Tom Venuto's

Supersets For Chiseling Chest, Trisets For Blasting Biceps

Tom Venuto

Sunday, September 18th, 2005. My chest program today consisted of two supersets: one post-exhaust superset (compound exercise followed by isolation exercise) and one pre-exhaust superset (isolation exercise followed by compound exercise). The bicep program was a repeat of last week’s “5-star bicep tri-set” routine. That program worked great, and I always repeat what works, until it stops working. Read on for all the details.


A1 Hammer Strength Isolateral Incline Press
2 warm up sets
3 sets X 80 lbs per side X 8-12 reps, strict 5032 tempo
A2 Cable Crossover
Set 1: 60 lbs X 15 reps cross middle
Set 2: 60 lbs X 15 reps cross low
Set 3: 60 lbs X 15 reps multi angle
No rest between supersetted exercises A1 & A2, 60 seconds between supersets
B1 Decline Dumbbell Flyes
3 sets X 40 lbs X 12-15 reps
B2 Incline Dumbbell Bench Press, neutral grip (palms facing each other)
3 sets X 8, 7, 6 reps X 4021 tempo
No rest between supersetted exercises B1 & B2, 60 seconds rest between supersets


A1 EZ Bar Curls
2 warmup sets
Set 1: 115 lbs X 10 reps
Set 2: 115 lbs X 8 reps
Set 2: 115 lbs X 7 reps
A2 Dumbbell cross body hammer curls, (thumbs up) alternating
3 sets X 45 lbs X 8-10 reps
A3 Dumbbell cross body curls, (palms up) alternating
3 sets X 30 lbs X 12 reps, very strict (3032 tempo)
no rest between tri-setted exercises A1, A2, A3, 60 seconds rest between tri-sets
B1 Icarian Curl Machine, one arm
2 sets X 50 lbs X 10-12 reps, strict 4022 tempo, 2-3 forced reps at end of each set


A1 Hanging straight leg raises
3 sets X bodyweight X 20 reps
A2 Hanging Knee Ups
3 sets X 15-20 reps
No rest between supersetted exercises A1 & A2, 60 seconds rest between supersets
B1 Kneeling Cable Crunch with rope
3 sets X 60 lbs X 25 reps
B2 standing oblique cable crunch (holding rope)
3 sets X 50 lbs X 25 reps per side
No rest between supersetted exercises B1 & B2, 60 seconds rest between supersets
C1 Leg raise/hip lift (“toes to sky”)
3 sets X bodyweight X 20-25 reps

Workout Commentary

The first exercise in the first chest superset was the hammer strength incline press. The hammer presses were performed with superstrict form and slow tempo (5 seconds negative, no pause at bottom, 3 second concentric, 2 second squeeze at the top of every rep. With this kind of strict form, it really built up a burn like you wouldn’t believe and didn’t take much weight.

The second exercise in the first superset was cable crossovers. On each set I used a different angle. First set: lunge forward and cross middle (out in front of chest with pulleys behind me). Second set: kneeling, crossing low, finishing with hands in front of groin. Third set: standing, crossing high, middle, low, repeat. Every rep was held for a squeeze in the contracted position as if I were doing a most muscular pose. (and I hit poses and flexed in between sets; I find this helps bring out the striations.)

The second superset combination was decline dumbbell flyes, followed by Incline Dumbbell press with the palms facing each other (neutral grip). All reps very strict, squeezing at the top.

That was it for chest – four exercises in two superset pairs.

For biceps, I continued with the same tri-set routine as last week. When I train with Richie Smyth, he is “infamous” for never, ever giving me the same workout twice. However, when I train on my own and I come across highly effective routines, I usually stick with them for at least several workouts before changing again (usually 3-6 workouts in a row or until it stops working).

The exercises were the same (EZ bar curl to cross body hammer curl, to cross body dumbbell curl), but the difference this week of course, is that I moved up the poundages. My workouts are almost always progressively moving up in poundages, whenever I can, even before competitions.

My weight today was still 187. It’s been 187 for the past week, which is very surprising actually, and not what I expected. My expected target was to decrease my body fat even further and drop my weight to about 185 by Monday, September 19th (tomorrow).

Visually I look much leaner than last week, but I haven’t been taking body fat measurements recently, so I don’t know my body fat or whether I increased my lean body mass.

In any case, I’m going to drop my carbs and calories yet again to ensure that I continue to get even leaner. I’m very lean already, but my goal is to really go for that shredded look two weeks from now and if I have to “suffer” to get it, then “suffer” I will.

Tomorrow I will drop from 2700 calories to only 2500 calories and drop from 150 grams of carbs to only 100 grams of carbs and we will see what happens by tomorrow night or Tuesday morning.

Published on 18 September, 2005

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