I’m not sure if anyone else is working out on Christmas Eve, but here’s a workout of the week to keep you inspired. For Christmas Eve, this chest day is nicely paced and targets those forgotten-about muscles so you will feel like you just gave yourself the best gift! Or maybe you’re really going to like those Quest bars and the Target graphic tee that your well-intentioned hubby got you, but hey this Chest Workout is a close second.
Perform circuits as depicted in the picture. Why 2 or 3 rounds? Throughout your workout, I have you targeting different parts of your chest muscles. I wrote for three rounds of bench press because I really want to fatigue that big muscle group. Finally, I have you finish with three rounds again, but this time of the chest fly machine. This is a time to really work those muscles til failure at the end of your workout. Every thing else is two rounds, which is my favorite number scheme. It keeps the workout moving fast and allows time to get a bunch of different exercises in, really hitting every single part of your chest. Now for the exercise breakdown, but don’t forget to check the video at the end of this post.
Wide/Narrow Press: Lay down on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand. You will see I keep my legs bent and rest my feet on the bench. This is because I’m only 5’4 and these benches are so tall they force my back into an arch if my feet are on the ground. Put your knees on the bench, too, if you are feeling that lower back talking to you. For the movement, start dumbbells on the outside of your chest. Press the DB’s up together, keeping them lined up over your chest. Then return them to your chest as you twist your hands to face each other. Hit the narrow press by pressing straight up, again over the chest. As you bring the weights down, rotate hands to overhand grip again and bring DB’s to the outside of the chest. Repeat. This one is basically two moves in one, but hits your chest, ahem pectoralis major and minor.
Barbell Overhead Press: Sit on the edge of the bench with a barbell in hands starting at chest height. Press barbell overhead really targeting your upper chest and shoulders. Watch your back during this movement. Force yourself to keep your abs tight as you press overhead so you are not unnecessarily arching that back.
Bench Valley Press: I first saw a version of this online by Anabolic Aliens (theirs is standing). For today’s workout, lay down on a bench with dumbbell in each hand, holding in an underhand grip. Push dumbbells overhead, they will sit in almost a “V” position. Return dumbbells toward your torso, near the lower part of your chest. It is crazy how one slight hand grip switch can change the entire movement! Let me know what you think!
Barbell Skull Crushers: Lay on the Bench with a barbell in hand, overhand grip. Start with barbell straight up over chest. Bend at the elbows so the weight comes back towards your head…hence the name, but do not actually crush your skull, please. It is really tricky to keep this movement in our triceps. Really focus on keeping your elbows in the same place and only bending there, not moving your entire arm.
Bench Press: Go ahead and get on the bench rack! Load the bar up with an appropriate weight, or maybe press the 45 lb. bar. Start with bar directly over chest and straight arms. Lower bar to nipple line and press up again.
Crossover Tricep Press: This is a cool one taught to me by Nathan at One Life Fitness. Lay on the bench (for space sake, I just do this in the same spot as the bench press). Start with a dumbbell in your right hand, and bend your left arm to help stabilize the right side. Lower the dumbbell almost like a skull crusher, but this time bring it towards your left shoulder. Repeat all reps on right side before switching to the left side. I like this one because it hits the triceps at a different angle.
Cable Press: Set the cable machine up just above shoulder height with regular handles. Step to the right side of the pulley and grab the handle with the left hand. Lean slightly forward and start arm like you are performing chest press….in line with chest and elbow bent for power. Press forward to the midline and return. Do all reps on left side before switching to the right side.
Cable Reverse Tri Curl: You can leave the cable machine in the same set up. This time stand facing and in front of the pulley. Hold the the handle with an underhand grip. Keep elbow locked at side as you perform a reverse curl. This really hits those triceps, the secondary muscle group for anything “Chest.”
Chest Fly Machine: Finish here. 15 reps for three rounds, until you can’t squeeze your chest anymore! Set the machine up so your arms go as wide as they can, but you are not over-rotating your shoulder. Squeeze from the middle of your chest to bring the pads together.
I love sharing videos so you get the vibe of the workout and can watch good form. Check it out here: