When IFBB Pro Brandon Hendrickson steps on stage this weekend at the Mr. Olympia competition, he wants to stand out and this is a chest workout he used during contest prep.
Brandon is seeking his first career Olympia win in a loaded field in men’s physique at the Olympia in Las Vegas, and he’s been hard at work this off-season looking to improve on last year’s third-place finish. This particular chest workout is a popular one for Brandon, and he’ll often hit it twice a week to get stage-ready.
“I’m not doing a lot of compound presses,” Brandon said. “I do a lot of cable stuff, to really get that blood flow in the chest. My body wants to grow, but if I train too much with dumbbells and barbells, I’ll get too big for men’s physique. I’m trying to keep my body streamlined for men’s physique.”
That makes this a perfect chest workout if you’re getting ready for the stage this fall. Check out Brandon’s unique set-up and tips and make that chest stand out. Be sure to check out the video below as well.
First Exercise: Single-Arm Hammer Strength Machine – 4 sets of 10-12 reps
Brandon sits sideways on the Hammer Strength chest machine, pushing one arm at a time. This helps pre-exhaust and warm up chest, creating those fine details as well.
“The upper part of the chest is what I really focus on,” Brandon said. “A lot of guys have that meat under or on the lower chest, but really lack that upper chest. That’s really where I focus my chest workouts, on that upper chest area, and even the middle.”
Second Exercise: Machine Incline Press – 4 sets of 10-15 reps
The focus remains on the upper chest, and Brandon gets a strong mind-muscle connection on this particular machine. He also makes sure to keep that intensity high, even if it isn’t a dumbbell or barbell movement.
“The focus here is keeping my elbows in and really pushing forward, which is causing more tension in the middle of my chest,” Brandon said.
Third Exercise: Cable Flys – 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps
This is another movement to bring out those fine details. But it’s important to do the move correctly and Brandon points out a key tip when doing them.
“What I learned doing flys is to pull in with your elbows. I get more contraction, more tension in my chest and my muscles,” Brandon said.
Fourth and Fifth Exercises: Incline Dumbbell Fly Superset with Dumbbell Underhand Raises – 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps
This superset attacks the chest from all angles. Again, he focuses on particular cues to get the most out of both movements.
“I bring my thumbs in to really squeeze at the top of the chest on incline dumbbell fly,” Brandon said. “I like supersetting it with dumbbell underhand raises. With that, I keep the corner of the dumbbells together and raise up. I also try not to rock.”
Sixth Exercise: Pec Deck Fly – 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps
The elbows are critical in this movement as well.
“It’s the same thing here, I’m pulling with my elbows. I let them lead to bring more tension to my chest. My hands are just a latch, really.”
Seventh Exercise: Dumbbell Pullover – 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps
This is a great finisher for Brandon. He makes a couple of key adjustments to really hone in on the chest, too.
“The focus is bringing the dumbbell from forehead to as close to my bellybutton as a I can,” Brandon said. “That whole
time I’m squeezing my chest. These are always fun.”
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