The ideal upper body chest and triceps workout routine activates the target muscle groups as much as possible. The number of sets and repetitions per set depend on your training goals. The National Federation of Personal Trainers recommends that you exhaust your muscles within four to six repetitions for size and strength training. Use the amount that exhausts your muscles within 12 to 15 repetitions for general conditioning or stamina training. Complete four sets to build size and strength, or five sets for stamina training and general conditioning.
The guillotine press targets the middle and lower fibers of your pectoralis major muscles, while minimizing the involvement of the deltoids. Lie beneath a loaded barbell, feet on the bench with a flattened lower back. Use and overhand grip that is wider than your shoulders. Keep your upper arms perpendicular to your trunk as you lower the bar to the top of your chest. Do not bounce the bar on your chest. Exhale and lift to your start position.
Dumbbell Incline Press
The dumbbell incline press activates the upper fibers of your pectoral muscles. Grasp one dumbbell in each hand and sit on bench, with the back support set at approximately 45 degrees. Hold the dumbbells out to the side of your chest with your palms facing forward, and forearm beneath the weight. Push the weights up along a slightly arched path, which move the dumbbells inward and toward each other above your head. Lower the weights back to the starting position until you feel a slight stretch in your chest to complete each rep.
Target your triceps and lower pectoral fibers with weighted dips. Fasten a dip belt around your waist, which allow you to attach weighted plates to your waist. You also may grasp a dumbbell between your ankles. Mount a wide dip bar using an oblique grip, which positions the bar diagonally beneath your palms. Straighten your arms, bend your hips and bend your knees. Lower your body by bending your arms and allowing your elbows to flare out to sides. Complete the rep by pushing your body up until you arms are straight. Dips can also be performed using only body weight.
Overhead rope extensions offer an alternative cable exercise for you triceps. Fasten a rope attachment to a low cable pulley. Grasp the rope with both hands with your back facing the pulley station. Extend your arms straight up with your elbows close to your head. Position the palms of your hands facing each other, and point your knuckles toward the ceiling. Slowly lower the rope behind your head as you inhale, while keeping your elbows pointed up. Pause when your triceps are fully stretched, then straighten your arms to return to the starting position.
- T Nation; Inside the Muscles: Best Chest and Triceps Exercises; Bret Contreras; February 2010
- ExRx.net: Dumbbell Incline Bench Press
- ExRx.net: Weighted Chest Dip
- Jim Stoppani: Cable Overhead Triceps Extension
- National Federation of Personal Trainers; Personal Fitness Trainer Manual; Ron J. Clarke; 2008