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Bigger Pecs For Hardgainers

By Patrick Thompson, CPT


Development of a well-rounded chest is hard to come by, especially for hardgainers. While you might have preconceived ideas about if you should be doing low reps with high weight, or high reps with low weight, the truth is that you need to vary your rep ranges and weight selections for actual results. Building muscle is much more than simply pushing or pulling a weight; technique and time under tension are the gateway to real strength or muscle development.

In this hardgainer chest routine, you’ll find that you’re going to be doing many sets of mixed repetitions and tempos. While adding muscular size does boil down to calorie consumption based on your body type, the sets, reps, and consistency of the exercises play a vital role. Because of that, in this workout, you’ll perform a minimum of 150 repetitions.



This workout comes complete with specific sets, reps, tempo, intensity, and rest periods. The time under tension for each rep of this plan will recruit more muscle fibers for each exercise.


This Workout’s Tempo:

Two seconds down on each exercise rep

One second pause at the bottom of each exercise rep

Explode up

One second pause at the top of each exercise rep


Exercise Sets Reps Rest Period
Incline Dumbbell Press 5 5 1 Minute
Incline Cable Flye 3 12 90 seconds
Flat Dumbbell Flye on a Bench 4 8 1 Minute
Seated Cable Flye 2 15 90 seconds
Decline Cable Flye 2 15 90 seconds



Incline Dumbbell Press

Grab the dumbbells with a pronated (palms away) grip. Lie on a bench that is set at roughly 45 degrees. Your feet should be flat on the floor and you should be sitting comfortably on the bench so you don’t slip throughout the movement. Bring the dumbbells up so they are hovering at the sides of your mid pecs and your elbows are pointing to the ground. Engage your core and drive the weights up so your arms are fully extended. Then bring the dumbbells down and remember to control the descent for two seconds. Don’t forget to pause at the bottom of the rep before beginning the next.


Incline Cable Flye

Grab cable attachments with both hands and have your arms directly above your chest. With a slight bend in your elbows, lower the cables outward for two seconds. Once your hands become parallel with your shoulder joints, pause for one second and then squeeze your chest muscles. This will allow your arms to come back up to the start of the movement.


Flat Dumbbell Flye

Grab the dumbbells with a neutral grip position and lie flat on the bench. Keep your feet flat on the floor and hips and head flat on the bench. Start with the dumbbells straight above your chest with a slight bend in your elbows. Once you begin the descent, you’ll need to control the weight down for the tempo provided (two seconds). As soon as the dumbbells become parallel with your chest, pause for one second.


Seated Cable Flye

Grab both handles and sit down on the bench. Your starting position will be where your hands meet in the middle of your torso. The movement your arms make is like a half circle with your hands meeting directly in front of you with your arms straight. Using the tempo provided, start the exercise. As your hands become parallel with your shoulder joints, pull back into the middle. This exercise will really target the middle portion of your chest.


Decline Cable Flye

Start with your hands in the middle of your body with both cables. As you go down with a slight bend in your elbows, control the weight with the proper tempo. When your arms get to be parallel with the floor, start the ascent back to the beginning of the exercise.

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