Top 10 Best Chest Exercises

If you want to learn the top 10 best chest exercises for increasing the size and strength of your pecs, then you want to read this article.

Gyms around the world celebrate International Chest Day every Monday, with the hopes of one day forging a front shield the likes of which would make the mighty Thor jealous.


Yet, despite the popularity of chest training, and frequency with which most gym bros perform it, many lifters still struggle to develop this major muscle group.


But, why is that?


If volume is a primary driver for hypertrophy, why is it that no matter how many times you train chest each week nor how many exercises you perform, you still can seem to get any significant growth.


The simple truth is that the vast majority of chest training articles on the internet suck. They’re filled with frilly exercises that look good on paper, but for all but the genetically elite or drug-enhanced athlete, they’re entirely unnecessary.


What you need to focus on during your chest training are the bread and butter pec building exercises, such as heavy barbell presses, dumbbell presses, and dips.


Ahead, we’ve got a list of the 10 best exercises to increase pec size and strength.


But, before we give you the top 10 best exercises to build a bigger chest, we first need to discuss the anatomy of the chest. Once you understand that structure and function of the chest musculature, you’ll be more suited to developing a killer chest workout routine.


Chest Anatomy 101

The main muscle of the chest is the pectoralis major, or “pec major”, and it serves as the biggest, strongest prime mover in any chest exercise.


The primary function of the pecs is horizontal adduction (bringing the upper arm across the body) at the shoulder.  But, they are also involved in flexion of the humerus, and play a supporting role in shoulder flexion, extension, and internal rotation.


While we tend to think of the pec major as one giant muscle, it’s actually divided into two distinct regions:


  • The clavicular head of the pec major, also known as the “upper chest”, attaches your collar bone to your upper arm, and

  • The sternal head of the pec major attaches the rib cage and breastbone (sternum) to your upper arm. The sternal head can be further subdivided into the mid-chest and lower chest based on the direction the fibers run.


Now, during any exercise which brings the arm across the body, all regions of the chest will be engaged to some degree. However, certain portions can be emphasized more so than others depending on the angle at which you’re bringing the arm across the body.


For instance, certain exercises, such as the flat and decline bench press, emphasize the sternocostal head of the pecs more than the clavicular head, whereas exercises that move the arms up and away from the chest, such as the incline and reverse-grip bench press, emphasize the clavicular head of the pec.[1,2]


Developing an impressive chest requires that you spend time performing exercises that address all regions of the chest.


We’ll get into which exercises emphasize the sternal head or the clavicular head to a greater degree in a second, but there’s one other “minor” muscle of the chest we need to address before continuing onto the 10 best chest exercises for mass -- the pec minor.


The pec minor lies beneath the pectoralis major, and its function is to pull the scapula (shoulder blade) forward and toward the middle of your chest.


Now, you don’t need to worry too much about performing exercises to specifically target and train the pec minor, as most of the exercises you will use to train the pec major will also stimulate the fibers of the pec minor. Due to this, it’s not really necessary to use specific exercises for the pec minor, and why you don’t see many training programs written to bring up the size of the pec minor.


However, one area of the chest that you should focus on, perhaps even more than the middle of the chest is the clavicular head, i.e. the “upper chest.”



Why Training the Upper Chest is Important for Size?

So often, guys say the want a “big” chest, but there’s a problem with only wanting a “big” chest -- if your lower chest is too big and you have a poorly upper chest, it can give off the illusion that you have “man boobs” rather than a set of chiseled pecs.


Now, we don’t know about you, but the last thing we want to achieve with our chest training is giving off the appearance of having man boobs.


As such, developing the upper chest should be a top priority when it comes to structuring your training, and since we’re strongest at the beginning of our training sessions, this means placing exercises that emphasize the clavicular head of the pecs towards the front of your workout.


Not only does a well-developed upper chest make you look great in a V-neck t-shirt, but it also increases your strength in the standard barbell bench press.


How Do I Get a Bigger (Upper) Chest?

