What Makes a Great Beginner’s Chest Workout For Mass?

The most important elements of a beginner’s workout are the exercise selection and the rep ranges you perform. The biggest flaws in most beginner’s workouts are using too many machines and using too much weight.

You may feel like you’re not “ready” to bench, but it’s important for beginners to focus on big multijoint movements that demand you stabilize a loaded barbell. These exercises recruit a larger degree of muscle mass and allow you to lift much heavier weights, which provides a hormone-boosting stimulus that’s missing from single-joint moves. They also train your many small stabilizer muscles, which machines aren’t going to touch.

Paused bench presses

A good rep range is one that allows you to get the feeling of heavy weight while still racking up plenty of volume. I see far too many beginners performing grueling sets of 3-5 reps that they’re clearly not ready for. That kind of strength work should only come after you’ve built up a foundation in the tried-and-true muscle-building rep range of 8-12 reps.

These two workouts may not look like a lot—after all, each one is just three movements—but their simplicity gives you a lot of flexibility in how you use them. Plus, each one hits the pectoral muscles from different angles, ensuring that you’ll get balanced growth.