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The perfect chest workout should consist of exercises for your upper chest, middle chest and lower chest. That said, even that doesn’t make the chest workout complete. In order to round out your pecs with a well rounded workout you need to fill in the gaps of what is lacking on those popular chest exercises. That is what we do in this video.

If you look at the four main exercises that people do in their chest workouts you will see incline bench press, barbell bench press, dips and pushups. Take a close look into each of these classic movements and you will see one thing in common. That is, each of these exercises is lacking a full adduction of the shoulder within the exercise.

This is a problem when it comes to developing a complete chest. Just because you are going through a full range of motion on the exercises that you are doing it does not mean that you are taking a muscle through its full range of motion. For instance, all chest exercises are performed by changing the angle of the arm at the shoulder. Because the shoulder is a three dimensional ball and socket joint, you have a great deal of motion available to you on your chest exercises.

That said, with the hands being fixed on a barbell, dip station or the floor through most of the common chest exercises you are not able to take your shoulder through the full horizontal adduction that it is capable of going through. Due to this, there is limited activation of the pecs since they are built to take the arm fully across the body, over midline into a more complete adduction.

The solution to this problem is to not forego the popular mass building chest exercises but add to them, in drop set fashion. Here is how to construct the perfect chest workout with that in mind.

Barbell Bench Press – 4 sets of 6,8,10,12 reps
Immediately into a horizontal chest cable or band crossover for 15 reps

Incline DB Bench Press – 4 sets of 6,8,10,12 reps
Immediately into a low to high cable or band crossover for 15 reps

Weighted Dips – 4 sets of 6,8,10,12 reps
Immediately into a high to low cable or band crossover for 15 reps

Weighted Pushups – 3 sets to Failure
Immediately into a banded crossover pushup for 15 reps with band on each arm

When you put this together in drop set format as I’m suggesting here, you not only now hit the chest through it’s full range of motion but you hit every area of the chest as well. The drop down allows for the lesser intense exercise to be more taxing since it was just preceded by a more difficult compound lift.

This is just one example of how to apply science to your chest workouts. If you want to train like an athlete you want to put science back in every workout you do. You can do that with the ATHLEAN-X Training Programs available at and get started right away on building a ripped, muscular, athletic body.

For more chest workout videos for the upper chest, lower chest and inner chest, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on youtube at and don’t forget to turn on notifications so you never miss one.

    52 replies to "The PERFECT Chest Workout (Sets and Reps Included)"

    • BoopisBeepis

      I hope he continues this “Perfect” workout routine series. It’s exactly what I’m looking for.

      • Will Moffat

        Someone Thirsty he is constantly using the technique where he uses isolation and then follows that with an athletic motion “what you slow down you should speed up”. You gotta isolate sometimes to strengthen that specific muscle. You also have to use that muscle with it’s accompaniments and how the body wants it to work.

      • Cody Fortier

        @Someone Thirsty You’re really going about this single mindedly. For general strength building compounds are fantastic and everyone should do compounds. If you look at it from a body building perspective, you need to do isolations. Bodybuilders want to look their best and you don’t get that look without isolation. You won’t ever look as ripped as Jeff without isolations. So yes if you want to build general strength and don’t care about bodybuilding, compounds really are all you need. If you want to be in competition or just look very muscular you will need to do those isolations. Also most bodybuilding routines have specific body part days. Such as an arm day or a chest day. You can’t be an efficient body builder only doing full body workouts. You need to isolate the muscles to better build them. You’re going for strength efficiency with as short of workouts as possible. That’s fine, but this would never work for a bodybuilder.

      • Someone Thirsty

        ChelseaFC !!!
        Well Jeff likes to be vigorous and make people athletically ready. That could be why the rest times are so short. It may also be because he has a lot of movements in the days and needs to find a way to save time. Either way, Jeff has his own method and madness.

