The Best Workout to Build A Ripped and Muscular Chest (in 100 Brutal Reps)

Challenge yourself!

Learn how to build a ripped and muscular chest with this punishing but highly effective workout.

This workout has been designed and built by Jeff Cavaliere from Athlean X.

The Best Workout to Build A Ripped and Muscular Chest (in 100 Brutal Reps)

“The hundred chest workout requires all out effort, but the results are nothing short of amazing if you follow the chest exercises and protocols shown here. As always a solid chest workout should consist of exercises for your upper chest, middle chest and lower chest.  That said, even that doesn’t make this workout for chest complete.  In order to round out your pecs with a well rounded workout you need to spend more time focusing on the reps that actually count to help you build a bigger chest. That is what we do in this workout.”

Bodyweight Arm Exercises Ranked Worst to Best Benefits of Chest Dips Best Workout to Build A Ripped and Muscular ChestSource: Tima Miroshnichenko / Pexels

Main Chest Exercises

“If you look at the four main exercises that people do in their chest workouts you will see incline bench press, barbell bench press, dips and pushups.  Take a closer look into each of these basic chest exercises and you will see one thing in common.  That is, each of these exercises is lacking a full adduction of the shoulder within the exercise. As we did in the perfect chest workout, we are going to make sure we address this oversight but remain in the effective rep range for each as we make our way through this chest workout.”

Range of Motion

“Remember, just because you are going through a full range of motion on the chest exercises that you are doing it does not mean that you are taking a muscle through its full range of motion. In order to grow fuller pecs you are going to have to train with this in mind and be sure to include chest exercises that take your arm through different planes of motion.”


“When it comes to training in the effective rep range, ask yourself a question. When you perform a set of any chest exercise, do you take it to failure or close to failure? Likely, the only reps you feel that are challenging are the final 1 to 3 reps. This is because, it is only at the point after the muscle has been stressed enough to tap into the harder to reach type II muscle fibres that the task at hand becomes challenging enough to stimulate muscle protein synthesis.”

Overload and Damage

“If you do not experience some type of tension overload, eccentric overload or metabolic damage during a set – it can be pretty well accepted that you have not done enough to create the need for your body to help you grow a bigger chest.”

Chest-Muscles-and-Hypertrophy Best Way to do Pushups for a Bigger ChestSource: Depositphotos / CrossFit Inc

With the chest workout technique shown here and in this series, you’re going to more quickly tap into these growth inducing type II fibres. The strategy is as follows:


“Perform a set of the chest exercises shown below to 12 rep failure. Choose a weight that will cause you to fail at or close to the 12 rep mark. This is called the ignition set. At this point, the real work begins. Rest for just 15 seconds as part of a somewhat prolonged rest/pause. As soon as these 15 seconds are up, get back into another set. You will instantly recognize that the reps will be challenging more quickly due to the decreased recovery time allowed.”

Load and Stress

“You are still using the same load however, therefore your chest is still being subjected to the same external load. However many reps you get after each of these rest/pause increments are all deemed to be effective reps. Each bout should be taken to failure. Accumulate 20 effective reps, even if you’re getting just 1 out at a time at some point, and your work on that exercise is complete.”

Best Workout to Build A Ripped and Muscular Chest – Reps

“If for some reason you are unable to complete any more reps on your way to 20, end your set and aim to complete all 20 the next time you perform this workout.”

The 100 Rep Chest Workout

Here is how to construct the 100 chest workout with that in mind.

– DB Bench Press – Ignition Set then 20 Effective Reps as a Rest/Pause

– Cable Crossovers – Ignition Set then 20 Effective Reps as a Rest/Pause

– DB Thumbs Up Incline Bench Press – Ignition Set then 20 Effective Reps as a Rest/Pause

– Weighted Dips – Ignition Set then 10 Effective Reps as a Rest/Pause as a Pause Dip

– Omni Crossovers – Ignition Set then 15 Effective Reps as a Rest/Pause with each arm in high position

Optional: Static Hold Pushups x 20 reps using a 5 second isometric hold at the bottom of each rep (Rest/Pause)

“All totalled, this will amount to 100 effective reps in this intense chest workout.”

“If you have to adjust your weights down as the fatigue mounts, do so accordingly. You are not necessarily using your 12 rep max on an exercise, you are using a weight that will cause you to fail at the 12 rep mark in that given workout. Fatigue accumulating in the later chest exercises of this workout may cause you to have to drop down a bit to make this happen throughout the workout.”

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Muscles of the chest

The chest muscles are a group of three muscles that make up the pectoralis major and minor. The pectoralis major is a thick, fan-shaped muscle that originates from the clavicle and sternum before inserting into the humerus.

The serratus anterior muscle provides stability for shoulder movement and also helps with breathing by lifting ribs during inhalation, while the external intercostals lift ribs during exhalation to aid in respiration.

Best Workout to Build A Ripped and Muscular Chest – The pectoralis major

The pectoralis major is a large, fan-shaped muscle that attaches to the sternum and ribs. It also has attachments along the humerus and clavicle (collarbone). The muscle fibers of this mostly horizontal muscle converge on a tendon that inserts into the upper arm bone.

This chest muscle’s primary action is to flex and rotate your arm forward at the shoulder joint. It also helps with adduction (bringing inner surfaces of your arms toward each other) and medial rotation at your elbow joint, as well as flexion at your elbow joint.

Best Workout to Build A Ripped and Muscular Chest – The pectoralis minor

The pectoralis minor is a thin, triangular muscle that originates from the lower half of the upper sternum (the cartilage plates that connect your ribs to your breastbone) and inserts on to the coracoid process (a bony protrusion on the shoulder blade).

The pectoralis minor draws your shoulder forward and down. It also helps stabilize your shoulder against excessive upward movement.

Best Workout to Build A Ripped and Muscular Chest – The external intercostal muscles

The external intercostal muscles are the smallest of the three layers of the rib cage and they attach to each rib. They work with the internal intercostal muscles to flex and move the ribs during breathing, which aids in respiration.

Best Workout to Build A Ripped and Muscular Chest – The internal intercostal muscles

The internal intercostals are the muscles that run from your ribs to your sternum, and they help pull the ribs together. They also expand the rib cage during inhalation, which is why we tend to breathe more deeply when doing exercises like pushups or burpees.

If you’re not sure if an exercise is safe for a particular body part, ask your doctor before trying it out.

Best Workout to Build A Ripped and Muscular Chest – The serratus anterior

The serratus anterior is a broad muscle that originates along the lateral 1/3 of the clavicle, the acromion and scapula spine. It inserts into the medial 1/3 of upper eight ribs, as well as to the inner surfaces of upper three costal cartilages. Its main function is to protract (move forward) the shoulder joint and it’s innervated by the Long Thoracic nerve.

Best Workout to Build A Ripped and Muscular Chest – The subclavius muscle

The subclavius muscle is a small, superficial muscle that originates from the first rib and runs inferiorly to insert onto the medial aspect of the clavicle.

The subclavius muscle is innervated by the ventral ramus of spinal accessory nerve (XI). In addition to its role in lowering your shoulder blades down during inhalation, it also acts as an antagonist for levator scapulae during elevation of your shoulder blades.


The chest is a unique muscle group that plays an important role in the movement, stabilization and support of our upper body. It also gives us a lot of pride when we look in the mirror!

Us this workout to build an incredible chest.

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