Pump Up Your Pecs With This Cable And Dumbbell Chest Workout

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Question: what’s the best way to build a big chest? Pile a load of weight plates on the bar and bench press until you’re blue in the face, right? Wrong. To add chest size and strength you need to get smart and start hitting your pecs from multiple angles to spur as many muscle fibres as possible into action. The more fibres you fatigue when training, the greater the stimulus your body gets to rebuild these damaged fibres bigger and stronger. Try this six-move multi-angle workout to get serious pecs appeal.

How to do the workout

This is a six-move session made up of three supersets. Do move 1A, sticking to the sets, reps and rest shown, then do move 1B. Then do moves 2A and 2B as a superset, and the same again for moves 3A and 3B, and you’ll work every part of your chest effectively.

Superset 1

Warm up thoroughly, starting with some shoulder, elbow and wrist movements, followed by some light dumbbell presses and flyes, interspersed with more mobility work in the rest periods between warm-up sets. Gradually increase the weight of each warm-up set while reducing the reps until you’re ready for the first proper work set.

1A Incline dumbbell bench press

Sets 4 Reps 12 Rest 60sec

Why It hits your upper chest, as well as your shoulders and triceps.

How Lie on an incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Plant your feet and brace your core, then press the weights directly overhead until your arms are straight. Slowly lower the weights under control.

1B Incline dumbbell bench flye

Sets 4 Reps 12 Rest 60sec

Why It isolates your pec muscles so they must work harder to manage the weight.

How Lie on an incline bench with a dumbbell in each hand and your arms straight. With a slight bend in your elbows, lower the weights to the sides until you feel a strong stretch across your chest. Use your pecs to raise them back to the start.

Superset 2

It can be tricky to get into position when decline pressing, so ask someone to pass you the weights once you’re in position and then stay to spot you. With move 2B, hold the hands-together bottom position for a one-count during each rep to force your chest to work hard to manage the weight, which will help build up the middle part of your chest.

2A Decline dumbbell bench press

Sets 4 Reps 12 Rest 60sec

Why It will hit the hard-to-target lower part of your chest.

How Lie on a decline bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Plant your feet and brace your core, then press the weights directly overhead until your arms are straight. Slowly lower the weights under complete control.

2B Standing cable cross-over

Sets 4 Reps 12 Rest 60sec

Why It works the outer and inner parts of your pecs to build chest width and depth.

How Stand tall in the middle of a cable machine holding a D-handle in each hand. Keeping your chest up and a slight bend in your elbows, bring your hands down in a smooth arc to meet in front of your body. Reverse the movement to the start, slowly and under control.

Superset 3

This final superset will hit your rapidly tiring muscles hard to coax the best possible growth response, but does so safely by recruiting other muscle groups to help with the load. In the first move your lats also get in on the act, and in the second your shoulders and triceps help out. Keep your form strict as you tire to work the target muscles harder.

3A Dumbbell pull-over

Sets 3 Reps 15 Rest 60sec

Why It works your chest in a unique way to tax those hard-to-hit muscle fibres.

How Lie on a flat bench, holding a dumbbell over your chest in both hands. Lower the weight down behind your head until you feel a good stretch in your lats. Raise the weight back over your head to return to the start.

3B Press-up

Sets 3 Reps 15 Rest 60sec

Why This allows you to finish the session hard by pushing your pecs to failure in the safest way possible.

How Get into the press-up position with your hands under your wrists and shoulders. Keeping your glutes and abs fully engaged, bend your elbows to lower your chest towards the ground. Pause for a one-count, then press back up to return to the start.