Bodybuilding legend Dexter Jackson likely won’t be making a formal comeback to contests like the returning Masters Olympia any time soon. However, that doesn’t mean the former 2008 Mr. Olympia and 2012 Masters Olympia champion is neglecting to take care of his fitness. If anything, he’s training exactly the way one would expect of a retired dynamo.
On May 14, 2023, Jackson shared a video on his YouTube channel where he walked through an efficient but effective chest workout. For this 54-year-old who clearly makes it a point to keep the elements of his athleticism up — at least, if various training videos on his social media platforms are any indication — it’s a worthy insight into the process of an icon.
Jackson’s chest routine does not necessarily reinvent the wheel. Nor is it a comprehensive workout from top to bottom. What is clear from the way the retired athlete lays every movement is that extensiveness isn’t the central focus. It might be more about efficiency and complete upper-body development. Note: Jackson did not disclose the precise weight for each portion of his workout.
Here’s an overview of Jackson’s complete chest workout on a set and repetitions basis:
Dexter Jackson Chest Workout | YouTube Channel May 2023
- Hammer Isolation Flat Bench Press (Four sets of 10 reps)
- Machine Incline Chest Press (Four sets of 10 reps)
- Arsenal Incline Flye (Four sets of 10 reps)
- Decline Cable Flye (Four sets of 10 reps)
Here’s a short breakdown of each chest exercise Jackson performed through the workout.
Hammer Isolation Flat Bench Press
Jackson begins his workout by jumping in with the hammer isolation flat bench press, a compound movement. Like with several exercises used in his overall workout, Jackson performs the movement on a plate-loaded machine. Jackson performs four sets with gradually heavier weights and views this bench press on the machine as a means to help balance his strength.
Machine Incline Chest Press
In a seamless transition, Jackson next performs some chest presses on an incline machine. The athlete again works through four sets of high repetitions, centering on endurance and tone. It is here where Jackson talks up the benefits of working out on machines, especially in easing joint pain for a retired athlete like him.
“All the free weight stuff with heavy weights that I used to do, really, really tore my joints up,” Jackson explained. “So if you guys got joint pain and you’re looking to ease the pain, make sure you try and do some more machine work. That’ll take a lot of stress off the joints versus free weights.”
Arsenal Strength Incline Flye
In the interest of further developing his upper chest musculature, Jackson next performs a few high-rep sets of incline flyes on an arsenal strength machine. These also had the added benefit of pushing his biceps muscles to stabilize the weight during the movement.
Decline Cable Flye
To conclude his workout, Jackson finishes with another chest flye variation, this time at a cable station while moving his arms in a low-to-high angle which Jackson referred to as a” at a “decline cable flye.” As the name suggests, this aimed to make sure each part of Jackson’s chest muscles had appropriate attention, in this case, the lower portion.
Toward the end of the video, Jackson inserted an old clip of himself performing an 183-kilogram (405-pound) bench press for eight repetitions, filmed during his contest preparation for the 2000 Mr. Olympia where he eventually placed ninth.
These days, even though he isn’t competing at the high and prolific level of his professional bodybuilding days, it’s apparent Jackson still puts his fitness at a premium. For an older character like him, it also seems clear he’s eager to leave the ladder behind him and reward others with his workout knowledge.
Featured image: Dexter Jackson on YouTube