4 Week Plateau Busting Chest Workout

The 4 week chest routine is designed to blast your chest with a variety of advanced intensity techniques to push you through that plateau.

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Single Muscle Group
Advanced
1
Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Exercise Ball
Male & Female

Workout Description

The 4 week chest routine is designed to blast your chest with a variety of advanced intensity techniques to push you through a tough plateau. You can cycle this routine into your current weekly muscle building workout.

This workout is designed for intermediate to advanced lifters. Some of the techniques used are very stressful on the body, and may cause an injury. As always, you should do a thorough warmup before your session.

There are 4 workouts listed below, which you should use over 4 weeks. Just replace your current chest routine with this one. As always, you won't get anything out of this chest workout if you don't have the diet and calories to back it up!

Weekly Workout Schedule:

Week 1 - Chest Routine
Chest
Exercise Sets Reps
Swiss Ball Dumbbell Press (see instructions) 4 10
Incline Bench Press followed by pushups 4 8
Chest Dips 4 Max
Cable Crossovers (see instructions) 4 15
Notes
  • Swiss ball dumbbell press:
    Use alternate arms and 3-1-3 rep timing. Focus on squeezing the muscle at the top of the movement and keeping the tension on the muscle throughout the whole set.
  • Incline bench:
    After each set hit the ground for as many pushups as possible with slow rep timing.
  • Cable crossovers:
    We're looking for complete control here, ultra slow and controlled. Huge squeeze in the middle. Concentrate on muscle pump!
Week 2 - Chest Routine
Chest
Exercise Sets Reps
Chest Dips (weighted if possible) 4 12,10,8,8
Bench Press/Dumbbell Fly superset 4 8 bench/12 flys
Bench Cable Flys/Pushups superset 4 12 flys/MAX pushups
Notes
  • Chest Dips:
    Slow movement. Add weight if you can. Lean forward to emphasize pecs.
  • Bench superset:
    Heavy benching followed by 12 slow flys. Keep arms wide and low for good stretch and squeeze on contraction at the top of exercise.
Week 3 - Chest Routine
Chest
Exercise Sets Reps
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 4 10
Barbell Bench Press 4 8-10
Incline Dumbbell Flys 3 12
Cable Crossovers 3 12
Notes
  • Slow reps, perfect form. No intensity exercises this week, preparing for drop sets next week.
Week 4 - Chest Routine
Chest
Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Bench Press (Drop Set) 4 Max
Bench Press (see instructions) 4 12
Cable Crossovers (Drop Set) 4 Max
Notes
  • Dumbbell bench press drop set:
    Start with a weight that you can just press for 10 reps. Drop down 4 times. For example: 30kg, 25kg, 20kg, 15kg.
  • Bench press:
    You should be almost spent from that last drop set so now we're doing slow reps with a lighter weight focusing on controlling the weight, stretch at the bottom and big contraction at the top. Look for 4-1-4 rep timing. Weight does not matter on this!
  • Cable crossovers:
    Same instructions as dumbbell drop set. Good from, good stretch and contraction - feel the chest burn!
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249 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Wed, 06/18/2014 - 14:08
Matias

Hi Steve, great workout. I´ve finished last week with great results.
I´m in the process of building my new routine and I was wondering If it would be Ok just to do Drop Set week every week.
The cycle is great, but makes me difficult to track progression when I do different exercises every week.
What do you think?

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Posted Wed, 03/19/2014 - 19:48
Dan

QUESTION...

This workout was REAL hard. My bench is normally around 225 lbs, however, the superset (incline/pushups - Week 1) burned me out.

For the last two sets on incline/pushups I was unable to complete the 10 reps - I was burning out around 6 (incline is my weak point - I'm stronger with flat, flys and dips). Everything else was ok.

Should I go again next week from the beginning or move on to Week 2's routine since I couldn't fully complete the task...

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Posted Mon, 12/02/2013 - 03:17
bigChestHead

Hi. I try this and is difcult. Is ok if I do just day 1 excise once a month and not do anything else? is also ok if I only do 1 set and 1 rep of each excrise instead off all the other thing? will get big? In fact is ok if I do just one set of 1 pushup once a month? This is good? on first day of month I will do 1 pushup. I think is good for chest. is this good? Okay. I do this. Big chest. Get lots of vagine. Is good.

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Posted Sun, 07/07/2013 - 06:28
Mike

Hi Steve,

What if my metabolism is so quick no matter what I eat
I never gain weight!? Any suggestions on how I can slow
It down or rise above the issue!?

All I have is a weights bench, lots of weights and a motivated
Mind and I have 4 weeks until I go on holiday!

Please help :)

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Posted Wed, 07/03/2013 - 15:03
KENNY

steve you're a cool guy! answring each questions! you're the man! GB

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Posted Wed, 03/06/2013 - 01:40
chetan bhatt

hello,
I am doing the exercise without any kind of supliments. Is it OK? please guide

Joey's picture
Posted Thu, 03/07/2013 - 15:36
Joey

Totally OK -- make sure your diet is in order.

