If the #quarantinelife era of fitness has taught us anything, it is this: There’s no shortage of ways to challenge your chest with bodyweight. We’ve showcased a host of new and chest-devastating pushups and pushup combos over the last few weeks, each offering considerable load and challenge for your chest.
But there may not be one quite as challenging and chest-pumping as the Post Pushup Eccentric Hellset from Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. This triple-dropset forces you to own the eccentric contraction, meaning you’re slowly lowering your torso to the ground with control with a single arm.
It’s a vicious challenge for chest, triceps, and core, and it’s one that demands full body control. And that’s just the start. Because you have to lower yourself with control with a purpose: You’ll stop twice during the lowering process and pause, challenging chest and triceps some more. “There’s no room to lack concentration or focus when doing these early reps,” says Samuel. “You have to own everything. That means a ton of time-under-tension for both chest and triceps.”
After you battle through that first leg of this dropset, you still have to do standard paused pushups. And once that’s done you wind up with one final challenge: A handful of standard pushups to finish off your chest. “These standard pushups would normally be easy,” says Samuel, “but by the time you’ve battered your chest with challenging eccentric contractions and pauses, these standard pushups will wind up feeling brutal.”
It all adds up to anytime, anywhere, no-gear, no-equipment chest fun, and in many ways, it may challenge you more than a standard bench press. So get ready to give it a go. Building muscle without weights and gear has never felt this challenging and brutal.
The Post Pushup Eccentric Hellset is a perfect on-the-go, no-gear way to blast your chest and it can fit into your workout in a variety of ways. Use it as a lead exercise if you’re doing an all-bddyweight, multi-exercise chest move (yes, it’s that tough). You can also use it as part of a weighted chest workout, as a brutal finisher. It can also be the pushing element in a full-body workout.
However you do it, make sure to take your time, and understand that it’s as challenging a bodyweight chest move as you’ll find. Focus on owning the technique (there’s really no way not to), and enjoy the pump.
For more tips and routines from Samuel, check out our full slate of Eb and Swole workouts. If you want to try an even more dedicated routine, consider Eb’s New Rules of Muscle program.
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