I see people doing this type of chest workout:

  • 3 sets of bench press
  • 3 sets of flat dumbbell press
  • 3 sets of Smith machine bench press
  • 3 sets of machine flat press

The problem? It's all the same thing! Well, almost. But you are working essentially the same muscle groups using the same angle and pattern. It's redundant.

Not only that, 6 of your 12 sets use inferior exercises. Those 6 sets are what I call "garbage sets." You'd be much better off selecting exercises working different angles or portions of the movement instead of redundant exercises. Here's a better plan that avoids this common mistake.

Day 1: Back and Deadlift

  • Exercise 1: Deadlift variation
  • Exercise 2: Horizontal row variation
  • Exercise 3: Vertical row variation
  • Exercise 4: Scapula elevation (shrug, high pull) variation

Day 2: Chest and Shoulders

  • Exercise 1: Flat bench press variation
  • Exercise 2: Incline press variation
  • Exercise 3: Overhead press variation
  • Exercise 4: Lateral/front raise variation

Day 3: OFF

Day 4: Biceps and Triceps

  • Exercise 1.1: Neutral (hammer) grip curl variation
  • Exercise 1.2: Close-grip press variation
  • Exercise 2.1: Supinated grip curl variation
  • Exercise 2.2: Free weight triceps extension variation
  • Exercise 3.1: Pronated grip curl variation
  • Exercise 3.2: Cable/pulley triceps extension variation

Day 5: Legs

  • Exercise 1: Squat variation
  • Exercise 2: Unilateral (one-legged) movement variation
  • Exercise 3: Hip extension variation (Romanian deadlift, good morning, etc.)
  • Exercise 4.1: Leg extension variation
  • Exercise 4.2: Leg flexion/curl variation
  • Exercise 5 (optional): Calf exercise

Day 6: Chest and Back

  • Exercise 1.1: Chest press variation (flat, decline or incline)
  • Exercise 1.2: Horizontal row variation (cable/pulley)
  • Exercise 2.1: Dumbbell flye variation
  • Exercise 2.2: Rear delt exercise (rear delt raise, reverse pec deck, etc.)
  • Exercise 3.1: Machine or cable/pulley pec isolation exercise
  • Exercise 3.2: Scapula elevation variation

Day 7: OFF

If your goal is to get bigger and look better, the program above will work great if you make the right choices and train hard.

Related: 6 Ways to Reach Your Genetic Potential

Related: Growth Factor Chest Training