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Posted Tue, 02/26/2013 - 12:30
Austin

how do i gain muscle mass and get a higher max? Could you make a rountine for me if i sent in my maxs' on everything?

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Posted Sat, 02/16/2013 - 16:56
Matt

Once I'm finished with this four week plateau, should I start it over from the beginning, or move on to something else? if I do continue it, and start from the beginning, how long should I keep doing it before I switch it up? If u suggest i move to a different workout, what do u recommend?

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Posted Sat, 02/16/2013 - 16:55
Matt

Once I'm finished with this four week plateau, should I start it over from the beginning, or move on to something else? if I do continue it, and start from the beginning, how long should I keep doing it before I switch it up? If u suggest i move to a different workout, what do u recommend?

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Posted Mon, 02/11/2013 - 04:53
condog2

in week 1 what can i replace the Swiss Ball Dumbbell Press, the cable cross overs, and chest dips with as i dont have the equipment for those 3?

Joey's picture
Posted Fri, 02/15/2013 - 12:29
Joey

Try Dumbbell flat or floor presses and dumbbell flys.

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Posted Tue, 02/05/2013 - 22:36
nelly

will i add weight every set?

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Posted Mon, 01/21/2013 - 18:16
James

If you want a bigger stronger chest DO THIS WORKOUT!! Seriously it will tear your chest up and make you so much stronger. This is my favorite workout to do and i look forward to the challenge it brings. You have o put in the effort and give it your all and you will see results. My bench went up 25 lbs thats pretty good for 4 workouts and a months work.

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Posted Thu, 01/10/2013 - 12:05
tashe

What would you suggest to firm up chest (get rid of the man-boobs)?

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Posted Wed, 01/09/2013 - 10:39
Rob

Hi Steve,
I've been n the gym for many years but have a sticking point on my bench, from arojnd 3-6inches off my chest. Once I get close to 6inches my tri's kick in and the weigbt is ez. Any specific exercises for the 3-6inch range?

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Posted Mon, 01/07/2013 - 01:06
Ranjith

I am very confused by drop sets in general is it
30lbs failure reps
no rest
25lbs failure reps
no rest
20lbs failure reps
no rest
15lbs failure reps
rest thn repeat tht another 3 times

or is it just 30lbs to 25lbs to 20lbs to 15lbs thn ur finished and on 2 the next work out

Joey's picture
Posted Mon, 01/07/2013 - 15:31
Joey

The 4 sets are one big drop set. You don't do 4 sets of the drop sets.

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Posted Fri, 01/04/2013 - 00:15
Sherwin

What can I replace bench cable flys with?

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Posted Thu, 12/13/2012 - 17:00
mike

looks a good workout but how much rest between sets? 1 min?

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Posted Tue, 12/04/2012 - 14:51
Donnyboy

I am a little confused, this is a Chest blasting workout, but, the 1st Excersise is a Shoulder one ?

mnsjason's picture
Posted Tue, 12/04/2012 - 16:10
mnsjason

The link to that particular exercise takes you to a different (shoulder) exercise. Here is the correct link: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises/swiss-ball-dumbbell-bench-pr...

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Posted Mon, 11/26/2012 - 15:00
aditya nagpal

hii
i hv been doing workouts from the past one year.I have lost around 13kg.But i hv a problem with my chest.Its kind of uneven.Right one is somewhat in better shape than the left one n i feel more strength in my right pec compared to left.What should i do to rectify that??Are one hand pushups on left side benificial for this.if not then plz suggest some workouts to equalize my pecs.

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Posted Tue, 11/06/2012 - 20:40
Rob

When you click on Swiss Dumbbell Press it takes you to a video of someone doing a shoulder press on a swiss ball is that the correct exercise or is that an error?

Joey's picture
Posted Wed, 11/07/2012 - 11:38
Joey
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Posted Mon, 09/24/2012 - 06:27
david toner

In week 1 - between each worlout is there a rest period, and what timescale?

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Posted Wed, 08/22/2012 - 08:19
ali

hi, steve if we dnt have swiss ball for 1 week , what we can used?i can use Dumbbell Bench Press?

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Posted Sat, 08/11/2012 - 16:30
colin

What happens if u do a drop set on your chest more than 4 sets what if u do 16 sets is there any penalties on your chest

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Posted Fri, 07/27/2012 - 14:19
mohammedaminu

pls i have one question the week one routine did i have to do it for one week straight

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Posted Thu, 07/26/2012 - 16:45
Danny C

Hey Steve. I have DCO (weightlifter's shoulder) Since bench presses and dips are very painful, heavy weight is out. Do you recommend any exercises that could help me maintain my chest size? Or even strength gain? I tried cable crossovers yesterday and had little to no pain. Please help I don't want to give up lifting! :/

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Posted Mon, 07/16/2012 - 11:51
Joshua Weber

Question About week one.
The first workout says swiss ball dumbell press should it say Swiss Ball Dumbell CHEST Press or am I reading this wrong?

