The Jay Cutler Chest Workout!


Jay Cutler is one of the greatest bodybuilders of all time. He won the Mr. Olympia contest 4 times in 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010. He is also the founder of the Cutler Nutrition supplement company.

Jay Cutler has many standout body parts but he is known for his massive chest.

If you want to train your chest like Jay Cutler then this article is for you!

Introduction

  • Part 1: Jay Cutler’s Training Split
  • Part 2: Jay Cutler’s Chest Workouts

In this comprehensive guide I will show you how Jay Cutler trained his chest during his professional bodybuilding career.

Jay Cutler trains his chest once per week using traditional high-volume bodybuilding style workouts.

Jay says that he performs as many as 6-8 exercises and 20-40 sets for his upper back in a single workout! That is enough volume to put most people in the hospital but it worked like magic for Jay Cutler. Check it out:

“It’s not uncommon for me to do 30-40 sets in a single workout just for back. For me it’s routine – I’ve been training that way since I was a little kid.”

Jay Cutler trains his upper back once per week using a 5-day bodybuilding bro split. Check it out:

Jay Cutler’s Bodybuilding Training Split

  • Day 1: Chest
  • Day 2: Arms
  • Day 3: Back
  • Day 4: Off
  • Day 5: Shoulders
  • Day 6: Legs
  • Day 7: Off

Jay Cutler says that the 5-day bro split is the way to go if you like to perform high-volume bodybuilding workouts. You are only training 1 body part per workout so it is very easy to get all of your sets in.

Jay Cutler has an incredible recovery ability and is known for his high-volume / high intensity chest workouts. Check it out:

“I like to train at a really high intensity. Shock training which is basically very fast repetitions, almost sloppy form but in total control. I think that definitely helps to stimulate the deep muscle fibers.”

For his chest workouts Jay Cutler picks about 5-6 total exercises and performs several hard sets for each movement. He never plans out his entire workout in advance.

Instead he plans out his first 1-2 exercises and then performs everything else based on how he’s feeling and what machines are available.

Here is one of Jay Cutler’s favorite chest routines. Check it out:

Jay Cutler’s Chest Workout #1

  • Exercise #1: Hammer strength incline press, 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #2: Flat dumbbell press, 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #3: Incline dumbbell fly, 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #4: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #5: Decline bench press, 4 sets of 8-15 reps

Here is the training video for this workout:

This is a very normal looking Jay Cutler chest workout. He performs 5 exercises for his chest using a wide variety of exercises including barbell movements, dumbbell movements and machines.

Here is Jay describing his chest training style:

“My training is very high intensity. My workouts are very quick but with a lot of volume, a lot of sets, a lot of drop sets. Usually my repetition range falls between 8-12 reps, I do basically about 15-20 sets per body part.”

Jay offers a lot of interesting advice during his workouts. He talks about his mental approach to training and bringing his best possible physique to the Mr. Olympia stage each year.

He also talks about some of his favorite chest exercises. For example:

“People think the decline bench press builds the lower pecs but it actually builds the upper pecs when done my style.”

The decline bench press works the upper chest? This reminds me of something Ronnie Coleman said right before the 2013 Mr. Olympia competition: “I think Jay Cutler is smoking crack and he ain’t in his right mind!”

Just kidding – if Jay Cutler says he feels the decline bench press in his upper chest then who am I to judge?

Here is another one of Jay Cutler’s Mr. Olympia chest workouts. Check it out:

Jay Cutler’s Chest Workout #2

  • Exercise #1: Incline bench press, 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #2: Flat dumbbell press, 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #3: Incline dumbbell fly, 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #4: Cable crossover (high pulley), 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #5: Lying dumbbell pullover, 4 sets of 8-15 reps

Here is the training video for this workout:

Jay Cutler says that he didn’t plan out his exercises at all for this workout. He just goes into the gym and figures it all out from there. Check it out:

“I basically go by instinct and by feel.”

One interesting thing about Jay Cutler’s chest workouts is he uses a ton of different exercises to overload all of the different functions of the muscle.

