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30-Minute Chest WorkoutJack up your pecs—and everything else—in half the time of the typical workout : 

30-Minute Chest WorkoutJack up your pecs—and everything else—in half the time of the typical workout

Guys love to train chest. So much so, in fact, that they'll spend an hour or more on it, pounding their pecs with so many sets that they look enormous by the time they leave the gym. As soon as their "pump" deflates, however, they're left with the same sunken chests they've always had—and a lot of soreness. Our plan trains your chest twice as hard in half as long and yields results you keep. Actually, the chest component of each workout takes only about 10 minutes to complete. You'll hit it hard using supersets and tri-sets with little rest in between, then train the rest of your body in the remaining 20 minutes. This will allow you to maintain size and strength everywhere else, as well as cause the release of muscle-building hormones that will enhance the results you see in your chest. : 

Guys love to train chest. So much so, in fact, that they'll spend an hour or more on it, pounding their pecs with so many sets that they look enormous by the time they leave the gym. As soon as their "pump" deflates, however, they're left with the same sunken chests they've always had—and a lot of soreness. Our plan trains your chest twice as hard in half as long and yields results you keep. Actually, the chest component of each workout takes only about 10 minutes to complete. You'll hit it hard using supersets and tri-sets with little rest in between, then train the rest of your body in the remaining 20 minutes. This will allow you to maintain size and strength everywhere else, as well as cause the release of muscle-building hormones that will enhance the results you see in your chest.

The first workout starts with a modified tri-set for the chest, designed to pump your pecs and stretch the connective tissue that surrounds them, thereby allowing more room under your skin for the muscles to grow. The second chest blast is done by pairing pushups with very heavy sets of dumbbell bench presses. Though you'll be brutally sore afterward, the combination of high and low reps will flush an enormous amount of blood into your chest and maximize the recruitment of your biggest muscle fibers, setting the stage for big gains.On the third day, you'll do a variation on an old bodybuilding technique called "running down the rack." You'll perform dumbbell bench presses on an incline, flat, and then decline bench without rest in between. nstead of lightening the load on each set and reducing the demand on your muscles (the way the technique is normally done), you'll simply change the angle from incline to fl at to decline—this puts you in progressively stronger mechanical positions, so you can keep the superset going without having to stop or switch dumbbells. : 

The first workout starts with a modified tri-set for the chest, designed to pump your pecs and stretch the connective tissue that surrounds them, thereby allowing more room under your skin for the muscles to grow. The second chest blast is done by pairing pushups with very heavy sets of dumbbell bench presses. Though you'll be brutally sore afterward, the combination of high and low reps will flush an enormous amount of blood into your chest and maximize the recruitment of your biggest muscle fibers, setting the stage for big gains.On the third day, you'll do a variation on an old bodybuilding technique called "running down the rack." You'll perform dumbbell bench presses on an incline, flat, and then decline bench without rest in between. nstead of lightening the load on each set and reducing the demand on your muscles (the way the technique is normally done), you'll simply change the angle from incline to fl at to decline—this puts you in progressively stronger mechanical positions, so you can keep the superset going without having to stop or switch dumbbells.

Directions:Frequency: Perform each workout (Days I, II, and III) once per week, resting at least a day between each session. How To Do It: Perform the exercises marked lowercase a and b, or lowercase a, b, and c, as a modified superset or tri-set, as prescribed. That means you'll complete one set for each exercise in order, resting or not resting as prescribed between sets. So you'll do one set of a, then one set of b, and repeat, or one set of a, b, and then c. Rest after the last exercise in the group, and then repeat the process for the prescribed number of sets. Perform the remaining exercises as straight sets, completing all the prescribed sets for one exercise before moving on to the next.Weight: Except where otherwise noted, use the heaviest weight that allows you to complete all the prescribed repetitions for a given set. : 

Directions:Frequency: Perform each workout (Days I, II, and III) once per week, resting at least a day between each session. How To Do It: Perform the exercises marked lowercase a and b, or lowercase a, b, and c, as a modified superset or tri-set, as prescribed. That means you'll complete one set for each exercise in order, resting or not resting as prescribed between sets. So you'll do one set of a, then one set of b, and repeat, or one set of a, b, and then c. Rest after the last exercise in the group, and then repeat the process for the prescribed number of sets. Perform the remaining exercises as straight sets, completing all the prescribed sets for one exercise before moving on to the next.Weight: Except where otherwise noted, use the heaviest weight that allows you to complete all the prescribed repetitions for a given set.

