High Intensity Chest Blaster

Blast your chest with this fast-paced, high intensity pec workout that features heavy rest-pause sets, and slow isolation movements.

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Single Muscle Group
Intermediate
1
Barbell, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines
Male & Female

Workout Description

The high intensity chest blaster workout can be used for a 4 to 6 week cycle, or as a rut buster when you simply want to try something different. This routine is relatively brief (30 minutes), and can also be used on days in which you have a limited amount of time to workout.

In total, you will be performing 16 sets using 4 exercises - 2 compound movements and 2 isolation movements. Compound lifts will utilize strength and rest-pause training, and isolation lifts will focus on slower reps and the "mind-muscle" connection.

Compound Exercises. For the two compound lifts in this workout, pick a weight that allows you to knock out 8 to 12 reps before reaching failure. Start by performing an all-out set, stopping about one rep shy of failure. Rack the weight and rest exactly 45 seconds. Perform another set, again stopping one rep shy of failure.

Continue this pattern until you complete 5 total sets. Focus on brute strength, and getting the weight up with good form at all costs. These sets are all about man vs. mountain! You may be able to complete only a rep or two on the last several sets. Don't worry about this low volume. You are destroying your pecs with limited rest and heavy weight, and are after cumulative muscle stress and fatigue.

The best chest compound movements are the bench press, dumbbell bench press, dips, and appropriate variations. When you can perform 25 reps for all 5 sets, add weight.

Isolation Movements. For the two isolation lifts, concentrate on feeling the chest muscles work. Perform each rep with a 4 second concentric motion, and a 4 to 6 second eccentric (negative) motion. Squeeze each contraction and make your pecs work! Rest about 2 minutes between each set. Perform about 6 to 8 reps for isolation movements, and no more then 10 reps per set.

The best chest isolation movements are flyes, pec dec, or cable crossovers. It doesn't matter which exercises you use. Pick 2 isolation movements you enjoy, and hammer your chest! When you can perform 10 reps with an isolation movement, add weight.

High Intensity Chest Blaster
Chest
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press 5 Rest-pause 45 Seconds
Pec Dec 2-3 Slow 4-6 Cadence
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 5 Rest-pause 45 Seconds
Cable Crossovers 2-3 Slow 4-6 Cadence
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About The Author
Max Riley is a freelance muscle building and nutrition writer who has had his work appear in numerous print and Internet magazines.

