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20-Minute Chest Workout

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Building a bigger and broader chest is the primary goal for many gym-goers, which is why there’s always a queue for the bench press no matter what time you train. But the world’s most popular lift (by our reckoning anyway) isn’t actually the best exercise for maximising chest development. For that you need to hit your pecs from different angles using the muscles’ full range of motion, plus some explosive moves, to work as many muscle fibres as possible. The result? They’ll grow back bigger and stronger – giving you impressive mass and the ability to lift more weight next time.

How To Do This Workout

Do this six-move workout twice a week for four weeks, so you’ll do it a total of eight times. Try to leave at least two days between sessions.

The moves are paired into supersets, which is the most efficient way to work as many muscles fibres as possible and encourage new muscle growth. Do all the reps of 1A then go straight into 1B, only resting once all those reps are done. Repeat this for a total of three supersets. Then move on to 2A and 2B, following the same pattern, then the same again with 3A and 3B. For moves 1A, 1B, 2A and 2B, try to increase the weight slightly each week. For moves 3A and 3B your aim should be to increase the number of reps you perform each week, if you can manage it.

1A Dumbbell bench press

20-Minute Workout

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Sets 3 Reps 8 Rest 0sec

Using dumbbells works each half of your chest independently and allows a greater range of motion so your muscles work hard to lift and control the weight.

1B Dumbbell flye

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Sets 3 Reps 12 Rest 60sec

Keep the weight light to ensure shoulder joint safety. Use a full range of motion to work the muscles fully and contract your pec muscles hard at the top.

2A Cable flye

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Sets 3 Reps 8 Rest 0sec

Keep your chest upright and core braced throughout. Return the handles to the start slowly, after contracting your chest hard when your hands are together.

2B Cable crossover

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Sets 3 Reps 12 Rest 60sec

Bring your hands down in a wide arc and allow them to cross in front of your bellybutton. Pause in this position to maximise tension on your chest.

3A Clap press-up

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Sets 3 Reps 8 Rest 0sec

Press yourself up as powerfully as possible to get the highest elevation on each rep. This move is tough but will help to fatigue the fast-twitch muscle fibres for more growth.

3B Press-up

3B Press-up

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Sets 3 Reps 12 Rest 60sec

After the explosive clap press-ups take your time with each standard press-up rep, lowering your chest to the ground slowly and under control, then pressing up smoothly.

Joe Warner worked for Men’s Fitness UK, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach, from 2008 to 2013, then returned as editor of Men’s Fitness UK from 2016 to 2019.