The Workouts:Day I Day II Day III : 

The Workouts:Day I Day II Day III

Exercises for Day 1 Exercise 1a Bench Press Sets: 3 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 20 Seconds : 

Exercises for Day 1 Exercise 1a Bench Press Sets: 3 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 20 Seconds

Lie on the bench, grab the bar underhand, and pull your torso up and forward, resting your head on the bench before the rest of your body. Your eyes should be under the bar. This should also cause your knees to bend 45 degrees so that your feet are planted far back—it's OK if the balls of your feet are in contact with the floor—but your heels are in the air. Now switch to an overhand, shoulder-width grip. Lift the bar off the rack and hold it directly above your chest [1]. Squeeze the bar hard and arch your upper back. Lower the bar to just below your nipples [2]. Once the bar touches your chest, push your feet hard into the fl oor (dropping your heels if they're up). Press the weight up, focusing on pushing the bar back slightly toward your face. When the bar is halfway up, begin fl aring your elbows outward to lock it out. That's one rep. : 

Lie on the bench, grab the bar underhand, and pull your torso up and forward, resting your head on the bench before the rest of your body. Your eyes should be under the bar. This should also cause your knees to bend 45 degrees so that your feet are planted far back—it's OK if the balls of your feet are in contact with the floor—but your heels are in the air. Now switch to an overhand, shoulder-width grip. Lift the bar off the rack and hold it directly above your chest [1]. Squeeze the bar hard and arch your upper back. Lower the bar to just below your nipples [2]. Once the bar touches your chest, push your feet hard into the fl oor (dropping your heels if they're up). Press the weight up, focusing on pushing the bar back slightly toward your face. When the bar is halfway up, begin fl aring your elbows outward to lock it out. That's one rep.

Exercise 1b Dumbbell FlySets: 3 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 20 Seconds : 

Exercise 1b Dumbbell FlySets: 3 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 20 Seconds

Hold a dumbbell in each hand and lie back on a bench as you would to perform a bench press. Press the weights over your chest and turn your palms so that they face each other [1]. Slowly spread your arms and lower them in an arcing motion until the weights are about level with your shoulders [2]. Hold the stretched position for five seconds. Now squeeze your pecs and draw your arms back to the starting position. That's one rep. : 

Hold a dumbbell in each hand and lie back on a bench as you would to perform a bench press. Press the weights over your chest and turn your palms so that they face each other [1]. Slowly spread your arms and lower them in an arcing motion until the weights are about level with your shoulders [2]. Hold the stretched position for five seconds. Now squeeze your pecs and draw your arms back to the starting position. That's one rep.

Exercise 1c Partial LockoutSets: 3 Reps: As many as possible Rest: 90 Seconds : 

Exercise 1c Partial LockoutSets: 3 Reps: As many as possible Rest: 90 Seconds

Set up as you did for the bench press above, even using the same weight, but lower the bar just a few inches so that your elbows bend and you feel tension on your triceps [1]. Press the bar back up straight [2]. That's one rep. : 

Set up as you did for the bench press above, even using the same weight, but lower the bar just a few inches so that your elbows bend and you feel tension on your triceps [1]. Press the bar back up straight [2]. That's one rep.

Exercise 2 Barbell RowSets: 3 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds : 

Exercise 2 Barbell RowSets: 3 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds

Hold a barbell at hip level and lower your torso until it's about 45 degrees to the fl oor—keep your lower back in its natural arch throughout the exercise. At the same time, bend your knees to take tension off your hamstrings. Let the bar hang straight down [1]. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull the weight straight up until it touches your sternum [2]. Lower the weight to the starting position. That's one rep. : 

Hold a barbell at hip level and lower your torso until it's about 45 degrees to the fl oor—keep your lower back in its natural arch throughout the exercise. At the same time, bend your knees to take tension off your hamstrings. Let the bar hang straight down [1]. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull the weight straight up until it touches your sternum [2]. Lower the weight to the starting position. That's one rep.

Exercise 3 SquatSets: 3 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds : 

Exercise 3 SquatSets: 3 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds

Set up a barbell on the supports of a squat rack. Step underneath the bar, squeeze your shoulder blades together, and let the bar touch your upper traps. Grab the bar with your hands as close together as is comfortable. Nudge the bar off the rack, take three steps backward, and stand with your feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart and toes turned slightly outward [1]. Take a deep breath and bend your hips and knees, lowering your body as far as you can (try to squat to where your thighs are below parallel to the fl oor) [2]. Explode back upward to the starting position. That's one rep. : 

Set up a barbell on the supports of a squat rack. Step underneath the bar, squeeze your shoulder blades together, and let the bar touch your upper traps. Grab the bar with your hands as close together as is comfortable. Nudge the bar off the rack, take three steps backward, and stand with your feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart and toes turned slightly outward [1]. Take a deep breath and bend your hips and knees, lowering your body as far as you can (try to squat to where your thighs are below parallel to the fl oor) [2]. Explode back upward to the starting position. That's one rep.

