The Larry Wheels Chest Workout!


Larry Wheels has one of the strongest chests in the world.

He can bench press as much as 675 pounds for 1 rep and incline bench press 225 pounds for 50 reps.

If you want to build a chest like Larry Wheels then this article is for you!

Introduction

  • Part 1: Larry Wheel’s Training Split
  • Part 2: Larry Wheel’s Bodybuilding Chest Workouts
  • Part 3: Larry Wheels’ Powerlifting Chest Workouts

In this comprehensive guide I will show you exactly how Larry Wheels trains his chest for size and strength.

But first you have to check out this video of Larry Wheels incline bench pressing 405 pounds for 17 reps:

Talk about a strong chest!

Larry Wheels is a very smart athlete. He knows that he cannot train super heavy year-round and expect to make progress. Instead he rotates through phases where he trains like a bodybuilder and phases where he trains like a powerlifter.

Larry says that the bodybuilding-style workouts are a great mental break from his normal powerlifting style workouts. Check it out:

“Mentally, I was getting burned out. Powerlifting can be draining. Bodybuilding is kind of a mental break. It’s just something fresh for me.”

When Larry is training like a bodybuilder his primary goal is to build muscle mass and to give his body a break from the heavy powerlifting-style workouts.

Larry likes to use a traditional bodybuilding bro-split during his mass-building phase. Check it out:

The Larry Wheels Bodybuilding Split

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

Larry found through trial and error that the bodybuilding bro split works best for building muscle mass. This is especially true for his chest workouts.

Larry uses a pretty simple system for his bodybuilding chest workouts: he trains heavy on his first exercise and then performs a bunch of higher-rep pumping exercises to finish the workout.

This is a power building strategy that many other top bodybuilders like Steve Kuclo have used in the past.

Here is one of Larry Wheels’ offseason chest workouts. Check it out:

Larry Wheels Bodybuilding Chest Workout #1

  • Exercise #1: 45 degree incline bench press, 3 sets of 5-15 reps
  • Exercise #2: 30 degree incline DB press, 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #3: High incline machine press, 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #4: Flat cable crossover, 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #5: Lying DB pullover, 3 sets of 8-12 reps

Here is the training video for this workout:

Larry Wheels starts this workout with a heavy set of 5 reps and a back-off set of 15 reps on the incline bench press. Then he performs a couple of higher-rep compound exercises including the incline dumbbell press and the high incline machine press.

Even on these exercises Larry is throwing around a ridiculous amount of weight!

Finally Larry finishes with a couple of chest isolation exercises for higher reps. This is very similar to the classic bodybuilding bro-split chest workout that many professional bodybuilders perform.

For Larry this is the best way to build muscle while maintaining his top-end strength.

Here is another bodybuilding-style chest workout that Larry performed during his powerlifting offseason. Check it out:

Larry Wheels Bodybuilding Chest Workout #2

  • Exercise #1: 30 degree incline DB press, 1 set of 5 reps
  • Exercise #2: Cable crossover (high pulley), 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #3: 30 degree incline bench press, 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #4: Cable lateral raise, 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #5: Cable rope pushdown, 3 sets of 8-12 reps

Here is the training video for this workout:

Larry Wheels uses a very similar training strategy for this workout. First he trains as heavy as possible on the incline dumbbell press.

He ends up performing 5 reps with the 230 pound dumbbells… I don’t even know what to say about that!

Next Larry performs some higher-rep assistance work for his chest on the cable crossovers and the incline bench press.

Finally Larry throws in some extra assistance work for his side delts and triceps for good measure.

Larry uses these bodybuilding workouts to build muscle mass while maintaining strength and they work like a charm for him.

Now let’s look at Larry’s powerlifting style chest workouts. When Larry trains for powerlifting he uses a traditional 4 days per week powerlifting training split. Check it out:

The Larry Wheels Powerlifting Split

  • Monday: Bench Press
  • Wednesday: Squat
  • Friday: Bench Assistance
  • Saturday: Deadlift

Larry Wheels uses a simple 4-day upper / lower split when he is prepping for his powerlifting competitions. He has a heavy bench press day, a squat day, a bench press assistance day and a deadlift day.

