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Chest to Treasure Program: Chest Workout With Dumbbells At Home

What’s the most popular exercise in the gym? 

With 20 years of personal training behind me, I’ll safely say it’s the bench press. 

Why? 

Because guys want a big chest.

Period. 

Whether it’s because they want to emulate the pecced-up pics of classic bodybuilders, or they want to boast of a 250+ bench press.

On any given day you’ll see a lot of people doing a lot of pressing.

Unfortunately, many chest programs store up injuries in the long term. I know, because I’ve had them. 

As a young gym goer, I was all about the show muscles – chest, shoulders, and biceps. It didn’t matter then, because I was young, stupid, and bulletproof. I cringe when I look back at how I trained then, knowing what I know now.

A person performing bench press

The badly-written programs I followed contributed to shoulder imbalances that caused me a fair amount of pain (and money with physical therapy) to correct in my thirties.

The good news is you don’t have to suffer. I’m putting two decades of training knowledge, research and scientific literature into the Chest to Treasure program. 

You’ll build a great chest and healthy shoulders, protecting you from injury as you do so. 

In this chest workout program, you’ll increase your max bench press and add some serious muscle, making it a double win for you.

And best of all… these chest exercises are entirely possible in a home gym without needing specialist equipment.

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Table Of Contents
  1. Chest to Treasure Program: Build a great chest and improve your bench
  2. 5 Steps to use the Chest to Treasure Program to build a great chest and improve your bench
  3. Notes on the Chest to Treasure program design
  4. Chest to Treasure Program: What you’ll need
  5. Chest to Treasure Program: The Workouts
  6. A Chest to Treasure Program: FAQs
  7. Chest to Treasure Program: The bottom line

Chest to Treasure Program: Build a great chest and improve your bench

A great chest workout won’t just make you look great, it’ll help you athletically as well. 

chest workout infographic

Explosive pushing strength is a useful ability in lots of sports. It’ll also help your shoulders. Here are these benefits in a little more detail.

Benefit 1: You’ll be a better athlete…

Upper body pushing strength will benefit you in sports such as American Football, Rugby, Wrestling, throwing events and various forms of combat. A great upper body pressing program will help you to develop these.

It’s also useful in day-to-day life because upper body strength helps to lift, carry and hold things!

Benefit 2: You’ll improve your shoulder health

A lot of chest programs just rely on a series of chest exercises that increase the amount of internal rotation of the shoulder. This has a knock-on effect that causes imbalances all around the shoulder joint, which goes on to affect the neck as well. 

This program will correct these and help you enjoy a pain-free training life. 

Benefit 3: You’ll build a great chest

This program considers anatomy as well as exercises, combining both to ensure you benefit fully. You’ll explore different training tools and use them for your benefit, not simply for the sake of variety. 

Know both how and why you change your chest exercise selection and you’ll enrich your whole training experience.


5 Steps to use the Chest to Treasure Program to build a great chest and improve your bench

Step 1: Hit the chest workouts three times per week

The Chest to Treasure program is designed to be performed three times per week, on a two-week rotation. One of the sessions is a volume chest workout, designed to build muscle and train the slow twitch fibers.

This is a more ‘traditional’ bodybuilding style – various angles, higher rep ranges, and more about aesthetics.

The other is a strength workout, designed to help you add bigger numbers to your bench press. This is much more streamlined, focused on heavier weights, lower reps, and would follow a more powerlifting style program. 

Here’s how I suggest you split your training fortnight…

Week 1

Monday: Chest to Treasure: Volume

Tuesday: A back/pull/legs program (check out our back exercises program here)

Wednesday: Chest to Treasure: Strength

Thursday: A back/pull/legs program

Friday: Chest to Treasure: Volume

Weekend: Rest

Week 2

Monday: Chest to Treasure: Strength

Tuesday: A back/pull/legs program

Wednesday: Chest to Treasure: Volume

Thursday: A back/pull/legs program

Friday: Chest to Treasure: Strength

Weekend: Rest

Doing it this way will ensure you are hitting your chest with plenty of volume AND plenty of strength work, whilst still allowing for plenty of rest at the weekends.