Use Progressive Overload

The #1 rule for building muscle and strength as fast as possible naturally is progressive overload.


Progressive overload refers to progressively increasing tension levels in the muscle over time.


Now, there are multiple ways to enact progressive overload during training (increasing sets, increasing number of repetitions, increasing frequency, decreasing rest intervals, etc), but the simplest (and most effective way in the eyes of many) is to add weight to the bar.

As you’ve experienced for yourself, certain exercises lend themselves better than others to adding weight, while others aren’t so conducive to increasing load.

For example, the barbell bench press lends itself incredibly well to increasing load, whereas an exercise like the dumbbell fly doesn’t. Go too heavy on a dumbbell fly, and you increase your risk of injuring the muscles of the rotator cuff.


Therefore, when choosing the best exercises to work the chest, you want to focus on those that allow for the most amount of weight to be used while also keeping your joints, ligaments, etc. safe.

Fuel your body for the intense training ahead with Primeval Labs Mega Pre Black high energy pre workout.


Lift Heavy Weights (Most of the Time)

Far too many lifters when they enter the gym, they’re concerned with doing lots of reps, getting a massive pump and making sure they feel sore when they leave the gym. While this might make for a great “workout” it’s not doing much in the form of training. That is, when you are training, you are working towards a specific goal.


In this case, you’re training to get a bigger, stronger, and more muscular chest.


There’s something magical about the 6-12 rep range that can’t be replaced by any amount of high-rep training.


Yes, there is research showing that high reps and low reps can be equally effective for increasing muscle size. However, those high rep protocols only work if you can take the muscle to absolute fatigue and failure.


Unfortunately, most people lack the pain tolerance or mental fortitude it takes to perform 30+ reps to fully fatigue a muscle when using lighter weights.


And there’s good data to show that once you reach a certain level in your training, in order to grow in size, you need to get stronger.


How do you best do that?


Heavy resistance training using compound exercises is the most effective way to get stronger.[13]


Train Chest 2-3x Per Week

Following the principles of progressive overload and performing enough total volume (“hard sets”) are the two most important factors when it comes to increasing the size of your chest.[12]


If you have those two factors sufficiently taken care of, yet you’re still struggling to see substantial muscle growth from your chest training, you may need to consider increasing the frequency with which you train your pecs.


Another benefit of increasing training frequency is that you can divide your total number of hard sets across the week, which may reduce the amount of soreness you get from each workout. Additionally, since you’re splitting your chest training between multiple workouts, you’ll be able to push harder on the chest exercises in each workout due to the less amount of total work they’re doing in an individual session.


Remember though, that training frequency is tertiary to progressive overload and total volume. If you’re not doing those two things, the number of times you’re training chest per week won’t matter as much, that is unless increasing the frequency leads to greater overall volume.

Common Chest Training Mistakes

Focusing too much on high rep work

Everyone loves getting a pump, hell we’ve made it a mission here at Primeval Labs to develop the best pump pre workout in Mega Pre and Mega Pre Black.


So, we understand how gratifying it feels to get a savage muscle pump during training. And, the pump definitely does have a time and place in your training, but pump training should not be the main focus of your training sessions.


Heavy lifting should be.


As we stated up top, most people lack the mental and physical fortitude it takes to continuously perform a large amount of reps set and after set to reach failure with light weights. What this means is that if you’re not fully fatiguing the muscles during your high rep, light weight sets, you will not grow.


It’s as simple as that.


High reps can be used at the end of your workout as a way to finish off your chest, but the bread and butter of your workouts should be focused on heavy barbell and dumbbell pressing.


Performing too many isolation exercises

Far too many lifters focus on isolation exercises and machines when it comes to building a set of strong, defined pecs.


Research notes that isolation exercises (cable crossover, pec dec, dumbbell fly, etc.) can activate the pecs about as much as compound exercises[14]; however, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are as effective for developing your chest.


Without going on a lengthy tangent, EMG studies that track muscle activation don’t perfectly predictor muscle growth. Those studies serve as an indicator that a particular exercise may be effective for training a muscle, provided you keep increasing the load over time (i.e. progressive overload).


