Wednesday: Chest, Shoulders and Triceps

The following is a very effective Max-OT routine that trains each muscle group once a week over a three-day period with a day off in between each workout.

The sets listed in the workout below do not include warm-up sets.

Chest Sets Reps *
Flat Barbell Bench Press 3 4 to 6
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 2 4 to 6
Dips 1 4 to 6
Military Barbell Press (in front) 2 4 to 6
Standing Side Lateral Dumbbell Raises 2 6 to 8
Lying Tricep Extensions 2 4 to 6
Cable Push-downs 2 4 to 6

* Remember, the weight you use should be light enough to do four reps, but heavy enough so you can’t do more than 6 reps. Each set should be done to positive failure.

Flat Barbell Bench Press is very straight forward. Lower the weight to the base of your sternum. Do not lower it to the middle of your chest. Power the weight up and slightly back. Drive the weight up with authority and force. Lower the weight twice as slowly as you drive it up

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press is a great upper chest exercise. Lower the weight twice as slowly as you drive it up. Rotate your palms inward on the way down and outward on the way up. Make sure you take advantage of the extra stretch that is available when using dumbbells.

Dips are an excellent upper body movement. When you do these you want to direct the overload to the chest and as much away from the triceps as possible. This is done dipping in an arch motion – almost like a 1/4 circle. Dip slowly and power up with force.

Military Barbell Press is the king of the shoulder movements. Never do them behind the neck. People assume behind the neck shoulder presses are for rear delts when in reality it places all the stress on the front delts. Performed in front brings more of the total shoulder into play. These can be done seated or standing. Lower the weight twice as slowly as you raise it.

Standing Side Lateral Dumbbell Raises are the most effective medial deltoid exercise. Go heavy. Keep your elbows level with your wrists during the entire movement and turn your thumbs down at the top of the. Raise forcefully and lower slowly.

Lying Triceps Extensions are the king of the triceps movements. I recommend doing these with a curl bar to reduce the stress to the wrists. These are best done on a bench with your head hanging off the end of the bench. When you lower the bar lower it behind your head, not to your forehead as you see described everywhere. Lowering the weight behind your head gives you a much better stretch on the triceps and creates more power in the ascending portion of the movement. Lower the weight twice as slowly as you raise it.

Cable Push-downs are an excellent triceps exercise. The Max-OT technique here is to lean slightly into the movement. On the upper portion of the movement allow the bar to break parallel all the way to about a 45 degree angle to the floor. This increases the stretch on the triceps and provides greater power throughout the movement. Flex your triceps forcefully at the bottom of the movement.

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