      • Someone Thirsty

        Cody Fortier
        Yeah, I know you need to do isolations, that’s why I do accessory work. Your forearms are going to look funny if you don’t train them; same for your abs, calves, and neck. Sometimes you may need isolation work to bring up a lagging muscle, like I earlier said, but programming them before you need them is not going to be optimal.
        Also, most bodybuilders don’t know what they’re talking about, so I don’t know why I would listen to them when it comes to training. Strength and size are inseparable for people, meaning after you’ve become neuromuscularly efficient, you’re going to only be able to get stronger through getting bigger. Compounds will build you just as well as isolations, like I said.

    • xtraOrdinary Athletes

      Using the direction of muscle fibers to help gain a better understanding of exercises and which ranges of motion you should run through has really helped me teach movement patterns to clients. I’ve even included the concept in some of my own videos and routines. Thanks for making me a better trainer Jeff!

      • eXistenZ333

        Yeah, just saying “take a dumbell and lift it up” is not enough. Thank you Jeff for sharing your knowlage for free.

      • Johan H

        Clients this clients that

    • Killswitchpuller

      The only problem with this workout routine is that the benches and cable fly machines are 2 of the most coveted pieces of equipment in most gyms.  It would be hard to have both of these available at the same time to do a drop set.

      • los33010

        Go in at 5am only way 🤣😂

      • PeDrOnE

        Very true

      • Krot odin

        I improvise with my dumbells, elastic band and stools and do this workout at home💪😉

      • Amal Biju

        @Hans B. people use cable machines for different workouts, sometimes two people could be doing two different workouts on either side.

    • Birki gts

      I’ve always wanted to hog the cables for 16 sets per workout. Thank you Jeff.

      • Malle Jalle

        Can anyone help me out,i cant understand ,what is the drop set and the 4set x 6,8 those things,plz help me out…

      • Birki gts

        @Malle Jalle a drop set is when you train with a heavy weight to failure, then immediately reduce the weight and do a few more reps.

        The 6, 8, 10 thing means you do 6 reps with the first set, 8 with the second, 10 with the third, etc

      • Wave

        @Birki gts so would you do 1a and 1b normal with no rest in between and then take a rest after those two are done? Or do you just keep going back and forth with no rest?

    • Sleep

      Hey Jeff, love your content! I always try to apply at least one of your unique exercises in each of my workouts. Thanks and keep up the awesome work!

    • Alaa Eddine Bougandoura

      Whenever I need a good anatomically effective workout… This is my destination 👍
      Always great job

    • Jaz H

      Way late discovering this page. That said, I really appreciate the anatomy breakdown behind each exercise. It is empowering to understand the movements. Thanks!

    • Kristjan Rom

      1:35 Bench press
      4:25 Horizontal cable crossover
      2:10 Incline BP
      5:25 Low to High CC
      2:45 Weighted dips
      6:05 High to low CC
      6:25 Weighted pushups
      6:35 Band crossover pushups
      7:00 Full workout

      • Sub Hub

        ur amazing.

      • Kristjan Rom

        @Sub Hub tnx

      • Kris B

        im confused, the ones in the video description that says ”immediately…..” are those sets just 1 single set?

      • Kris B

        NVM… 6:50 explained my question

      • Kristjan Rom

        @Kris B no immidietly after each set meaning 3×a and 3×b

    • Bubsy McCloud

      Imagine how many lives you have changed and are continuing to change. The way you explain things is so precise and informative. I go to your videos for everything i am working on and it makes me feel like i know what i am doing now instead of bumbling around and potentially hurting myself either immediately or in the long run. Thank you very much for your time and effort, you’re extremely inspiring.

    • JerseyLeft

      My brother and I tried this workout, and it really is perfect. We’re just getting into weight training, and when we got to the push ups they felt more like three sets of failure than three sets TO failure. No complaints though. We’ll get there.

      • JerseyLeft

        @Jordan Franklin I’ve lost 20lbs since and went from being able to do 3-4 push ups in a set to 20 in one set. I was 285lbs @ 6′-1″…now I’m 265.

      • flashergoldpower15

        @JerseyLeft nice!

