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An intense chest and tricep superset workout routine

Save time and build more muscle with these intense chest and tricep supersets.
Written By  James Jackson
Last Updated on 2nd May 2022
A weight lifter performing a chest and tricep superset workout routine

This intense chest and tricep superset workout routine will pump up your pecs and challenge your triceps so that you can shock both sets of muscles into new growth.

You can follow this workout as is, or you can check out the other chest and triceps supersets later on in the workout if you want to create your own muscle-pumping routine.

Related Chest and Tricep Workouts:

A muscle-pumping chest and tricep superset workout routine

This chest and triceps superset workout routine contains a mixture of compound lifts and isolation exercises so that you can work your muscles from different angles and maximize your results.

Perform each exercise in the superset in a back-to-back fashion, then rest for 30-60 seconds. If you need to decrease the weight after your first set, that's fine. After all, these chest and tricep super sets are more about getting a good pump than setting new PRs.

Try to leave 1-2 reps in reserve on each set so that you don't completely obliterate your muscles before the workout is finished. If you want to train to failure, do it either on the first set (when you can do the most reps) or on the last set (when you're already fatigued) of the superset.

1A: Barbell incline press — 3-5 sets of 8-10 reps

A man doing an incline barbell press

I know that you shouldn't assume things about people, but I've broken the rule here. I've assumed that your upper chest is less developed than your mid and lower chest. Am I right?

I thought so. That's why I decided to open this chest and tricep super set workout with incline presses. They're a phenomenal exercise for building big front delts and a rock-solid upper chest.

As a natural lifter, you can never have too much upper chest development. The only consideration that you need to make is the angle of the bench.

I recommend 30 degrees rather than 45 degrees so that you can keep your incline presses as chest-focused as possible. Any higher, and there's an increased risk that your anterior deltoids will dominate the movement.

1B: Dumbbell overhead extension — 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps

A man performing a standing dumbbell overhead tricep extension exercise

We're opening the tricep portion of this workout with another heavy hitter; the dumbbell overhead extension.

The overhead extension is a mass builder in the truest sense of the word because it trains the long head of the triceps, which is the single biggest upper arm muscle.

Located on the inside of your upper arm, the long head of the triceps can make or break your physique; in many cases, its development is the difference between having big arms and underdeveloped arms.

Good form is essential for getting the most from an overhead extension. You want to lower the weight behind your neck as low as you comfortably can. Then, once you feel a deep stretch in your triceps, you want to flex your triceps forcefully until your elbows reach full extension.

Always lock your elbows out because extending the elbows is the main role of the triceps brachii.

2A: Dumbbell bench press — 3-5 sets of 10-12 reps

A man doing a flat dumbbell bench press

The next chest and tri superset is dumbbell presses and bench dips, two exercises that are really easy to perform back-to-back because you can do them on the same bench.

Dumbbell presses will certainly build pectoral mass, but they'll also help you to sculpt symmetrical chest muscles by making you lift two independent weights.

This enhanced symmetry will help you to develop a more proportional and aesthetic physique while also giving you the muscular balance to keep the bar straight during your various barbell pressing exercises.

2B: Bench dips — 3-5 sets

A man doing bench dips

After you've pumped up your pecs with dumbbell presses, it's time to jump straight into bench dips. Since your triceps will already be somewhat fatigued from the press, you might want to stick to basic bodyweight dips.

However, if you're really strong, you can do tricep dips with your feet elevated and even put weight plates on your legs, which is easiest to do if you're training with a partner.

I've not specified reps here because bodyweight movements are so dependent on the strength and endurance of the individual lifter. Anywhere from 20-40 reps is a good number of dips to do after a dumbbell press. Don't overthink it too much; just go for the pump and leave a rep in reserve if you can.

3A: Cable fly — 3-5 sets of 15-20 reps

A man doing a cable crossover fly

Next up in this intense chest tricep superset is the cable fly. You can do it on a machine if you like, but I recommend using a cable crossover station so that you can quickly transition into pushdowns.

The great thing about this superset, depending on your point of view, is that exercises don't interfere with each other in terms of muscle activation. This means that you'll be able to train your chest and tris to the best of your ability on each set.

