No-nonsense pressing routine.

POWERLIFTER AND CREATOR of the famed 5/3/1 program Jim Wendler popularized the term “Boring But Big” to describe his protocol of utilizing the most basic exercises with very straightforward set and rep schemes. Sure, it looks dull on paper, but it kicks your ass in the gym and gets you pretty swole to boot. Almost makes you wonder why the word boring is even associated with such results.

Boring But Big may very well have been the inspiration for this chest workout, designed by ISSA-certified trainer and two-time Muscle & Fitness Male Model Search competitor Robert Ciresi Jr. The exercises all look familiar, which is exactly the point, and there are no fancy rep schemes either. But you know what never goes out of style? Heavy sets of 10 reps on compound exercises. “This is a four- to six-week cycle that will produce muscle growth and strength,” says Ciresi, who trains out of A Taylored Body gym in Riverside, CA. “It’s tried-andtrue stuff—some good oldfashioned grunt work.”


Bench Press 4 12 2-3 min.
Incline DB Press 4 10 2 min.
Cable Flye 2 20 1 min.
Pushup 2 25 1 min.


Employ a spotter on this exercise, as the idea here is to go as heavy as possible while not letting your form suffer. Ciresi notes that by the seventh rep, it should feel difficult so that hitting 12 reps is a true challenge. Don’t shortchange your rest periods on the bench; let your muscles recover between sets.