Chest Workout 1: Volume

Chest ExerciseSetsReps
1. Hand Elevated Push Ups515
2. Incline Dumbbell Press512
3. Dumbbell Fly410
4. Dips410
5. Cable Fly415
6. Single Arm Dumbbell Press310

Chest Workout 2: Strength

Chest ExerciseSetsReps
(1.) Hand Elevated Push Ups415
7. Barbell Bench Press55
8. Flat Dumbbell Bench Press46
9. Decline Barbell Bench Press45
10. Barbell Bench Press (negatives)46
11. Floor Press45

Don’t do these workouts on consecutive days. Give your muscles and neural system time to rest and recover before hitting the next one. 

There are only two chest workouts per week in this program. You should be giving a lot of attention to pulling, leg and core movements as well. 

If all you do is chest day, frankly, you’re a moron!

Step 2: Warm up sensibly

Remember this is a CHEST program, so make sure your upper body is warm. Don’t sit on a stationary bike for 5 minutes, or walk on a treadmill and think that’s sufficient. It’s not.

I want you to include a 5-minute cardio warm-up for blood flow etc, but make sure the item of cardio equipment you pick includes an upper body element. I’m thinking rowing machine, ski erg, air bike, cross trainer. 

If you’re a home gym user without access to these things, 5 minutes of skipping/jump rope works too. 

Just make sure you involve your upper body too – get plenty of movement in your shoulders, arms, chest etc. 

By moving your upper body you’re moving blood into the area, you’re making your muscles and connective tissues more elastic and receptive to movement. This is really important when it comes to reducing your injury risk.

A person warming up on a static bike

Once you’ve done that, a couple of sets of 5 push-ups will help you engage the chest and get the scapular movement pattern in place.

If you’re still feeling like you need a little more warming up, perform a bench press set of 5 reps with an empty barbell. Add 50lbs to the bar and perform a set of 3 reps. Add another 50lbs to the bar for 3 reps. 

Repeat this until you reach your working weight and begin your workout. 

This is a great way to practice form and make sure the appropriate muscle groups are warmed up before exercise. And this shouldn’t take any more than 10 minutes.

Chest workout warm up

Step 3: Push yourself to make constant improvement – especially on strength day

One of the outcomes of the Chest to Treasure program is an increased bench press. In order to do this, you need to be consistently pushing yourself to hit bigger and bigger numbers (never by sacrificing form, however). 

I’m happy with you increasing the weight each week and failing your final rep on a set, as long as you’re pushing yourself. A good indication of improvement is when you add around 2-5% per week. So if you start your program benching 100LBS for 5 reps on the first week, on the next week shoot for 102-105 LBS.

The week after go for 105-110LBS for example.

Continue this weekly progress until you are struggling to hit 4 reps after the first couple of sets. At that point, keep lifting the weight that is making you struggle until it becomes easy, then make the next increase.

Step 4: Take as long as you need (60-90 minute workouts)

Unlike programs that are designed to maximize calorie burn, strength programs are designed to allow enough rest to maximize strength output. For that reason, I’m not interested in capping your rest periods.

Rest as long as you need to – don’t worry about taking a 2-3 minutes between your sets on the strength workout day. 

If you fail to lift the reps on any given set allow 5 minutes to recover and go again. 

On each set you should be sufficiently rested that you’re ready to lift heavy again. If you are able to manage 5 reps on the first set, then only 2 on the second set, you’re not rested enough. You need to take longer between sets. 

On the volume day the rules still apply – I want you rested enough to get the volume out. If you can’t hit 80%+ percent of the subsequent sets, it’s not because the weight is wrong (if the weight was wrong, you wouldn’t manage the reps in the first place), it’s because you haven’t rested for long enough.

If these workouts take you 90 minutes, so be it. Just don’t elongate the time by getting lost in scrolling Instagram!

