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A Great Chest and Tricep Workout in 45 Minutes

Updated on January 29, 2015
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Don't have time to spend hours in the gym? Not many of us do. But this quick, 45-minute workout and a high-protein diet will help you get big pecs and toned triceps in no time.

Most people who are first getting into resistance training will spend all day in the gym, working out their biceps and trying to get ripped abs. What they don't understand is that any kind of resistance training is great for fat loss, but by focusing on your biceps your arms will get bigger much more slowly than by training your triceps. This is partly because your triceps make up 2/3 of your upper arm.

The chest and triceps are two of the muscles we use most every day. They are both "push" muscles. Whether you want to bulk up or just get in shape, exercising these two muscles is always a good idea.

So with no further delay, onto the workout!

Chest and Tricep Workout: Exercises 1 - 3

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Exercise One

The idea behind this chest and tricep workout is to blitz the muscles with compound exercises and then shred them with isolation exercises so that they are rebuilt even stronger. All in only 45 minutes.

Wide Grip Barbell Bench Press

How to perform this exercise:

  • Lie supine on the bench. Dismount the barbell from rack over upper chest, using a wide, oblique, overhand grip.

Execution:

  • Lower weight to mid-chest. Press bar upward until arms are extended. Repeat.

Sets and Reps: (Take a two minute break between sets)

  • Set 1: 6 repetitions - 70% of 1 rep maximum
  • Set 2: 6 repetitions - 80% of 1 rep maximum
  • Set 3: 6 repetitions - 80% of 1 rep maximum
  • Set 4: 6 repetitions - 70% of 1 rep maximum

Exercise Two

Incline Dumbell Bench Press

How to perform this exercise:

  • Sit down on incline bench with dumbbells resting on lower thigh.
  • Kick weights to shoulders and lean back.
  • Position dumbbells to sides of chest with upper arm under each dumbbell.

Execution:

  • Press dumbbells up with elbows to sides until arms are extended.
  • Lower weight to sides of upper chest until slight stretch is felt in chest or shoulder.
  • Repeat.

Sets and reps: Take a two minute break between sets.

  1. Set 1: 10 repetitions - 60% of 1 rep maximum
  2. Set 2: 6 repetitions - 80% of 1 rep maximum
  3. Set 3: 6 repetitions - 80% of 1 rep maximum
  4. Set 4: 6 repetitions - 80% of 1 rep maximum

Exercise Three

Decline Cable Crossovers

How to perform this exercise:

  • Grasp two opposing high-pulley dumbbell attachments.
  • Stand with pulleys to each side.
  • Bend over slightly by flexing hips and knees.
  • Bend elbows slightly and internally rotate shoulders so elbows are back initially.

Execution:

  • Bring cable attachments together in hugging motion with elbows in fixed position. Keep shoulders internally rotated so elbows are pointed upward at top and out to sides at bottom.
  • Return to starting position until chest muscles are stretched.
  • Repeat.

Sets and reps: Take a 1.5 minute break between sets.

  1. Set 1: 8 repetitions - 70% of 1 rep maximum
  2. Set 2: 6 repetitions - 80% of 1 rep maximum
  3. Set 3: 6 repetitions - 80% of 1 rep maximum
  4. Set 4: 6 repetitions - 70% of 1 rep maximum

Chest and Tricep Workout: Exercises 4 & 5

The triceps brachia muscles seen from behind.
The triceps brachia muscles seen from behind. | Source

Exercise Four

Tricep Dips

How to perform this exercise:

  • Mount shoulder width dip bar, arms straight with shoulders above hands. Keep hips straight.
  • Note: Some dip bars allow for varied hand widths, narrower at one end and wider at the opposite end. The Cybex assisted dip machine, for example, allows for grip-width adjustment by turning one or both handles in or out. The ideal width will depend upon one's size (ie: shoulder width) as well as intended target muscle group desired to emphasize.

Execution:

  • Lower body until slight stretch is felt in shoulders. Push body up until arms are straight. Repeat.

Sets and reps: Take a two-minute break between each set.

  1. Set 1: 8 Repetitions
  2. Set 2: 8 Repetitions
  3. Set 3: 8 Repetitions
  4. Set 4: 6 Repetitions

Exercise Five

Overhead Rope Tricep Extension

How to perform this exercise:

  • Attach a rope to a high pulley.
  • Face away from the pulley machine bent slightly forward with your back in a natural arch.
  • Keeping your upper arms steady, push the rope forward in front of your face by straightening your arms.
  • As your elbows begin to straighten, twist your forearms a little. (this will intensify the workout)
  • Do not lock your elbows.
  • Slowly return to the starting position.

Sets and reps: Take a two-minute break between each set.

  1. Set 1: 8 repetitions - 70% of 1 rep maximum
  2. Set 2: 6 repetitions - 80% of 1 rep maximum
  3. Set 3: 6 repetitions - 80% of 1 rep maximum
  4. Set 4: 6 repetitions - 80% of 1 rep maximum

Follow Up With Protein!

And that's it—a tough, yet effective chest and tricep workout in under 45 minutes. Follow this up with a reasonable dose of protein and you'll find getting the results you want is easier than you think.

Your Turn to Vote!

Did this 45-minute workout increase your arm and chest size?

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    • profile image

      Swagg 6 years ago

      Good work out would deffitely add a incline to that for the upper chest

    • profile image

      jeremy spedgcoff 6 years ago

      chest and tries are one of my favorate workouts. great information, very usefull

    • profile image

      Ac 5 years ago

      Nice work out..I will try it today but add one more tricep

    • profile image

      Tommy 3 years ago

      2 minutes between each INDIVIDUAL set?

    • stanmurphy profile image

      Stan Murphy 3 years ago from Kansas

      Really good stuff! You mentioned that it is tough and you were correct, but if you do the work, patience does pay off. Thanks for posting!

    • profile image

      Jared 3 years ago

      Great workout. gonna try it tonight

    • profile image

      dna1409 2 years ago

      what is meant by xx% of repetition?

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