Exercise 4 Dumbbell Shoulder PressSets: 1 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds : 

Exercise 4 Dumbbell Shoulder PressSets: 1 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds

Hold a pair of dumbbells at shoulder height [1]. Press the weights straight overhead [2] and then lower them to the starting position. That's one rep. : 

Hold a pair of dumbbells at shoulder height [1]. Press the weights straight overhead [2] and then lower them to the starting position. That's one rep.

Exercise 5 Barbell CurlSets: 1 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds : 

Exercise 5 Barbell CurlSets: 1 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds

Hold a straight bar with hands shoulderwidth apart [1]. Keeping your elbows braced against your sides, curl the bar as high as you can [2]. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That's one rep. : 

Hold a straight bar with hands shoulderwidth apart [1]. Keeping your elbows braced against your sides, curl the bar as high as you can [2]. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That's one rep.

Exercise 6 Triceps PushdownSets: 1 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds : 

Exercise 6 Triceps PushdownSets: 1 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds

Attach a rope handle to the top pulley of a cable station. Hold an end of the rope in each hand and tuck your elbows tight against your sides [1]. Without allowing your elbows to move forward, squeeze your triceps and straighten your arms [2]. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That's one rep. : 

Attach a rope handle to the top pulley of a cable station. Hold an end of the rope in each hand and tuck your elbows tight against your sides [1]. Without allowing your elbows to move forward, squeeze your triceps and straighten your arms [2]. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That's one rep.

Exercise 7 Standing Calf RaiseSets: 1 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds : 

Exercise 7 Standing Calf RaiseSets: 1 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds

Use a standing calf raise machine as shown here, or hold a dumbbell in one hand and stand on an elevated surface (such as a box or aerobics step). Lower your heels toward the fl oor, knees slightly bent, until you feel your calves stretched to the limit [1]. Hold the bottom position for a few seconds and then drive the balls of your feet into the surface, lock your knees, and raise your heels as high as possible [2]. That's one rep. : 

Use a standing calf raise machine as shown here, or hold a dumbbell in one hand and stand on an elevated surface (such as a box or aerobics step). Lower your heels toward the fl oor, knees slightly bent, until you feel your calves stretched to the limit [1]. Hold the bottom position for a few seconds and then drive the balls of your feet into the surface, lock your knees, and raise your heels as high as possible [2]. That's one rep.

Exercises for Day 2 Exercise 1a PushupSets: 3 Reps: As many as possible Rest: 30 Seconds : 

Exercises for Day 2 Exercise 1a PushupSets: 3 Reps: As many as possible Rest: 30 Seconds

Place your hands on the floor about shoulder-width apart and extend your legs straight behind you—your body should form a straight line from your heels to your head [1]. Lower your body until your torso is about one inch off the floor [2] and then push yourself back up. That's one rep. After the first one or two sets, you may fi nd that you can't complete nearly as many pushups as you did in the fi rst set. That's fine. Just do as many as you can and continue to alternate sets with the dumbbell : 

Place your hands on the floor about shoulder-width apart and extend your legs straight behind you—your body should form a straight line from your heels to your head [1]. Lower your body until your torso is about one inch off the floor [2] and then push yourself back up. That's one rep. After the first one or two sets, you may fi nd that you can't complete nearly as many pushups as you did in the fi rst set. That's fine. Just do as many as you can and continue to alternate sets with the dumbbell

Exercise 1b Dumbbell Bench PressSets: 3 Reps: 1-3* Rest: 30 Seconds*Choose a weight that would normally allow you six to eight reps but perform only 1-3 per set. : 

Exercise 1b Dumbbell Bench PressSets: 3 Reps: 1-3* Rest: 30 Seconds*Choose a weight that would normally allow you six to eight reps but perform only 1-3 per set.

Grab a dumbbell in each hand and lie back against a fl at bench, holding the weights to the sides of your chest [1]. Press the dumbbells straight overhead [2] and then lower them back to the starting position. That's one rep. : 

Grab a dumbbell in each hand and lie back against a fl at bench, holding the weights to the sides of your chest [1]. Press the dumbbells straight overhead [2] and then lower them back to the starting position. That's one rep.