And, it’s here that we encounter the problem with isolation exercises -- they cannot be loaded to the same degree as compound exercises, which makes the inferior for gaining chest size and strength.


When performing isolation exercises like the dumbbell fly or pec deck you cannot use the same amount of weight (or anything remotely close) to what you can on a compound exercise like the dumbbell bench press.


Case in point, after a year or two of diligent training, a lifter can bench 225 pounds for reps. But, there’s no way that same guy could perform dumbbell flyes safely with 200 pounds.


Simply put, If you’re serious about growing a big, powerful chest, then focus on the big 3 exercises for chest -- barbell presses, dumbbell presses, and dips. Isolation exercises can still be used, but save them for the very end of the workout after your heavy, hard sets are done.


Not Chasing Progressive Overload

When trying to build muscle and strength, regardless of which muscle group we’re talking about, the vast majority of lifters tend to get bogged down in trying to decide what is the best method to grow their chest.


Some of the questions frequently asked by lifters wanting to increase the size and strength of their chest include:


  • What is the best training split?

  • How frequently should I train chest?

  • How many chest exercises should I perform?

  • How long should I rest between sets?

  • How many sets and reps should I perform each workout and across the week?

  • And so on…


Now, all of these are important factors in creating an effective training plan, but they all fall second to progressive overload when it comes to determining the effectiveness of your training as well as your ability to get bigger, stronger, and faster.


If you are not adding weight to the bar and performing more reps over time, then you will not increase muscle size or strength, it’s as simple as that.


So, rather than focus on getting a huge pump or making yourself so sore it hurts to wash your hair the next couple of days, each and every training session go into the gym with the goal of beating your previous number of repetitions performed and the amount of weight lifted.

Doing so, you’ll ensure progressive overload and have addressed 90% of what it takes to grow a bigger, stronger chest.

EAA Max supplies your body with valuable essential amino acids to support muscle repair and growth.

Not Training All Functions of the Chest

The perfect chest workout should consist of exercises that sufficiently work the upper chest, middle chest and lower chest. If you look at the four main exercises lifters tend to do in their chest workouts you will see barbell bench press, incline bench press, dips and pushups.


All of these exercises are phenomenal chest-building exercises, but look closer, and you’ll realize there’s a glaring error in each of them.


The thing missing from these four exercises is that they do not allow for full adduction of the shoulder, meaning presses, as they are typically performed, do not allow you to bring the upper arm fully across the midline of the body.

This is a huge problem when it comes to fully activating the muscle fibers of the chest.


Even if you are using a full range of motion on your pressing exercises, it doesn’t guarantee that you’re taking the pecs through their full range of motion.


You see, when your hands are fixed on a barbell, dip station or the floor, you are not able to take your shoulder through complete horizontal adduction that you are capable of.  


Due to this, pec activation will be limited to a degree since they are built to bring the arm fully across the body (over midline).


Ideally, you want to select chest exercises that address both major functions of the chest, and incorporate motions that allow both arms to cross over the midline of the body.


Not Training All Areas of the Chest

The main reason why 99.9% of all the chest workouts on the internet fail to deliver results is that they focus only on the middle portion of the chest -- largely due to the fact that they rely too much on flat pressing and endless sets of dumbbell flyes and pec dec.


While that might be good for the novice lifter, for the lifter who’s been training for more than 6 months, they’re going to need a more complete and well-rounded chest training routine.


To construct an impressive front shield, you need to train every region of the pecs, particularly the upper chest which is severely underdeveloped in most men.


To effectively train the upper chest requires that you devote a fair amount of your training to performing incline work. Exercises such as incline bench press, incline dumbbell press, and decline pushups (feet on bench, hands on ground) emphasize the upper portion of the chest.


Developing a strong and powerful upper chest will set you apart from all the other gym bros, and it will make your chest look significantly bigger, too.

Refuel after international chest day with a delicious serving of Primeval Labs ISOLIT.