Of course, just because the other tricep and chest supersets contained pressing exercises that trained both your chest and tris doesn't mean that they're bad.

If your triceps fatigue on presses, it's likely that they'll still have plenty of strength to do an isolation exercise, so don't worry about the interference.

3B: Rope pushdown — 3-5 sets of 15-20 reps

A man doing a cable rope pushdown exercise for his triceps

The final exercise in the chest and tricep superset workout routine is rope pushdowns, which are an amazing movement for getting a strong peak contraction in your triceps.

The trick is to "split" the rope at the end of each rep to intensify the peak contraction. You can do this by moving the ends of the rope away from each other as your elbows reach lockout.

What are some other good chest and tricep supersets?

If you want to create your own custom workout, then check out these chest and tricep supersets for some more training inspiration.

You can also check out the best tricep superset workouts for building muscle if you want to hone in on your triceps and improve their development.

Dips and close-grip push-ups

A man performing a chest and tris superset

Dips and close-grip push-ups make an excellent chest and tri superset—if you pay attention to your form.

You want to do dips with your torso angled forward and ideally with a wider grip than usual. You might also want to avoid locking your elbows out to keep the tension on your chest.

With push-ups, your elbow position is the most crucial thing. You want to tuck your elbows close to your sides and use a slightly narrower than normal hand position.

Close-grip bench press and flys

A weight lifter doing a chest and triceps super set workout

Flys and close-grip bench presses make a great addition to any chest and triceps superset workout because they have relatively little interference.

The close grip bench press obviously works your chest to an extent, but it's definitely a tricep-dominant exercise. As such, you'll naturally be able to attack flys with close to full chest strength, which will help you to lift more weight and do more reps.

Just make sure that you don't use an excessively narrow hand position on the CGBP, as doing so can put a lot of pressure on your wrists.

Dumbbell flys and lying tricep extensions

A man doing a chest and triceps superset workout

If you want to completely isolate your chest and triceps in an efficient muscle-building superset, give this exercise pairing ago. Both exercises use a flat bench, so you can easily perform them in a superset fashion without worrying about someone taking your equipment.

This pairing is a good free-weight alternative to the cable fly/pushdown superset that you saw above. While the tricep and pectoral contraction won't be as intense when you use free weights, you'll definitely get a deeper muscle stretch when you're lifting dumbbells.

Wide-grip push-ups and bodyweight tricep extensions

A man demonstrating some good chest and tricep supersets

If you don't have much equipment, then this bodyweight chest and tris superset workout should definitely be part of your training routine.

Wide-grip push-ups are so underrated that I could write an entire article about them. They pump up your pecs just as much as the bench press and, if anything, help you to establish a stronger mind-muscle connection than any kind of free weight press.

The key is to think about stretching and then contracting your pecs on every wide-grip push-up rep that you perform.

Bodyweight tricep extensions are another good movement because they're so easy to transition into from push-ups.

From the push-up position, you want to move your hands forward and then put your forearms on the floor. From there, you simply push through your hands and flex your triceps to lift your forearms off the ground. Then, you simply lower your body back to the ground once your elbows reach full extension.

Conclusion: How to construct a good chest and triceps superset workout

A man performing a chest and tricep superset workout at the gym

A good chest and triceps superset workout routine should contain both compound movements and isolation exercises so that you can train your chest and tris from different angles.

Using multiple rep ranges is also beneficial because you'll be able to recruit both the fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fibers.

You also want to start with your compound movements because these exercises are the hardest and benefit the most from low rep lifting, which is best done when you're fresh.

References

  1. Williams, B., & Boly, J. (2021, November 2). Level Up Your Workout’s Potential by Using Supersets. Men’s Health. https://www.menshealth.com/fitness/a22625638/super-set-benefits/
  2. Brown, K. J. (2020, January 24). Your Muscles Contract in 3 Different Ways—Here’s Why That Matters When You Work Out. Well+Good. https://www.wellandgood.com/how-muscle-contraction-works/
James Jackson
James Jackson is a personal trainer who uses his expertise in strength and conditioning to create helpful workout tutorials that show fitness enthusiasts how to build muscle while staying safe in the gym. He draws on the latest sports science data as well as tried and tested training techniques to get the best results for his clients without them having to live in the gym.
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