10 Week Chest Size & Bench Press Strength Workout

Steve Shaw
Written By: Steve Shaw
December 10th, 2013
Updated: January 17th, 2018
Categories: Workouts Chest Workouts
345.3K Reads
10 Week Chest Size & Bench Press Strength Workout
This ten week training cycle is designed to not only boost your barbell bench press prowess but also pack on slabs of muscle mass to your upper and lower chest.
Workout Summary
  • Main Goal
    Build Muscle
  • Workout Type
    Single Muscle Group
  • Training Level
  • Program Duration10 weeks
  • Days Per Week
  • Time Per Workout60-90 minutes
  • Equipment Required
    Barbell, Dumbbells, Machines
  • Target Gender Male & Female
  • Workout PDF Download Workout

Workout Description

This is a workout for late beginners and intermediate lifters designed to help pack on additional chest muscle mass while also bringing up your bench press strength. You will be alternating between volume rep weeks and heavy singles.

  • Week 1 - 8 sets x 8 reps @ 55% of current one rep max
  • Week 2 - 8 singles @ 87.5% of current one rep max
  • Week 3 - 7 sets x 7 sets @ 62.5% of current one rep max
  • Week 4 - 7 singles @ 90% of current one rep max
  • Week 5 - 6 sets x 6 reps @ 70% of current one rep max
  • Week 6 - 6 singles @ 92.5% of current one rep max
  • Week 7 - 5 sets x 5 reps @ 77.5% of current one rep max
  • Week 8 - 5 singles @ 95% of current one rep max
  • Week 9 - 4 sets x 4 reps @ 85% of current one rep max
  • Week 10 - Max attempt
How to perform your max attempt

Perform your warmup sets, then move on to singles as follows:

  • 85% of current one rep max for a single
  • 92.5% of current one rep max for a single
  • 102.5% of current one rep max for a single

If you are able to hit 102.5%, try another max attempt at 105% of your current one rep max. If successful, try a third and final attempt with 107.5%.

Workout notes

Alternate between close grip benches and dumbbell benches every other week. Do the same for incline dumbbell and barbell bench presses.

Add weight to flyes/pec dec, skullcrushers, and trice extensions when possible.

After week 10, take a deload or light week before started the cycle over again.

On training days when you are performing singles, rest at least 2 minutes between each set. On rep work training days, rest 1.5 to 2 minutes between sets.

Chest Size & Bench Press Workout
10 Week Cycle
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press (For sets & reps, see chart above)      
Close Grip Bench Press or Dumbbell Bench Press 3 8-12
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press or Incline Bench Press 3 8-12
Dumbbell Flyes or Pec Dec 3-5 10-15
Skullcrushers 3-5 8-12
Cable Tricep Extensions 3-5 10-12
Posted on: Thu, 05/06/2021 - 11:29

What is the recommended split for the rest of the week? Should we have a pull and leg day for three day training week?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 05/07/2021 - 09:41

Hey Derek - a pull day and a leg day is a great idea to complete your workouts for the week.

Posted on: Thu, 02/06/2020 - 23:42

What the reset times between singles
i feel its very easy if i wait 1 min to perom 7 X 1 for example

Posted on: Sat, 10/20/2018 - 03:56

I do not bodybuilder professionally. But I am interested this sport. I've been working out for a long time and I have a lot of experience. I study carefully body movements and exercise programs. Honestly, I was one of the best training programs I've ever seen.

Jordan Jax
Posted on: Wed, 02/28/2018 - 13:40

Ok, so I just finished this program- did every week consecutively on Mondays and followed the training guide exactly. I started the program maxing out at 275X1, and just for rep purposes I could do 225x7-8(depending on the set #). Like I said I followed each week as instructed with the reps or singles and did all the additional exercises using weight that I could do for 8-10 reps when it came to the DB press, Incline bench, DB incline, Close grip, and tricep extension For flyes and cable pushdowns, I did reps up to 15 for flyes and 12 for pushdowns.

Anywho- I just maxed out again (10th week) and was able to get 290x1 solid with a spotter but no help coming up (I can also now do 225x10 for rep purposes). I tried 295, and only got about halfway back up before needing help- my spotter says I should count that as a "half-rep", but to me that doesn't count. So anyway- in 10 weeks, I went up a solid 15 pounds on the bench press- not bad. I was really hoping to hit 300lbs though!

Just a few comments, eating habits and sleep definitely play a factor here. Your diet is key really- but since I'm not a certified nutritionist I'll just say that I ate between 160-180g of protein per day. Getting sleep also plays a huge roll because while pre-workout is great (not really, but whatever floats your boat) if you haven't slept enough your body will simply not be as efficient in the gym. The Monday after Super Bowl Sunday was pretty rough as I was up pretty late.

