#02 – Treasure Chest

Hey guys, how you doing? It’s week 2 of the ‘Road to Hawaii Series’ and in my last blog post, I said I was going to go into more detail about our muscle groups, and what exercises we can do to really isolate those key muscles and focus our strength and tension into them for the best results. So let’s talk about chest baby.

If you remember last week, I shared with you my workout regime for the week. Click here to check back at last week’s blog. If you decided you wanted to make that a similar routine, I hope you found it useful! If you’re still gathering information and researching, then there are two things I want you to take away: Start off with a comfortable weight and increase the weight gradually each week. Leave your ego at the door. No matter where you read that lifting heavy will give you the best gains, if you do not gradually increase the weight after each week, or until you are ready to, then I guarantee you will injure yourself. Secondly, work those specific muscles to failure on their designated day. I said it last week, when we train our muscle groups, we want to come out of the workout with nothing left to give. That way, we can rest those muscles and give them much needed time to rest, repair, strengthen and grow!

CHEST IS BEST! Working our chest muscles on a regular basis has many benefits for both men and women, and it’s not all about making us men look good in a t-shirt. To keep it simple, our chest muscles are the larger muscles in our body, and whether we know it or not – we use our chest muscles in almost all of our daily activities. Our shoulders are connected to our chest, our arms are connected to our chest. When you pull open a door or push yourself off the sofa, you’re using your chest muscles. So it’s important to keep them strong. Also, if we work out our chest, we tone those particular muscles. So if you see your chest looking a little deflated – working our chest will help tighten and give them a more defined shape.

So here’s some of the exercises I do on my chest day:

BENCH PRESS (4 sets x 12 reps)
When we talk about sets and reps, just know that reps = the amount of times we do the exercise. 1 set would be the full 12 reps (or however many reps you decide to do), then rest for 1 minute. To get 4 sets, you’d just repeat the one set 3 more times.

Bench press. Image courtesy of istockphoto

Lay on a flat bench with a barbell above you. You want pinch your shoulder blades together, so they are pushing into the bench, and your chest is sticking out. Take the barbell and bring it down towards the middle of your chest, as close as you can without touching your body. You then want to power push the weight back up. So use your strength and control to push the barbell back up with some force. That’s 1 rep! When you bring the barbell back down to your chest, make sure you are in control. Don’t let the weight push your arms down. You want your arms to bring the barbell down in a controlled slow movement.

INCLINE BENCH PRESS (4 sets x 12 reps)
We are doing the exact same as the exercise above, but we are going to train the upper part of our chest, by bringing the bench up to a 45 degree angle. Try out 4 sets x 12 reps!

DUMBBELL PUSH UPS (4 x 12 reps)
Grab 2 dumbbells, and get into a push up position. This exercise will not only train your chest, but your arms and core too. Using the dumbbells will force you to stabilise your arms core, when you come down on the movement. Perform 12 reps of push ups to complete 1 set. Rest for 1 minute and repeat three more times.

Dumbbell press up. Image courtesy of shutterstock

PUSH UPS (to failure)
I always like to end a chest work out with push ups. I love exercises where you don’t need to use weights, and you are using your own natural body weight. Try doing this at home, and do as many push ups as you possibly can. Remember, you want to give it all your got, until you have nothing left to give.

One response to “#02 – Treasure Chest”

  1. andrew says:

    some great tips here. what weights do you use?