Pro Level Chest Workout for Rapid Growth
Team ALLMAX Athletes Steve Kuclo and Pham Flexx show you how!
Building big pecs takes a Chest Workout that has a multifaceted approach to ensuring all parts of the muscle are hit from multiple angles to force the maximum amount of growth. Four-time Olympia competitor Steve Kuclo and rising star Pham Flexx (both Team ALLMAX athletes) recently completed an off-season mass-building chest workout that left both feeling physically drained but satisfied that every ounce of effort had been applied to rendering their massive pecs pumped to the max.
According to Steve, the pecs need sufficient volume and a variety of movements to grow. Creating workouts that incorporate various intensity methods and tried and tested mass builders is the name of the game for Steve and other top pro contenders. Steve is also big on failure.
Progressive overload is a bodybuilding mandatory that cannot be overlooked when muscle mass increases are the goal.
Momentary muscle failure on each work set, that is. By combining these mass-building essentials, as expertly guided by Steve and Pham in the accompanying videos, you too can reignite growth in your pecs, no matter how stubborn they may be.
Steve and Pham’s 22-set workout took roughly an hour with minimal rest between sets and moderate to heavy weights to ensure perfect form and continuous tension on the pecs at all times. Follow their lead and be prepared to grow like crazy!
Part 1: Incline Dumbbell Press
- Reps: 10-12
- Sets: 3
- Intensity method: drop set
All good workouts begin with a potent pre-workout supplement like RAZOR8 to ensure optimal staying power and pro-level intensity. Seasoned iron warriors Steve and Pham always fuel up before lifting off. Today’s chest workout begins with a 12-rep warm-up set to prepare the pecs for the onslaught to come.
The final set (always the most important in any set sequence) demands extreme focus. Steve begins with the 150s (Pham does 130s) for 12 reps before dropping down to the 85s for 15. This high intensity “blow out” momentarily puts both lifters’ pecs out of action as they rest and prepare for the next barrage.
The upper pecs are notorious slow responders; this is as much a problem for elite level lifters (like Steve and Pham) as it is for the rank novice. By putting incline dumbbell presses (unquestionably the most effective of the upper pec mass builders) first in the workout, the upper pecs are prioritized when energy levels are highest.
As with the additional movements to follow, both Steve and Pham exaggerate the negative phase of the incline dumbbell press and explode from the bottom to encourage maximum fast-twitch fiber recruitment and, in turn, greater mass gains.
Part 2: Dumbbell Flye-press Variation to Failure (supersetted with push-ups)
- Reps 10-12 (for flye-press); 20 (for push-ups)
- Sets: 3
To spark continuous growth a lifter must periodically include unique training methods to encourage ever-greater levels of intensity. Aside from working with different training partners (to stay fresh and motivated to excel), Steve is a big believer in creativity as it applies to targeting his muscles from different angles. One such approach combines the dumbbell flye-press variation with a superior, yet seldom utilized, upper body movement: the press up.
With the flye-press variation on a 10-percent incline, both Pham and Steve achieve a full stretch and a powerful positive contraction on each rep. By adopting the traditional flye technique from the bottom position to three quarters the way up before turning the movement into a press for the final push, the pecs are both thoroughly stretched and blasted with heavy poundage – the best of both worlds.
Both lifters focus on going wide before squeezing the weights together. Quickly transitioning to a 20-rep set of rapid-fire push-ups enables a maximum amount of blood to be pumped directly into the pecs.
Part 3: Hammer Flat Press (with a slight incline)
- Reps: 8-12 (with four plates)
- Sets: 3
The key to ensuring phenomenal pec growth requires strictly isolating the chest wherever possible. While it is impossible to limit the involvement of assistive groupings (primarily the shoulders and triceps) when hitting traditional mass builders, one movement does allow more isolation than the others: the Hammer flat press.
With bench set to a slight incline, Steve and Pham position their bodies up the bench and use a wide grip so as to encourage more lower/outer pec stimulation. Rather than a traditional press grip, Steve adopts a neutral grip to further limit the assistance of the shoulders and triceps.
Four plates a side make 12 reps a struggle but, with perfect form, both lifters achieve their target. To achieve failure on the final reps Steve has a spotter on standby, one who knows when Steve has hit his fatigue point and who can provide minimal assistance if necessary.
Progressive overload is a bodybuilding mandatory that cannot be overlooked when muscle mass increases are the goal. Forced reps, says Steve, are a great way to achieve maximal overload to ensure that muscle gains are taken to the next level.
Part 4: Incline Hammer Press (supersetted with pec deck machine and standing cable flye machine)
- Reps: 10-12
- Sets: 3 supersets (nine sets total)
With pecs inflated, Pham and Steve are ready to cap their chest workout with a “blow out” volume set: incline Hammer press supersetted with pec deck machine and cable flyes for nine total sets. This final combination of movements will require much heart, determination and intra-workout supplementation to extend intensity beyond where lesser (and less suitably equipped) lifters would have long since quit.
First up is the incline hammer press for upper pecs. With a wider neutral (palms in) grip – “to take the shoulders out of play” – Steve and Pham finish as they started: with slow controlled negatives and a powerful and explosive positive contraction on each rep.
And we all know that without the PAIN, there can be no GAINS!
Next up: the pec deck for full pec activation. Here both athletes bring their elbows as far back as possible to achieve full stretching (and much growth-inducing muscle microtrauma) of the pec fibers. As the handles are pressed together with pure pec strength, both chests are fully contracted and pumped to epic dimensions.
Finally, the standing cable flye machine (for lower pecs) rounds out the sequence to ensure that the entire pec complex is hit with unbridled intensity. Despite the compounding of intensity across all three movements, form is fluid with no pausing at either the top or bottom. Rather, muscle tension is continuous and the pain is all too real.