T Nation

Want to Develop My Chest/Arms

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?


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


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.

No problem at all, I’ve decided that I’m going to do the sessions I wrote out for a while too.

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Have you thought about changing your frequency so training the body parts I.E chest and arms more frequently?

Without going into specifics of programmes there are some excellent push/pull programmes on T Nation. There’s a fair bit of research on how increased frequency of training each bodypart 2-3 times per week is optimum for natural lifters


I’ve got some rings on the way! Hopefully by next week they’re here.

Hey, thanks for the link.

I’ve looked at a lot of programs in the past and one of the issues is I don’t have a lot of the requisite equipment. If I have to substitute half of the exercises then I have no confidence it will work. Especially with my inability to program well.

You have a versatile piece of equipment. You can safely use the landmine to do several chest exercises.

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Haven’t read everything, but for arms, I think they can handle a lot of frequency. I do them every workout at the end. Of course, you need to build the compound upper body lifts for the best results. Just getting lifts like the bench, overhead press, chin up, and row to be good lifts that you can do with good form, with a good amount of weight will build your upper body well for most people. Then you add in arms to bring them up if needed at the end.