Step 5: Don’t mix the workouts

These workouts are kept separate for good reason – I don’t want you to mix modalities. When it’s a strength day, focus on strength. When it’s a volume day, focus on volume.

You may think that you’re doubling up the value and results by performing one HUGE chest workout a couple of times per week, but we have to think longer term here.

By performing a huge workout you’re going to bring about a higher level of fatigue, and you’re going to do it more quickly.

By separating the workouts you’re providing plenty of muscle stimulation, but you’re also training to a level that will allow sufficient recovery before the next workout. 

If you were to perform a huge, 2-3 hours chest workout you’d increase injury risk, you’d certainly take longer to recover and finally, you’d compromise your strength because you wouldn’t have the energy to lift heavy enough weight for enough time.

Do each workout to your maximum capability, eat enough to recover (plenty of protein), get enough sleep and trust the process.


Notes on the Chest to Treasure program design

Part of my mission in these articles is to not only program effective workouts for you, but also to educate you. I want you to understand the thinking behind what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. 

Notes on the Chest to treasure program design

Read these notes and you’ll understand more about the thinking behind the exercises in the workout.

Scapular movement is integral to shoulder health in a chest program

You’ll notice both workouts start with relatively high rep push ups, in a hand-elevated style. 

This isn’t an accident, it’s for shoulder health – something that you should ignore at your peril! Most chest programs are a recipe for storing shoulder problems, because they don’t allow for effective movement and stability of the scapular. 

According to a 2013 research paper by Paine and Voight, poor scapular movement can cause…

  1. Abnormal stresses to the anterior capsular structures of the shoulder
  2. Increased possibility of rotator cuff compression 
  3. Decreased shoulder complex neuromuscular performance

By starting the workouts with the push ups we encourage healthy movement and use of the scapular, which should help to prevent shoulder pain.

Note: the shoulders are somewhat engaged when doing a chest workout, but they are not the main focus here. If you want to focus on your shoulders, check out our article on shoulder exercises.

Variety of training movements

If this was a pure strength program, I’d be less worried about hitting the chest from a variety of angles. However, because it’s a bodybuilding program as well, we have to consider the importance of joint angles and the variety of muscle stimulation.

You’ll notice we are performing chest exercises from a variety of angles – flat, incline, decline and we’re using adduction in there too. These are really helpful from a muscle building point of view – there’s a lot of muscle fibers stimulated with this level of variety.

Never neglect stretching the chest 

In the chest workouts you’ll notice there are ways of making sure the range of movement can be extended – we’ve elevated the hands with push-ups, and there’s the use of dumbbells and also cables.

This is to push the chest beyond its normal range of movement and encourage a stretch. In doing so, we increase the time under tension of the muscles and improve the range of movement and connective tissue health and flexibility.

Think ALL the chest muscles

If you’re new to training, you’ll probably be unaware that the chest muscles (the pectorals) consist of several other muscles, both superficial (on the surface) and deep (hidden underneath other muscles).

Anatomy of the chest

We’re focusing on training all of the pectoral muscles (pectoralis major, pectoralis minor, serratus anterior, and subclavius) and we do this with different chest exercises.

This is why we include a variety of exercises with different angles of attack. We have to work with our anatomy. 

Balanced lifting for the entire shoulder and chest complex

In this program you will be using dumbbells, barbells, cables, and bodyweight. This is to encourage activation of a lot of the small stabilizing muscles in and around the shoulders, upper back, and neck. There’s also a slight core activation element too with the push-ups and single-arm press.

These chest exercises aren’t just for vanity – there’s a functional element that you just won’t get with machines such as a chest press or a pec deck.

Why are there two chest workouts? Wouldn’t one work the same?

The short answer is no, one workout wouldn’t work the same. 

The longer answer is there are two workouts because we have two goals with a slightly different training approach required. One of our goals is to increase muscle size and the other is to increase muscle strength.

The good news is that by mixing the approaches, we complement both outcomes with one program.

