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Every man who works out is after a muscular chest, but to build one you don't have to spend hours and hours benching in the gym. You can build a seriously impressive pair of pecs at home, if you know how, and we're here to teach you.
Our at-home, bodyweight chest workout has been split into three sections, with each phase designed to build a new layer of upper-body muscle in just eight weeks. The first phase builds endurance, the second boosts strength and the final phase adds explosiveness and speed so you can pack on more size.
The entire programme is based on variations of the standard press-up. It's that simple. But for anyone new to the movement, we suggest you check out our complete guide to press-ups and press-up variations first. For everyone else, get ready to drop down and build a bigger, wider, more muscular chest at home using nothing more than your bodyweight.
How to Do the Workout
You're going to build the basis for a bigger chest by performing the first three of our chest exercises three days a week for a fortnight. Take at least one day's rest between workouts. Complete three sets of each exercise, resting for one to two minutes between sets. Aim to push out 10 to 15 reps, but if that's beyond your chest efforts, just do the best you can.
Once you've done two weeks of those first three exercises, move on to exercises four, five, six and seven. Perform these variations two days a week for the next four weeks. Complete four sets of each exercise, and rest for one to two minutes between sets. Again, aim for 10 to 15 reps per set or as many as you can.
After four weeks of hard work, you'll have built base muscle endurance (weeks 1 and 2), and added strength. The final phase develops the explosiveness and speed, which will give you a performance edge in any sport that uses your upper body, plus the size and definition that means people will know you've been seriously working on your chest. It doesn't come easy, though. You'll now complete the same exercises as in phase two (weeks three to six), but as a circuit, performing one exercise after the other with no rest in between. Try to perform 10 reps of each exercise. That's a set. Rest for one-to-two minutes, then repeat for a total of four sets. Collapsing is optional. Do this twice a week, allowing three days of rest between sessions. You'll need it.
Oh and before you begin, exercises eight to 10 are optional (you'll be pleased to hear), but feel free to add them in after the first three weeks if your workouts begin to become monotonous.
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Either by accident or design you'll have done these before. To do the now, simply perform a standard press-up, but with your hands placed wider than shoulder-width apart.
2 Alternating Shuffle Press-up
Start in the classic press-up position. Move your right hand to the left until your two hands are next to each other. Slide your left hand further left until your hands are shoulder-width apart again. Perform a press-up and repeat, moving to the right. That's two press-ups, but only one rep.
Perform a press-up with your hands close enough for the tips of your thumbs and index fingers to touch. As you lower keep your elbows tucked in to the side of your body.
Perform a press-up with your right hand on the floor and your left hand on the box. Switch arms and repeat. That's one rep.
5 Cross-over Elevated Press-up
Do a one-arm press-up with your left hand on the box. From the starting position, lift your right hand to beside your left. Move your left hand down to the floor, with hands shoulder-width apart. Do a press-up. That's one rep!
6 Elevated Diamond Press-up
Place your hands on a box in the diamond press-up position. Lower your body and press explosively off the box, so your hands land on the floor with the box between them. Watch that chin. Immediately lower your body and press explosively up so your hands land back on the box in the starting position. That's one rep. You've earned the right to a Balboa-esque grunt on this one. Bring it on, champ.
Get into a traditional press-up position. Lower yourself toward the floor and bring your right knee to your right elbow, keeping it off the ground. Press back up and return your leg to the starting position. Repeat with the alternate leg.
Place your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart on a bench, a chair or a box. With your feet planted on the floor, bend your arms and lower your body until your chest touches the bench. Push your body back up to the starting position.
Place your feet on a bench with your hands planted on the floor in front of you. Lower your body down until your chest almost reaches the floor. Press your body back up to the starting position while squeezing your chest. Pause briefly at the top before repeating.
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