Men’s Open Bodybuilder Brett Wilkin’s Push Day and Future Competition Plans

IFBB Men’s Open bodybuilder Brett Wilkin withdrew from the 2023 Olympia a few weeks before debuting on bodybuilding’s most prestigious stage due to digestive complications. He dedicated the remainder of the year to restoring his gut health and returned to a structured training and diet program in January 2024.

Wilkin is in the off-season and has returned to full training. In mid-May, he shared a chest and shoulder routine on his YouTube channel designed to maximize muscle growth and strength. 

Brett Wilkin’s Off-Season Push Day

Here is a summary of the training session:

Machine Pec Deck Flyes

Incline Barbell Bench Press

Machine Chest Press

Superset — Standing Cable Flyes & Push-Ups

Standing Machine Lateral Raise

Superset — Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raise & Undergrip EZ Bar Front Press

Check out the video below:

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Machine Pec Deck Flyes

Wilkin opened with two sets of unilateral flyes on the pec deck to warm up. Isolating each pec deepens his mind-muscle connection, which carries over to the subsequent exercises. He extended his hand beyond his midline on concentrics to maximize inner chest activation. Wilkin followed with three heavy bilateral working sets.

Wilkin used a massage gun during the warm-up sets to stretch the fascia and promote muscle pumps, which could potentially contribute to hypertrophy

A study published in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy concluded that massage guns can increase blood flow, modulate pain, enhance myofascial mobility, and reduce myofascial restrictions. These effects may contribute to enhanced fascial stretching and provide the muscles more space for expansion during resistance training. (1)(2)

Incline Barbell Bench Press

Wilkin performed three warm-up sets of incline barbell bench presses to prime the upper chest and front delts for heavier working sets. He progressively increased the load with a single 45-pound weight plate on each side, culminating in three plates per side for his final warm-up set. Wilkin pressed 405 pounds for 10 reps in his working sets.

Machine Chest Press

Wilkin trained on the chest press machine to further load the chest.

Control the eccentric to achieve a deep chest fiber stretch.

Wilkin used a stretch pause technique on the final working set. This advanced training principle involves a 10-second pause in the fully lengthened position after completing 10 repetitions and then lifting to mechanical failure. 

Superset — Standing Cable Flyes & Push-Ups

Wilkin performed standing cable flyes on a functional trainer with the machine’s arms at chest height. He positioned his back against the machine’s pad and arched his lower back to ensure the chest did most of the work. Wilkin superset high cable flyes with push-ups to amplify the chest muscle pump. 

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Standing Machine Side Lateral Raise

Standing lateral raises bias the medial deltoids to promote the coveted 3D shoulder aesthetic. On the final set, Wilkin employed a one-and-a-half rep technique, focusing on the top half of his range of motion (ROM). He lowered the handles halfway after completing a full repetition and returned to the top position before fully lowering to the bottom of his ROM.

Superset — Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raise & Undergrip EZ Bar Front Press

Wilkin prefers seated dumbbell lateral raises over the standing variation, which limits momentum by engaging the lower body. He paused in the fully shortened position for a second to maximize medial delt recruitment. 

“I do two types of lateral raises because I believe volume with side laterals is what grows your shoulders and makes them rounder, fuller, and wider,” said Wilkin. 

EZ bar front presses with a supinated grip bias the anterior delts. Wilkin avoided locking out his elbows at the top to keep constant tension on the target muscles.

Competition Plans For the 2024 Season

At the time of recording, Wilkin weighed 275 pounds, claiming it was his most conditioned physique at this weight yet. Though his competition plans remain tentative, he’s contemplating entering the 2024 Texas Pro (Aug. 9-10) and the 2024 Tampa Pro (Aug. 1-3) following consultations with his coach, Matt Jansen.

Wilkin must win a pro show before the Sept. 15 qualification cutoff to punch his ticket to the 2024 Olympia, scheduled for Oct. 10-13 in Las Vegas, NV. 


Cheatham, S. W., Baker, R. T., Behm, D. G., Stull, K., & Kolber, M. J. (2021). Mechanical Percussion Devices: A Survey of Practice Patterns Among Healthcare Professionals. International journal of sports physical therapy, 16(3), 766–777.

Hirono, T., Ikezoe, T., Taniguchi, M., Tanaka, H., Saeki, J., Yagi, M., Umehara, J., & Ichihashi, N. (2022). Relationship Between Muscle Swelling and Hypertrophy Induced by Resistance Training. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 36(2), 359–364.

Featured image: @brett_wilkin on Instagram

The post Men’s Open Bodybuilder Brett Wilkin’s Push Day and Future Competition Plans appeared first on BarBend.


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