Exercise 2 Lat Pull DownSets: 3 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds : 

Exercise 2 Lat Pull DownSets: 3 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds

Sit at a lat-pulldown station and grab the handle with an outside shoulder-width grip [1]. Pull the bar down to your collarbone [2], then reverse the motion to return to the starting position (but don't allow the weight you're using to rest on the stack). That's one rep. : 

Sit at a lat-pulldown station and grab the handle with an outside shoulder-width grip [1]. Pull the bar down to your collarbone [2], then reverse the motion to return to the starting position (but don't allow the weight you're using to rest on the stack). That's one rep.

Exercise 3 Leg PressSets: 3 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds : 

Exercise 3 Leg PressSets: 3 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds

In the leg-press machine, keep your knees straight, press your feet into the foot plate, and remove the locking mechanism. Bend your knees 90 degrees [1] and then press the weight back up [2]. That's one rep. : 

In the leg-press machine, keep your knees straight, press your feet into the foot plate, and remove the locking mechanism. Bend your knees 90 degrees [1] and then press the weight back up [2]. That's one rep.

Exercise 4 Barbell Shoulder PressSets: 3 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds : 

Exercise 4 Barbell Shoulder PressSets: 3 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds

Hold a barbell at shoulder level [1] and press it straight overhead [2]. (Be careful not to push the bar out in front of you as you press.) Lower it back to the starting position. That's one rep. : 

Hold a barbell at shoulder level [1] and press it straight overhead [2]. (Be careful not to push the bar out in front of you as you press.) Lower it back to the starting position. That's one rep.

Exercise 5 Dumbbell CurlSets: 3 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds : 

Exercise 5 Dumbbell CurlSets: 3 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds

Stand tall, holding a dumbbell in each hand [1]. Keeping your elbows locked against your sides, lift the weights until your elbows are fully bent [2]. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That's one rep. : 

Stand tall, holding a dumbbell in each hand [1]. Keeping your elbows locked against your sides, lift the weights until your elbows are fully bent [2]. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That's one rep.

Exercise 6 DipSets: 3 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds : 

Exercise 6 DipSets: 3 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds

Stand between two parallel bars and grab each with an overhand grip. Straighten your arms so that you're suspended over the bars [1]. Now bend your elbows and lower your body until your upper arms are nearly parallel to the floor [2]. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That's one rep. : 

Stand between two parallel bars and grab each with an overhand grip. Straighten your arms so that you're suspended over the bars [1]. Now bend your elbows and lower your body until your upper arms are nearly parallel to the floor [2]. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That's one rep.

Exercise 7 Seated Calf RaiseSets: 1 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds : 

Exercise 7 Seated Calf RaiseSets: 1 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds

Use a seated-calf-raise machine as shown here or sit on a bench with a pair of dumbbells on your knees and your feet on a box or step. Lower your heels until you feel a full stretch in your calves [1], hold for a few seconds, and then press your feet into the step, and raise your heels as high as possible [2]. That's one rep. : 

Use a seated-calf-raise machine as shown here or sit on a bench with a pair of dumbbells on your knees and your feet on a box or step. Lower your heels until you feel a full stretch in your calves [1], hold for a few seconds, and then press your feet into the step, and raise your heels as high as possible [2]. That's one rep.

Exercises for Day 3 Exercise 1a Incline Dumbbell PressSets: 3 Reps: As many as possible Rest: 0 Seconds : 

Exercises for Day 3 Exercise 1a Incline Dumbbell PressSets: 3 Reps: As many as possible Rest: 0 Seconds

Set an adjustable bench to a 30- to 45-degree incline, grab a dumbbell in each hand, and sit on the bench, holding the weights at the sides of your chest [1]. Press the dumbbells straight overhead [2]. Lower the weights back to the starting position. That's one rep. : 

Set an adjustable bench to a 30- to 45-degree incline, grab a dumbbell in each hand, and sit on the bench, holding the weights at the sides of your chest [1]. Press the dumbbells straight overhead [2]. Lower the weights back to the starting position. That's one rep.

Exercise 1b Dumbbell Bench PressSets: 3 Reps: 6-8 Rest: 0 Seconds : 

Exercise 1b Dumbbell Bench PressSets: 3 Reps: 6-8 Rest: 0 Seconds

Grab a dumbbell in each hand and lie back against a flat bench, holding the weights to the sides of your chest [1]. Press the dumbbells straight overhead [2] and then lower them back to the starting position. That's one rep. : 

Grab a dumbbell in each hand and lie back against a flat bench, holding the weights to the sides of your chest [1]. Press the dumbbells straight overhead [2] and then lower them back to the starting position. That's one rep.