On his heavy bench press day Larry works up to a heavy set of 1-5 reps on the bench press.

He sometimes uses tools like chains or reverse bands to make the exercise even more challenging. Then he performs a variety of accessory exercises for the rest of his upper body.

Here is one of Larry Wheels’ heavy powerlifting chest workouts. Check it out:

Larry Wheels Powerlifting Chest Workout #1

  • Exercise #1: Flat bench press, 1 set of 2 reps
  • Exercise #2: Spoto press, 3 sets of 4 reps
  • Exercise #3: Chin ups (medium / supinated grip), 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #4: Band pushdowns, 3 sets of 20-30 reps

Here is the training video for this workout:

For this workout Larry works up to a heavy set of 2 reps on the flat bench press. Then he performs a few back-off sets of Spoto presses.

The Spoto press is a variation of the bench press where you stop 1 inch off your chest, pause for a second and press the weight back up.

Here is Larry Wheels explaining this exercise:

“With the Spoto press you pause for 3 inches right above your chest.

Most people’s sticking point is right off the chest. And if it’s not you’re developing better power in this range and you’re more explosive so that momentum can carry you to lockout.

The faster you are off the chest, that momentum will carry you to lockout.”

The Spoto press was invented by Eric Spoto, the first man to bench press over 720 pounds!

If you have never heard of this exercise then you have to give it a try. It works for Eric Spoto, it works for Larry Wheels and it will work for you too.

Now let’s look at one of Larry Wheels’ bench press accessory workouts. Check it out:

Larry Wheels Powerlifting Chest Workout #2

  • Exercise #1: 30 degree incline bench press, 5 sets of 8 reps
  • Exercise #2: Lat pulldown (medium / neutral grip), 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #3: 30 degree ez-bar spider curl (wide / supinated grip), 3 sets of 12-15 reps

Here is the training video for this workout:

For this workout Larry Wheels performs a few lighter sets of incline bench presses. His goal here is to get some quality sets in without burning out his central nervous system.

He’s already training as heavy as he can on his primary bench press day so there’s no need to go all-out on this training day and screw up his training cycle.

After the lighter sets of incline bench presses he performs some higher-rep accessory work for his back and biceps.

When Larry gets really close to his powerlifting meets he likes to use tools like bands and chains to really overload his central nervous system.

Here is a chest workout where Larry used reverse bands to really overload his lockout strength. Check it out:

Larry Wheels Powerlifting Chest Workout #3

  • Exercise #1: Reverse band bench press, 1 set of 1 reps
  • Exercise #2: Seated cable row (wide / overhand grip), 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Exercise #3: Cable pushdowns (wide / overhand grip), 3 sets of 8-12 reps

Here is the training video for this workout:

The bands are like giant rubber bands that help lift the weight off your chest.

Larry is using them so that he can feel a heavier than normal weight in his hands and peak his strength right before his competition. Check it out:

“I’ll be getting assistance off my chest and the bands will release mid-way so I can feel the full load on the way to lockout.

This will prepare my central nervous system for my heaviest bench press sets at my upcoming powerlifting meet.”

Tools like bands and chains were popularized by the Westside Barbell powerlifting team.

If you want to learn how to use them then check out my article “Westside Barbell Bands And Chains: The Ultimate Guide!

Conclusion

Larry Wheels has one of the strongest chests in the world.

He trains his chest by alternating back and forth between bodybuilding-style workouts and powerlifting-style workouts. This is a ridiculously effective way to train if you want to be big AND strong.

Many of the world’s strongest powerlifters including Eddie Coan and Stan Efferding used this exact same approach during their powerlifting careers.

If you are stuck at a plateau on the bench press then you have to give Larry Wheels’ chest workouts a shot! They work for Larry and they will work for you too.

Or maybe not? Not everyone is a freak of nature like Larry!

Here’s a great quote by the OG Ralph Waldo Emerson to pump you up even more:

“The good news is that the moment you decide that what you know is more important than what you have been taught to believe, you will have shifted gears in your quest for abundance.

Success comes from within, not from without.”

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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