Michal Krizo’s Chest & Shoulder Workout to Break Your Bench Press Plateau

michal krizo's chest and shoulder workout

Taking a break from the bench press can help you bust through plateaus. 

Breaking through a bench press plateau can be frustrating, especially considering its importance in upper body training. To overcome this hurdle, try incorporating a variety of chest and shoulder routines and occasionally take a break from the traditional barbell bench press (1). During this time, explore alternative exercises and utilize machines for your bench press. By diversifying your approach, you can overcome the plateau and continue progressing. In this post, we’ll look at some ways to train that can help you fix a bench press plateau. For this, we’ll follow Michal Krizo and the exercises he recently shared for a chest and shoulder workout. The 33-year-old Slovakian bodybuilder is training for Mr. Olympia after qualifying by winning the 2023 Empro Classic Pro.  

Full Name: Michal Križo Križánek
Weight Height Age
290 lbs 6’1” 33
Division Era Nationality
Men’s Open 2010s- Till Date Slovak

After a disappointing outing at Mr. Olympia 2022 (coming in 12 place) Michal Krizo has made many changes over the year. He’s added cardio and increased his training volume. Luckily, he’s taken us along on this journey, sharing his back workout, shoulder workout, and, most recently, his leg workout in preparation. 

Michal Krizo started his Olympia training in August and has improved his physique considerably. This chest and shoulder workout posted on his personal YouTube is part of his stringent training for the competition. Here are his exercises and how to power through a bench press plateau.  

Michal Krizo’s Chest & Shoulder Workout 


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Michal Krizo competes in the Men’s Open division and faced considerable criticism about his conditioning last year. To fix that this year, the professional bodybuilder has a strict training protocol and trains six times weekly. He also worked on his diet and has kept to the new changes.

Michal Krizo did a mix of compound and isolation movements for this chest and shoulder workout. He used free weights and machines to add resistance and did each workout slowly to maximize gains. Here are the exercises he did, which you can use to break out of a bench press plateau.

Hammer Strength Bench Press
Cable Front Raise
Single Arm Machine Incline Chest Press
Barbell Upright Row
Pec Deck Fly

Hammer Strength Bench Press

The hammer strength bench press is a beautiful barbell bench press alternative. This plate-loaded machine replicates the natural path of the barbell bench press and ensures that you use the proper form. This allows you to focus on using the right mind-muscle connection to maximize your gains. 

The hammer strength bench press targets your chest and recruits your shoulders and triceps muscles. This machine can target your pecs from different angles or even exercise one pec at a time. In addition, it better isolates your chest. To kick off his chest and shoulder training, Michal Krizo did some solid sets of this hammer strength bench press. 

Cable Front Raise

The cable front raise is another routine that builds your upper body muscles. They primarily focus on your shoulders and build the anterior delts. It’s an isolation exercise; you can do it bilaterally or unilaterally. 

Cable front raises also build lateral delts, pecs, and traps (2). It’s an excellent routine for stabilizing your shoulders and also activates the core for stabilization. Compared to the dumbbell alternative, it keeps the same tension on each degree of the raise. With this exercise, Michal Krizo used a rope attachment on the cable machine to build his anterior delts.

Single Arm Machine Incline Chest Press

The single arm machine incline chest press is excellent for the upper pecs. But it also recruits your triceps and delts, helping you build your upper body strength. The machine’s stability helps you focus on your form to increase muscle mass.

Michal Krizo did them crossbody on the hammer strength plate-loaded machine. The crossbody movement helps to squeeze the muscles of your upper and inner pecs hard, leading to greater hypertrophy. Doing this exercise unilaterally also helps to find and fix any muscle imbalances, and research shows that you get strength gains in both arms while training one arm (3).

Barbell Upright Row

The barbell upright row builds strength in your shoulders and upper back. This exercise targets your delts, traps, and rhomboids. It’s great for your shoulders because it targets the rear delts, which aren’t often touched on in programs. 

When doing barbell upright rows, it’s essential to use proper form to avoid injury. This exercise was Michal Krizo’s first free weight routine of the day. He did multiple sets with a wide grip to build his shoulders before heading to the last routine in this video.

Pec Deck Fly

The pec deck fly is an isolation exercise that targets your chest muscles. It’s a great accessory movement to add volume to the pecs. It’s not meant for heavy weights, but lighter weights and more reps. 

With this exercise, he used slow and controlled movements to target and build his chest muscles. If you have shoulder issues, it’s best to avoid this movement since, biomechanically, it can place excess stress on your shoulder joints. 

If you’re having a bench press plateau, try these Michal Krizo chest and shoulder movements. Mixing in different machine exercises and focusing on shoulder movements that strengthen your delts will help mix things up and strengthen the necessary muscles to propel your bench press forward.

Watch Michal Krizo’s entire chest and shoulder workout below:

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  1. Krzysztofik, M., Wilk, M., Wojdała, G., & Gołaś, A. (2019). Maximizing Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review of Advanced Resistance Training Techniques and Methods. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(24), 4897. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16244897 
  2. Coratella, G., Tornatore, G., Longo, S., Esposito, F., & Cè, E. (2020). An Electromyographic Analysis of Lateral Raise Variations and Frontal Raise in Competitive Bodybuilders. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(17), 6015. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17176015 
  3. Manca, A., Dragone, D., Dvir, Z., & Deriu, F. (2017). Cross-education of muscular strength following unilateral resistance training: a meta-analysis. European journal of applied physiology, 117(11), 2335–2354. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-017-3720-z
Terry Ramos
As a personal trainer and writer, Terry loves changing lives through coaching and the written word. Terry has a B.S. in Kinesiology and is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer and ISSA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. He enjoys playing music, reading, and watching films when he's not writing or training.