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High Rep Chest and Back Training: Massive Pump!

Okay, time to round-out this short series on my new adventure into high rep training. Here I’ll outline my chest and back routine using high rep sets. My shoulder and arm routine felt so great that I then applied it to my leg training. With those two routines I felt no shoulder, knee, or back strain and was able to have some seriously great workouts.

Now all we have left is chest and back training. As I’ve most-likely stated before, I’m a huge fan of training a few body parts in each session. I’ve never been a “chest on Monday” kind of guy. I’m still a big fan of the bodybuilders of the 60s and 70s and their training frequency so yeah, works for me.

Let’s break down what my last chest and back routine looked like and then I’ll jot down a few notes at the end.

Incline bench barbell press 4 x 10-20
Shoulder level standing cable fly 4 x 20
Floor push up 3-4 x as many as possible

Cross bench dumbbell pull-over 3 x 12

Close grip pull up: complete a total of 40 or 50 reps (however many sets it takes me)
Bent-over barbell row 4 x 10-20
Parallel grip pull down 3-4 x 10-20

 

Notes

  • All set rest periods are 60 seconds.
  • I usually will use the same amount of weight for every set in the series.
  • I took a little extra time doing pull-overs and used it as a “break” of sorts between chest and back.
  • Pull ups were performed for around five sets until I got to 40 total reps. I’ll up this to 50 reps once my stamina gets better.

Benefits

  • Huge pump. Both sides of my torso were full of blood.
  • Shorter workout time as opposed to the normal 8-12 rep range and two-plus minutes of rest.
  • No ego. My strength started crapping out, but I didn’t care.
  • This was fun and, more importantly, a serious challenge.

 

Give it a try. Unload your ego at the front door to the gym, stay strict with the rest periods, and no matter what finish the workout. Let me know how you do in the comments below.

By Brad Borland

Cancer Survivor, Military Veteran, University Lecturer, Strength Coach, Natural Drug-Free Bodybuilder, Husband, Father

4 replies on “High Rep Chest and Back Training: Massive Pump!”

Hey Brad,

Although I’ve been doing these types of workouts, is there anything wrong with doing a bro split? I mean your able to focus and put all your intensity into one muscle vs 3?

My energy and intensity tends to dip at the end of my workout and my last exercise begins to suffer…

I like the 3 day splits but I cant believe its something I’ll stick to because as I get stronger these workouts become more challenging to progress with.

I know its higher frequency but will the results be much different after several years of training?

Sorry, I really like your content, advice and workouts it’s just something I’m always thinking about. With a family, 2 jobs, a bunch of things to do around the house I feel like I’ll need to make my workouts more simple and what I’ll stick with in the long run. It’s just I notice you dont advocate bro splits…..

I want to lift 5 times per week but want to keep it simple in the future. I’m going to continue on with the 3 day split, just some things on my mind 🙂

Thanks Brad!

Hi Nick. As you probably know I’m not a huge fan of too many of the “bro splits,” but I can understand your challenge. I can go into the nuances of frequency training, but at the end of it all I always listen to others’ specific circumstances and have to digress.

If the split you like works for you, by all means go for it. I personally don’t get much out of them, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. I really don’t think in the big picture of things it will make that much difference as long as you’re committed, training hard, and stay consistent.

Most people who train for muscle in the average gym are either not very consistent or not training hard enough or both. You may see them every day, but they are scrolling, chatting, or flirting.

I say go for it. Stay with it, stay patient, and let me know how you do after a month or two. I’d love to hear back. Good luck!

Hey Brad,

Got away from the high rep training for a bit and starting doing 8-12 rep range for most exercises. As you stated, my workouts took longer, and I really didnt feel like I was hitting my muscles as much. I tend feel a bit more banged up from the lower rep ranges these days with little return… I know that 8-12 isnt low reps but I feel like it’s harder on my joints and I dont feel that crazy pump like I do with 10-20 reps. Maybe this isnt the best determining factor of growth, but it does tell me I’m working the intended muscle!!

I really like this layout for Chest. One heavy compound move, an isolation, then some pushups! In the past, the Chest/Back workouts were really draining for me trying to do 6 compound exercises in one workout… This seems to be a bit more manageable to do every 4 days and progress.

I’ve seen your full programs but how do I set up the B split for this?

Thanks Brad!

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