There are plenty of ways to push your chest to the limit with bodyweight, which is why you can build strong, well-proportioned pecs without using any weights at all. Two key weapons are volume and time-under-tension.
In the Iso Archer Pushup Countdown Series, a devastating, no-gear chest move from Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., you’ll combine those with unilateral loading to spark gym-level chest growth. “There’s a general perception that you need weights to pack on chest size,” says Samuel, “and it’s based in fair science. You do need to overload a muscle to promote growth. Thing is, you can overload your chest with bodyweight.”
The archer pushup does that in general. An early move that pushes you toward the one-arm pushup, the archer pushup essentially has you loading one arm with the majority of your bodyweight. “The other arm serves as a support only,” says Samuel. “It’s straight, so it can’t press you out of the hole.”
The toughest part of the archer? When your chest is an inch from the ground. “So let’s build time-under-tension here,” says Samuel, “and get comfortable in the position.”
During Samuel’s Iso Archer Pushup Countdown Series, you’ll spend extra time in that bottom position, and then pile on reps from there. By the end of each set, you spend at least 20 seconds mastering the bottom of the archer, and you still do 15 reps of archer pushups, too.
The best part: It’s a move you can do anywhere, without any equipment.
The Iso Archer Pushup Countdown Series works well in a variety of a situations. It can easily be the first move in a bodyweight chest workout, or you can push yourself even farther and use it as a chest day finisher. “My favorite way to use it,” says Samuel, “is as the final move in a weight room chest workout. It’s piling up a ton of time-under-tension and really pushing me to my limits that way.”
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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