Mondays are renowned in the hardcore workout world as International Chest Day. Meatheads everywhere kick off the training week with set after set of barbell bench press reps to build up their barrel-shaped bodies, grunting and straining to beat their buddies to being strong enough to push the next set of plates. But then, they leave the weight room without hitting a single implement (unless they’re heading to the squat rack for a long round of biceps curls, of course).
There are plenty of good reasons to complete your weekly allotment of chest exercises, only some of which relate to your aspirations of being a Multi-Plate Bench Press Guy: The chest is composed of some of the largest muscles in your body, and even when you’re not in the gym, you use them all the time. Pushing open a door? Picking up your dry cleaning? Washing your hair (or what’s left of it)? Yes, yes, and yes.
The sheer volume of exercises. though—and the sanctity with which every gym rat learns to treat their chest day—can make it tough to know what, exactly, to do, or if you’re doing those things right. For help, we asked a few top trainers to share what they think are the best bets for building bulk and perking pecs. As is the case with most group-specific training, you can work your chest on up to three non-consecutive days each week, if you so choose. You’ll be stacking those plates in no time.
Now these aren’t necessarily a list of the hardest or most challenging workouts. It is focused on what we believe to be, pound for pound, the best and most efficient mass builders. We’ve also provided an explanation and a quick “how to” to help you get started. These are great to swap in for exercises in your current routine, build a whole new chest regimen with them, or just to change things up and keep things fresh when you get bored of your standard routine. But first, let us touch on some things you should know before jumping straight into it. If you’re already a workout vet and here just for the exercises, feel free to scroll down to get to the workout.
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