This week I’ll be sharing my Chest & Shoulder workout and what I focus on as a physique competitor.
Chest & Shoulders
- Incline DB press 8×8 (30 sec, until flat)
- Incline DB flye 3×12 (w/ ext. rotation)
- Incline hammer strength press 3×6
- Incline smith machine press 3×10
- Bent over cable flyes/ dumbbell lateral raises 7×15/15
The main focus for me is to develop the upper portion of my chest as much as possible. If you notice there’s not much flat benched exercises but mostly everything is at an incline. Strength is not my main goal, it’s to grow so that’s why you don’t see much bench press either. Also, I don’t have tricep movements in there because I alternate between Chest/ shoulder & Chest/tricep dominant movements. In total I do Shoulders 4 times a week, but it’s not intense every time. Mainly, I do shoulders with legs and I focus on vertical presses on that day. Other days I do slightly less work but focus on the total weekly volume of work, I sneak in a shoulder exercise during my push or chest day, this way I’m not over training (aka not letting myself recover) and avoid injury. Now, on to the explanation of the workout:
Incline DB press 8 sets of 8 reps: I’ve been trying out this out for a few weeks and I’ve been loving it. It’s a staple in my routine now. Choose a weight that’s about 80% of your max and take 30 seconds in between sets. Get a timer or pull out your phone but when I say 30 seconds I mean it, if you go over that you should be ashamed of yourself for brining dishonor to your ancestors and start all 8 sets over 🙂 . Start at a high incline and as your strength decreases or you’re not able to complete the full 8 reps, lower the incline by one notch. Keep doing this until you get to a flat bench and move on to the next movent.
Incline DB flye 3 sets of 12 reps: Use a relatively light weight for this one. Start with the dumbbells right above your eyes, turn them inside with index fingers facing each other and pinkies facing the walls. Lower the weight and add an external rotation at the bottom. I made a video on my Instagram Click here to watch it and come right back….go, I’ll wait. Make sure to warm up by doing a 1 or 2 sets at much lighter weight than you would for you actual sets. Just because you only have 3 sets, doesn’t mean that they should be EASY.
Incline hammer strength press 3 sets of 6 reps: I like going slightly wider than usual for this one. It allows me to get a better stretch without having to go all the way down and put pressure on the shoulders. Take 1-2 seconds on the way up and down without stopping at the top or bottom to keep constant tension. On the last set add a triple drop set of 6, 12, 15 reps without any break. Take about 1-2 min rest in between sets, you should be going heavy and recovering appropriately.
Incline smith machine press 3 sets of 10 reps: not gonna lie I actually really enjoy this one. As much hate as it gets, the smith machine is really good for isolation. Yea it puts more strain on the shoulders but if you have good mobility and also train your stabilizers through other movements (aka dumbbells & strengthening supporting muscles) you’ll be fine. Make sure to do 2-3 warm up sets and focus on form and contraction.
Bent over cable flyes superset with dumbbell lateral raises 7 sets of 15,15 reps: Bend over, keep your back flat, and aim the handles in front of your chin. We’re trying to target eh upper portion of your chest so don’t use momentum and pause every time you get to the top. Same thing with the lateral raises, stop and the top of the movement and slowly come down. Don’t swing the weight but focus on the contraction, you want to hit your shoulders not your traps so relax your neck and stand tall. On another note: Im a big fan of Hany Rambod’s FST7 or facia stretch training. This drives an insane amount of blood into the muscle and allows for an insane pump (then take a selfie with good lighting and look bigger than what you actually are #secretsout) take 30-45 sec in between, if you’re a beginner I suggest stretch your pecs in between but if you’re a little more advanced flex or hold one of your competition poses instead of resting. Make sure you’re getting sips of water in between sets, it helps with prolonging the pump and prevents dehydration. Also, if you’re not a bodybuilder and don’t use the word “pump” or are not sure what it means, it’s just a way of describing that “good” feeling you get during a set. You ever felt a good kind of pain? That’s what it means, you’re feeling strong, blood is rushing through your body, “good feeling” hormones are released, and you’re muscles are pumped with blood so they expand and appear bigger than usual.
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed it or think it may help someone else out, please spread the word. If you’re interested in future posts, subscribe below (scroll all the way down) and get notified when I put out the next post. Thanks for reading and stay tuned!