If you want to build a bigger chest then you'll want to use a chest workout that checks all the boxes and delivers the pec gains that you're pursuing. In this video, Jesse from ATHLEAN-X takes me through his chest workout at his gym. For years, these two have been building Jesse up from within the walls of the ATHLEAN X Box. Now, he’s fully grown and ready to roam. See as he takes Jeff Cavaliere through his very own chest workout using machines, dumbbells and even chains.

This workout for chest starts with the classic dumbbell bench press. After a couple brief warmup sets, the two set out to perform 4 sets for this basic chest building exercise. The first two sets are for 10-12 reps and the last two are heavier, with the goal being 4-5 reps. That is, until Jesse changes the script and makes the last set an AMRAP. Throw a little extra incentive in to the winner and we have the makings of a little bench press competition to raise the stakes even higher.

From here, the two move onto the classic pec deck chest fly. Typically, this is an exercise that Jeff doesn’t like. That said, it is much preferred to the unsupported dumbbell chest fly that is performed while laying on a flat bench. The pec deck allows for a safer bottom point, and therefore safer shoulders, than the flat bench dumbbell fly does.

One of the tips that Jeff shares is that you can rotate your body towards the arm you’re grabbing to make sure that you don’t put any added stress on the anterior shoulder capsule even just getting into the machine. 3 sets of 12-15 reps is what was done to train the adduction of the function of the pecs.

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From there, we moved onto the cable crossover exercise. This is one of my favorite ways to train chest adduction. By doing this one arm at a time you are able to get a better, more focused contraction on each side and help alleviate any muscle imbalances that may exist. The goal here as always is to keep the chest out in front of the shoulder as you bring the arm across.

If you lead with your shoulder you will shift too much of the load onto the delts and away from the chest. This is one of the most common chest workout mistakes people make. It takes away a lot of the chest growth that you can achieve by doing a workout for chest. 2-3 sets of each arm for this chest crossover exercise is the next step in this chest workout.

Next, we hit the incline hammer press machine. This is actually a good machine that really helps people to engage their upper chest more effectively. The reason is, that the bench press angle is set to a proper 30 degrees to better engage the upper clavicular fibers better. Also, the machine locking you into the bar path of up and in allows you to really engage the up and in function of the upper pecs. The two load the machine up for 2 sets before moving onto what Jesse calls the “curveball” of the workout.

Here, they break out the chains. A chest dip alone is not enough to finish this chest workout strong. Instead, they do a chest dip chain finisher. Starting with two chains around their neck, they do a set to failure then immediately strip away one chain and do another set to failure. Not quite done however since they take away the final chain and then do a final bodyweight set to failure as the last part of this triple giant set.

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When you’re in the gym and are looking for a great gym chest workout you have lots of options. Here, you now have an example of a great workout for pecs that can be done with just dumbbells, machines and a few optional chains. Remember, it’s important to perform your sets with an intensity level that challenges you. If you’re looking to build bigger pecs you have to force them to grow. This comes from choosing chest exercises and workouts that challenge them from every angle and every function.

If you’re looking for a science based workout plan that helps you build a bigger chest and much more, be sure to head to athleanx.com and check out the ATHLEAN-X workout programs. Let strength coach and celebrity trainer Jeff Cavaliere take you through his exact step by step workouts to build a ripped athletic body in just 90 days. Check out the link below for access to this same workout plan.

For more chest workout videos and the best exercises for a bigger chest, remember to subscribe to our channel here on YouTube via the link below and don’t forget to turn on your notifications so you never miss a new video when it’s published.

Build ripped athletic muscle here – http://athleanx.com/x/my-workouts
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49 thoughts on “I Did HIS Chest Workout (AT HIS GYM!)”
  1. “FAST ACTION” Q&A* – Leave your most burning question about this video or any other training, PT or nutrition question within the first 2 hours of this video’s release (AS A SEPARATE COMMENT!!) and I will pick 8 to get a detailed reply from me right here in the comments. Answers will be posted within the first 24-48 hours of you leaving the question. Good luck!

    1. great content as always! i would have with cable crossovers – as an activation exercise though… just sayin’ ;-)

    2. Will taking in more calories, proteins, carbs and fats help you gain more strength and overcome plateaus?

  2. It’s great to see how well Jesse really built himself up over the years!

  3. Congratulations, Jesse! Great to see your success and how far you’ve come over the years. Keep it up, Brother. You’re an inspiration.

    1. It’s well deserved and his story is amazing. He used to be really skinny and hard work and motivation got him to where he is now. Proof that anyone can overcome being skinny if they put in the work

  4. Man, I remember when Jessie was just a skinny, little stray cat! THis proves what consistency can do for you… and Jeff’s tutelage, of course.

  5. This was a fun change of pace. Especially when I’m heading out for push workout right after.

  6. Using AX-1, I sometimes find myself wondering if I’m truly at my point of failure for each exercise, and seeing this video helped give me better perspective. Can you and Jeff make a video demonstrating what your failure points look like for some other exercises?

    1. Bro… if you have to ask that probably means you aren’t. Go till ya can’t go no mo(while still actually doing it)

    2. I think if you can’t get another one up is how you know if you have reached failure lol

    3. @Liberationpocket but I realized people can get 1-3 more reps but at what cost, they compromise their form. It requires awareness

    4. It’s actually quite simple.
      There are two things that indicate failure.
      1. You wont be able to move the weight or your body at all.
      2. The technique of the exercise suffers through bad form.

  7. To the team at Athlean X… this was an amazing and fresh video to watch from you guys. Loved this video, and its great seeing you both outside of the gym after a while! Look forward to next weeks vid forreal

  8. How does the different strength (high intensity, low rep) approaches compare to each other? I’m thinking of 3×5, 5×5, 1RM and “reverse drop-sets” (i.e. increasing weight while reducing reps to finish with a single heavy set with failure between 1 and 5 reps).

    In general, I would love to see more videos covering the science behind different training modalities, how they affect different goals and how they overlap, complement or interfere with each other.

    1. Sounds excessive, but individual preferences are a thing. Try it out for yourself, experiment. It might work for you, might not for the majority.

      Also, if you’re still an amateur. Just do 3 sets of 12, *with a weight that takes you to failure on 12*. Your muscles will still grow, only do things like this when you’re a pro and the conventional method is no longer enough.

      This is from the knowledge I’ve gained from my experience. I’m not a trainer so you do you

  9. Chest has always been amongst my weakest workouts, but looking at this gives me incentive that if I am to try and up my weight and aim for strength, it’s not always about the reps. It’s about the effort you put in. This has been awesome! I changed my program recently to try and aim for 2-4 reps per set on the bench, with the intention of upping the weight. I think it is also important to consider hypertrophy (sometimes I do that on the incline dumbbell bench press and cable flies/crossovers).

  10. “One of the tips that Jeff shares is that you can rotate your body towards the arm you’re grabbing to make sure that you don’t put any added stress on the anterior shoulder capsule even just getting into the machine.” – I’m going to save this in my collection of golden advices

    1. I’m surprised Jessie didn’t know that, as that’s basic knowledge, or at least so I thought. For me, I also like to hold it for 1-second at the closed hands part of the movement.

    2. @Spud E. Buddy yeah, I thought that it was pretty common knowledge or at least common sense too.

  11. Actually really cool to see Jeff training in someone else’s gym. Make this a series!

  12. I can’t even lie. Jesse is a beast. I remember watching him from the beginning. You trained him and he’s about to surpass you soon. Much respect to both of you but damn Jesse take easy on Jeff lol.

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