It’s about more than just hitting the muscle from all angles – he’s really trying to pick different exercises that overload the muscle in unique ways. Check it out:

“You really have to understand how the muscle works, functions. And everyone’s genetics will be different.

You might have an exercise that works great for you but it might not do anything for me.

That’s why everyone has to learn their own thing and not just say OK that’s what Jay Cutler did, I’m going to follow that exact routine.

Use those routines but work your own way and become your own person.”

This is some great advice from Jay Cutler. We are all different. At the end of the day you have to figure out what works best for you! 

Here is another one of Jay Cutler’s high-volume chest workouts. Check it out:

Jay Cutler’s Chest Workout #3

  • Exercise #1: 30 degree incline DB press, 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #2: Hammer strength flat press, 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #3: 30 degree incline DB fly, 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #4: Supine cable crossover, 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #5: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 4 sets of 8-15 reps

Here is the training video for this workout:

This is another typical looking workout for Jay Cutler. Jay gives some great advice during this workout including the need to pace yourself to avoid burnout.

Jay says that he only trains to failure on the last set for each exercise.

If you are going to perform 20+ sets per body part then there’s no way you can do more than that without burning out. Check it out:

“I’m a 20 set guy so we’re going to do 4-5 different movements for 3-4 sets each. You’re going to be maxed out.

If you’re a high-volume guy then you can’t go to failure all the time. If you’re going to train to failure then I would only suggest 1 set per movement, max.”

Finally let’s look at a chest workout that Jay Cutler performed with the late bodybuilding coach John Meadows.

It’s interesting to see how Jay Cutler trains now that he is no longer competing in professional bodybuilding. Check it out:

Jay Cutler’s Chest Workout #4

  • Exercise #1: Hammer strength incline press, 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #2: 30 degree incline dumbbell press, 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #3: Machine pec dec, 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #4: Supine cable fly (low pulley), 4 sets of 8-15 reps
  • Exercise #5: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 4 sets of 8-15 reps

Here is the training video for this workout:

Jay Cutler gets tons of different questions from his fans about how he warms up for each exercise. Here is Jay’s response:

“The most common thing people ask me is how I pyramid up in weight for my sets. I make sure I always have a rep range between 8-12 reps.

Not to say I won’t go beyond that but 8 seems to be the number where I’m still getting a lot of muscle fatigue.”

Jay uses some interesting exercises during this workout that he doesn’t normally get the chance to use. One of them is the supine cable fly.

This exercise is performed exactly like a dumbbell fly except you are going to use cables coming from the ground on either side of you.

Jay says he really likes this exercise because it keeps constant time under tension on the chest. Check it out:

“This exercise burns more than all the other chest exercises that I do. It’s just a great exercise to really engage the muscle and get some extra blood flow in there.”

If you haven’t performed this exercise before then you really need to. It puts a completely different feel on your chest from anything you’ve tried before.

Conclusion

Jay Cutler is known for his huge chest and his unbelievable strength on the bench press. Jay could bench press 315 pounds the first time he walked into the gym and he regularly uses 400-500 pounds on the bench press and the incline bench press in his workouts.

Jay trains his chest using his usual high-volume training style with 20-30 total sets. He performs at least some sets to failure with forced reps and drop sets but most of the time he paces himself so that he can get in as many high-quality sets as possible.

If you have great genetics and superior recovery ability then go ahead and give the Jay Cutler chest program a shot. It could be just what you need to take your training to the next level.

Here is one more quite by Jay Cutler to pump you up even more:

“I had the goal to be the best since day one.”

Thank you for reading and I wish you the best of luck on your strength training journey!

Dr. Mike Jansen, PT, DPT

Thanks for checking out my site! My name is Dr. Mike Jansen and I'm the founder of Revolutionary Program Design. If you want to reach your size and strength goals faster then you've come to the right place. My goal is to make RPD the #1 strength training resource available anywhere in the world. So grab a seat, kick back and relax. There's never been a better time to lift weights or to learn the art and science of strength training program design.

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