Complete Chest and Triceps Workout for Building Size

If you are having trouble getting the most out of your chest and triceps workout then you’ve come to the right place.

I am going to share with you my complete chest and triceps workout that help you to gain impressive size and total definition.

What you’re about to learn is unlike any other chest and triceps you’ve probably heard of before.

I have tried every possible workout routine under the sun and none were as effective as my current chest and triceps workout.

I’ve always preferred training two muscle groups in one session. This is what’s known as a split routine. With every gym session, I usually train a large muscle group and a small muscle group and spend about 60-90 minutes in the gym.


Here’s a breakdown of a Chest and Triceps Routine that I follow with great results. If you new to weight training then I wouldn’t recommend it for beginners. But if you are thinking of doing it, I’d recommend only completing 1-2 sets per exercise. Advanced trainers with one or more years lifting experience can follow the routine as shown. To get the best results try to keep your rest peroids between 30-60 seconds between sets.

abs before and afterChest Workout

  • Bench Press (Barbell) – 4 Sets/8-12 Reps
  • Incline Bench Press (Barbell) – 4 Sets/8-12 Reps
  • Weighted Push-ups – 3 Sets / 8-12 Reps
  • Dumbbell Pullovers – 3 Sets /8-12 Reps
  • Standing Cable Flyes – 3 Sets / 10-12 Reps

Triceps Workout

  • Flat Bench Triceps Extension – 3 Sets / 10-12 Reps
  • Overhead Rope Extensions – 3 Sets / 10-12 Reps
  • Dips (Weighted Dips) – 3 Sets / 10-12 Reps
  • Triceps Cable Pushdown – 3 Sets / 10-12 Reps
  • Overhead Dumbbell Extensions – 3 Sets / 10-12 Reps

Warm-up Before Every Workout

Before any big workout you want to make sure you do some kind of warm up. If you decide to skip warming up, you’re going to burn out quicker than your workout. You won’t get as many rep and sets in.

I usually warm up on the bench press by doing 2-3 sets at 40kg (88lbs).

Then I’d go straight into my main chest workout which I’ll explain below:  You can do the same yourself, whatever way you like to warm up, always do it even it’s it’s jogging on the treadmill for 5 minutes.

Warming up is crucial to increase blood flow to your muscles and to avoid injuring yourself.

I try to make each exercise as intense as possible with a short rest period of 30 seconds between each set. I like to keep my muscles warm the entire time and to make every set and repetition matter.

Also don’t be one of these guys standing around chatting between sets or texting on your phone as you see a lot of guys doing this instead of focusing on the workout at hand.

“After all, you want to get maximum benefits from your workout. So make the most of it”

Proper Form and Technique

I use to have a habit of just going through the motion whilst doing any weighted exercise instead of contracting the muscles and doing strict movements.

Like any exercise you do requires proper form and technique, so make sure you know what you’re doing before using any heavy equipment. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

There are tons of video tutorials that teach you all about good form and technique, so make sure to do your homework to avoid injury.

Introduce Drop-Set’s To Your Workout

If you really want to get the most out of your chest workout, then try introducing drop-sets into your workout program every now and again to maximize your muscle building potential.

What are drop sets?

It’s when you extend the set past its usual boundaries. Let’s say you are bench pressing 100kgs ( 220 lbs) and you fail on the 5th rep. This doesn’t mean you’re not able to a complete set of 8 repetitions. It just means you are temporarily unable to bench 100kgs. But if you took off 10kgs, (5 kgs from both sides fo the bar) and kept going you would probably be able to to get at least 5 more reps. But if you want to get the most out of drop-sets, be sure to hit failure on every repetition before reducing the weight.

For each exercise, you going to complete 4 sets of 8-12 reps

Chest Workout

Exercise 1 – Bench Press (barbell)

4 sets of 8-12 reps
Drop set on last set

Rest: 30-60 seconds between sets.

bench press

Everything I do in the gym is based on progression and that means adding a small amount of weight to the bar until I can bench my target weight.

increasebencharnold copySo for instance, if you can only manage to do 5 reps at 50kgs always try to add as little as 5kgs to the bar each week as you become stronger.

Begin by lifting a weight you feel comfortable doing. I usually start off with 80kg and add-on 10kgs after each set.

Right now my max lift is 130kg but it took a while to get to that stage. As long as you keep adding as little as 5kgs to the bar after each set it’s progress.

Train to failure

I usually train to failure on my last set and it never fails to give me an awesome pump.

When performing this exercise, try to arch your lower back so that your chest sticks out.

This will put less pressure on your shoulder muscles and put more emphasis on your upper chest and give you more lifting power.

You don’t need to do this on every exercise but since bench press is one of the main exercises, you want to get the most out of it.

Note: Sometimes you will hit a Plataea in your workout, but that’s okay. Just stick to a weight that you can manage until you feel you’re strong enough to add more weight.

Beginner’s Bench Press

If your a beginner, then start off with a light-weight and gradually increase the weight as you become stronger.

It will take a few weeks but if you stay consistent and keep pushing yourself, you will get there soon enough.

Read: 5 Best Chest Exercises For Beginners

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you!

Get a spotter to minimize the risks while benching

It always helps to have somebody spot you when you lift heavy weight. Most of the time when I train chest I usually have my gym buddy on hand.

It always helps because when I find myself struggling to rep 100 kgs he always makes it a bit easier by taking some of the weight off.

Out of all chest exercises, I’d say bench press is the most dangerous if you’re not careful.  So always have a spotter close by when you’re lifting heavy weight.

The last thing you want to happen is the bar to fall on top of you and crush you that could leave you out for months.

After your done doing bench press you should get a good pump and it’s time to hit the rest of your chest with three more exercises.

