Updated: July 20, 2020
Today’s information will be about the exercises that I perform to target my chest and my triceps. I work these two body parts twice during an eight-day cycle.
These two muscle groups complement each other quite nicely. Since most chest exercises are “push’ exercises (you are pushing the weight away from your body), the triceps muscle is engaged (shortened) to hold the weight in the pushed position and it extends when you lower the weight back toward the body. Doing chest exercises pre-exhausts the triceps so they get a great workout when you target them.
Let’s get started!
There are many exercises you could perform to work your chest muscles. I find that using compound exercises (those exercise that use more than one muscle group) work the best. The exercises I use are:
Barbell Bench Press
This is the classic weight lifting exercise. How many times have you heard: “How much do you lift, man?” referring to the bench press. This exercise targets the chest but involves the arms, the core , the legs, the shoulders, and just about every other muscle group. This exercise needs to be included in every workout!
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
Switching to an incline position and also switching to dumbbells changes the dynamics of the exercise completely. First, the incline will target the upper chest nicely to give that rounded pectoral muscle. Secondly, the switch to dumbbells will engage the core more intensely as you try to keep your balance from left to right on the bench while moving your arms seperately.
Decline Dumbbell Bench Press
As with the incline, the decline targets a different part of the chest: specifically the lower pectorals. Another great exercise to engage the core and get that rounded chest.
Dumbbell flyes are an important exercise to consider, as they allow your arms to cross over your chest which is vital in the growth of the pectorals.
It is important to not over extend your shoulders, so this exercise is best performed on the floor to limit the range of motion.
When you are finished the chest exercises, you triceps will already be starting to get sore, because they are engaged when performing the chest exercises. That is a good result as it will take fewer exercises and repetitions to get the most benefit from your workout. The triceps exercises I use are:
Another classic weight lifting exercise that needs to be performed with caution. You can easily hyper-extend your shoulders in the lower position. Start with your body weight and find a comfortable hand position on the bench. Then add some weight and you will see great triceps growth, but do not use too much weight too quickly.
Pull overs extend the chest workout and act as a great transition to triceps as they engage the triceps fully. Lie with your shoulders supported by the bench, gab a weight, and lower it below the bench, behind your head. You should feel the stretch in your chest but also in your triceps. Don’t lock out the elbows at the top. Keeping them slightly bent will increase the load on the triceps throughout the entire set.
Standing Rope Pull Downs
This is a great isolation exercise for the triceps, as long as you remember to only move your elbows. Keep your arms glued to your sides and use your triceps to pull the wight down and release it slowly, never letting the pressure off the triceps.
Also, remember to stand up straight, as any bend in the hips will transfer the work to the lats and not engage the triceps fully.
Standing Triceps Extensions
These can be done with a barbell, with dumbbells, single arm, both arms, or with a rope. There are so many variations that you will never get bored with this exercise.
It is important to always focus on the triceps (using that mind-muscle connection) to get the most out of this exercise.
Also, you don’t need to use a lot of weight. Just slow down the motion and focus on growth. It should take almost two minute to perform a set of 12 exercises
Close Grip Barbell Bench Press
By moving your hands in from the standard slightly wider than shoulder width that you use for the standard bench press to just inside your shoulders, you will switch the focus of the bench press from the chest to the triceps.
Of course the chest will still be engaged, but it will be mostly triceps performing this exercise. And trust me, you will feel the burn!
Sets and Reps
The research I have read states that after completing three sets of 8 – 12 repetitions of two different exercises, the muscle group you are working is sufficiently “broken down” and any further sets or reps would not return any significant benefit.
Based on that, and the results I have seen since starting to follow this method, I perform three sets of two chest exercise, followed by three sets of two triceps exercises.
Day 1 of the 8-day cycle:
3 sets of Barbell Bench Press and 3 sets of Incline Dumbbell Press followed by 3 sets of Pull Overs and 3 sets of Bench Dips.
Note: Pull Overs are an exercise that stretch the chest muscles while fully engaging the triceps.
Day 5 of the 8-Day Cycle:
3 sets of Barbell Bench Press and 3 sets of Decline Dumbbell Press followed by 3 sets of Close -grip Barbell Bench Press and 3 sets of Standing Rope Pull Downs (a machine is needed to perform this exercise. If you do not have one, then Standing Triceps Kick-Backs will accomplish the same result).
Remember, a set involves 8 – 12 reps. The last rep you perform should be almost impossible to complete, so you know the muscle is fatigued.
A Wealth of Information
So there you have it. Those are the exercise that I perform to build muscle in my chest and triceps. If you perform these exercises in the sets and reps mentioned, I can guarantee that you will be sore the next day. And the next.
But that is the joy of weight lifting. Being sore means the muscle is growing. It shouldn’t be painful, just sore.
If you need any more information on these exercises and how to perform them, go to the following website:
Weight Lifting, in combination with the Keto lifestyle, has changed my life.
I am in the best shape of my life. I sleep well. I eat the foods I love.
Give it a try. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.
Also, please remember that I am here to offer my opinion, and I do not profess to being a professional. Please consult one if you have personal concerns!
If you are interested in a complete program put together by a great guy, check out this post.
Thanks for listening, and I’ll see you in the next post!
Have a great day!