Workout of The Week 2.15.16- Treasure Your Chest


Cardiovascular machine- 5min


Arm circles- 4 sets of 15 seconds each way, alternating between small and large circles. (yes, just like in gym class).

Internal rotation- using thera-bands or a cable handle attachment, do 3×15 reps of internal rotation (see I-1)


Light warm up sets- Before starting your working sets, make sure to do 2-3  very light sets to familiarize the movement and bring blood to the chest.

Additional warm-up options- Push-ups, Front raises, light triceps extension.


Neutral grip dumbbell press: 4×8;120-180s

Set-up: You will need a flat bench and a pair of dumbbells. You’re naturally weaker with your hands turned in, so make sure you go a tad lighter than a normal dumbbell press.

Execution: Execute the lift much like a DB bench press, except turn the dumbbells so that your palm’s are facing each other. Press the dumbbells upward until they are 1-2inches apart, and your elbows are just short of lockout. Then, descend in a slow and controlled


Neutral grip dumbbell press


manner- repeat.

Tips: It helps some people to imagine this lift as a chest fly with bent elbows. Also, make sure to emphasize the squeeze of your chest at the peak- this is what makes this lift special.

Incline dumbbell fly: 3×12; 120s rest.

Set-up: You will need an incline bench and a pair off dumbbells. If you only have an adjustable bench, set it on the lowest incline setting possible.

Execution: Start with the dumbbells at the tops of motion, not out at your sides (notice direction of arrows in picture). Begin by opening your arms in a controlled fashion until you reach a deep

incline chest fly

incline DB fly (notice arm bend)


stretch of your chest. Your arms should be slightly bent as if you were hugging a wide tree. Then, bring your arms back together until you reach a solid contraction- repeat.

Tips: It’s common for people to go too heavy with this exercise. If you notice the muscle action feel primarily coming the shoulders, or your arm’s excessively bending, the weight is probably too heavy.

Smith machine incline press: 3×12; super-set, no rest.

Set-up: You will need an adjustable bench. Set it fairly steep. Now, the hard part, adjust the bench so the bar will evenly lower to the top 3rd of your chest. It may take a couple re-adjustments. Your hand grip should be slightly narrower than a normal bench press, since it has been shown to recruit more muscle fibers for the upper chest.

Execution: Start by unlocking the bar and lowering it to your chest. Make sure you

incline smith press

Incline Smith Press (go steeper)


exaggerate the stretch in your pecs as you lower. Once the bar touches your chest, or gets 1-2 inches away ( for this less flexible), press it back up until just before lockout- repeat.

Tips: I mentioned that the bench should be steep. By this, I mean 1-2 clicks steeper than your average incline angle. I typically use this exercise as a go-to for my upper chest-shoulder tie-in.

Decline cable crossover: 3×12- 120s rest.

Set-up: You will need two cable pulleys. Set them at the highest adjustment. Grab each handle, and step forward with one leg. Your body should be slightly leaned forward.


Decline cable crossover


Execution: Pull your arms inward until your forearms cross, and you feel a strong pectoral contraction. Then, return to the starting position. When you perform the following rep, alternate which arm crosses above/below. Repeat this pattern throughout the entire set.

Tips: This is a pump/squeeze exercise, not the type to load up the weight. Focus on clean, strong, contractions with good form. Try your best to target the squeeze in your lower chest.

Push-up drill: 1×20-100 reps; 10s rests as needed.

Set-up: You will need a stop-watch and perfect push-up handles. You don’t NEED the handles, but I prefer them for wrist health.

Execution: This is a burnout drill. Pick a number between 20 and 100. If you’re good at push-ups, pick a higher number. If you aren’t good at push-ups, pick a lower

woman perfect pushup

Modified perfect push-up


number. The goal is to complete the total number of push-ups you have selected with the fewest breaks possible. You will only get 10 seconds with each break, so don’t get comfortable.

Perfect pushup

Tips: Write down the number of rests it takes to finish, and try to beat it each time. When you finally complete the entire set with no rests- raise the number. Try not to go to failure during your first bout, this will burn you out too soon. Instead, stop 1-2 reps short, and conserve some energy.


This concludes the chest workout. This workout will be great to pair with a push day (chest, triceps, shoulders), or simply paired with any one of the push muscles. I also pair chest with biceps from time-to-time.


Do 2-3 reps of each stretch for 10-20 seconds. Focus on breathing to allow a deeper stretch range of motion.

Click to enlarge.



God gave you another day, and another healthy workout.

