10 Week Chest Size & Bench Press Strength Workout

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

Build Muscle
Single Muscle Group
Beginner
1
60-90 minutes
Barbell, Dumbbells, Machines
Male & Female

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

52 Comments+ Post Comment

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

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) ?

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

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...

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

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.

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

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

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

Have anyone done this workout and what were your results?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MikeWines's picture
Posted Fri, 07/24/2015 - 09:13
MikeWines

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.

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

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

MikeWines's picture
Posted Thu, 06/11/2015 - 09:35
MikeWines

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

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

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

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

Rest periods between sets please

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

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?

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

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.

Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 10/27/2014 - 08:56
Steven

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

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

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

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

How do I perform singles?

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

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?

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

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!

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

How many times per week should we do this?

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

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

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

What about lower chest? No dips

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

do i only bench press once a week with this schedule

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

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?

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

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.
Thanks

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

@ 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

How many days should I train each week?

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Posted Mon, 12/23/2013 - 07:36
Kristy Hunt

I didn't see anywhere about a rest time? This is great for a lot of my male clients who I'm training for physique shows and need that last little extra shelf on their chest. Thanks.

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Posted Sun, 12/22/2013 - 17:29
cloud

Are we talking a fresh max or doing a workout then maxing to the starting max? I never max so i dont know what to take a percentage of

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Posted Sun, 12/22/2013 - 16:36
mark

what results should you expect as far as chest size increase and what age group does this workout apply to;what about guys in their 60"s.

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Posted Fri, 12/20/2013 - 06:25
Mikkel

This resulted in the best chest workout I had all year! Thanks a lot Steve, I incorporated this with your 5-Day PMB split, works great! Keep up posting awesome articles!

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Posted Thu, 12/12/2013 - 17:35
quincy

Not sure what it means when it says "singles". Anyone care to educate me on this?

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Posted Sat, 12/14/2013 - 03:11
Brandon

singles=1 rep

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Posted Wed, 12/11/2013 - 15:50
Gregg

I have a question. I travel a lot for work and at best, the hotels have a set of dumbells, but nothing I can max out on. So when I see programs like this where there are weekly progressions and changes, I am always scared to try as I am not sure how the travel schedule will effect the overall progress of the program. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know

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Posted Fri, 12/13/2013 - 01:01
Brandon

pre fatigue the bodypart you are working first and then max out with the weights. Examples would be if you're doing dumbbell bench press and the weights aren't going high enough, then do like 20-30 pushups right before your set and then max out with their weights.

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Posted Thu, 01/02/2014 - 09:53
David

Either buy a "selector set" of dumbbells, or a 90 to 100 lb set of adjustable dumbbells and use them on the road. Then do the barbell routine when u get home.