Bodybuilder Brett Wilkin Ups The Intensity To Train Chest and Delts – BarBend

IFBB Pro Bodybuilder Brett Wilkin is getting ready to leave behind the life he knew in Denver, CO, for the sunny state of Florida, where opportunity awaits the 34-year-old Iowa native. But before ‘The Butcher” sets out on his thirty-hour trek cross country, he made the two-and-a-half-hour drive to Achieve Fitness gym in Pueblo, CO, for a training session focused on his chest and delts

Wilkin uploaded the workout to his relatively new YouTube channel on April 26, 2022. He and Classic Physique athlete Jordan Tripp Arthur went through a gauntlet of heavy presses, chest flyes, and lateral raises. Check out the entire workout session via the video below:

[Related: Bodybuilder James Hollingshead Builds Titanic Delts With Brutal Shoulder Workout]

Wilkin has been splitting his time between “The Mile High City” and Stuart, FL, to train with fellow bodybuilding competitor Iain Valliere and his coach Matt Jansen at Revive Gym. Wilkin is also working with the Revive brand and Raw Nutrition, co-founded by Jansen and headquartered in the sunshine state. Wilkin’s last show was the 2022 Arnold Classic USA, where he finished sixth. He plans to compete again in 2022 to qualify for the 2022 Olympia, scheduled for Dec. 16-18, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV.

Brett Wilkin Chest and Delts Workout

Check out the full workout session details below:

Machine Seated Chest Flye

Wilkin and Arthur preceded heavy presses with a few sets of machine flyes to warm up the chest and shoulders. Flye variations stretch the pecs, and that range of motion creates more mechanical tension in the muscles, which may help stimulate hypertrophy. The exact number of sets and reps he performed was not shown. While a very beneficial chest movement, Wilkin was eager to hop into compound exercises.

Incline Smith Machine Bench Press 

Many bodybuilders like the Smith machine version of the bench press; unlike the classic free weight variation, the barbell is on rails and moves along a predetermined track. The advantages of the Smith machine versus free weights are removing balance and stability as limiting factors. It can often serve as a safer alternative when loading heavier weight.

The weight bench was set at an incline angle which may emphasize the upper chest. The IFBB pro competitor used a thumbless grip to enhance his mind-muscle connection. Wilkin was shown performing a set with four 45-pound weight plates on each side before dropping to three plates, completing four reps, resting for a few seconds, and repeating three more times.

[Related: Jeff Nippard Responds to Bodybuilder Chris Bumstead’s Opinion That the Sumo Deadlift Is “Cheating”]

Hammer Strength Incline Press & Dumbbell Lateral Raises 

No chest workout is complete without a Hammer Strength press variation. Wilkin says many people do this exercise wrong by keeping their elbows high, which shifts the emphasis onto the front delts rather than the pecs. Wilkin did one standard set and a double drop set to failure.

Arch your back, chest up, pin the elbows down, just punch through.

The following exercise in Wilkin’s shoulder workout was one he learned from the late bodybuilding legend John Meadows; a combo movement that involves performing a set of seated dumbbell lateral raises with a full range of motion, then immediately picking up heavier dumbbells for partial reps. This technique works the lateral head of the deltoids that helps create round and wide aesthetics. Wilkin’s partner helped him squeeze out the last few full reps, but the video showed only one set of this exercise.

Cable Cross-Body Lateral Raises & Cable Seated Chest Press

Wilkin hopped over to the cable lateral raise with very little rest from the previous exercise. They used both sides of the machine and crossed the cables to train both sides simultaneously, maintaining constant tension on the delts. 

We’re hitting 15-20 reps on everything, I saw the most growth in my shoulders from that.

Wilkin focused on using strict form and getting a good pump for his shoulders. He used cable wrist attachments instead of handles. One straight set and a double drop set were shown for this movement. 

Wilkin added a little spice to his next chest exercise by using Prime Fitness Kaz handles that taper in diameter for a more ergonomic grip

It just really fills that inside of the chest and that squeeze is nasty.

The cable chest press is incredibly challenging as it requires a lot of stabilization, so Wilkin’s arms were shaking as he performed the exercise. 

Incline Machine Shoulder Press & Machine Lateral Raise

Wilkin hopped on the Hammer Strength shoulder press machine next to put some size on his front and lateral delts. The incline angle of the bench offers a more comfortable pressing angle for the shoulders. He cranked out 15 reps for his first set but wanted something more challenging. His next set was performed as follows:

  • 10 reps
  • 15 seconds rest
  • Set to failure
  • 15 seconds rest
  • Set to failure

Wilkin wrapped up the shoulder session with a brutal finisher that would likely have most gym-goers reaching for the wastebasket — 10 reps with four-second holds at the top, followed by 20 partials with two-second pauses an isometric hold in the top position for an agonizing 30 seconds.

[Related: Jim Stoppani on Modern Bodybuilding and the Use of Performance Enhancing Drugs]

Brett Wilkin Chest and Delts Workout

Below are all exercises in the same order as Wilkin performed them during his workout. Due to video editing, the exact number of sets and reps for each movement isn’t confirmed. 

  • Machine Seated Chest Flye
  • Smith Machine Chest Press
  • Hammer Strength Incline Press
  • Dumbbell Lateral Raises
  • Cable Cross-Body Lateral Raises
  • Cable Seated Chest Press
  • Machine Shoulder Press
  • Machine Standing Lateral Raise

Brett Wilkin is turning up his training intensity. His upcoming move to Florida will likely amplify his motivation to climb the Open ranks. We’ll see if that culminates in qualification to the 2022 Olympia.

Featured image: @brett_wilkin on Instagram