In pursuit of bigger pecs, most gym-goers slide under the bar every Monday to celebrate International Chest Day. They knock out a few sets of bench presses for 10-12 reps, play around with a few more accessory movements, and call it a day. Don't get me wrong: training like this to build a big chest is fine, but it's not enough to qualify you for MVP status.
In my book, an MVP is someone who trains for more than aesthetics. Man or woman, an MVP trains to look good, build strength, and perform well. An MVP wants to push the boundaries of every category on every body part and turn every workout into a challenge, not a walk in the park. Put simply, an MVP wants to build a chest that's big and strong.
With that in mind, the goal of this chest workout is to help you build size and strength simultaneously. Throw this sucker into your split and your body will get better at working under a heavy load. Heavier weights will allow you to do more damage, see more growth, and put up even bigger numbers in the gym over time.
If you're used to doing 3 sets of 10-12 reps, this workout could throw you for a loop. You're going to be working for fewer reps, but you'll be putting a lot more weight on the bar. You'll still get the blood pumping and build mass, but you'll get the added benefit of increased strength.
Jason Wheat MVP Chest Workout
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MVP Exercise Tips
I think the machine fly is a great exercise for a warm-up because it takes your pecs through their full range of motion, provides a nice stretch, and moves a lot of blood into the muscle. After some flyes, your pecs will be warm and ready to get under a heavy load.
There's no need to go heavy on this exercise. Start light and move up to a medium weight as you progress through each set. Concentrate on stretching out at the bottom and contracting at the top of every rep.
Barbell Bench Press
You'll use a pyramid scheme for this exercise; for each set, you'll decrease the reps and increase the weight. Use enough weight to make the last set of 3-4 reps extremely tough. Grab a partner in the gym if you're unaccustomed to working with that much weight.
When pressing, always lay flat on the bench and maintain an arch in your lower back. Drive your upper back into the pad. To really activate your pecs and make this exercise as chest-targeted as possible, concentrate on using your chest to move the load.
Barbell Incline Bench Press
This great compound movement works your upper and middle pecs. Try to go a little heavier on each set. For your first set, get into the 9-10 rep range; on your last set, lift heavy enough to fail around 6 reps.
Your pecs may be tired from the first exercise, so make sure you pay extra attention to your form. Keep your upper body tight, don't let the bar drift too far forward, and don't move more weight than you can safely handle.
Dumbbell Bench Press
I like to use dumbbells after training with a barbell because they engage stabilizer muscles that the barbell presses don't hit. On this exercise, continue to increase the weight on each set.
Concentrate on feeling your pecs stretch as the dumbbells come down, then squeeze your pecs as hard as possible at the peak of each press. You want to get maximum blood flow to the chest.
Incline Fly and Dips
This last superset is difficult because your pecs will be pumped and tired. Give it all you have. Dig deep and finish strong!
The incline fly is a very effective pec builder. Use these flyes to get a deep stretch at the bottom of each rep. When you come up, rotate your wrists in so you can get an even better contraction.
Lean forward on the dips to emphasize your chest more than your triceps. Your legs should be stretched behind your body. Rep to failure and remember to make your last set the best set!
Train Like an MVP
This workout is difficult and intense, but if you want good results, you need to bring the intensity every time. Think of yourself as an MVP—a freak in every physical category—if you ever need extra motivation. Now get your ass to the gym and push some weight! Tell me how it goes in the comments section below.