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Want to Develop My Chest/Arms

I’m at the point in my life (almost 40) where I’ve become a realist, but part of being a realist means that I recognize that lots of things are possible even at my age.

I have some equipment in my garage I’ve been using for the last couple of months, but my bench is stagnant. In fact, it might even be getting worse. I attribute this to the fact that my upper body has always been the weakest part of my body. I never developed a good chest, arms… Or really much of anything upper body.

I’ll list the equipment below, because that’s what I have to use. I’m hopeful that someone can help guide me in developing some kind of plan that will help develop my chest, arms, back, and shoulders, but I’d settle for my arms and chest. :slight_smile:

Squat rack
Pull-up bar
Landmine attachment
220lb in plates (2x45, 2x35, 2x15, 5x10)
Kettlebells (25lb, 2x35, 2x45, 1x53)

Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

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Do you want a big bench press or a big chest?


What training are you currently doing ?

I don’t care about numbers per se, but my current assumption would be that as my bench increases my chest would develop and grow. Although I do understand that benching along won’t develop my chest.

So, in short, I’d rather have a nice chest than a big bench.

Currently doing the following:

Workout 1:
Squats - 4 sets (12, 12, 10, 8)
Bench - 4 sets (10, 10, 8, 6)
Curls - 4 sets (10)

Workout 2:
Deadlift - 4 sets (12, 12, 10, 8)
Overhead Press - 4 Sets (10, 10, 8, 6)
Inverted Rows - 4 sets (12, 12, 10, 8)

Workout 3:
Front Squats - 4 sets (12, 12, 10, 8)
Lateral Raises - 4 sets (12, 12, 10, 8)
Barbell Curls- 4 sets (12, 12, 10, 8)

Workout 4:
Bulgarian Split Squats - 4 sets (12, 12, 10, 8)
Skull crushers - 4 sets (12, 12, 10, 8)
Barbell Row - 4 sets (12, 12, 10, 8)
1H overhead landmine Press - 4 sets (15)

Do you have anywhere to dip?

Could you stretch to buying some dumbells?

You have chin up bar but no exercises listed using it.

The above routine is rather lacking in upper body muscle building in terms of volume and exercise selection.

I have some dumbbells, but the largest I have are 12s, so I didn’t list them. I do plan on purchasing some dumbbells, but it likely won’t be in the coming months. Is there a way I can utilize my KBs in place of the dumbbells?

I do not have anywhere I can dip at the moment.

I know the program is lacking, unfortunately I don’t have any experience in programming and threw some exercises together to kind of get back into things knowing I would have to ask for help in the future.

I know I need to utilize the pull-up bar more and increase my volume, but I’m a bit frozen on what exercises, rep/set scheme, etc…

Any help would be great.


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Is the pull up bar strong and fixed or is it door way one? If its fixed and strong then get some olympic rings. This will allow you to dip and do bodyweight flys so increases your chest options. Also you could pick up some bands and attach those to the bar which then gives you loads more exercises like single hand cross overs, tricep extentions etc.

Training from home with limited equipment doesn’t have to be boring!

You should also be utilising that landmine for your back work, the landmine in up there for me in terms of great at home back work.

I’m happy to write something out for upper body if you like? How many training days a week?

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Is a gym out of the question?

I equate lifting weights at home alone to drinking at home alone.
If I didn’t have a gym to go to I would have accomplished very little. I never liked drinking alone. That’s just my reality.

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I’m actually the opposite. I get anxious in the gym and skip exercises because I feel weak compared to the other people in there.

Yes, I realize they don’t care and/or would likely be more supportive than critical, but I’m old enough to recognize my roadblocks.

Also, if I paid for a gym membership after spending money on my equipment my wife would kill me. Lol

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The pull-up bar is attached to.my squat rack (Rogue S2 squat rack, for reference). I can definitely look into purchasing some rings in the next week or two, that’s a good idea.

I’m also definitely open to using the landmine more fully as I really like it. I plan to incorporate it more fully and have been trying to research more effective movements with it.

I would be more than happy for you to help me out with a program, that would be awesome. Ideally I would like to do 4 workouts a week, but often it ends up being 3. So 3-4 is ideal.

Due to covid there is a whole load of home training stuff from reputable coaches and choosing something by them is a good option. But this is what I would do with your equipment. I have not added the leg work, thats not my thing lol. So the 4th day could be legs or you could split it up like you currently do.

Workout 1 chest focused
Bench (as you are doing now)
Landmine chest press - 3 sets 15-20 reps
Dip or fly variation - 2 sets 8-12
Close hand press up- 3 sets to failure

workout 2 back focus
Deadlift (as you are doing)
Pull up - 40 rep total as many sets as it takes)
Land mine t bar row- 3 sets 8-12 reps
Meadows row- 2 sets 10-15 reps

workout 3 shoulder focus
Overhead press - (as you are doing)
Shoulder tri set (all done in a row with no rest)
Side laterals - db upright row - db shoulder press
3 tri sets 8-12 each exercise
Curls - 3 sets to failure

workout 4
Legs or repeat workout 1

Use exercise 1 to track progress, aim to progress on weight or reps. The other exercises work on quality of reps and creating maximum tension. Still look to progress but not at the expense of quality or tension. Nice smooth reps with controlled lowering.


Hey, this is awesome. Thank you so much for taking the time.

I do have a couple of questions.

  1. I don’t have DBs, can I use KBs instead (at least for now)?
  2. I don’t have a T-Bar for my landmine. Is there anything I can substitute that movement with?

Thanks again!

If you have kbs of a suitable weight then thats no problem at all using those. You won’t need much weight for that shoulder tri set.

T bar row is awesome just grabbing the bar, no attachment needed. See vid below. Also use small plates like 10s or 5s to increase range of motion.

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Awesome. Thanks, man! I’m going to start this next week and see where I get!

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This is the land mine chest press, meant to add it to earlier post

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In your note above, when you say “Use exercise 1 to track progress, aim to progress on weights or reps,” do you mean workout 1 or exercise 1 of each workout?

I was going to mention this exercise. When I do it, my chest and arms get super pumped. Do it from a kneeling position.

Exercise 1 of each workout buddy. So the ones I have said keep as you are doing. Use these as your main progression, so use what ever progression model you like but the main focus is to increase weight on the bar or reps with a certain weight.

The rest of the exercises its more about creating as much tension and fatiguing the target muscles as possible, as you get better at that the weight you use or reps you can get might actually go down to start with. Over time the weight on these exercises will creap up.

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Thanks, man. I really appreciate all of your time and help.