Exercise 2 – Incline Bench Press (Barbell)

4 sets of 8-12 reps
Drop set on last sets (optional)

Rest: 30-60 seconds between sets.

incline barbell press

By the time your finished doing bench press, you should be fully warmed up and ready to do some incline bench press exercises.

Aim to lift a heavy weight, not too heavy but as long as you are able for it. Complete four sets, and if you want to do drop-sets on the last set then go ahead.

Exercise 3 – Weighted Push-Ups

Complete 3 Sets of 8-12 Reps

Rest: 30-60 seconds between sets.

weighted pushup

Another one of my favorite chest exercises is weighted push-ups. I’ve been doing this one for over a year now and it has definitely helped me get better gains much quickly from doing this exercise.

There are several push-up variations that you can do. You can do push-ups wearing a weighted vest or just place a 20 kg plate on your back which is what I prefer the most.

If you like you can always increase the weight but if you’re a beginner starting out I’d advice you to use lighter weight to avoid injury.

As a side note, if for whatever reason you find it difficult to do this exercise don’t bother using a weight, just do normal push-ups instead.

As you get stronger you can put a plate on your back or use a weighted vest.

If you prefer, you can even do them by putting your feet up on a bench (decline push-up) to intensify the workout a little bit.

Trust me, this is a really good workout and you should feel a good pump from it especially if you leave it until the very end of your workout.

Exercise 4 – Dumbbell Pullovers

Complete 3 Sets of 8-12 Reps
Rest: 30-60 seconds between sets.

dumbbell pullovers

This exercise is great for widening your chest muscles. Just lay on a flat bench with a heavy dumbbell 20-30kg. It also works your lats.

Exercise 5 -Standing Cable Flyes

Complete 3 Sets of 8-12Reps

Rest: 30-60 seconds between sets. 

cable flyes

Note: I think it’s a good idea to change your chest workout every couple of weeks, because If you keep doing the same exercises over and over again your body will use to the same motion and your muscles will stop growing.

In this final chest exercise, I usually finish off with standing cable flyes.

It’s always a good idea to include a variety of chest exercise as it will help promote muscle mass much sooner.

There are several different ways of doing flyes, you can do them on the flye machine, cable machine or dumbbell flyes. I like to do a different fly exercise each week.

This exercise will really tone and widen your chest as it really puts the strain on your chest and really stretches it out. Make sure to give your chest a good squeeze the entire time you do this exercise.

By the time you’re finished doing this, you should be fairly burnt out unable to do anymore reps and that’s actually a good thing!

So that’s your complete chest workout out of the way.

As soon as I finish training chest, I always move onto doing triceps. Like I said earlier it’s best to train a large muscle group first before training a smaller muscle group.

If you were to do train legs and chest on the same day, you would not be able to put an equal amount of intensity into your workout.

Triceps Workout

Exercise 1 – Lying Barbell Triceps Extension

Complete 3 Sets of 10-12 Reps
Rest: 30-60 seconds between sets.

skull crushers

This exercise is great for adding thickness to your triceps, especially if you go heavy. They are also called skullcrushers.

Exercise 2 – Double Arm Triceps Push-downs (With Rope)

Complete 3 Sets of 10-12 Reps
Rest:30-60 seconds between sets.

cable pushdown

You can do this exercise using a rope or bar if you like.

While you’re doing this try to extend your wrist all the way to the bottom, palms facing down, really squeeze your triceps muscle every time.

Just make sure you keep your elbows locked into your sides. Your elbow joint should be all that is moving throughout.

Cable pull downs are really great for isolating the triceps muscle.

Exercise 3: Bent-over Triceps Extension (With Rope)

Complete 3 Sets of 10-12 Reps

Rest:30-60 seconds between sets.

over head rope extension

This is a similar exercise to the previous one but this time you’re extending the rope above your head with your back facing the machine.

While you’re doing this exercise focus on extending your arms all the way out, then squeezing your tricep muscle each time you extend the rope over your head.

Exercise 4 – Triceps Dips

Complete 3 Sets of 10-12 Reps

Rest:30-60 seconds between sets.


If you want, you can just regular dips or weighted dips for triceps. I am at a stage where I am strong enough to do weighted dips (with a dumbbell between my ankles).

If you’re only able to manage 5 at a time, don’t worry it’s still progress. Each week you will
find yourself doing more until you’re ready to add weight for extra resistance. I remember I could only do one. 🙂

Place both hands on either side of the bar and as you lower your body and come up, bend your elbows, but not move the shoulders so that your arms are parallel and as you lower your body and come back up squeeze your triceps muscles.

Make sure you don’t lean forward because if you do it will only work your shoulder muscles.

So keep your back straight, squeeze your triceps as you lower your body. Your triceps should do all the work.  For a more advanced triceps dip, try holding a dumbbell between your legs to intensity each lift.

And finally to finish off your triceps workout for the day…

Exercise 5 – Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extension

Complete 3 Sets of 10-12 Reps
Rest: 30-60 seconds between sets

standing dumbell tricpes extension

I usually like to finish off my triceps workout doing “overhead dumbbell triceps extensions”. You can perform this exercise either sitting on a bench or standing up.

I prefer standing. All you have to do is hold a dumbbell over your heard in a heart-shaped grip, with your elbows tucked in, raise and lower the dumbbell and repeat.

I’ve been doing these exercises for years and I’m confident that if you do them yourself you will get great results as long as you remain consistent with them.

Hope you liked my chest and triceps workout and I definitely recommend it if you have been struggling to back on size and definition in your upper body. If you know a friend who might benefit from this workout then send it on to them by clicking the share button on the side.

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About the Author

I created this website to help people that are struggling to build muscle and lose weight. I love working out and motivating others to do the same, and to get in the best shape of their life. Read my story here. Also go ahead and Like us on Facebook.

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