Things have taken a far more instinctive turn of late. A quick look back at my training log reminded me that my last two workouts before this one, had been Back & Biceps two days previously, and Legs & Shoulders previous to that. Whilst a chest workout was naturally next up, my gut feeling was that rather than pair chest with the more usual body parts of either shoulders or triceps, I’d give legs another blast.
The thing about leg training is that it really exerts you; heart rate is higher, you sweat more and the exercises take more of a total body effort. Chest, by comparison, is easily trained well without the enveloping your entire being the way that legs and perhaps back training might.
Is that why chest day is jokingly known as the busiest time in the gym; simply because it is the least strenuous? What ever the reasons, I decided to train the two together with this workout.
Exercises in order of performance
- Ball Squats (1 x 20 reps / 1 x 20 reps / 1 x 25)
- Press Ups (1 x 12 reps / 1 x 12 reps / 1 x 15 reps
These two exercises as a super set -e.g. 1 set of ball squats followed by a set of press ups and then rest. This combination acted as a good warm up for the rest of the workout, as well as being good exercises in themselves.
My strength to weight ratio is pretty crap, so the assisted dip machine is a real winner. On this occasion I set the assisted weight to 35kg. The machine at our gym has a collapsible knee rest which makes the following method very easy. I collapsed the knee rest to perform normal body weight dips first, and then used the knee rest and 35kg of assistance to help perform 5-7 more reps. That is a form of drop set I guess and helped make each set far more intense.
set 1 = 5 dips + 7 assisted dips 35kg / set 2 = 5 dips + 6 assisted dips at 35kg / set 3 = 4 dips + 4 assisted dips at 35kg
I like to lean forward on this exercise to emphasise the chest rather than keeping straight which allows the triceps to do lots of the work. Dips are great for the lower chest line which is also an area that us middle aged Dads tend to hold fat. Whilst only diet can get rid of that fat (spot reduction does not exist) dips help shape the chest lurking underneath. Body weight exercises are something to be constantly performed – you only need look at a gymnast to see what sort of effect they can have on muscular development.
As mentioned in earlier posts, my knee and lower back niggles are almost recovered. However, until things are 100% this exercise is a good alternative.
set 1 = 24kg x 15 reps / set 2 = 30kg x 12 reps / set 3 = 30kg x 12 reps
5. Incline Dumbbell Press – You must watch this video and then follow this chap. http://athleanx.com/x/activate
I watched this video recently and applied it to this exercise. I’ve always performed the movement in the traditional way; hands faced out and arms more or less level with shoulders. It made a big difference to the chest contraction when my arms were dropped down + adding the tilt the dumbbells as they were pressed up.
Set 1 = 20kg x 12 / set 2 = 24kg x 10 / set 3 = 24kg x 10
Set 1 = 45kg x 15 / set 2 = 55kg x 12 / set 3 drop set = 55kg x 10 then 35kg x failure
Completely new exercise for me, never done them before and they are mega! Saw a chap doing these the other day and made a mental note to look them up and use them next time chest came around.
There were two main plus points. Firstly, kneeling necessitates the engagement of your core throughout the whole movement. So whilst this exercise really (secondly) isolates and works the chest, the rest of your torso is benefiting by working hard to make sure you stay upright and straight. I found these to really crunch in towards the mid-line of the chest.
Set 1 = 20kg x 12 / set 2 = 20kg x 11 / set 3 = 20kg x 9
set 1 = 35kg x 12 / set 2 = 45k x 12 / set 3 drop set 45k x 12 then 35k to failure
Have to admit feeling pretty wiped out by the end of this one. Training two big muscle groups together certainly takes it out of you – but really enjoyed the combination. I don’t think that type of workout could be performed more than once a week and having two days rest before hand was probably a factor in feeling fresh enough to take it on in the first place.