In order to maximize our muscle size, we have to train all of the different muscle fiber types. This means we need to make sure we’re performing a lot of high-volume chest workouts to train the slow twitch muscle fibers, as well as the fast twitch fibers.

We grow the fast twitch muscle fibers (and improve our strength) with the heavy weight, low rep workout. Because these workouts rely on the fast twitch fibers mostly, they (sort of) give the slow twitch fibers the day off, allowing them to rest and recover ahead of the next session.


Chest to Treasure Program: What you’ll need

Here’s a list of the equipment you’re going to need to do these chest workouts without making any changes to them…

If you have all of these you’ll be able to perform the program without any alterations to the exercises.


Chest to Treasure Program: The Workouts

As mentioned, there are two chest workouts in the Chest to Treasure program – a volume day and a strength day, performed across a two-week cycle. Here are the exercises across the two workouts…

Volume workout

ExerciseSetsReps
1. Deficit Push Ups515
2. Incline Dumbbell Press512
3. Dumbbell Fly410
4. Dips410
5. Cable Fly (if you have the means)415
6. Single Arm Dumbbell Press310

1. Deficit push ups

The deficit push up really forces a stretch across the chest. It also engages the pectoral muscles through a huge range of movement, making it a fantastic chest exercise. Deficit push ups are very simple to set up in a home gym, take almost zero equipment and there’s very little technique to learn.

It’s also an exercise that you can progress easily – just make the deficit bigger. The deficit can be created with dumbbells, plates, boxes etc.

Equipment needed for deficit push ups:

  • Dumbbells, plates or push up handles

How to do deficit push ups:

  • Set your deficit to an appropriate width and height. Wider and higher means more pectoral engagement.
  • Start with arms fully extended and lower yourself down through the movement.
  • Lower yourself until you’ve reached full depth. You’re looking for more than 90 degree elbow bend and a full stretch of the chest.
  • Slowly press yourself back up to a straight arm position.
  • Repeat as many times as required.

2. Incline Dumbbell Press

An incline dumbbell bench press is a great variant of the exercise for a number of reasons… It stimulates the upper chest more. It forces each side to work independently, so you don’t bias one side. It allows a greater range of movement. It’s easy to learn. In short, it’s a great exercise and ideal in any chest program. 

Equipment needed for incline dumbbell bench press:

  • Dumbbells
  • Bench

SMRFT Nüobell 80LB Adjustable Dumbbells

SMRFT Nüobell 80LB Classic
Read our best adjustable dumbbell guide here

These are the dumbbells we recommend for ‘most people’.

We have spent over 50 hours of research and compared over 100 dumbbells. Adjustable dumbbells make sense for most home gyms as they save space.

The Nüobell dumbbells go all the way to 80lbs per hand. This means they are much more versatile than most 50lbs adjustable dumbbells. You can use these for heavy shrugs, squats and bench press etc.

The main reason they are the top pick is because of their shape. They actually feel like real dumbbells and are not awkward to lift like some others.

How to do incline dumbbell bench press:

  • Set the bench to an incline – the steeper the incline, the more you involve the shoulders
  • With a dumbbell in each hand, lie back and position them over your chest
  • You can use either an overhand or neutral (palms facing each other) grip
  • Slowly lower the dumbbells towards your chest, bending your elbows outwards until you reach a good stretch
  • At full depth, pause and push the dumbbells back up to a full extension
  • Repeat as many times as necessary

3. Dumbbell Flyes

The dumbbell fly is a great way of challenging the chest. It includes a pectoral stretch, an eccentric contraction of the muscles and controlled internal rotation at the shoulder.

The dumbbell fly is a very popular exercise in bodybuilding circles because it’s a perfect way to add variety and stress the muscle fibers in a new way.

Equipment needed for dumbbell flyes:

  • Bench
  • Dumbbells

REP AB-3000 Bench

REP AB-3000 Weight Bench
Read our best weight bench guide here

This is the weight bench we recommend for ‘most people’.

We compared over 70 benches against 12 criteria. This is our highest-ranked flat, incline & decline (FID) bench.