Top 10 Best Chest Exercises for Mass

Dumbbell Incline Bench Press

No doubt you’re surprised to see a dumbbell exercise first on the list and not the sacred barbell bench press.


But, there’s a very specific reason we’ve put the dumbbell incline bench press first on our list of the top 10 best chest exercises -- using dumbbells allows for more full range of motion for the pecs, which promotes greater hypertrophy.


Not convinced?


Research supports the fact that putting muscles through greater range of motion supports better gains in size.[3,4]


Additionally, since most guys are lacking in the upper pec department, leading off with an incline bench press prioritizes the upper chest.


But that’s not all.


The incline dumbbell bench press is also particularly effective for emphasizing the upper chest. An EMG study by the “glute guy” Dr. Bret Contreras noted that out of 15 different chest exercises, the incline dumbbell bench press was the most effective compound exercise for working the upper chest.


Another great reason to love the dumbbell incline bench press, or any other dumbbell exercise for that matter, is that since both arms are working independently, it helps prevent muscle imbalances from forming.


In regards to bench angle, generally speaking the slighter the incline the better for pec activation as EMG studies note that bench angles between 30-56 degrees elicit greater pec activation.[5] Going above 56 degrees tends to rely more on the anterior deltoids than the clavicular head of the pecs.


The exact angle is going to depend a bit on the way your body is built (e.g. limb length), but we tend to prefer bench angles between 30-45 degrees in most cases.


Barbell Bench Press

In the eyes of most lifters, no lift is more synonymous with a big chest or pure strength than the barbell bench press. It deserves a place in every muscle building program and list of the best chest exercises.


The flat barbell bench press most emphasizes the middle chest. As such, it helps with building overall chest thickness.


Despite the fact that the hands are locked in place and thus the range of motion is not as great as the dumbbell bench press (which we’ll get to next), an overwhelming body of evidence indicates that if you want a big chest, then you want to be benching with a barbell.


In fact, several studies have noted that the flat barbell bench press is the best exercise for activating the chest, and it’s also the chest exercise that allows you to lift the most amount of weight.[6,7]


Other research notes a strong association between 1-rep max bench press and the size of the pectoralis major.[8]


Now, we realize that correlation does not equal causation, but you can’t deny that the stronger your chest is, the bigger it’s probably going to be.


If you’re struggling on your bench press and looking for tips on how to add 50 lbs to your bench, click here.


Barbell Incline Bench Press

The incline bench press is essentially a barbell bench press performed on a slight incline.


How slight of an incline should you use?


As we mentioned above when discussing the dumbbell incline bench press, you want the bench angle somewhere between 30-45 degrees. Again, the reason we suggest using the lower incline setting on the bench is that it focuses more on your chest and less on the shoulders.


The bench press is a compound exercise and by default will stimulate muscle fibers in the chest, triceps, and shoulders; however, the degree to which each of those muscle groups is emphasized can be increased or decreased by the angle of incline you select.


Using a higher incline on the bench (around 60 degrees) focuses more on the shoulders rather than the chest, and since this article is focused on the 10 best exercises for chest, you should be using the lower incline setting on the bench.


Dumbbell Bench Press

When it comes to increasing the size and strength of your pecs, most lifters will tell you that you need to focus on increasing your strength in the barbell bench press.


And, for a lot of people that works.


However, the issue with the barbell bench press is that not everyone responds well to it. A lot of lifters tend to feel it more in their shoulders than their chest, regardless of hand placement, cues, or activation drills.


If you’re one of these lifters who has dedicated a solid chunk of time to learning the barbell bench press and still not really feeling much chest activation from it, than the dumbbell bench press might be just the thing you need to start feeling your chest working.

In fact, studies note similar chest activation between the dumbbell bench press and the barbell bench press.[9] However, when test subjects were performing the dumbbell variation they showed less tricep activation than the group who used a barbell.

And, in an EMG study (the same one referenced earlier), the dumbbell bench press actually led to greater activation of the middle chest than the barbell bench press


When you also consider the fact that using dumbbells allows for greater range of motion (since there is no bar to hit your torso), it’s easy to see why the dumbbell bench leads to greater muscle activation.


