Photography by: Simon Howard
Model: @nathanpt
By: Darren Croft

Push day; the key to pec success. That is if you do it right!  

The push workout is a great way to build strength and size in your muscles and lose weight. 

If you’re looking to lose weight, a “push” is excellent for increasing your metabolism and will enable you to burn calories during and after the workout. 

If you want to build muscle and add strength, pack the calories beforehand and push yourself to the next level.

But what is a good push workout?  

Natural bodybuilding world champ Nathan Williams swears by these seven exercises performed four days apart. Take 2-3 minutes rest between each set for consistently strong performance.

Why push?

To put it simply, push exercises focus on exercises that require you to push away from your body, and it’s a great way to work on your chest muscles as these tend to work the hardest during these sessions. Your triceps and shoulders will get a decent session too. 

It’s the perfect way to focus on a segment of your body for a single workout. This means you can allow time for recovery days while working on other sections of your body.

A good push workout should cover all essential muscle groups and be simple and effective. You should be able to have a challenging workout without putting too much thought into it.

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

3 x 8-10 reps

Ensure that they are a comfortable weight so you can complete your reps smoothly.  It’s easy to get carried away and choose heavier weights, but this will likely cause more damage than good.

Your shoulders should hold the dumbbells with your palms facing forwards, and your elbows should be out to the sides and bent at a 90° angle. Slowly press the weights above your head, then return to the starting position.

Incline Dumbbell Chest Press

Incline Dumbbell Chest Press

Straight sets of 3 x 6-8 reps

Again, you should ensure that you have a weight you can comfortably control. Press the dumbbells upwards with your palms facing forward, and make sure your upper back is tight. 

Then slowly lower the dumbbells until your elbows are at a 45-degree angle. Allow for a slight pause before repeating the action.

Superset with Reverse Dumbbell Flyes

Superset with Reverse Dumbbell Flyes

3 x 12-15 reps

With your feet aligned with your hips and your knees slightly bent, raise your arms in an arc until they are parallel to the floor. You should inhale while performing this part. Slowly lower your arms to the starting position while exhaling. 

Push-ups to Failure

Push-ups to Failure

3 sets. AMRAP.

Quality push-ups are essential, especially when you’re performing to failure. Make sure your hands are a bit wider than your shoulders. Keep your arms and legs straight and lower your body. 

Your chest should barely touch the floor before pushing upwards to the starting position. Repeat as many sets as you can.

Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raises

Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raises

Straight sets of 3 x 15

Sit on a bench and hold a dumbbell in each hand by your side. Raise both dumbbells to your side until they’re shoulder height. 

Lower under control and repeat. Keep it smooth and controlled, and ensure that the dumbbells are a comfortable weight.

 Incline Dumbbell Chest Flyes

 Incline Dumbbell Chest Flyes

Straight sets of 3 x 12. 15 rep

Grab a dumbbell in each hand and lie on the bench. Extend your arms above you and slowly lower them to your side. Your elbows should be slightly bent when performing this. Repeat the action for the number of reps and sets.

Tricep Kickbacks

Tricep Kickbacks

Straight sets of 3 x 12. 15 reps.

Squeeze your triceps while slowly extending your arm behind you. The movement in this exercise should come from your forearm and elbow. Some people prefer to twist their hands, so their palm faces the ceiling. There doesn’t appear to be any significant benefit, and it’s just a personal choice.

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