Kyle Blair


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Workout of The Week 1/18/16: Tri and Keep Up

Cover image: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Pre-note: Whether you call them pythons, guns, weapons of mass destruction, or pipes, there is no questions that a pair of well developed triceps are crucial for a great set of arms. The actions of the triceps include elbow extension and shou-

i-1 (click to enlarge)

lder extension. The muscle is made up of 3 parts, hence the “tri” portion of the word. These parts are the long head, the short head, and the lateral head, which are arranged in a horseshoe-like pattern (i-1). Each portion is targeted through different movements, so a solid workout should consist of overhead, underhand, pushing, and extension (isolation) movements. You should note that the triceps are indirectly worked during any pressing exercises such as bench press, military press, etc.. Therefore, this should be factored into recovery time.




Cardiovascular machine- 5min-10min: A treadmill, bike, elliptical, stair master, rower, etc.  A slow to moderate pace is sufficient. Focus on breathing technique.

Resistance band / thera-band extension warm-up: 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps

tricep ext.
Thera-band triceps extension



Light warm-up sets: 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps with very moderate weight. This will familiarize the movement, and bring blood to the arms







Set-up: You will need a bench with a barbell. Use a smith machine if you do not have spotter. Your hand grip should be slightly narrower than shoulder width. It is important not to go too narrow, as this places unneeded stress to the wrists.

Execution: Begin by placing your feet flat on the ground and your hands in an appropriate position (as discussed above). After you lift off the bar, pause for a second to feel out the balance. Slowly descend, much like you would while benching. Some people prefer elbows to be tight to the sides, however, I prefer them to be 4-5 inches away. I feel this better activates the triceps. Unlike the bench press, you do not need to touch the bar to your chest. Instead, stop 2 inches short. Then press the bar up, until just short of lockout.

close grip press

Close grip triceps bench press



Tip: This is a compound exercise, so I would suggest going slightly lighter than maximum. This will help you to focus on the triceps as the prime mover, and not the shoulders and chest. To further isolate the triceps, mentally imagine the triceps being the only muscle straightening the elbows as you are pressing the bar up.






Set-up: You will need a barbell or ez-bar (curvy bar), and a decline bench. Stay modest at first, and feel it out; the last thing you need to do is actually crush your skull (hilarious, I know). Your hands should be shoulder width apart.\

Execution: To begin the movement, bend your elbows and lower the weight towards your head in a slow and controlled motion. During the lowering motion, slightly allow your upper arm (triceps part of your arm) to rock back. If done correctly, the rocking motion should allow the bar to end above your head at the bottom of the motion, and


Decline BB skull-crusher


not your forehead. Then reverse the exact same motion, and straighten your elbows until you feel a solid triceps contraction.


Tips: Rocking the arms back slightly does not only improve the stretch and muscle activation, but reduces the stress to the elbows alike. Which leads me to the next point- avoid this exercise if you have elbow tendinitis. It is important that you keep your wrists neutral (straight), as well.

PRONE TRICEPS KICK-BACK: 3×10; super-set with next exercise

Set-up: You will need a bench, and 2 dumbbells. I would advise getting a lighter set of dumbbells to introduce the movement. Lay your body prone on the bench (belly down), with your upper arms tight to your rib cage.

Execution: Once you are positioned as instructed above, you are ready

triceps kickback

Triceps kickback


to begin the movement. In a controlled manner (no swinging!), straighten your arms simultaneously until the dumbbells are even with your hips. Emphasize a good contraction with a 1-2s isometric hold at the top, then return to the starting position in a controlled fashion.


Tips: It is crucial that you do not swing and/or use momentum, this is not an ego lift by any means. I could probably do this movement with 45lbs, but I would get much less triceps activation. Instead, I use 15-25lbs, and feel a much greater pump/burn.


Set-up: You will need a cable pulley and a small handle attachment. Set the pulley to the highest setting, and a weight that is moderate (don’t expect to stack it lol). Grab the handle in an underhand position, while keeping your chest and head up.

Execution: Once you are positioned as instructed above, you are ready to begin the movement. While keeping your wrist neutral, extend the arm until you feel a solid contraction of the triceps muscle. Much like the previous exercise, it helps to hold the


1 arm reverse ext.


squeeze for 1-2s. On the return, only allow your arm to reach slightly more than a 90 degree bend.


Tips: I don’t think there is a triceps movement that better hits the medial head. Keep your head up, because you cannot drop the chest with a raised chin. Also, if you have trouble keeping your upper arm still, try holding it in place with the opposite arm. Lastly, if you have a left and right triceps imbalance, begin each set with the weaker/smaller side.




The triceps are great to pair with: chest, shoulders, or biceps.


  • 3-5 repetitions per stretch
  • 10-20s second hold each


You had another healthy workout.


Kyle Blair


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