Chest and Back Routine for Mass

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muscle back routineThis is a simple, yet very effective “Push – Pull” superset routine for adding mass on your chest and back. You will perform one pull exercise followed by one push exercise, taking 1 – 2 minutes rest between each working set.

This is going to be an intense training session that will get progressively heavy and hard, so make sure you’re well fuel up with a good pre workout meal, and prepared to smash this!

Always start with some light stretching and complete a couple of warm up sets by alternating between the first two main chest and back exercises. For example, do the first set (warm up set) for one of the muscle groups (Back – Bent-Over Barbell Rows) then switch and do the first set (warm up set) for the other muscle group (chest – Flat Bench Dumbbell Press).

After you’ve completed a few warm up sets you can get started with your first working set. Continue through this cycle until each of the four sets of the superset is completed for both exercises. You will do your first set on back, then switch and do your first set on chest, then second set on back, take 1 or 2 minutes rest and move to second set on chest… you get the idea.

The weight parentage shown are of your one rep max (the maximum amount of weight you can lift for one repetition). So, if the maximum amount of weight you can bench press for one rep is 240lbs, then for your warm up you will press around 25% of that weight, then your next set will be around 60% of your 1RM.

All clear..? Good, let’s get started

First Superset

Back – Bent-Over Barbell Rows
Chest – Flat Bench Dumbbell Press

First Set: Warm Up at 25% for 10-14 Reps
Second Set: 60% for 8-12 Reps
Third Set: 75 – 80% for 6 – 8 Reps
Fourth Set: 75 – 80% 6 – 8 Reps

Second Superset

Back– Wide-grip Lat Pulldowns
Chest– Incline Dumbbell Chest Presses

First Set: Warm Up at 25% for 8-10 Reps
Second Set: 60% for 8-12 Reps
Third Set: 75% for 8-10 Reps
Fourth Set: 75 – 80% for 6-8 Reps

How to Perform each of the Exercises Properly

Bent-over Barbell Rows

This exercise is done with a barbell with the appropriate amount of weight attached for each set. Hold the bar with an underhand (supination) grip with both hands. Start with your back straight and the bar somewhere around your waist or upper thigh. Bend over with your knees slightly bent. You should feel it in your hamstrings. When the bar reaches knee level begin to pull it towards your midsection. Make sure to feel that muscle contract at the top of the movement.

Flat Bench Dumbbell Presses

This exercise is done with two dumbbells of the appropriate weight for each set. Lay down back first on a flat bench holding the dumbbells with your palms facing your feet. Lift the dumbbells over the center of your chest then lower them down slowly. Your feet should be flat on the floor with a small arch in your back when performing this exercise.

Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown

For this exercise you will need a pulldown machine at the appropriate weight for each set. To achieve the wide grip simply place your hands about four inches wider than your shoulders on each side. Pull the bar down and pause momentarily before slowly raising the bar back up.

Incline Dumbbell Presses

This exercise is similar to the flat bench dumbbell presses. The only difference is that you will need a bench where you can set an incline. To start you will need two dumbbells of the appropriate weight for each set. For this exercise you will also want your feet flat on the floor with your back slightly arched. Raise the dumbbells above your chest with your palms facing your feet. Then slowly lower the dumbbells down until your arms are at a 90 degree angle.

Warm Up and Stretching

Before you perform this workout routine you should give yourself a little bit of a warm up and stretch. About 10 minutes of light cardio on a treadmill, elliptical or stair stepper should be all you need to warm up. To stretch your chest you can extend your arm straight out to the side and grip a wall or machine. Twist your body forward lightly to begin stretching out your chest.

Post Workout Cardio

If you are on a cutting phase and would like to maximize your fat loss you can follow up your chest and back workout routine with a short session of cardio. This can be a slow to moderate walk on a treadmill with an incline, an elliptical with a moderate resistance setting, or a stationary bike with resistance. Your body will already be in fat burning mode from your chest and back “Push – Pull” strength training routine. You can take advantage of this elevated fat burning state by throwing in some cardio at the end to enhance fat loss.

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