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Best Chest Pre-Exhaust Workout

Grab some dumbbells and get ready to build bigger pecs with this routine.

Best Chest Pre-Exhaust Workout

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If you’re looking for something to spark new muscle gains in your chest, I’ve got the perfect technique and exercise pairing to get the job done.

The below workout combines two intensity-boosting techniques — pre-exhaustion (pre-exhaust for short) and compound sets — with two highly effective free-weight exercises for the pecs.

The result? A bigger, more chiseled chest from top to bottom!

Pre-Exhaust Primer

I covered the basics of pre-exhaustion in this article , but here’s a quick refresher on the technique…

Pre-exhaust involves doing single-joint (isolation) exercises before multijoint (compound) exercises. Using the chest pairing featured in this article as an example, you first do single-joint dumbbell flyes, and then you follow that up with a multijoint reverse-grip dumbbell bench press.

The purpose of pre-exhaust is to ensure that the target muscle (the pecs, in this case) receives the maximum muscle growth stimulus during the multijoint exercise. Since multijoint exercises involve help from other muscle groups — shoulders and triceps in this example — the target muscle group often doesn't get adequately stressed; rather, you reach muscle failure when one of the smaller, weaker assistance muscle groups is fatigued, not when the target muscle group is truly fatigued. This can limit the muscle growth you get in that muscle.

By doing pre-exhaust, you fatigue the target muscle group (chest) to intentionally make it the weak link on the multijoint exercise

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