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Posted Tue, 06/26/2012 - 01:57
Hashim

Hi Steve,

For the exercises, do you increase weight on each set or do you do same weight for all 4 sets and increase in the next week and use for all 4 sets and so on?

Thanks,
Hashim

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Posted Wed, 06/13/2012 - 01:09
Hashim

Hi Steve.

I love the exercise and seeing much improvement from it. Do you have similar routines for the other muscles (arms, back, shoulders, abs/legs)

i do 1 muscle group per day and combine abs in between whenever.'

please share your valuable advice! thanks

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Posted Fri, 06/01/2012 - 17:54
ALEXALHITI

A shoulder exercise in the first week(Swiss Ball Dumbbell Press)? why?

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Posted Tue, 06/12/2012 - 13:41
Hashim

Yes Steve, please help clarify this question, its weird in two years nobody asked that.

Why do shoulder exercise at the beginning of a chest-specific workout?

I replaced it with flat bench press but still want to know the rationale behind the shoulder exercise. thanks for this great workout! :)

Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 06/12/2012 - 14:06
Steven

That is a bench press variation, not an overhead press variation.

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Posted Tue, 06/12/2012 - 14:17
Hashim

Oh so the position would be that your back is resting on the swiss ball instead of sitting on it?

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Posted Wed, 06/13/2012 - 09:36
ALEXALHITI

Thanks for the clarification.

Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 06/13/2012 - 11:23
Steven

Yes, exactly.

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Posted Mon, 05/28/2012 - 14:06
yayo

Hey Man, what could i use to substitute the cable bench fly's on the second week?

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Posted Sat, 05/19/2012 - 06:02
Vinu

Nice workout.... But brthr i have a problem on my left lower inner chest. The iner lower chest has a big gap from the actual shape...pls tel wht chest workout should i prefer

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Posted Sat, 04/21/2012 - 10:33
NevazStory

Hi Steve,
For the swiss ball Dumbbell Press (alternate), someone already asked this question but I found no replies to that question!! Basically I can think of 3 possible ways of doing this but am not sure which way is correct:
1- Start position is arms up, keep the non-working arm up while working with one hand and alternate. This I thought might be good because while performing one rep you can keep squeeze the chest muscle of the hand which is up and still.
2- Start position is arms down, keeping the non-working arm down in stretch position while performing the rep with the other hand and alternate.
3- Keep the non-performing hand up or down, perform 10 complete reps with one hand, then alternate. If this case is the one then what should be the position of the non-working arm? In this case I assume we are holding the weight just as a counter weight to be able to maintain our balance.
I hope I have been able to express my doubt.
By the way the link to the swiss ball dumbbell press exercise takes you to the wrong link (its for shoulder) not sure who is responsible to fix that.

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Posted Fri, 04/13/2012 - 20:32
dr.dan

Hello

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Posted Fri, 04/13/2012 - 20:31
dr.dan

Ok, I have been working out for a little over a year now, I am seeing great results. The problem i have is that I lift weights 6 days a week every night after work. I still have a lot of body fat and i just can't seem to get rid of it. I just started doing cardiovascular 3 times a week after my weight session. I run 1 mile and hit body bag for 15 minutes. I eat about 1600 ta 1800 callories a day diet.what am i doing wrong? How do i lose tgis unwanted fat? Please help! Thank you.

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Posted Mon, 04/09/2012 - 16:10
Luke

How many reps should I be getting on the first dropset? I just want to make sure I am going heavy enough

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Posted Mon, 04/09/2012 - 09:22
tarek jreidini

Something's wrong with Week 1, first exercise (Swiss Ball Dumbbell Press) is a shoulder exercise. What should I replace it with?

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Posted Sat, 04/07/2012 - 04:00
jason

they don't have ball in the gym, could I replace swiss ball dumbbell press to incline bench press?

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Posted Sat, 03/31/2012 - 03:12
dylan

I have been doing the same chest routine for several months (my max went from 250 to 275), but i got used to it and would not be sore for more than a day. I did the first week for chest, about 5 days ago and i can still feel it. damn good workout, loved the incline, followed by pushups to failure

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Posted Mon, 03/05/2012 - 08:58
Graham

I have completed this plateau buster workouts, and have still yet to "bust" my plateau!! What would you reccomend to do from here??

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Posted Sun, 03/04/2012 - 12:55
cameron

I have been having truoble with my poor genetic on building my chest up, my bench is over 100 pounds over my wieght on flat and i do thirty over my weight for incline but cant seem to build any thing, i have tried lighter wi=eight more reps, less reps heavier weight, adding more workouts but i feel like i am getting close to overtraining!!!!! comments