Fitness model and MuscleTech sponsored athlete Abel Albonetti doesn't waste any time on chest day. With all the different positions and angles he hits on his presses and flyes, he can't afford to!
This high-volume workout is perfect for advanced lifters, but if you're not quite there yet Abel recommends simply dropping down to three sets for each exercise, instead of five. Even at a lower volume, it'll still give your chest a very loud message to grow.
"This workout is not going to be easy," he warns. "You're going to be pushing yourself to failure every single set."
Watch as Abel takes you through each exercise of this monster of a workout, and learn his tips to build your best chest.
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1. Incline Barbell Bench Press
Start strong with five sets to failure of incline bench. You'll complete 12 reps on the first set, then drop to 10, 8, 6, and 4, with an added dropset of 6-8 reps after that fifth set. Abel recommends dropping by about 20 percent to lighten the load but still keep it challenging.
If you find yourself stalling out halfway through this exercise and are unable to complete the prescribed number of reps, Abel suggests adding a rest-pause. This is a quick 10-15 second break where you rack the bar in the middle of the set to give your muscles just enough recovery for those last couple of reps.
For all his press movements, Abel takes a 60-80 second rest between sets to give his muscles time to recover and push maximum weight on each set.
2. 30-Degree Incline Dumbbell Press
The first notch on the flat bench is usually around 30 degrees, so set the bench in that low incline for this dumbbell press. You'll complete 5 sets of 10 reps, repeating the same dropset at the end that you did with the incline bench press.
These drop sets are an opportunity to add even more volume to your workout, but it is important that you drop the weight appropriately to get the most out of these sets.
"Don't come into the gym with your egos high," Abel warns. "Lift smart. Get that mind-muscle connection in every single rep."
3. Flat Dumbbell Press
For this exercise, he performs 6 total sets of 10-12 reps: 3 sets with normal grip, then 3 sets with neutral grip.
"During this part of the workout you're going to be really feeling it—you're going to be very fatigued, but push through that," Abel says.
In case your mental fortitude isn't quite enough, Abel also consumes BCAAs during the workout to give him an extra boost as he grinds out all six of those sets.
It seems harsh to throw a vicious superset in the middle of an already grueling workout, but Abel welcomes the challenge.
"I love to go into the gym and know that I gave it my all for every single workout," he says. "That is the only way you're going to see results."
For this superset, complete 12-15 reps of both exercises before taking a shorter rest of only 45 seconds. You'll complete three total supersets, and you'll keep that shortened rest period for the remainder of the workout.
5. Dumbbell Incline Fly
For a unique twist on an old classic, Abel incorporates intra-rep stretching to take advantage of an isometric hold at the bottom of the movement. Perform 3 sets of 8-10 reps, with intra-rep stretching on the last set. Hold this position for 30 seconds, then set down those weights, grab dumbbells approximately 20 percent lighter, and repeat the final set of 8-10 reps with another 30 second stretch on the final rep. You'll end this final stretch with a positive rep by bringing both dumbbells back up once 30 seconds is up.
6. Giant Set
"I love incorporating giant sets towards the end of the workout just to pump as much blood into that muscle group as possible," explains Abel. "This giant set is going to be extremely hard, but you can see the light at the end of the tunnel so you just got to keep pushing forward and finish out strong."
Try to hit about 15 reps of each exercise, with a 45 second rest at the end. Complete three total giant sets.