Some adjustable benches can be a bit wobbly when on the incline. But the AB-3000 is very sturdy.

With a height 18mm it’s comparable to benches that cost twice as much.

How to do dumbbell flyes:

  • Set the bench to the incline of your choosing
  • Pick the dumbbells up, lie back and hold them directly in front of you
  • Lower them slowly out to the sides, maintaining an almost-straight arm throughout the movement
  • When you feel a full stretch, pause and push the dumbbells back up under control
  • Repeat as many times as necessary

4. Parallel bar dips

As a bodyweight exercise, dips require a lot of use of stabilizing muscles around the shoulders, but they are an excellent way of hitting the chest from a different angle to most pressing movements. This variety is key in maximizing the growth potential of the chest, as well as strength in multiple planes of movement.

Equipment needed for dips:

  • Parallel bars
  • Power tower
  • Power rack with dip attachments

REP PR-4000 Power Rack

REP-PR-4000 Power Rack
Read our best squat rack guide here

Looking for an affordable yet high quality power rack?

Look no further!

After comparing over 100 types of squat racks the PR-4000 came out on top.

You can add any attachment to it (including cables, dip bars and plate holders). You can even add additional uprights to back to make it even more of a beast!

The 1 inch westside hole spacing means you can position the spotter arms to the ideal height when you bench press. So you can safely drop the bar and have a full range of motion when you lift.

And the 3×3″ 11 gauge steel make this the best value rack we could find.

How to do dips:

  • Take hold of the bars with a firm grip and jump to the start position, with arms at full extension
  • Leaning forward slightly, initiate the movement by pushing the elbows back
  • Continue the descent until you reach a 90 degree or further elbow bend – you’re looking to achieve a good pectoral muscle stretch
  • At full depth, pause and push yourself back up to a full extension
  • Repeat as many times as necessary

5. Cable Fly

The cable fly is a simple exercise that is often confused with a crossover. The difference is simple enough – in the crossover the hands cross over… in the fly they don’t! It’s a way to engage the chest in a different plane of movement, whilst forcing control with the eccentric contraction element. A great high rep exercise.

Equipment needed for cable fly:

How to do cable fly:

  • Set the handles in line with the chest
  • Stand with your chest upright and a handle in each hand – the weight stack should be lifted when your arms are at full extension, to keep the muscles working throughout the full range
  • Keeping the chest up and the arms at (almost) full extension, pull the hands together in the middle of the chest
  • Pause, then slowly return the handles out wide
  • Repeat as many times as required

6. Single arm dumbbell bench press

The single arm dumbbell bench press may be the most beneficial type of bench press there is.

It’s a single-sided chest workout.

This means there’s no way a dominant side can take over the movement. It’s anti-rotation, because the core has to engage to prevent the torso from rolling to one side.

It’s also excellent for chest and shoulder health because the extra range of motion helps to stretch. Although it takes longer to train each side individually, it’s really worth it in this case.

Equipment needed for single arm dumbbell bench press:

  • Dumbbells
  • Bench

How to do single arm dumbbell bench press:

  • With a dumbbell one, lie back and position them over your chest
  • You can use either an overhand or neutral (palms facing inward) grip
  • Slowly lower the dumbbell towards the side of your chest, bending your elbows outwards until you reach a good stretch
  • Engage the core throughout to prevent your torso rotating to the side 
  • At full depth, pause and push the dumbbells back up to a full extension
  • Repeat as many times as necessary

Strength workout

Chest ExercisesSetsReps
(1.) Deficit Push Ups415
7. Barbell Bench Press55
8. Flat Dumbbell Bench Press46
9. Decline Barbell Bench Press45
10. Barbell Bench Press (negatives)46
11. Floor Press45

1. Deficit push-ups (same as #1 above)

7. Barbell bench press

The most popular chest exercise of all…

I couldn’t write a chest program without including the barbell bench press! The bench press in this case is a real test of upper body pressing strength, so make sure you’re pushing hard here. I want you to use this as your main measure of pressing strength, so give it all you have.

