can't gain anything from this workout because Biggie is clearly not a runt, but what I'm saying is, this workout wiki not work for the vast majority. In fact for those this does work for, I can almost guarantee that if you used a lower volume high frequency approach you would have seen better strength and hypertrophy gains. How you built strength off this in will never know unless you had noob gains (haven't been training for more than 2 years)

Aug 9, 2013 11:33am | report
Mudvayne24

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Mudvayne24

I've been training high volume and high intensity for years and it seems to be working out just fine for me. My chest is pretty strong and contains a lot of muscle, so it doesn't seem to be destroying my gains at all. There's a ton of studies and research out there that says high volume works very well for a LOT of people. "Overtraining", as it's often called, is more of a myth than anything. We are not smarter than our bodies. We put a certain amount of stress on it and it will adapt and build what it needs, where it needs it. If you ever asked Arnold, Jay Cutler, Kai Greene, etc. if they thought high volume training was useless they would laugh in your face.

Also, I only had a slight soreness the next day from this workout with 1/2 of the rest intervals recommended. Different people utilize different workouts. Can it work for them if it doesn't work for you? Absolutely. You may need to learn that...

Aug 10, 2013 2:30pm | report
BL17

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BL17

Okay, I don't think anywhere in my statements I mentioned overTRAINING. Overtraining is a very hard state to get to, the body is too adaptive. And again, I never said it didn't work, I just said for the majority, yep that's right, the majority it won't work for. 24 sets is ridiculous, if you can't get the same stimulation from 10 sets as you can 24 you're doing something wrong.

I could ask Arnold, Kai or Jay but you're missing an incredibly important factor that adds into their training and nutrition to help them utilise this style to their advantage. And of course this will work for some, hell I can remember using high volume low frequency when I first started and yes, I did see gains,but. I never did anything above 14-15 sets for my volume because its not needed. It was only when I switched to a lower volume, higher frequency approach that in really made progress. If its works for you then you carry on, but please don't tell me I need to learn something when I clearly dont

Aug 11, 2013 2:12am | report
Mudvayne24

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Mudvayne24

The only problem is that you keep relating high volume to low frequency. Nobody ever said go light. I'm on the verge of failure on pretty much every set. No workout should be easy.

I still don't understand how you can feasibly say that somebody will get the same stimulation from 10 sets as 24 sets. That statement logically and scientifically holds no truth behind it. Will you stimulate your pecs after 10 secs when doing a good workout? Of course. Will it be stimulated more after 24 sets? Absolutely. That's just science. I can't remember the last time I saw an expert list a 10 set chest workout. I'm really not trying to be a d***. I rather enjoy these "discussions". When it turns into an argument it's not fun for me anymore. Knowledge is the ultimate tool.

Aug 11, 2013 6:38am | report
BL17

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BL17

Nobody likes an argument, and yet you persist. And yes I advocate high volume with low frequency, you wouldn't do this chest workout twice a week, well not if you has a clue about anything. And not once did I say about "light" weight. But again, you were very wrong about stimulating the chest more with 24 sets compared to 10. If this were true, people would be doing 50 sts thinking they'll get better stimulation. This couldn't be further from the truth. There are many studies that back up, when done correctly, the 10 set workout can be just as if not more beneficial than the 24 set workout, and that's fact. Like I said, if you need that much volume to get anywhere with yore workouts, you're doing something very wrong.

I've seen many experts advocate 9-12sts per muscle group per workout, not one have I seen say to do 20 sts for a workout, not even full body because it's ridiculous!

Aug 11, 2013 8:45am | report
thedutchie13

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thedutchie13

i know im late. i agree with BL17. go heavy with lower reps 4-8 range and do 10 sets. your pecs will be annihilated. when you think about it 10 sets is high volume especially if youre lifting in the 4-8 rep range. i get a better pump that way than i do with lighter weight and higher reps. and also the chest only has 2 muscles no need for flat bb press and flat db press. personally i just hit decline bench some flys and some dips and im done.

Aug 27, 2013 1:40pm | report
ashdalton

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ashdalton

The workout is pure overkill but he does make the point in the text of needing to build the muscle using compounds before you can shape it. So kudos for that!

Aug 6, 2013 4:06am | report
 
redmond3

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redmond3

shape it? one cant shape your muscles, you can only make them grow bigger, or they can get smaller...its called genetics

Aug 6, 2013 4:57pm | report
Bugler666

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Bugler666

I was under the impression that exercises such as dumbell flyes and cable crossovers can help to build width, while exercises such as bench pressing mostly just build thickness in the chest (I think I heard this from Greg Plitt). I think what biggie means is too many people waste time doing 4 or 5 sets of cable crossovers trying to 'shape' their chest, when actually their time would be better spent working heavy compound movements such as the dumbell and barbell bench press in attempt to build mass.

Aug 8, 2013 4:15am | report
konvict604

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konvict604

its not overkill in my opinion when done in cycles... i did 6-8 exercises per muscle group 2 muscle groups a day and noticed some good results. but ive cycled off it now and doin HIIT.i will go back on it and ill try this chest routine!

Aug 6, 2013 4:31am | report
 
KeltonP

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KeltonP

I do 20-24 sets per body group including chest. My flat barbell and dumbbell press, and a form of flat fly (Machine Fly, Pec dec, dumbbell fly, cable fly or cable cross over) are staples of every chest day. And Ill mix it up alternating on upper and lower chest. Im going to try this one next monday.

Aug 6, 2013 5:41am | report
 
BL17

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BL17

That's a lot man, I promise you'll get the same benefit from doing half the sets and half the exercises

Aug 6, 2013 10:31am | report
Showing 1 - 25 of 68 Comments

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