Last Updated on May 19, 2020 by Jack Saxon
Upper Chest Workout Introduction
The Upper Chest Workout. This will be a staple in our beginner workout series. The chest, the most famous muscle of the body.
Partly thanks to all the gym Bro’s out there asking the infamous question of “How much you bench bro?” But most importantly, this article is about the Upper Chest. Partly responsible of being one of, the most important building blocks of a great V shaped physique.
When the Upper Chest is fully formed you can truly get the Greek God, plate of Armour look. If you don’t neglect the Upper Chest exercises that is!
But less of the aesthetics. In this Top 5 Upper Chest Workout Exercise guide, we are going to dive into the best exercises and practices for those highly sort after 3D Pecks.
With all the information out there, it can seem daunting and down right confusing. When it comes to not just building your Chest but even stepping into the gym.
That’s why I’m here to help cut the sh*t! And get you where you want to be, and finally reach your aesthetic goals! For a full, beginner lifting program take a look at the Ultimate Beginner Workout Guide here;
So, let’s get started with the upper chest workout :
Upper chest workout
1. Barbell Bench Press
The true king of the upper body. Not only will the Bench Press grow all 3 major muscle strands in your pecs (and minor ones). It will also grow a bunch of other muscles, such as mainly your front shoulders (Anterior Deltoids), Triceps and also secondarily. Your forearms, neck, abs and Biceps.
The Bench press should be a staple of your chest workout. As it is an exercise best for progressive overload. Which we previously covered on how important it is for growth in our Ultimate Beginner Workout.
2. Incline Dumbbell Press
The incline Dumbbell press is one of my personal favorite exercises of all time. Due to the sheer activation, pump and weight you can lift whilst doing it.
This movement or a barbell variant must be implemented in a chest workout to fill out your chest evenly and in proportion. It is responsible for the growth of your upper chest. And giving the your the square shape. Where your Pecs connect to your Clavicle bone.
3. Decline Push Up
The trusty old push, how could I not include it? For most of us it was probably the first step we took in the direction of gains! Often neglected, when it comes to muscle growth.
This decline variant of the Push up is an excellent movement in balancing out your chest. As well as helping you gain a mind-muscle connection which is the MOST important factor when it comes to targeting the right muscle.
You can do this at the start of your Incline chest workout to get the blood flowing. And feel that all important mind muscle connection. Or implement it as a main movement by having your gym partner or yourself (if you can manage it) place plates on your back.
4. Incline Barbell Bench Press
You may ask, didn’t we already go through an incline press? Well yes, but they are far from the same. Where the Incline dumbbell press is an excellent exercise for mind-muscle connection and symmetrically.
The barbell version of the incline press reigns supreme. When it comes to progressive overload, as it is much easier to load the bar.
As with Dumbbells, when you want to lift heavier you will have to jump up a minimum of 2.5 kg in weight. Then go and lug it from the rack, walk back to the bench and throw it up to your chest (which is going to cost you in energy).
Where as with overloading a barbell, the barbell is in a static position. Meaning no throwing the weight up and walking around with it. As well as being able to load the bar with smaller weights.
5. Low to High Cable Fly
The low to high cable fly is by far, my favourite chest isolation exercise. Due to the pump, range of motion (which matches your horizontal chest fibers) and that forever fleeting mind muscle connection. Which will benefit your heavier compound lifts.
You can swap this for the incline dumbbell fly, it is a matter of preference. But personally, I prefer the low to high cable fly. Because of the control of the range of motion. Which is not as to acquire with the dumbbell variant But I suggest you trying out both and seeing which you prefer.
Sets, Rep ranges & rest for the Upper Chest Workout
Ok, so now on to the rep ranges for the upper chest workout. Every exercise will have 4 sets but with two different guidelines to go off. One for compound movements. And one for Isolation movements.
For compound, we are going to be implementing RPT. Refer to the ‘What is a rep/set.’ Section of our Beginner Workout guide if you need a definition;
Starting with 4-6 reps for the first set, then drop the weight by 20% and keep it the same for sets 2-3. Try to hit the 7-12 rep range for both. For the 4th set lower the weight by a further 20% and aim your reps for the 7-12 rep range once again.
Remember to match the weight to the reps! Meaning, if you’re aiming for 6 reps the weight must match it. For example on your sixth rep it is the very last one you can do.
Now for isolation. Throughout all 4 sets hit the 7-12 rep ranges and match the weight accordingly.
When it comes to rest, with this upper chest workout. For compound movements, we are going to be resting 180 seconds in between sets. To really give your CNS (Central Nervous System) a chance to recuperate and orientate itself. As well as yourself mentally since you should be lifting heavy. Which can be mentally draining.
And for isolation you are going to rest only 120 seconds as these are lighter loads and less stress on your CNS system.
Upper chest workout Tips
- The first tip, for this upper chest workout. Is to start the upper chest workout with the isolation movements. With the point of getting blood pumping in your chest. Acquiring a mind muscle connection, and generally just readying your body for the heavier compound lifts. If you rush into heavy lifts you could be at a risk of injury.
- Secondly, when resting in between sets. Still activate your chest by having your arm out straight in front of you, and move it horizontally across your body. Left arm to the right, and then right to the left. You can also do it in a slanting manner (top left to bottom right) for example and visa versa. The purpose of this is to continue the mind-muscle connection, pump and activation. Here is diagram to explain.
- And lastly. Spoken so much upon before in previous posts, and in this upper chest workout article. Progressive overload, progressive overload, and more progressive overload. If you need a quick definition once again refer to the ‘What is a Rep/Set.’ Section of the Beginner Workout Guide.
This is the main thing you should be focusing on when it comes to progression in the gym. As the heavier you lift, the stronger and more muscle you will put on. This must never be neglected if you are in the gym for consecutive gains.
Upper Chest workout Summary
So, we’ve gone through the upper chest workout’s exercises. Which will build pure hypertrophy, strength and growth. In the overall Chest.
This article has touched upon the importance of a well-built chest when it comes to completing an aesthetically pleasing physique.
So, if these exercises are followed with correct form and progressive overload is implemented. You’ll be making those FOREIGN GAINS. In no time.