How to Do a Chest and Upper Body Workout

Step-by-step Instructions

Here is what you need to do...
Step 1

For those weightlifters that don't have the patience or the time to devote every single workout to one specific muscle group- there is hope. I have heard your cries for advice, and I come prepared with answers. In the case of a chest and upper body workout, there seems to me only one true option: a circuit. Below, I'll go over the exercises you should follow in the circuit, and how those exercises will benefit your body. Let's get rollin'.

Step 2

For a chest and upper body circuit, we're going to focus on doing supersets of exercises. We'll have 3 supersets that you will circuit through 3 times. These supersets will primarily focus on your chest, with additions from your shoulders, back, and biceps. And if you feel like you're going to need an extra bit of help getting through this circuit, I would say go for it. Personally, I use Cellucor C4 Pre Workout, which gives me an extra edge when I go into workouts that involve many different muscle groups.

Step 3

Superset number 1 will be this: Incline bench barball press/pullups. This superset has the heaviest and hardest exercises of the workout routine. The incline barbell bench press serves to pump up your upper chest. It will stretch your pecs out, and also begin to incorporate a bit of your back muscles in order to push the weight around. As soon as you're finished with a set of incline barbell bench presses, hop over and jump up to the nearest pullup bar. Pullups are the single best exercise for your back, so doing them in conjunction to the incline barbell bench presses will make sure that during this workout your back muscles get enough work to be satisfied. Perform 8-10 reps for both exercises.

Step 4

For superset 2, do these exercises: decline barbell bench press/standing ez bar curls. This superset continues to be heavy on the chest, and will be tough on the biceps. Decline barbell bench presses use the lower chest and help you get a defined, chiseled look in the bottom of your pecs. This look is sometimes referred to as a 'cliff'. By adding another heavy chest exercise, you will ensure that your chest loses no pump at all during the circuit. For biceps, standing ez bar curls engage with both heads of the muscle. This exercise will pump up your biceps and, along with the pullups you just did, allow your biceps to get enough work in a circuit that only incorporates on exercise for them. Do this with vigor, and your biceps will thank you. Perform 8-10 reps for both exercises.

Step 5

Finally, superset number 3 will include these two exercises: Incline dumbbell flys/front, side, post raises. Neither of these exercises require a lot of weight to be lifted, but they do offer your muscles a chance at increased volume (more reps) in order to give your body a toned and shredded look. Incline dumbbell flys will stretch out your chest, and allow the blood from the two previous chest exercises to flow, which lets the tinier muscles in your chest work harder and become more defined. Front, side, post raises are an excellent exercise for the shoulders, which have already been working a bit during every other exercise done so far. Doing front, side, post raises will ensure that your shoulders gain a lot of toning and become large and shredded just like the flys are doing for your chest. Perform 12-15 reps for both exercises.

Step 6

Once you have gone through each superset once, go back to the beginning of the circuit and run it again. I recommend you do 3 runs through the circuit, but if you feel that 2 is enough, do 2. If, on the other hand, you don't feel like 3 has given your muscles enough of a workout, feel free to do as many extra as you'd like. This circuit will give your chest a lot of work, and cause it to grow. The other exercises for the other body parts work together to give each muscle in your upper body a share of extra work, which allows for your upper body in its entirety to receive a stellar workout.

Special Attention

Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.

The hardest thing about this circuit will be the speed at which you do it. Try to minimize the time you spend resting in between supersets. Instead of checking your phone, take a quick breather or grab a quick drink of water, and get onto the next superset of exercises. Doing the circuit with this kind of speed and focus will give you insane results.

Stuff You'll Need

Suggested Further Reading

Author Title Price
FitBALL Upper Body Challenge DVD No Price

This Student Author

This Student Author's Background

Funny or interesting story about this topic...

I had one client who was interested in only working out twice a week. In order to somehow give this client's muscles all the work they needed in order to grow, I had to devise a circuit for him similar to this one. He had no idea how challenging the circuit would be, and the first few times I would find him giving me looks that seemed to say, "are you serious right now?" But he persevered, and after a couple times dealing with the circuit, he was running through like a true athlete. Somehow we managed to give his muscles a lot of definition and growth with only two circuits per week.

When did you first do this & how did you get started?

I first started working with circuits a few years ago. I thought the idea of working a bunch of different muscles in one workout was interesting, and for a lot of people it has proven effective. For me personally, circuits didn't fit the bill. My muscles need a different kind of workout. However, if i do find myself wanting to be challenged, I will occasionally add a circuit like this one to my set of routines for the week, which always helps to confuse my muscles and keep them growing. If this circuit works for you, then keep it up and don't be scared to ask for more circuit related tips from CampusMen in the future. Happy lifting,


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