There are few better people better to learn about a chest workout than Cutler.
Even at age 49, four-time Mr. Olympia (2006-2007, 2009-2010) Jay Cutler stays fit and actively influences bodybuilding. In the approximate past year alone, he’s worked out with strength sports legends like Ronnie Coleman and Eddie Hall. He’s shared a “Fit for 50” workout as he nears the half-century mark. If that’s not enough, he continues to dispense analysis about the current state of bodybuilding and its modern stars. Now, he had more knowledge to share with anyone ready to learn from one of the greats.
On Mar. 22, 2023, Cutler posted a video to his YouTube channel where he broke down how to build an “Olympia” chest. From someone who stood at the top of bodybuilding multiple times, it’s an enlightening breakdown of how to rip up the pectoral muscles.
Here’s an overview of the latest chest routine Cutler shared on one of his main media platforms. Note: The exact repetitions and weight for each portion of the workout were not detailed.
Standing Calf Raise
Perhaps surprisingly, before attacking his chest, Cutler elects to target his lower body with with some standing calf raises. The athlete made do with the equipment he had available at the gym and performed the movement in a Smith machine with two 45-pound plates on each side.
Seated Calf Raise
After performing the standing variation, Cutler shifts to seated calf raises. Cutler maintained he didn’t enjoy performing this movement at first, given the awkward seated positioning, but eventually found a rhythm.
“This was one of the exercises where I just didn’t feel it a lot,” Cutler explained. “I had to figure out the right positioning to get under it.”
Machine Chest Press
Cutler finally began the meat-and-potatoes of the workout with his first chest exercise — a seated chest press on a machine. He did a few warm-up sets with two 45-pound plates on each side, which he called his “go-to warm-up,” followed by working sets using three 45-pound plates per side. He mentioned keeping approximately 45-60 seconds rest between each set.
Machine Incline Chest Fly
Cutler transitioned to chest flyes for complete development and focus on his chest. This also occurred on a plate-loaded machine. He appeared to keep it simple using relatively the same amount of weight, 75 pounds per hand, for each set.
Flat Dumbbell Press
Cutler declared the standard dumbbell bench press to be his favorite chest movement as he moved into the latter portions of his routine. He worked up to using a pair of 90-pound dumbbells for more than 12 repetitions, noting that his current goal is “maintenance,” rather than continuing to build muscular size.
Cutler stated his appreciation for the flat variation, but stressed that attacking the chest from all angles with a variety of movements is vital for a well-rounded build. Cutler would clarify where people sometimes go wrong with this movement regarding their technique.
“The wrong way to do it [the flat dumbbell press] is to come up and press those dumbbells together,” Cutler started. “Why? Because when you’re doing that movement and you’re coming up, you’re bringing your triceps in … Ideally, you want to treat it like a straight up and down motion, and as I’m doing that, I’m squeezing the chest, right? The point is to keep the shoulders back and the chest out. A lot of people aren’t feeling this movement because they can’t keep their shoulders back.”
To close the workout, Cutler finished with a power chest press. The power press is specialized machine chest press variation that allows the athlete to stand in a back-supported position while performing the movement. Cutler appeared to stick to two 45-pound plates on each side for this closer.
One thing remains abundantly clear as Cutler nears age 50 — he’ll pull out all the stops to stay jacked and help others do the same if they choose. There are worse ideas than following the footsteps of a Mr. Olympia icon.
Featured image: JayCutlerTV / YouTube