All that being said, there are a few minor drawbacks to the dumbbell bench press:

  • It requires greater balance and stabilization on your part, which means you’re expending energy that could be put towards moving more weight in a barbell bench press.

  • You expend a good bit of energy trying to get the dumbbells in position.


Both of these factors limit the total amount of weight you can use on the dumbbell bench press. However, with these two minor drawbacks come several advantages to barbell pressing.


Namely, dumbbell benching:

  • Is easier on your joints

  • allows you to use a greater range of motion.

  • Allows you to use whatever wrist and hand position that feels most comfortable to you.


As to which is better for you (dumbbell vs barbell bench press), that’s a matter of personal preference and which one works best for your body. Try them both out and see which one allows you to feel the chest working the most.


Both deserve a place in your training program and should be performed each week. If you’re using and upper / lower split, perform the dumbbell bench press on one upper body day, and the barbell bench press on the second upper body training session of the week.


Mega Pre White is the ultimate stim-free pump pre workout to use for late night chest workouts.



Simply put, dips are one of the best bodyweight exercises you can (and should) perform. The dip trains the chest, shoulders and triceps, but it’s particularly effective for hitting the lower chest.


It’s also incredibly easy to learn and can be performed just about anywhere. And, don’t worry if your gym doesn’t have a dedicated dip station, as you can perform dips on a straight bar (for example in a Smith machine) or any countertop corner.


Now, a common complaint many people have is that they feel dips more in their shoulders and triceps than their chest. To make the dip more of a chest-building exercise, you need to do two things:


  1. lean forward on the descent, as it will shift more of the load towards the chest and away from the triceps, and

  2. When performing the dip, don’t think of the movement as an “up and down” motion as much as an “in and out” motion. In other words, even though your hands aren’t moving since they’re locked in place, envision squeezing your elbows in towards each other at the top of every rep. This helps shift focus away from the triceps and more in favor of the chest.


If standard bodyweight dips are too easy for you, don’t worry, you can still use this exercise as one of your top muscle building exercises. All you need to do is strap on a dip belt and hang some weight plates from it.


Hammer Strength Chest Press

There’s a never-ending debate going on in fitness circles between free weights and machine exercises as to which one is best for building muscle and strength. No one can deny that free weight exercises are much more demanding from a total body strength and coordination point of view, while machines allow for more “targeted” working of the intended muscle group.


We say, why not use every means possible to build muscle and strength as fast as possible?


While we’ll never be the ones to say that machines can replace free weight exercises, we will say that machines can serve a purpose in any training program.


For instance, supporting and stabilizing muscles often become the limiting factor when performing free weight exercises the deeper you get into your workout. In particular, on chest day, the shoulders, triceps and rotator cuff muscles may become fatigued long before your chest is ready to call it quits.


In this instance, using a machine (such as the hammer strength chest press) that limits the amount of work the supporting muscles have to do while at the same time providing sufficient overload for the target muscle group is perfect.


Additionally, if you have an injury that prevents you from using free weights, then the hammer strength chest press could provide a pain-free way to continue your chest training.


Hammer Strength Chest Presses also lend themselves incredibly well to drop sets at the end of your workout as a finisher or if you ever want to do a 100-rep set to really fatigue and top off a chest workout.


Alternating Dumbbell Bench Press

The alternating dumbbell bench press is great for developing single-arm strength and improving shoulder and core stability. It also helps increase time under tension for the pecs, and also teaches lifters how to generate power from their core up through their arms.


Additionally, some gyms have limited weights, by alternating which hand is pressing, the total amount of time the muscles are under load is increased, which helps make those lighter weights go further.