Equipment needed for bench press:

Rogue Ohio Cerakote Bar

Rogue Ohio Bar Cerakote
Read our best Olympic barbell guide here

This is the bar that we recommend for ‘most people’.

We have spent over 120 hours of research and tested over 100 barbells.

It is affordable but comes with some high specs. The Rogue Work Hardening and 190k PSI tensile strength mean the bar will last a lifetime in a home gym.

It is a multi-purpose bar with a 28.5mm diameter shaft and composite bushings in the sleeves. This means it’s balanced for heavy slow bench presses but you can also perform snatches and fast overhead lifts.

How to do a bench press:

  • Lie under the barbell, with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders
  • Taking the bar off the rack, position it over your chest
  • Slowly lower the bar to your chest, bending your elbows outwards until you reach a depth around 1 inch from your chest
  • At full depth, pause and push the bar back to the starting position
  • Repeat as many times as necessary

8. Dumbbell bench press

The dumbbell bench press is my favorite of the traditional chest exercises. I like it because the free weight element forces stability on both sides of the body, so is particularly good for creating functional balance.

The dumbbell bench press isn’t as popular with lifters, mostly because it hurts their ego (it’s harder, so you have to lift lighter weights!).

Equipment needed for dumbbell bench press:

  • Dumbbells
  • Bench

How to do dumbbell bench press:

  • With a dumbbell in each hand, lie back and position them over your chest
  • You can use either an overhand or neutral (palms facing each other) grip
  • Slowly lower the dumbbells towards your chest, bending your elbows outwards until you reach a good stretch
  • At full depth, pause and push the dumbbells back up to a full extension
  • Repeat as many times as necessary

9. Decline Barbell bench press

Decline barbell bench press isn’t as popular as other forms of the lift, but it’s a very effective way of hitting the lower chest. If you don’t have a bench that can decline, simply stack a couple of plates underneath to create a sufficient angle. As always, lift heavy, lift hard and keep your form good.

Equipment needed for decline bench press:

Rogue Fleck Bumper Plates

Rogue Fleck Bumper Plate
Read our best bumper plates guide here

Bumper plates are ideal for a home gym.

They can last a lifetime and allow you to do additional lifts which require you to drop the bar.

Our team has compared over 100 types and the Rogue Fleck plates came out on top.

They are great value, use color allowing you to quickly see how much you’re lifting and the pattern will give your home gym a unique look.

How to do decline bench press:

  • Set your bench to a decline – don’t go too steep, because you want a good range of movement
  • Lie under the barbell, with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders
  • Taking the bar off the rack, position it over your chest
  • Slowly lower the bar to your chest, bending your elbows outwards until you reach a depth around 1 inch from your lower chest
  • At full depth, pause and push the bar up to a full extension of the elbow
  • Repeat

10. Barbell bench press negatives

Why would I put two versions of the same chest exercise in the program?!

Simple – to increase the time under tension and to force a really deliberate version of the exercise. You can ‘rush’ reps when you’re pushing hard.

In this case, we’re slowing down the rep speed to really force the most from the exercise.

Equipment needed for bench press negatives:

How to do bench press negatives:

  • Lie under the barbell, with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders
  • Taking the bar off the rack, position it over your chest
  • Slowly lower the bar to your chest, taking a minimum of 4 seconds to reach the end point 
  • At full depth, pause and push the bar back to the starting position in a faster motion – around 1 second
  • Repeat

11. Floor press

The floor press isn’t a common chest exercise, but it’s a very effective way of training the chest without pushing the shoulders too far. It also prevents poor form that you could use on a cable crossover because you can’t ‘lean in’ to the exercise for extra momentum.

The back is fully supported throughout the lift so a position is maintained throughout.

Floor presses aren’t always a go-to exercise, but they’re a handy one to have in the locker when needed!