Closing thoughts, I'd say this was a pretty cool program- I was very excited to challenge myself each week and surprisingly I did not need a spotter until max out day. If you do this program, do it the same day each week and do not do chest any other days of the week. I performed my workouts fasted- only drinking black coffee+ BCAAS or only drinking ON Pre-workout. I did this workout at 5am. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

My Stats: Age 29 Height 6'0 Weight 194lbs

Posted on: Sat, 03/03/2018 - 14:30

Hey Jordan good stuff. Very impressive. Thanx for the update. Well, u have a NEW one rep max (1RM) now are you gonna plug in the new 1RM and go at it AGAIN? Also this workout has some triceps' exercises in it. Did these tri~ceps exercises make your tris for the week as well as bench? OR did you do some more tricep exercises during the week? Also not sure if u have seen it, but there is an 18 week program on this site that is close to this one but goes to 18 weeks instead of 10. Wonder if maybe u decide to do this over again. Think if you pick a different day as opposed to Monday it might make a little difference?

Posted on: Wed, 02/14/2018 - 09:57

I've read this a few times and see nowhere ... how much weight is supposed to be used for:
- Close Grip Bench Press or Dumbbell Bench Press
- Incline Dumbbell Bench Press or Incline Bench Press
- Dumbbell Flyes or Pec Dec
- Skullcrushers
- Cable Tricep Extensions

Jordan Jax
Posted on: Mon, 02/19/2018 - 07:28


I just finished week 9 and next week I will doing my max attempt and will post a long review of this program. To answer your question:

For close grip and db bench- go with a semi heavy weight that you would typically get 10 perfect reps on if that were the first excercise you were to do on a given day. So if you can do Close grip bench with 135x10 perfectly on a normal day, I would follow your first set of the bench x reps with that. If you can still get ten reps, then I would up the weight by 10 pounds, as long as you can at least get 8 reps- add weight or keep the same.

Youre going to have to feel/ test out where your sweet spot is but the goal is to lift heavy but stay in the rep range while not sacrificing form. I hope this helps.

Just fyi- flyes/ crossovers dont necessariyl have to be super heavy- you just want to be able to get a good stretch in the pecs while going for 10-12 reps.

Justin Howell
Posted on: Thu, 01/04/2018 - 23:15

Could you do squat and power clean off of this to?

Posted on: Wed, 02/22/2017 - 06:15

I'm currently on a Upper/Lower - twice a week split. Would it be okay if I do the percentage sets, close grip bench and skullcrushers on my first upper day (along with 2 exercises for back, 1 for shoulders and 1 for biceps) and incline dumbbell press, dumbbell flyes and overhead cable extensions (also along with 2 ex. for back, 1 shoulders, 1 traps , 1 biceps) ?

Michael Thompkins
Posted on: Mon, 05/23/2016 - 20:19

Started the 10 week cycle for the first time about mid October of last year, and increased my max from 269 to 307. Started the second 10 week cycle shortly after the first of the year and increased to 324. Took about a week or two off and now in the 8th week of the 3rd cycle and have hit a wall, 8th weeks calls for 5 singles at 95% and it was impossible. Need some advise on how to get back on track...

Joshua T Donovan
Posted on: Sat, 10/14/2017 - 22:57

Awesome strength increases. How were the mass gains and overall chest development. Im trying to find a good routine to keep building my strength without the benchers chest look.

Jay Montesano
Posted on: Fri, 02/26/2016 - 18:52

How much increase in my 1 rep max should I see off this program?

Posted on: Thu, 02/11/2016 - 07:23

Have anyone done this workout and what were your results?

Posted on: Tue, 11/03/2015 - 15:37

On like weeks 1,3,5 etc. do you do the same week for all 8 sets or go up weight each set

Posted on: Tue, 11/17/2015 - 08:34

It's same weight all eight sets. I'm on week 8, this workout has given great results!

jerry gaston
Posted on: Thu, 07/23/2015 - 14:15

I don't understand the chart can u break it down for me

jerry gaston
Posted on: Thu, 07/23/2015 - 14:12

Am sorry am a beginner I don't understand the chart I need help badly can you break the chart down to me. Am trying to do this myself

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 07/24/2015 - 09:13

Which chart Jerry?

The first chart describes the amount of weight (in percentage form) of your 1 repetition max that you should use each week and the number of sets and repetitions.

The next chart is a description of the workout including exercises, sets, and reps. Apply the percentages, sets, and reps from the first chart to the first exercise in the second chart and then complete the entire workout.

Posted on: Wed, 06/10/2015 - 17:08

Can I use this program working bench press 2 times per week????

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 06/11/2015 - 09:35

Ideally no, the program was designed for 1 time per week.

Posted on: Tue, 03/03/2015 - 19:34

Do we use the same percentages for the incline and close grip/dumbbell bench or just go with what feels right?

Posted on: Tue, 03/03/2015 - 06:25

Rest periods between sets please

Posted on: Sat, 12/20/2014 - 13:01

Is this a once a week routine? Could the Bench Press portion be used once a week and then supplement with other lifting that day and 2 more times in the week?

