The Ultimate Barbell Chest Workout

There have been many advances in training equipment over the decades, but nothing beats the basic barbell and plates when it comes to packing on mass in the pecs. This workout includes four movements that you're likely familiar with. It's as basic as they come but make no mistake, it will leave you with a chest that is anything but basic.

Fun like this shouldn't be enjoyed alone, so make sure you have a partner available to train with and spot you for safety.

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Technique Tips Push-up on Racked Barbell

Place a bar inside a rack so that the bar is about waist high. The bar should either be in the J-hooks or on the safeties against the back of the rack. Place your hands about shoulder-width apart on the bar and place your feet behind you on the floor so you're leaning your bodyweight onto the bar. Perform 10 push-ups with your chest coming as close to the bar as possible. Once you get to 10, stand up and place your hands wider on the bar—somewhere close to the same place you would use for a press is good. Perform 10 more reps. That's one set. Do a second set, but this time start with the wider hand position.

Incline Barbell Bench Press

Nothing is better for building the upper pecs than this old-school move. You can perform it in one of two ways. If pec development is what matters most, lower the bar until it is an inch shy of touching your chest before pressing up. If power and strength are the priority, go all the way down and pause on your chest before pressing up with as much force as possible.

Either way, add weight on each successive set as the reps decrease. On the last set, perform a rest-pause right before you reach failure. When you think you have one rep left, rack it and wait 10 seconds. Unrack the bar and try to get 2-3 more reps.

Barbell Bench Press

Since the bench press is the third movement in this plan, weigh is irrelevant. Just work with whatever you need to so you can achieve 12 reps before you hit failure. You should have 1-2 more reps in the tank when you rack it.

The last set on this one will be a dropset. Perform your 12 reps as you did on the first 2 sets. When you finish, immediately strip about 25 percent off of the bar and get right back to work. When your partner or spotter has to assist you, you're done.

Decline Barbell Bench Press

If you have a decline bench that's adjustable, set it for a slight decline. If not, whatever your weight room has will work. The objectives here are muscle contraction and endurance. Instead of counting reps, your partner will keep an eye on the clock.

If you can't go the whole 60 seconds before racking it, that's OK. Rack it, count to five, and go again. Pick up your count where you left off. If you finished at 15, start with 16. Make it a goal to beat your number on the next set or the next time you do this workout.

Ready to take your chest training to the next level? Check out 30-Day Chest with Abel Albonetti in BodyFit by Bodybuilding.com!