394 Comments+ Post Comment

Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 06/22/2010 - 08:23
Steven
Hi Paul, Pullovers are an effective exercise.
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Posted Tue, 06/22/2010 - 15:15
Paul Singh
thank you
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Posted Thu, 01/05/2012 - 10:28
Jesse
I'm confused. You say here, focus on 9-12 sets for chest, but this workout is 16 sets?
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Posted Tue, 12/13/2011 - 22:43
adam
very similair to my workout, however i only do this once a week on a 5 day a week program.
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Posted Sun, 06/20/2010 - 04:38
Douglas
Hi, the gym that I visit weekly does not have Pec Dec. Is there anything that can replace the Pec Dec in this routine? Thanks.
Steven's picture
Posted Sun, 06/20/2010 - 14:48
Steven
Hi Douglas, You could perform flyes or incline flyes instead of pec dec.
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Posted Fri, 10/08/2010 - 05:56
Douglas
Thank you very much Steve !
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Posted Sun, 06/20/2010 - 12:23
Christian
Hey Steve, My usual chest workout involves about 6 to 8 chest excersices. Would it be ok to, after doing this workout, then add in some more like Barbell incline press and dumbell incline press?
Steven's picture
Posted Sun, 06/20/2010 - 14:46
Steven
Hi Christian, I wouldn't recommend more then 3-4 exercises a week when training for muscle mass.
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Posted Wed, 06/23/2010 - 04:40
pratyush
please help me out with my chest program incline db press incline db flyes decline db press decline db flyes bb bench press flat db flyes i do this 0nce a week with heavy weights is the order of exercises correct ( 1st incline and flat bench at last or should it be reversed ?)
Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 06/23/2010 - 12:52
Steven
Hi pratyush, I would recommend the following: bb bench press - 3 sets incline db press - 3 sets decline db press - 3 sets flat db flyes - 3 sets In general one isolation exercise like flyes perform in the 12 to 15 rep range is enough.
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Posted Fri, 06/25/2010 - 12:30
Chris
With bench pressing (flat and incline) should you bring the weights all the way down to chest height or just till you arms are at a right angle? Cheers
Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 06/29/2010 - 08:55
Steven
Hi Chris, Try to being the weight to your chest. One note...make sure you aren't benching with your arms flared out at 90 degrees. This can harm the shoulders and make it harder to lower the bar enough. You want your elbows about 45 degrees from your torso.
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Posted Wed, 06/30/2010 - 08:53
Aaron
So with this workout we are only doing 5 reps on the bench press right, I just didn't get how that was worded?
Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 06/30/2010 - 09:27
Steven
Hi Arron, It's 5 total sets, not reps. Pick a weight that allows you to knock out 8 to 12 reps before reaching failure. Start by performing an all-out set, stopping about one rep shy of failure. Rack the weight and rest exactly 45 seconds. Perform another set, again stopping one rep shy of failure. Continue this pattern until you complete 5 total sets.
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Posted Thu, 07/01/2010 - 02:16
Mario
Hey steve, I've been working out for an year now. My main target was to trim my body fat. However, i still find considerable amount of fat in my middle chest. Can you give me a chest work out plan to cut the fat and build a nice chiseled chest.
Steven's picture
Posted Fri, 07/02/2010 - 13:07
Steven
Hi Mario, Getting that chiseled look is all about diet. You need a good cutting diet approach. You also need to train hard and heavy on a muscle building routine. Any standard muscle building routine on M&S will serve you well.
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Posted Fri, 07/02/2010 - 23:09
David
Hi steve how much weight should i do on bench with the rest pause?
Steven's picture
Posted Sun, 07/04/2010 - 09:30
Steven
As much as you can using good form. This make take a week or two of trial and error.
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Posted Fri, 08/13/2010 - 14:45
luigi
yeah nice advise
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Posted Sat, 07/10/2010 - 21:26
John
Can you combine this with a back workout? Doing the whole Push/Pull method of training
Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 07/12/2010 - 09:43
Steven
Hi John, Absolutely. That would be a solid combination.
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Posted Sun, 07/11/2010 - 12:47
clint
i come from a strength training back ground and i can press185 kg at 90kg body weight. i love strength trianing but want to now let my joints have a well earned rest. can you give me a chest workout that can keep my mass (or even better make it grow!) with out using my usal heavy lifting???
Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 07/12/2010 - 09:49
Steven
Hi Clint, I think you are going down the right path with this style of workout. I am posting a link to a system that might be of help. It focus on moderately heavy weight and intensity, but doesn't necessarily require constant heavy weight. (You could drop the 4x4 days if need be) http://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/the-blastoff-bodybuilding-training-system.html
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Posted Fri, 08/13/2010 - 14:55
luigi
nice link
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Posted Fri, 07/16/2010 - 00:38
Rodney