To perform the alternating dumbbell bench press:

  • Lie back on a bench (incline or flat), holding pair of dumbbells at armpit level

  • Press the dumbbell in your left hand away from your body, extending your arm as much as you can without locking the elbow, while keeping your right arm right outside your chest

  • After reaching the top, slowly lower the dumbbell in your left hand until it returns to the starting position

  • Once the left dumbbell is back in place, press the right dumbbell to the top and slowly lower to the start position

  • Repeat for desired number of reps


When performing the alternating dumbbell press, avoid piston-type movements, where you’re pressing and lowering the dumbbells at the same time.

1-Arm Dumbbell Bench Press

The 1-arm dumbbell bench press is an excellent way to train upper body strength. It’s a great unilateral exercise that helps correct muscle imbalances that can develop between your right and left side as a result of one side overcompensating during barbell movements.


Additionally, since you’re only holding a weight in one hand, the offset nature of the exercise is a phenomenal way to work your core as well, as you’re going to have to fight like hell not to fall off the bench during the raising and lowering of the weight.


When attempting this weight the first few times, be conservative and use a weight that is less than what you would typically use if you were performing a standard dumbbell bench press.


Additionally, most lifters tend to respond best to a semi-pronated or neutral grip when performing this exercise as it’s a little more shoulder friendly.


Make sure to keep your butt and pelvis flat on the bench throughout the exercise, as it will want to roll (or fall off) the bench due to the offset loading.


Regarding foot placement, that’s a bit more of a personal preference. Some lifters respond better to digging their heels into the ground, while others prefer to dig their toes into the floor to help with stabilization. Regardless of which foot position you use, make sure your feet are situated more underneath your body rather than splayed out away from you.


Push Ups

Seeing push ups one this list of the top 10 best exercises for chest should come as no surprise.


The push up is the granddaddy of all chest building exercises, and for good reason

  • it doesn’t require any equipment

  • It can be performed anywhere

  • It can be loaded for increased difficulty

  • There’s endless variations of the push up to learn if standard push ups are too easy


The push up also has another big factor in its favor that not of the other bench press variations have on this list -- the push up allows your shoulder blades (scapula) to move freely.


Why is this important?


Well, by allowing the scap to move forward, you activate the serratus anterior, a tremendously important muscle for shoulder health and function. Strengthening the serratus anterior helps keep your scapula stable and helps it rotate upward.


Furthermore, a strong serratus anterior reduces the possibility of shoulder impingement when you press overhead. Add to that the fact that when the serratus is weak, you wind up with scapular winging, which can eventually lead to rotator cuff injuries.


And, since the shoulder blade makes up a good deal of your shoulder joint, improving its stability may help alleviate several other shoulder problems.


Many lifters mistakenly think that once they get to a certain level of strength, the push up is inferior to the bench press for increasing the size and strength of the pecs.


However, research has noted that when subjects perform banded push ups, they had virtually identical chest activation as the group performing bench press and both groups made similar gains in bench press strength after 5 weeks.[11]


The issue, as you may have already guessed with the push up, is that as you get stronger, it becomes less challenging in its standard form. Therefore, you have to either add external loading (in the form of weight vests, weight plates, or chains) or progress to more difficult variations (decline push ups, military push ups, planche push ups, etc.).


If you’re not strong enough to lift a barbell (45 lbs) yet, then using push ups as your primary chest exercise is a great idea. However, if you can perform multiple sets of 25-30 push ups with perfect form, you’re better off saving the push ups for the end of your workout as a finishing exercise after your heavy pressing exercises are done.


Cable Crossover

While the cable crossover isn’t a compound exercise like the rest of the exercises on this list, there is one area where it shines -- it allows you to bring the arms fully across the midline of the body, thereby allowing for full and complete contraction of the pecs.


Even better, the cables can be adjusted to emphasize the upper, middle, or lower chest, depending on which area you’d like to work and how you set up the cables.


A few studies have noted that high-to-low cable crossovers can be just as effective as the bench press for stimulating the pecs.[10] One area where the cable crossover (or any cable exercise for that matter) does stand out is its ability to provide tension throughout the entire range of motion on the pecs. Free weight exercises like the barbell and dumbbell bench press tend to be easier at the top and are hardest at the bottom. The cables maintain constant tension throughout the exercise, meaning the pecs have to work harder.