Exercise 1c Decline Dumbbell Bench PressSets: 3 Reps: 4-8 Rest: 90 Seconds : 

Exercise 1c Decline Dumbbell Bench PressSets: 3 Reps: 4-8 Rest: 90 Seconds

Set an adjustable bench to a 30- to 45-degree decline, grab a dumbbell in each hand, hook your feet under the bench's supports and lie back. Hold the weights at the sides of your chest [1]. Press the dumbbells straight up [2]. Lower the weights back to the starting position. That's one rep. : 

Set an adjustable bench to a 30- to 45-degree decline, grab a dumbbell in each hand, hook your feet under the bench's supports and lie back. Hold the weights at the sides of your chest [1]. Press the dumbbells straight up [2]. Lower the weights back to the starting position. That's one rep.

Exercise 2 Seated Cable RowSets: 3 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds : 

Exercise 2 Seated Cable RowSets: 3 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds

Attach a straight bar to the pulley of a cable station and sit down in front of it. Grab the handle with an overhand, shoulder-width grip, and pull it toward you just enough so that there is tension on the cable [1]. Now row the bar to the lower part of your chest [2], then reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That's one rep. : 

Attach a straight bar to the pulley of a cable station and sit down in front of it. Grab the handle with an overhand, shoulder-width grip, and pull it toward you just enough so that there is tension on the cable [1]. Now row the bar to the lower part of your chest [2], then reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That's one rep.

Exercise 3 Dumbbell Split SquatSets: 3 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds : 

Exercise 3 Dumbbell Split SquatSets: 3 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds

Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with one leg a few feet in front of the other [1]. Now bend both knees and lower your body until your front thigh is parallel to the floor (it should look like the second position of a lunge) [2]. Straighten your legs to return to the starting position. That's one rep. Complete all your reps one leg, and then switch legs and repeat. : 

Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with one leg a few feet in front of the other [1]. Now bend both knees and lower your body until your front thigh is parallel to the floor (it should look like the second position of a lunge) [2]. Straighten your legs to return to the starting position. That's one rep. Complete all your reps one leg, and then switch legs and repeat.

Exercise 4 Dumbbell Shoulder PressSets: 1 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds : 

Exercise 4 Dumbbell Shoulder PressSets: 1 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds

Hold a pair of dumbbells at shoulder height [1]. Press the weights straight overhead [2], and then lower them to the starting position. That's one rep. : 

Hold a pair of dumbbells at shoulder height [1]. Press the weights straight overhead [2], and then lower them to the starting position. That's one rep.

Exercise 5 Incline Dumbbell CurlSets: 1 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds : 

Exercise 5 Incline Dumbbell CurlSets: 1 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds

Set an adjustable bench to a 30- to 45-degree incline, grab a dumbbell in each hand, and sit on the bench, allowing your arms to hang at your sides [1]. Without moving your upper arms, curl both dumbbells as high as you can [2]. Lower the weights back to the starting position. That's one rep. : 

Set an adjustable bench to a 30- to 45-degree incline, grab a dumbbell in each hand, and sit on the bench, allowing your arms to hang at your sides [1]. Without moving your upper arms, curl both dumbbells as high as you can [2]. Lower the weights back to the starting position. That's one rep.

Exercise 6 Lying Triceps ExtensionSets: 1 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds : 

Exercise 6 Lying Triceps ExtensionSets: 1 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds

Hold an E-Z-curl bar with an overhand, shoulder-width grip and lie back on a bench. Press the weight overhead so that it's directly above your face [1]. Keeping your upper arms in place, bend your elbows and lower the bar until it's just above your forehead [2]. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That's one rep. : 

Hold an E-Z-curl bar with an overhand, shoulder-width grip and lie back on a bench. Press the weight overhead so that it's directly above your face [1]. Keeping your upper arms in place, bend your elbows and lower the bar until it's just above your forehead [2]. Reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That's one rep.

Exercise 7 Standing Calf RaiseSets: 1 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds : 

Exercise 7 Standing Calf RaiseSets: 1 Reps: 8-10 Rest: 60 Seconds

Use a standing calf raise machine as shown here, or hold a dumbbell in one hand and stand on an elevated surface (such as a box or aerobics step). Lower your heels toward the fl oor, knees slightly bent, until you feel your calves stretched to the limit [1]. Hold the bottom position for a few seconds and then drive the balls of your feet into the surface, lock your knees, and raise your heels as high as possible [2]. That's one rep. : 

Use a standing calf raise machine as shown here, or hold a dumbbell in one hand and stand on an elevated surface (such as a box or aerobics step). Lower your heels toward the fl oor, knees slightly bent, until you feel your calves stretched to the limit [1]. Hold the bottom position for a few seconds and then drive the balls of your feet into the surface, lock your knees, and raise your heels as high as possible [2]. That's one rep.

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