Steve, what kind of back workout would you suggest for combining with this workout? Thanks
Steven's picture
Posted Fri, 07/16/2010 - 18:19
Steven
Hi Rodney, A workout like this might be a solid choice: http://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/36-8-week-intense-back-workout.html
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Posted Sun, 07/18/2010 - 10:10
Anthony
During the compound exercises, should I increase the weight for each set or should I do the same amount of weight for all 5 sets?
Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 07/19/2010 - 09:16
Steven
Hi Anthony, You use the same weight: "Pick a weight that allows you to knock out 8 to 12 reps before reaching failure. Start by performing an all-out set, stopping about one rep shy of failure. Rack the weight and rest exactly 45 seconds. Perform another set, again stopping one rep shy of failure. Continue this pattern until you complete 5 total sets."
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Posted Tue, 07/20/2010 - 07:18
AZZY
i Didn't get how much reps to do during bench press and are there 6 reps in pec dec please explain me sire how reps and weights?? i have to increase weight in every set or to decrease weight i goal in to get hard pecs.. Thank sir for reading i am waiting for ur reply
Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 07/20/2010 - 11:42
Steven
For compound lifts, when you can perform 25 reps for the 5 sets, add weight. You keep the same weight for all 5 sets. For pec dec, do no more than 10 reps. When you can perform 10, dd weight.
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Posted Tue, 08/17/2010 - 09:13
Chris
Steve I don't understand, are you saying 25 reps as a total of all 5 sets? e.g 12 the first set, 10 the next, which would leave another 3reps to make up the 25, your saying if you can do more than the 25 you should increase weight? or do you simply means 25 reps per set???
Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 08/17/2010 - 13:06
Steven
Hi Chris, Yes, 25 total reps for all 5 sets. Increase the weight when you can perform 25 reps (or more) for the 5 sets. You don't have to stop working out when you hit 25. Simply add weight the next time you perform that exercise.
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Posted Wed, 08/18/2010 - 04:49
Chris
So Steve,basically this means that the reps for each set isn't really 8-12 it's more like 8-12 the first set then 10 the next, then each set after should only be a couple? Is that really a high intensity workout?
Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 08/18/2010 - 18:22
Steven
Hi Chris, Is this high intensity? Absolutely. I used it for a year and the rest pause is extremely effective for muscle and strength endurance. Many popular muscle building training systems use variations of rest pause.
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Posted Tue, 07/20/2010 - 07:19
jutt
i haven't got cablecross overs in gym in go to please tell me ay other excerise our gym haven't got cabels?
Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 07/20/2010 - 11:40
Steven
Hi Jutt, You can do flyes with dumbbells.
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Posted Tue, 07/20/2010 - 08:51
sab
how much REPsS?
Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 07/20/2010 - 11:25
Steven
Hi Sab, When you can perform 25 reps for the 5 set compound lifts, add weight.
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Posted Tue, 07/20/2010 - 10:41
Jeremy
Is there a special reason why you chose Inclince DB instead of Incline barbell bench for this?
Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 07/20/2010 - 11:27
Steven
Hi Jeremy, My main goal was to utilize both an incline, flat bench, barbell and dumbbell movement in only 2 lifts.
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Posted Wed, 07/21/2010 - 10:50
IKRAM
what happen if somebody will follow his own routine instead of these routines by proffesionalS?
Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 07/21/2010 - 19:27
Steven
Hi Ikram, That depends on the routine, the effort and the trainee's diet.
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Posted Mon, 07/26/2010 - 10:08
alejandro
can i do this workout one day then rest my chest then do another chest workout?
Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 07/26/2010 - 13:26
Steven
Hi Alejandro, This is a very intense approach. I wouldn't recommend adding in another chest workout during the week. There's a strong chance it would be counterproductive.
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Posted Fri, 07/30/2010 - 11:58
HARSH
hi steve i am doing this routine for past 2 months. do i need to change this routine or should i continue with this one ?
Steven's picture
Posted Fri, 07/30/2010 - 20:03
Steven
Hi Harsh, I would continue to use it as long as you are making good progress and seeing results.
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Posted Sat, 07/31/2010 - 12:36
sergio
hey steve i wanna get my legs bigber...which workout is recommended for this?
Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 08/02/2010 - 10:32
Steven
Hi Sergio, Any muscle building workout with squats will serve you well. here is a workout I recommend: http://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/scrutinys-4-day-muscle-building-split.html
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Posted Mon, 08/02/2010 - 23:48
Louis
Hi Steve I am thinking of doing this routine along with The Big Arm Routine as well as a seperate ab routine. How would you sggest i go about this? A days rest in between each? Finally since i'm working from home i'm going to use flyes and incline flyes as a replacement, are the sets & reps the same as the Pec Dec & Cable Crossovers?

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