      • Viosax

        Hopefully you’ve kept at it 🙏

      • GuyWithNoSense

        @JerseyLeft how about now

      • JerseyLeft

        @GuyWithNoSense I’m able to do a few push-ups now. The struggle is keeping the weight off so that the push-up is easier.

    • Bryan Park

      Hey AthleanX,
      Love your workouts; this video was the first one that I’ve seen of yours that helped me gain the way I’ve wanted so far. Love the markers and explanation on how the muscle fibers run. Helped me picture how I should picture my workouts.

    • Kevin Fischer

      These exercises have changed my workout completely. I’ve seen outstanding results and I’ve just started doing them about a month ago. Just want to say how much I appreciate the instruction and knowledge given in these videos

      • E

        Have you tried his Push Pull series? I really like that one! I am about to change up in Feb to this one as its been 12 weeks so really interested to see. His push pull was hitting everything twice a week.

      • Srisai

        Thank you for the review. I’m gonna try these as well.

    • q8KowBoy

      I did this workout around 2 years ago it was challenging to go back and fourth. What I did is that I early in the morning when the gym is empty or I do the crossovers in the end. It really changed my body and my friends start to tell me they can see the change. I stoped for a year and now I’m all skinny again 😶. But!!!! Now it’s 3AM here and I’m going to the gym.

    • Manuel reyes

      DB= dumbell
      BB= Barbell
      1.1 1:35 BB Bench press 4 sets (6-8-10-12)
      1.2 4:25 Horizontal cable/band crossover 4 sets 15 reps
      2. 2:10 Incline DB Bench Press 4 sets (6-8-10-12)
      3. 5:25 Low to High Cable/band Crossover 4 sets 15 reps
      4. 2:45 Weighted dips 4 sets (6-8-10-12)
      5. 6:05 High to low Cable/band Crossover 4 sets 15 reps
      6.1 6:25 Weighted pushups 3 sets to failure
      6.2 6:35 Band crossover pushups 3 set 15 reps
      7:00 Full workout

    • Triple G

      Gave this a shot and was pleasantly surprised. Went relatively heavy, 315 on flat and 110 on dbs. The cable xovers gave a great pump. By the time I got to dips I was spent, no added weight. I did finish with a drop set of incline bb press. Gonna mix up the bb and db alternating flat and incline on each. Great video!

    • Smokey Willy

      The amount of times I’ve rewatched your videos to make sure I got everything perfect, you’re so detailed and passionate about it and it really helps learn everything. Keep up the great work!

      • A F

        You better be jacked by now, or did you give up and go back to the Cheetos

    • Jonathan Stevenson

      I did this workout yesterday and wow, I can feel it. Great content well explained, thank you so much.

    • ATHLEAN-X™

      Want to know what the best chest exercises of all time are? Check out my rankings and see what chest exercises are the best and which are the absolute worst –

      • Sean Castor


      • Joel Zbinden

        I cant believe he’s drawing on himself with a fucking expo marker

      • Captain Richard Sensi-ble ⚓️

        @Joel Zbinden He’s showing clearly why you should hit the chest from different angles

      • Kenneth Rodas

        How much time in between sets?

      • Hayden Robinson

        @Kenneth Rodas depends on what you are training. For muscle building keep it intense so probably less than a minute. For strength about 2 minutes. Assuming you’re training correctly.

    • Mad Marlon

      I’m not gonna lie at first I thought he broke things down too deep , now I find myself comin back to get a more in depth look into any exercise and the muscles it works
      Way to go Jeff ✊🏾👽

    • Jim Jim

      Thank you – great tutorial 👍. The only difficulty that I see is being able to access the bench and then immediately afterwards accessing the cables. Our gym is quite busy at times and for me to “hog” two sets of apparatus simultaneously would be “frowned upon”. Is there a way around this? Thanks again.

      • Nom Nom

        The alternatives would be doing “Crossover” using resistance bands.
        Or you can do Twisting Pushups on a flat/incline/decline surface.

        May I ask what workout split you are doing?

Comments are closed.