MuscleTech-sponsored athlete Lawrence Ballenger isn't exactly known for mellow workouts. They are harsh! So, when he refers to one of his routines as a "monster" workout, consider yourself warned! Lots of sets, lots of reps, a triset, and some nice long negatives make this six-exercise chest torching a thing to remember—or to try to forget!

Lawrence Ballenger's Monster Chest Workout
Barbell Incline Bench Press Medium-Grip
3 sets, 10-12 reps (warm-up)
3 sets, 8-10 reps
Incline Dumbbell Press
5 sets, 10 reps (2-sec. negatives)
Svend Press
3 sets, 20 reps
Hammer Grip Incline DB Bench Press
3 sets, 15 reps
3 sets, 20 reps
Cable Crossover
4 sets, 20 reps

Technique Tips

Incline Barbell Bench Press

As you'll notice throughout the video, Ballenger is all about concentration. Before he begins each exercise, he stops to collect his thoughts and focus on the weight and movement to come. Not a bad idea. Get your head in the game, and your body will follow.

Incline Barbell Bench Press

Keep your feet flat on the ground and drive through your hips. Keep your back arched and your shoulder blades retracted.

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

As with many other lifts, you'll get more from this press by slowly lowering the weight. In this routine, Ballenger wants you to take about 2 seconds to lower the dumbbells—plenty of time to feel a good burn. Exhale as you push the dumbbells up with your chest.

Svend Press

Body position is important with this exercise. Stand erect with your chest out and shoulders back while maintaining the natural curve of your spine. Squeeze those plates together hard!

Svend Press

Hammer-Grip Incline Dumbbell Bench Press

Back to the incline dumbbell press, this time with a neutral grip, meaning palms facing each other. Lock your arms at the top and hold the position for 1-2 seconds, then give yourself a nice, slow negative on this exercise, too. The eccentric part of the exercise should take about twice as long as the concentric.


Also known as pec-deck flyes, this exercise presents a great opportunity to generate a massive chest squeeze. Adjust the machine to keep your upper arms parallel to the floor. Push the handles together slowly, then hold the contraction for 1 second when the handles meet. If you don't have access to a pec-deck, exercise bands or cables can simulate the motion.

Cable Cross-over

Set the pulleys in a high position for this exercise. Grab the handles and step forward with one leg and bend your torso slightly at the waist. Keep a bend in your elbows as you bring your hands together. Aim for your hands to come together a little bit lower than normal; when they meet, focus on the squeeze. As you move through the concentric portion, achieve a good stretch across your chest.

Cable Crossover

About the Author

Hobart Swan

Hobart Swan

Prior to joining as a senior content editor, Hobart Swan produced health content for CBS Radio. He was also a health-content specialist at Healthwise, the nation’s ...

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Chest Workout