Gym workouts? Park workouts? Online and at-home workouts?
The modern fitness enthusiast has a large pool to pick from when it comes to having a good workout. Get the blood pumping and work up a sweat.
I want to let you into my world. I work out from home.
I’ve selected the home gym equipment that will do the job for me; that will stand firm and give me enough of a blast when I want to take it up a notch.
Here I’m going to share my chest and tricep workout with you. This is my go-to workout when I want to use high volume reps – this gets a juicy pump and burns some serious calories.
Firstly, let’s concentrate on the chest.
- Sets: 4
- Reps: 20
- Rest: 30 seconds
- Equipment: None
Yes – I’m going to say it… I absolutely love a good press up (or pushup as you might otherwise know it). Man’s first love. We tend to hide away from these. Maybe we don’t want anyone seeing us do them. We say to ourselves – what if I’m not man enough or strong enough? What if someone sees me fail?
First of all, who cares. Get down and give me 20!
- Start off easy. Try box press-ups to start.
- Most importantly, squeeze that core in and support the lower back.
- Make sure your triceps are in line with your chest.
- A slow tempo helps the muscles grow and get stronger.
Why the press up is so good
- It’s a bodyweight exercise, so no equipment is required.
- You can do it anywhere, at any time.
- It’s a great way to test body strength.
- Helps with confidence when you can do a full set in one hit.
Incline bench press
The bench press: go incline or flat – the sky’s the limit, right?
Weight training is simple. We either push or pull.
When it comes to the chest, we push. So the bench press is on the “push movement” list.
At my home gym, I’m lucky to have a choice of dumbbells and Olympic bars in a power rack (safety first), but a set of dumbbells on a fitness ball or the floor works just as well.
Remember this is a high volume workout to help with muscle endurance and to burn fat, so we don’t need heavy weights here.
- Set the bench up at an incline of 20 – 45 degrees.
- Use a set of dumbbells or a barbell.
- Keep the tempo the same pace up and down – 2 seconds up, 2 seconds down. This is for 20 reps, remember.
- Make sure to get a full range of movement. That means no half reps. Lockout at the top, and all the way back down to touch the chest.
- Use the full 90 seconds of rest to recover.
Why the incline bench press is so good for the chest
- Every press will help stimulate the muscles into building new cells.
- Incline is a great alternative to flat or decline bench and brings in more upper chest and shoulders.
- It allows the muscles to become thick.
- Compound exercises torch body fat.
- Builds a bigger chest quicker than anything on the market.
- Sets: 5
- Reps: 20 (60% 1RM)
- Rest: 60 seconds
- Equipment: cable machine
Alongside dips, the cable pull-down is one of my favourite triceps exercises.
Although often called pull downs, it’s actually a pushing move again.
I find the pull-down gives a great full-on triceps pump! Smashing out 100 of these kills me and I absolutely love that.
- Use the rope attachment for the pulldowns but don’t overload the weights.
- Stand tall and use the tricep to push. Push down, however, don’t use your whole body and force the cable down – you really want to isolate the tris with this.
- Extend the range of movement right down through the rope and lockout at the bottom to engage all 3 tricep heads.
Why cables pulldowns are such great arm builders:
- Uses a static machine – no messing about.
- Done right and done well means the best pump in the world.
- You can do these until your arms fall off.
- Recovery rate is quick, so you’ll be ready for the next set in 60 seconds.
- Sets: 5
- Reps: 20
- Rest: 60 seconds
- Equipment: dip bars, weight bench, power rack
They’re what I like to call a “banger”. You’ll feel a deepness in the chest – especially when using the dip bar attachment on the power rack.
And that’s another reason you should own a power rack, by the way: it’s not just about safety – it’s about all the extra toys you can add on for playtime!
- Make sure to use a full range of movement for dips. This helps with strength and mass.
- Keep to strict 90-degree angles for this exercise.
- Also, keep the spine in a natural position for perfect form.
Why are dips so great? Dips = banger
- Dips score another point for the bodyweight team.
- Can be done on the spot – even without equipment, just find a couple of sturdy chairs or a climbing frame at a park.
- There are plenty of variations such as the triceps bench dip – again, removing the need for weight lifting equipment.
- Another compound exercise – big on building muscle and torching fat cells.
- Great exercise for triceps, shoulders and chest together.
- Once you’ve tested your body weight to the limit you can add a weighted vest or weight plate for added resistance.
Extra tip for dips: Practice these on the park bench. Smash out 100 reps after walking the dog or doing a 10k. Whatever you fancy. Dips will give back what you put in.
- Sets: 3
- Reps: as many as possible (40% 1RM)
- Rest: 60 seconds
- Equipment: dumbbells and a bench
Now on to a chest isolation exercise.
This is another go-to exercise for me which prioritises high volume reps.
After already pre-exhausting the chest I like to then flood it with blood and whatever oxygen I have left in the tank.
So I never give myself a set rep range. Do what you can when you can on this one. Failure is key to this exercise.
One thing about the dumbbell fly is that if you go too heavy, you can injure your shoulders – yet another reason to go light and pump them out until you reach failure!
- Use a flat bench and light dumbbells – leave your ego at the door.
- Use a full range of movement and twist the dumbbells in for extra bite.
- Keep your head flat on the bench.
- 2-second tempo both ways on these ones. Don’t rush it.
Why I love the chest fly:
- Like all isolation exercises, it compresses its work into a single muscle group.
- On paper, the fly will isolate the pectoral muscle and makes them work directly without any limitations from the delts or triceps.
- It also helps with chest width. So we can all pretend to be Arnie for 2 minutes with a nice chest pump and continue our goal of developing the elusive V taper…
Last but not least… (and thank god it’s the last because, by this point, my chest and triceps are screaming “no more, please!!”)
Tricep plate extension
- Sets: 1
- Reps: 50
- Equipment: weight plate
This is – by far – the easiest exercise of the day. With that said, it does also provide the most horrible deep burn going.
That’s why I love this one during a home workout.
It’s a beast. Just extend your arms behind your head with a steel weight plate – or dumbbell if you don’t have a plate. Job done. That easy? Yeah right…
- Keep both hands firm on the weight and elbows tight.
- Fully extend the plate up and down. No half measures.
- Aim for 50 reps with a 2-second concentric (up) and eccentric (down) tempo on each extension.
- Don’t cry.
Why the plate extension? Well, it’s the final push…
- I always add a finisher to all home workouts.
- I can hammer it out and then recover with a good shake and shower.
- The extension is a great exercise for mass and also strengthens the triceps.
- It’s one of those exercises that test you mentally. Also, say to yourself: “don’t give up.” Just one more rep. Plus, like the dip, it targets all 3 heads of the tricep. So, in no time you can welcome bigger guns! Winner winner chicken dinner.
The total workout
Here’s a recap of the entire workout:
- Press-ups: 4 sets of 20 reps, 30 seconds rest.
- Incline bench press: 4 sets of 20 reps, 90 seconds rest.
- Cable pulldowns: 5 sets of 20 reps, 60 seconds rest.
- Dips: 5 sets of 20 reps, 60 seconds rest.
- Dumbbell fly: 2 sets to failure.
- Triceps extension: 1 set of 50 reps.
Chest and triceps workouts at home can (and do) vary depending on the equipment, space and time you have.
The equipment you have at home will dictate the exercises in this chest and triceps workout you can do.
That’s why, in this workout, I try and use basic equipment and bodyweight exercises. Workouts at home can be just as beneficial as going to the gym. It saves on time – and as long as you stick to good form and the right tempo results will come.
Oh, and buy a power rack.
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