However, since it’s not a compound movement, and it can’t be loaded to the same degree as the other compound exercises included in this list, we suggest placing the cable crossover towards the latter half of your workout, after the heavy pressing is complete, and you can perform the movement to failure.


If the high-to-low cable crossover irritates your shoulder joint too much, you can perform low-to-high cable crossovers, which also has the added benefit of emphasizing the upper chest more than other variations of the cable crossover. The low-to-high movement perfectly mimics the line of pull of the clavicular head of the pec, making it ideal to target the upper chest.


To ensure full contraction of the pecs, make sure to bring your hands completely across your body, crossing one over the other with each rep.


The Best Chest Workout for Size and Strength

The Best Upper Chest Workout #1

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: 3 sets of 6-10 reps

Barbell Bench Press: 3 sets of 6-10 reps

Dips (add weight if necessary): 3 sets of 8-12 reps

Low-to-High Cable Crossovers: 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Decline Push-ups: 3 sets of AMRAP


The Best Upper Chest Workout #2

Incline Barbell Bench Press: 3 sets of 6-10 reps

Dumbbell Bench Press: 3 sets of 6-10 reps

Hammer Strength Chest Press: 3 sets of 8-12 reps

Dips: 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Push-ups: 3 sets of AMRAP


The Best Chest Workout #3

Barbell Bench Press: 3 sets of 6-10 reps

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: 3 sets of 6-10 reps

1-Arm Dumbbell Chest Press: 3 sets of 8-12 reps

Cable Crossovers: 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Hammer Strength Chest Press: 1 set of 100 reps*


*Note: Pick a weight that you could perform for 20 reps. Complete as many reps as possible until you can no longer perform another rep with perfect form. Rest briefly (3-5 breaths) and continue performing mini-sets until you reach 100 reps.



  1. Lauver JD , et al. "Influence of Bench Angle on Upper Extremity Muscular Activation During Bench Press Exercise. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information,

  2. Trebs AA , et al. "An Electromyography Analysis of 3 Muscles Surrounding the Shoulder Joint During the Performance of a Chest Press Exercise at Several Angles. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information,

  3. McMahon GE , et al. "Impact of Range of Motion During Ecologically Valid Resistance Training Protocols on Muscle Size, Subcutaneous Fat, and Strength. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information,

  4. Massey CD , et al. "Influence of Range of Motion in Resistance Training in Women: Early Phase Adaptations. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information,

  5. "Shoulder Muscle Activation of Novice and Resistance Trained Women During Variations of Dumbbell Press Exercises." Hindawi, 15 May 2013,

  6. "SuppVersity EMG Series - Musculus Pectoralis Major: The Very Best Exercises for a Chiseled Chest." SuppVersity - Nutrition and Exercise Science for Everyone, 7 July 2011,

  7. "Chest Isolation Exercises: 3 Most Effective Chest Exercises." ACE Fitness,

  8. Akagi R , et al. "Relationship of Pectoralis Major Muscle Size with Bench Press and Bench Throw Performances. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information,

  9. Saeterbakken AH , et al. "A Comparison of Muscle Activity and 1-RM Strength of Three Chest-press Exercises with Different Stability Requirements. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information,

  10. "Electromyographical Analysis of the Pectoralis Major Muscle During Various Chest Exercises." MINDS@UW Home,

  11. Calatayud J , et al. "Bench Press and Push-up at Comparable Levels of Muscle Activity Results in Similar Strength Gains. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information,

  12. Grgic J , et al. "Effect of Resistance Training Frequency on Gains in Muscular Strength: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information,

  13. Schoenfeld BJ , et al. "Strength and Hypertrophy Adaptations Between Low- Vs. High-Load Resistance Training: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information,

  14. Welsch EA , et al. "Electromyographic Activity of the Pectoralis Major and Anterior Deltoid Muscles During Three Upper-body Lifts. - PubMed - NCBI." National Center for Biotechnology Information,