The reverse-pyramid workout for the man on the go
Arguably, the most impressive part of the male body is the chest. Think back to the old Charles Atlas ads: He puffed his chest out. What about Arnold? He was known for his chest development. While you may not be looking for a chest of similar size, if you’re like most guys, you want to make an impression.
You’re no bodybuilder. You’re pressed for time. Well, we have you covered. This chest workout has been designed to get you in and out of the gym in just 20 minutes while giving your chest a workout that even Atlas and Schwarzenegger could appreciate.
HOW IT WORKS:
This program is designed to manipulate repetitions for each exercise. You’ll do three sets per exercise, decreasing the weight while increasing the reps on each successive set. For the first set, do six to eight reps, then go to eight to 12 reps for the second set, and finish with 12 to 15 reps on the final set. This reverse-pyramid progression allows you to nail the strength, muscle-growth and capillarization components of each movement, ensuring complete development in an elegant time-saving workout. Remember that the first set of each exercise is always the heaviest, so make sure to warm up thoroughly before moving on to your first working set. When performing dips, do as many reps as you can per set. Rest for only 45 seconds after each set.
Lie down on a flat bench, extending a pair of dumbbells above your pecs, palms facing your feet. Plant your feet flat on the floor and keep your back slightly arched.
Lower the dumbbells toward your chest, keeping your upper arms perpendicular to your torso. When the dumbbells reach the plane of your pecs, press your arms back up to the starting position explosively. Make sure that you lock your elbows out each time. Hold for a second, contract your pecs and repeat.
INCLINE BARBELL PRESS
Lie on an incline bench with your feet flat on the floor and your back slightly arched. Reach up to the bar and grab it with your arms shoulder width apart. Use a palms-around grip.
Slowly lower the bar to the top of your chest and explosively press it up toward the ceiling. Hold for a second, squeezing the muscle, and repeat.
Position yourself between two parallel dip bars, with one hand on each bar. Lock out your elbows.
Bend your knees and allow your body to lean forward to ensure that you perform your reps at an angle (repping vertically will engage more triceps muscle—an action you’ll want to avoid when you’re training your chest).
Position cable-crossover pulleys midway on the posts and attach D-ring handles to the ends of the cables. Grasp a handle with each hand, thumbs pointing toward the ceiling, and stand between the posts, extending your arms to the sides at chest level. To maintain a stable exercise position, stagger your stance.
Bend your elbows slightly and pull your arms together in an arc (as if you were hugging a tree). Bring your knuckles together as close as possible. Squeeze the chest in the contracted position, slowly return the handles to the starting position and repeat.