A no-nonsense chest workout that you can’t get enough of


Powerlifter and designer of the famous 5/3/1 program Jim Wendler popularized the phrase “Boring but great,” describing the protocol of using the most basic exercises with very straightforward sets and reps. Of course it looks terribly boring on paper, but in the gym it’s a lot of work and you swell up a lot. You almost start to wonder why the word boring is associated with such results.


Groot But Boring may have been the inspiration for this chest workout, designed by ISSA certified trainer and two-time Muscle & Fitness Male Model Search participant Robert Ciresi Jr. The exercises all look very familiar and that’s exactly the point. There are also no hip repeat schedules. But you know what never goes out of style? Heavy sets of 10 reps with compound exercises. “This is a four to six week cycle that delivers muscle growth and strength,” says Ciresi, who trains at A Taylored Body Gym in Riverside, CA. “It’s all rigorously tested material – some good old-fashioned grunt work.”


Try not to press vertically up, but diagonally upwards. Start near the bottom of your chest and finish above the top of your chest. Slowly lower the barbell and make sure not to bounce on your chest. Use a spotter for this exercise, as the idea is to go as heavy as possible without sacrificing your form. Ciresi notes that it should be difficult from the seventh rep, so doing 12 reps is a real challenge. Don’t make the bench press rest periods too short; let your muscles recover between sets.

chest workout oblique dumbbell press


Dumbbell pressing on the incline bench is one of the most effective exercises for building mass on the top of the chest. You can safely load the muscles with the heaviest dumbbell you can handle. Push the limits with the amount of weight you use. Every other week, switch the order of your exercises and do the incline and then the flat bench press. And if you want to replace the dumbbells with a barbell, that’s no problem either.


Exhale as you move your arms up and pause for a second when you are at the highest point. Your arms should then be perpendicular to your chest and the floor. Then slowly lower again. “Use a light weight and concentrate fully on contracting the pectoral muscles when doing this exercise,” Ciresi says. You can do this exercise standing, but you can also alternate with a flat bench (as shown) or an inclined bench.


Keep your elbows close to your body as you push up. This is easier if you turn your hands on the floor slightly outwards. Not too far, it’s more about feeling like you’re turning the floor out with your hands. “Do your best to make all 25 at once,” Ciresi says. “If you can’t do that, use rest breaks to get to that number of 25.” You can start with standard push-ups, but to keep it fun, try them with your feet elevated.

chest workout push ups