Nadeep Dave Usher
Posted on: Mon, 10/27/2014 - 04:41

85% of current one rep max for a single
92.5% of current one rep max for a single
102.5% of current one rep max for a single
please explain more about thin.i cant understand this at the movement .if some one can to explain this,it is a big thing for me.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 10/27/2014 - 08:56

These are percentages based on your current one rep maximum for the bench press.

Posted on: Tue, 04/15/2014 - 10:57

This is a great program! I just finished up week 10, and was able to increase my 1RM from 205 to 225

Posted on: Mon, 03/10/2014 - 21:11

How do I perform singles?

Graham Biggs
Posted on: Tue, 02/25/2014 - 17:05

im abit confused on what the percentages mean, like
"Week 1 - 8 sets x 8 reps @ 55% of current one rep max
Week 2 - 8 singles @ 87.5% of current one rep max
Week 3 - 7 sets x 7 sets @ 62.5% of current one rep max
Week 4 - 7 singles @ 90% of current one rep max
Week 5 - 6 sets x 6 reps @ 70% of current one rep max
Week 6 - 6 singles @ 92.5% of current one rep max
Week 7 - 5 sets x 5 reps @ 77.5% of current one rep max
Week 8 - 5 singles @ 95% of current one rep max
Week 9 - 4 sets x 4 reps @ 85% of current one rep max
Week 10 - Max attempt "

in this part?

Posted on: Tue, 03/04/2014 - 18:02

It means that if you can bench 100 lbs one time (100 lbs is your 1RM)

Week 1: Bench 55 lbs in 8 sets of 8
Week 2: Bench 87.5 lbs 8 times total
Week 3: 62.5 lbs in 7 sets of 7
Week 4: Bench 90 lbs 7 times total
and so on....

I'm on Week 4 of this program and so far have noticed a significant increase in strength for all of these exercises. My chest has also grown a bit. Love it and can't wait to see the end result!

Jay Montesano
Posted on: Thu, 02/11/2016 - 19:44

How much increase in my 1 rep max should I expect?

Posted on: Thu, 03/02/2017 - 16:31

So I would have to do the same exercises for 10 weeks but every week I have to increase the weight ? Correct ? Lol ... I did this workout today so far so good see how it goes seems legit

Jordan Meredith
Posted on: Tue, 02/25/2014 - 05:03

seems awesome...was just wondering each week it says percentage of 'current one rep max' is this the one rep max that you start with at the beginning of the 10 week programme or do you have to adjust it each week?

Posted on: Mon, 02/10/2014 - 12:24

How many times per week should we do this?

Posted on: Wed, 02/05/2014 - 06:00

i see no lower chest work?
should i add dips into this routine?

Posted on: Fri, 01/24/2014 - 16:27

What about lower chest? No dips

Posted on: Wed, 01/22/2014 - 23:55

After 10 week program, move on to a completely different one. Doing the same program with heavier weights will hurt your progress. You have to focus on "muscle confusion". Your muscles get used to doing the same routine over and over.

Posted on: Mon, 05/05/2014 - 13:32

It would still be muscle confusion if you do it on a different day. instead of doing the chest workout on a friday do it on a Wednesday the next week and so on

Posted on: Sat, 01/18/2014 - 13:56

hi so my question is after you finish this plan then what do you do. what weight do you start benching with after this program. thanks

Posted on: Thu, 01/23/2014 - 00:00

Move on to a completely different program. This causes "muscle confusion". This is a good thing.

Posted on: Wed, 01/01/2014 - 16:18

do i only bench press once a week with this schedule

Nolski Bielskewitz
Posted on: Sun, 12/29/2013 - 18:47

Pretty pumped to start this workout. I've always enjoyed your stuff, Steve. Maxed out today at 245 and felt I could go higher, but had already gone up about 4 or 5 times so decided to base my sets on that weight.

I'm not a huge guy; 5'9"/160lbs, and sometimes I feel like my frame isn't meant to move weight like that.

Any tips on how to shore up wrists and shoulder particularly?

Posted on: Tue, 12/24/2013 - 17:22

Hello Steve, help me please with the second chest day of each week...i know there must be one :) I just cant figure out how many exercises, sets and what % of 1RP should i do.

Posted on: Tue, 12/24/2013 - 08:39

@ 55% of current one rep max please can you provide more description for example if am working on 50 kg then i must go to 27.5 kg to maximum rep

Posted on: Tue, 12/24/2013 - 17:16

if 50 kg is the maximum weight you can press on one repetition, then yes.

Posted on: Mon, 12/23/2013 - 23:07

been out of the gym for about three months i really need this to work

Posted on: Mon, 12/23/2013 - 12:17

should i have a second Chest Day in the same week ( not so heavy ofc...) ?

Posted on: Mon, 12/23/2013 - 12:14

I like it very much, going right now to the gym & test it!!!

Posted on: Mon, 12/23/2013 - 10:45

wait, so you do the bench press 10 week routine AS WELL as incline bench press or close grip bench press too? so you're benching 2 separate times during the same workout?

Posted on: Mon, 12/23/2013 - 09:23

How many days should I train each week?