Do you want to maximize your size and definition, but don't
have the luxury to spend hours training? Use any of these three
powerful 20-minute pec-focused circuit-training workouts when time is
of the essence.
probably all agree that the old proverb, "Patience is a virtue," has
merit. But that doesn't mean we always have to live by it.
Take, for instance, building a bigger, stronger chest. You can spend 40
minutes to an hour dutifully training it, knowing that such dedication
over time should yield impressive results. Or, you can slam your pecs
hard for 20 minutes once or twice a week, spending less time toiling
and more time getting on with the rest of your life '" and best yet,
without giving up your goal of maximizing your pectoral development.
The following three
pack all the benefits of a longer, drawn out training session into a
mere 20 minutes. Two of them can be even done at home, saving
additional travel time and hassle. Just keep in mind, to complete the
routines in that tight window, you'll want to employ a
for every rep, and rest no more than 30 seconds between circuits.
Within circuits, the only break between each exercise is the time it
takes to switch positions and/or weights for the next movement.
you can save your patience for other endeavors. It should come in handy
when sitting in traffic, listening to your boss drone on in a meeting,
or '" God forbid '" if you're a Cubs fan waiting for a World Series title.
Workout Circuit #1: Dumbbells
Incline Dumbbell Flye 15, 12, 10
Incline Dumbbell Press 15, 12, 10
Dumbbell Flat-Bench Press 12, 10, 8
Dumbbell Pullover 12, 10, 8
Bench Dip 10, 10, 10
Repeat the circuit three times through.
164 total reps at 6 seconds per rep = 984 seconds, or about 16 and a
half minutes; plus 30 seconds rest between the first and second circuit
and second and third circuit, totals 17 and a half minutes, leaving 2
and a half minutes for switching from exercise to exercise within the
It will add a few minutes to the session, but if you prefer, you can
instead break this workout up into a superset and tri-set, first doing
the incline flye and press back-to-back three times through, then the
flat-bench press, pullover and bench dip back-to-back-to-back three
times through. Reconfiguring the workout in this manner eliminates the
need to adjust your bench mid-set from the incline to the flat setting,
but it does add rest time, as you should rest 30 seconds between each
superset and tri-set.
Workout #2: Dumbbells and Barbells
Flat-Bench Barbell Press 15, 12, 10
Flat-Bench Dumbbell Flye 12, 10, 8
Incline Barbell Press 12, 10, 8
Incline Dumbbell Flye 12, 10, 8
Push-Up 12, 12, 12
Repeat the circuit three times through. Use a very light weight for a
warm up on your first set of flat-bench presses. For safety, have a
spotter on hand during both pressing exercises.
163 total reps at 6 seconds per rep = 978 seconds, or about 16 and a
half minutes; plus 30 seconds rest between the first and second and
second and third circuits, totals about 17 and a half minutes, leaving
2 and a half minutes for switching from exercise to exercise within the
We list 12 reps for the push-up, but if you really want to tax yourself
to the limit, go to failure on each set. Because of pectoral fatigue,
you may need to drop your pressing and flye weights each subsequent
circuit (instead of the standard pyramid-up scheme), but going to
failure on push-ups will help ensure you've worked every muscle fiber
in your chest thoroughly.
Workout #3: Machines
Seated Machine Lateral Raise 15, 12, 10, 8
Seated Machine Press 10, 10, 8, 8
Reverse-Pec Deck Flye 12, 12, 10, 8
Reverse Cable Crossover 12, 12, 10, 8
Repeat the circuit four times through.
165 total reps at 6 seconds per rep = 990 seconds, or 16 and a half
minutes; plus 30 seconds rest between the first and second, second and
third and third and fourth circuits, totals about 18 minutes, leaving 2
minutes for switching from exercise to exercise within the circuits.
Because you're using machines and can switch weight effortlessly from
set to set, take advantage by pushing yourself '" select challenging
weights, and if you fail mid-set, simply drop the weight by 10% or so
and complete the prescribed reps. Choosing heavy enough weights to
start each set that you
to drop mid-set will add an extra dimension of intensity to your session.