Training Chest at a New Gym: Focus on Form and Controlled Reps

I was inspired to write this post after training chest this morning at a new gym. I just signed us up at Anytime Fitness here in Brandon, FL because it’s much closer to our house than the gym I’ve been going to (this pic above is actually from my other gym; I haven’t taken any pics at the new one yet).

One thing I’ve always noticed about being in a new gym is the equipment is usually a little different. That mixed with being in a new environment, I tend to train a more carefully, and focus more on form and using controlled reps.

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Making Your Chest Muscles Work

I’ll get to the exercises and chest workout below. But first I want to harp on something that I preach on a regular basis. You don’t want to just move the weight from point A to B. That may work for getting stronger, but not so much for building muscle. Using controlled reps with proper form is what builds the muscle.

The bench press seems to be a platform for just pushing a bunch of weight. Again, that’s great if your goal is to increase strength. But bench pressing 3-4 plates on each side, while impressive, doesn’t guarantee you a fan-shaped chest like Arnold. On the other hand, using controlled reps will get you there.

As I said above, this is the beauty of training at a new gym. You tend to train more cautiously because you’re not familiar with the equipment. The brands, weights, machines; those can vary from gym to gym. But this is good as it forces you to focus more on making the muscle work.

I contracted my chest muscles every rep this morning. I’d like to say I train that way consistently, but it’s easy to get into a comfort zone to where you just go through the motions. You get good workouts, but not great ones. This morning was a superior workout (I’m already starting to feel sore).

Chest Exercises in a New Gym

I had walked around for a while to check out the equipment when I initially signed my wife and I up at Anytime Fitness. This gym is much smaller than my other but they have the necessities, and that’s what counts. Here are the exercises I chose:

  • Incline Dumbbell Press
  • Bench Press
  • Incline Dumbbell Flyes
  • Chest Press Machine

The downfall is they don’t have any actual bench press or incline bench press. Rather, they have a couple of racks which you have to roll a bench under. That’s fine, I can live with that.

The dumbbells go up to 110 lbs. I was able to get 12 good reps with those on my final set of incline press. They have a chest machine you sit in and press out. I don’t recall the brand but it’s a nice finishing chest exercise.

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Chest and Triceps Workout at Anytime Fitness

Now for the good stuff; my first chest workout at Anytime Fitness in Brandon. This post is based on chest but I also trained triceps this morning, so I’m throwing that in below as well.

  • Incline Dumbbell Flyes
    • 4 sets x 12 reps
  • Bench Press
    • 4 sets x 12, 12, 8, 8 reps
  • Incline Dumbbell Flyes
    • 4 sets x 10 reps
  • Machine Chest Press
    • 4 sets x 12 reps
  • Rope Pressdowns
    • 4 sets x 12 reps
  • Reverse Overhead Rope Extensions
    • 3 sets x 15 reps

I kept the reps somewhat high. And each rep was controlled with a focus on form and contractions.

Is Two Gym Memberships Worth It?

The gym I’ve been going too for over 7 years now has a ton of equipment. And I’ve also met a lot of great folks there. The 5AM crowd is a unique one but we all have that common ground of waking up early to train hard.

Anytime Fitness doesn’t have near the space or gym equipment. But after looking around, it has what I need to get the same level of workouts. And the crowd at the time I go is minimal, so that offsets the need for more equipment and machines. It’s also super clean and the equipment is kept up really well. And the manager there is awesome.

I’m going to keep my other gym membership, for a while anyway. And I may go there now and then. The difference is it’s 7 miles away from my house; Anytime Fitness has two locations, one of which is only a mile from my house and the other is about 3 miles.

Stay tuned for more workouts and videos to come from this new gym!

Train with Passion,









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