Why do routines usually have chest day on Monday ? Well, it could be that the majority of gym goers are pumped up for doing some bench pressing and chest after their rest day on Sunday. On second thought, putting a heavy chest day as the first workout of the week could be a good thing actually. It’s a great opportunity to trigger new growth in your chest while you are fresh and well rested.
And what’s even better than a typical chest session ? A short and intense chest session !!! Get in, get some hard work done and get out. And there is no better way to do this than to incorporate supersets in the workout. You’ll save time and take your workout to a new intensity level.
So without too much talking, let’s see the chest day, superset routine.
You’ll notice that every superset is composed of two movements: a push and a fly movement. You’ll also notice that at times the push comes first in the superset while at other times the fly comes first. There is a good explanation for this, we want to keep the muscles confused and in shock. The workout begins with some free weight exercises and ends with machine and bodyweight movements, and there’s a simple reason behind this when you start working out, you’re at the peak of your strength which means free weights will have the best effect for you, but when you get tired at the end you still need to keep your intensity and focus high, so you switch to machine exercises as well as bodyweight movements. As supersets go, you won’t have any rest between the two exercises that make the superset, and you’ll have only a minute of rest between the supersets, as it normally happens with most supersets.
First of all, you will need to warm up and prepare as well as you can, and this includes more than just the regular rotator cuff exercises and stretches. You will also need to get your head into gear as well as your body, so make sure you’re mentally prepared for what follows. If you had a bad day prior to going to the gym, here is where you release all the negative energy. If you have a lot of work, chores or activities after training, the gym is where you get your head level. Either way, you are coming out of that door mentally stable and ready for new challenges. The physical part of you also has to get ready – when you’re doing chest day remember that you will also need to include your triceps, shoulders and elbows as well as your pecs. Warm them up so they’ll participate in your quest for muscle, because as we all know, exercising without your muscles being warmed up is priming yourself for disaster – you will need to make sure all of your muscles are ready, especially those you want to activate during the workout.
SUPERSET #1 – Incline Barbell Press and Incline Dumbbell Fly
You can never have an overdeveloped chest, so make sure you start your workout with some incline exercises paired in a superset. Doing these exercises when you are the most energetic and fully rested is really beneficial, and barbell presses go first because you’ll be able to handle more volume. When you’re done with the presses, take a pair of dumbbells and do the incline flyes. Make sure to adjust the seat on your bench accordingly so that you never hit the barbell, but you can use a different bench if you feel like it.
If you do that though, make sure to use a lower setting to hit your chest muscles from a completely different angle. As you do fewer and fewer repetitions, your weight should go up. Also, remember to adjust these numbers to keep yourself injury-free because when you train with more intensity like this, you might not always be strong enough to do them combined, instead you might only be able to do them on their own. Do three rounds of this superset with 10, 8 and 6 repetitions of each of the two exercises.
SUPERSET #2 – Flat Dumbbell Fly and Flat Dumbbell Press
After the incline angles, we are now doing some flat angle pairings. Take a pair of dumbbells and go to the bench. Do the flyes so you can have a really awesome stretch at the bottom and get your pectoral muscles ready by making room for more blood that will be coming into them soon when you do the presses. When you’ve done 10 repetitions of the flyes, start doing presses without changing anything. Make sure you contract your chest muscles when you get to the top of the press, but don’t lock out your elbows to keep the triceps from taking the brunt of the weight.
Do two sets like this and for the third one, take them to complete muscle failure. If you do more than 10 reps that is really good, but if you manage to pump out more than 15, you need a heavier weight. If you can’t get 10, get a lighter one, of course. When you reach muscle failure with your dumbbell flyes, do as many presses as you can, but when you can’t do one single extra press with the correct form, make sure you have a partner nearby to help you do at least two more correctly. When you notice that they’re working harder than you to lift the dumbbells, stop doing them.
SUPERSET #3 – Standing Plate Press and Body Suspension Fly
This superset is radically different from all the other supersets for two main reasons. First of all, you’re going to count time under tension instead of reps, so the length of a set is made up of seconds instead of reps and second of all, you’re going to do this set with non-traditional exercises. The first of these exercises is the standing plate press which asks that you take two very light plates and hold them together. These should be something like 5’s or 10’s, never anything heavier unless you’re really developed and really strong. Stand with these plates squeezed together between your hands and press your hands out straight in front of you.
Make sure to contract your chest muscles as you perform this part of the exercise, and then bring the plates back towards your chest. Do this for about 30 seconds – you don’t even need to count repetitions! When you’re done with those, take some body suspension training bands and so some bodyweight flyes with them. You might be thinking that your gym doesn’t have these but don’t worry – use a resistance band if you have to, with some standing flyes for now, until you can get your own pair of suspension bands. You don’t need to count reps with this exercise either, just do it for 30 seconds and your superset is over. Do three supersets of 30 seconds for each exercise.
SUPERSET #4 – Pec Deck and Seated Chest Press
At this point of your workout, weight and strength presumably aren’t really important to you because the goal is now to keep ripping your muscle fibers to shreds! This means that you can now switch to machine exercises, which will help you isolate your muscles and develop them really well, while making sure that you don’t hurt yourself and you keep your form proper.
This means that you can now use the pec deck since it’s a great exercise for this point in your workout. Concentrate on your chest instead of making sure you bring your hands together – if you’ve been working out for a while, you know why you should do that. When you get that done, approach a machine press, if possible one with a seat. Doing horizontal presses will do wonders for your chest while saving your shoulders all the trouble of a vertical press, but make sure that your shoulder blades are squeezed together and your chest is stuck out as far as it will go. Do three supersets of 12 reps for each exercise here and you will see awesome results!
SUPERSET #5 – Cable Crossover and Push-Ups
This is the last superset, which means that you can already smell that rest coming afterwards. This superset has a really big advantage as well – you can do both exercises in a really small space, preferably at a cable crossover station – the transition from one exercise to the other is barely any effort at all. When the time comes to do this superset, that little amount of effort and time cutting can do a lot for your workout, turning it from a decent into an incredible one. Doing cable crossovers will do magic for your lower pectoral muscles and the cables will do this because you will keep the tension on your chest for a long time, all the way through your set.
This is because the weight on the pin won’t be able to rest on whatever remainder of the stack you’re not lifting. When you’re done with the cable crossovers, get on the floor and do some pushups. Once you become unable to do a single pushup in correct form, do some partials or put your knees down and keep going. Don’t get all stuck up – your ego is not at training here, you are, and knee pushups will do you well in the long run by giving you extra gains. Keep pushing yourself as far as you can go and you will see the results soon enough, and they will be the most awesome results in your life, those that make you get new clothes because you’ve grown too much and the old ones won’t fit you.