Equipment needed for floor presses:

  • Dumbbells

How to do floor presses

  • With a dumbbell in each hand, lie back and position them over your chest
  • You can use either an overhand or neutral (palms facing each other) grip
  • Slowly lower the dumbbells towards your chest, bending your elbows outwards until you almost reach the floor
  • At full depth, pause and push the dumbbells back up to a full extension
  • Repeat as many times as necessary

These are the two programs – use them both to complement one another. Don’t overdo it by combining it all into one massive workout. If you do that all you’ll do is end up spending too long in the gym, performing a low-quality version of two individual sessions.

Keep to two workouts, lifting to your maximum capability and enjoying the effects of more frequent muscle stimulation.


A Chest to Treasure Program: FAQs

1. What workouts should I do on my days off the program?

You need to focus on making sure you perform a lot of scapular retraction work to balance out your shoulder training. Scapular retraction is essentially upper back work, performed with a horizontal pulling movement. Think bent over rows, face pulls, inverted rows etc.

On top of this hit your legs and core hard. Squats, deadlifts, lunges, step-ups, etc are perfect.

You won’t need to do any direct arm work if you don’t want to, because you’re already training your upper body plenty with this program throughout the week.

2. I feel like I can squeeze an extra chest workout in at the weekend – should I?

No. Across the fortnight you’re training your chest six times – that’s plenty of muscle stimulation.

It’s not just about whether you could either – it’s about whether you should. The answer is no, because it’s not a good idea to do more work where you’ll encourage internal rotation of the shoulders. 

If you were to do another chest workout, you’d need to add in another workout with a lot of scapular retraction to protect your shoulders, so then you go from adding one extra workout per week, to adding two extra workouts.

Not a good idea.

3. How long should I run the Chest to Treasure program for?

Go hard at it for 6 weeks, then take a full break – whether that’s for one week or two is your call, but make sure you take some time to recover.

In that break, don’t just simply ‘not train’ your chest… use it to add in extra scapular retraction work, do a lot of chest stretching, and work in some thoracic spine mobility drills to ensure you keep yourself as healthy and mobile as possible.

4. How should I eat on the program?

This is certainly not a weight loss program, so you need to lift to grow. Think of the basis of a healthy diet… good quality lean protein, plenty of fruit and vegetables, good quality, clean carbs. A lot of water.

That’s your diet… just eat enough of it to grow and perform well.

How do you know if you’re eating enough? Simple – ask yourself are you lifting well? Sleeping well? Recovering properly in between sessions? If the answer is yes to all, you’re eating well. If it’s no, then up the quantities of food, just keep the quality high as well. Avoid the crap – garbage in, garbage out, remember.

5. How long should these workouts take?

As I said earlier, they’ll take as long as they’ll take. You should be resting enough to recover in between. That being said, I’d expect workouts to take no more than just over an hour.

If you’re spending two hours in the gym, you’ll need to up your effort. That’s too long for a program containing 6 exercises per workout.

6. I’m still sore after my last workout – can I still train?

Yes, you can. Just make sure that you’re fully warmed up. If you need to spend extra time on your warm-up and light sets. Lift within your capabilities as well – push yourself, but don’t max out. You’ll be recovered in time for your next session.


Chest to Treasure Program: The bottom line

Hopefully, here you’ve learned a lot about chest training and are excited about starting the chest workouts. They’re not easy, but they’re effective and if you give it 100%, you’ll see some great results over the next 6 weeks.

There’s a variety, plenty of interesting challenges, new exercises, and hard work ahead for you. So embrace it!

To get started, make sure you’ve read this article thoroughly and have printed off/stored these workouts somewhere, so you can get yourself into your gym and get busy! 

Let us know how you get on with the Chest to Treasure program – we love to see how our readers progress!

Make sure you check out our other workout programs to find one to complement this workout.

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Hi! My name is Steve Hoyles. I’m a personal trainer, gym owner and fitness copywriter. Since graduating with my Sports Science degree in 2004 I’ve worked in the fitness industry, helping thousands of people reach their health and fitness goals. My writing has been read by millions of people in over 200 countries.

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