Victor Martinez’s Chest Workout | Training With Victor Martinez (Part 1)

Victor Martinez’s in-depth chest day training guide.

Victor Martinez is an iconic pro bodybuilder and legend in the sport. He is considered by many to have one of the greatest physiques of the 2000s era of bodybuilders. In 2007, in a controversial decision, he nearly beat Jay Cutler for the Mr. Olympia title. That’s why we met up with Martinez at the Generation Iron Personal Training Gym for an epic workout. In this GI Exclusive, Victor Martinez breaks down in-depth tips to upgrade your chest day training session.

It’s easy enough to find a training routine online – but the real work comes in knowing the details. A list of exercises, sets, and reps is simply the most basic foundation for a successful workout. Knowing proper form, full movement, and specific tips can transform a workout from good to great. It’s what separates a “normal” in shape person from a shredded bodybuilder.

That’s why Victor Martinez met up with Vlad Yudin to go through the ultimate gauntlet of a workout. In part one of our training mini series with Martinez, he puts Vlad through the paces and shares important tips on how to optimize your routine. A workout sheet is one thing – but this video guide will give you play-by-play examples of how to actually perform like a pro bodybuilder.

Victor Martinez’s Chest Day Training Workout

To start, Victor Martinez stresses the important of warm up exercises. Many lifters might want to jump right into the heavy lifting – but warming up not only helps prevent injury, it can allow you to get the most out of your workout and push your muscles to exhaustion. Martinez suggests two warm up exercises with light weight that match the muscle group you’re about to train.

With the warmups out of the way, Victor Martinez decided to focus on three core exercises and break down how to best perform them. Below is the full breakdown of exercises, sets, and reps.

Exercises Sets Reps
Chest Press 4 15
Decline Dumbbell Press 4 15
Standing Cable Crossover Flyes 4 15


When it comes to weight, that’s impossible to recommend broadly. Each individual has different limits on how much weight to push. Ultimately, you want to lift enough weight to complete all three sets for each exercise. By the end of the final set for each – you should barely be able to finish. It may take trial and error to begin with – but you’ll ultimately find a sweet spot this will be more than enough to exhaust your muscles completely.

Chest Press (Machine)

For this exercise, Victor Martinez is using an old school chest press machine. He explains how the machine was inspired by football and emulates the kind of moves a linebacker would typically perform on the field. That’s why Martinez suggests sliding down on the seat to give your movements more of an upward momentum. You want to have explosive momentum pushing up, squeeze, and then slowly bring the weight back down in a controlled manner. Avoid locking out your elbows.

Decline Dumbbell Press

For the next exercise, Victor Martinez goes to the classic decline dumbbell press. He suggests that decline presses be done the older you get – as this muscle area tends to lose its fullness as you age. The decline press is also important to provide your chest a full and complete look. Martinez also suggests wide grip dips if you don’t have time to fully commit to a decline press. This also hits the wide areas of the chest.

Standing Cable Crossover Flyes

The final exercise in our Part 1 Victor Martinez workout is the Standing Cable Crossover Flyes. This exercise is a great finisher as it provides focused isolation on the chest. Martinez typically suggests splitting the reps of upper and then lower flyes to best hit the chest from all angles. He also warns of pulling to far back. While many believe this gives a fuller range of motion and a good stretch on the muscle, it can lead to injuring the rotator cuff.

Wrap Up

That about wraps up Part 1 of Victor Martinez’s upper body training routine. Next week, we’ll return to hit up the back in a new selection of exercises. Make sure to watch the GI Exclusive training video above to get complete play-by-play tips on each exercise. Soon you’ll transform your workout into a pro level routine.

Derek Dufour
Derek Dufour has been managing all digital operations on the Generation Iron Network for over six years. He currently manages a team of editors, writers, and designers to provide up-to-date content across the GI Network.