By switching up your rep speed, thus varying the ‘time under tension’ – the amount of time your muscles are firing – you’ll unlock greater size and strength gains with no extra equipment required. Plus, switching between your arms brings a core and shoulder stability challenge element to the workout too.
“Early on you get to be explosive and natural, then at the end, you’ll pile up good eccentric contractions,” Samuel explains. “The best part is the end, when you challenge your pecs to operate in the absence of all explosive, momentum-generating contraction, ensuring that every part of your chest musculature has to do equal work to elevate the weight.”
What does this mean for your workout? It starts tough and gets tougher. But if your main goal is to maximise your muscle growth, using a range of rep durations is key, according to a meta-analysis published in the Journal of Sports Medicine.
To take on the hell set, you’ll need an adjustable bench and a set of dumbbells. Don’t start out heavy; in fact, Samuel recommends choosing a weight around 5kg lighter than your standard mixed-style incline press. Go for three total sets and give ‘em hell.
Watch the full workout below.
How to do the dumbbell incline press hell set:
- Sit on the bench, holding dumbbells in each hand. Press both arms up to get into the starting position.
- Perform two explosive press reps with one arm, holding the press position with the other. Squeeze your core to keep your torso in position on the bench. After the reps, switch and repeat the process for two reps with the other arm. Repeat twice without stopping for six reps on each arm.
- Once you're finished with the explosive alternating reps in the press position, lower both weights slowly through the eccentric portion of the press, taking three seconds to reach the bottom position.
- Press just as slowly up, taking three seconds to reach the top, then squeeze your triceps and chest to finish the rep. Repeat for four to six reps.
This article originally appeared on Men's Health