Keep rest periods to 60-120 seconds. By restricting rest to this range, you’ll maximize muscle growth by creating what’s known as “metabolic distress.” Stick to the upper end for multijoint exercises, and rest less for single-joint isolation movements.

Keep challenging yourself as you get stronger. Beginners often make fast gains, meaning they can perform more reps with a given weight or increase the weight on the bar. The body adapts to the training stimulus by growing bigger and stronger during the recovery phase. But as your body adapts, you need to keep increasing the degree of overload to continuing seeing continual improvements. That means you never want to get comfortable with your routine.


Don’t add to these workouts. Seriously, perform them as they are for the amount of time programmed. Resist the urge to add in extra sets and exercises. Give yourself a chance to grow on this plan.

Be consistent. Pick your approach, stick with it consistently, and you should see gains in both chest size and strength on this plan. Once your gains start to stall or you’re ready for a new training stimulus—usually after about three months—you’re ready to progress to intermediate chest training.

When that time comes, you’ll add exercises use multiple angles, and start including intensity-boosting techniques that extend sets and make training more challenging.