Are you having trouble developing a thick chest while maintaining a shredded physique? Well, you’re in luck. We have stumbled upon a great program created by a man called Vince Gironda. His belief, and the reason why he created such a simple yet effective lifting regime, is that you can indeed gain size while staying lean.
Now, the first thing you’re probably asking is: “who the hell is Vince Gironda and why should I follow his advice?” To put it simply, he was known as the “Iron Guru.” Mr. Gironda was an American professional bodybuilder, author, personal trainer, and owner of the widely popular “Vince’s Gym” where he was known as the trainer to the stars.
Mr. Gironda was unique in that he believed bodybuilding is 85% nutrition. He was also strongly against the use of steroids as he felt they made the body become grotesque in appearance. Without giving you his full bio, (which we recommend you checking out sometime) we’ll go into a fat scorching chest workout inspired by him.
The overall scheme of this workout is an 8×8 focus; meaning you perform eight reps of an exercise for eight total sets. You should use 70% of your one rep max for most of these exercises and take no more than 30 seconds of rest between all sets. These short rest periods are key to burning fat while working your chest muscles to the point of failure. But for this workout, we are going to deviate from Vince G’s chest philosophy slightly to make things a bit more challenging.
Not that Vince G; we could care less about his workout philosophy. Now, Mr. Vince Gironda on the other hand; he had a pretty unique outlook on chest training. He didn’t believe in incorporating flat bench pressing into a chest routine. He felt it worked the front deltoids too much.
Instead, it was Vince’s believe that the wide grip neck press was much better at building the chest while keeping the shoulders out of the exercise. If you’ve never heard of this exercise, don’t worry—we’re going to go over it in just a second. So, sit back and learn something.
Read on to discover our Iron Guru 8×8 Chest Workout.
Check out the workout on the next page…
Exercise #1: Wide Grip Neck Press
This lift is essentially a bench press with a wider-than-shoulder width grip on the bar. And instead of lowering the bar to the middle pec area, it’s lowered to the base of the neck. This makes the lift more difficult, but it involves the pecs to a much greater degree. For this lift, you’re going to use 70% of your one rep max. So, it’s a good idea to have a spotter as there’s a chance you may fail during the movement.
To do this exercise, start by lifting the bar off the rack and lowering it slowly towards your chest—take around three seconds before almost touching your chest. Then without pausing at the bottom, explode back up until your elbows lock out. Aim to complete this movement for eight reps. Take 20 to 30 seconds’ rest then go again until you have completed eight total sets. If you can’t manage eight reps every set, drop the weight slightly and continue.
Exercise #2: Dumbbell Flat Bench Fly
Using 70% of your one rep max again, Lie down on a flat bench with the dumbbells lifted in front of you. Keep the dumbbells shoulder width apart and have your palms facing each other. Then you need to bend slightly at the elbow and lower your arms out to the sides,
At the bottom position, you should feel a good stretch in your chest. Hold this for a moment, then return to the starting position where you’ll squeeze your pecs for three seconds. Repeat this for eight reps. Try completing eight sets of eight reps, focusing on the squeeze at the top of each rep.
Exercise #3: Incline Dumbbell Press
Using 70% of your one rep max, lie back on a bench that is set to around a 30-degree incline. With the two dumbbells at chest level, push upward with your palms facing out. This is the starting position.
Slowly lower the weights down to your chest, then explode back up. Your hands should be at shoulder width throughout the lift. Repeat this for eight sets of eight reps taking 30 second breaks between sets.
Exercise #4: Incline Cable Flys
Once again, use 70% of your one rep max. You’ll place an incline bench at 45 degrees between two pulleys on the cable machine. Lie back on the bench with a handle in each hand, then bring your hands together at arms-length in front of your face.
Keeping a slight bend in your elbows, lower your arms out to both sides in a wide arc until you feel a great stretch in your chest. Stretch the chest for three seconds then bring your arms back to the starting position—making sure to squeeze your pecs for a few seconds at the top. Perform eight sets going to failure each time.
Exercise #5: Vince Gironda Dips
This is the finisher. For this exercise, it’s preferred you use a parallel bar as it permits you to have a spacing of 33” wide. But if you only have a normal dip bar at your disposal, you’ll just have to make sure your hand position is right. This version of dips differs from normal in that you must have your elbows set wide and straight out from the shoulders.
Your head should be down with your chin touching or close to touching your chest, and you need to keep your back rounded forward. Another big difference with Gironda dips are that your feet will be in front of you instead of behind. Once in the correct position, simply dip down as far as possible, then go back up as high as you can; you should really feel it in your chest rather than your triceps. Do this exercise for eight sets to failure.
Well, there you have it. By the end of this seemingly simple, fast paced workout you should have a ridiculous pump in your chest. Of course, this means you’ll be sore as a mother**ker for the next few days. Thus, is the life of an iron addict.