upper body workout

Upper Body Strength Workout

People. Ladies. Everyone.

Announcement.

You have to LIFT heavy if you want to see any changes in your body. I think I’ve said this once or twice before.

Lighter weights, body weight workouts, and other studio-based lower-impact workouts are sufficient resources to prioritize fitness and get yourself moving, but they can only take you so far. Strength is one of the core components of a healthy body needed to maintain and grow your quality of life, and you will not get there lifting 5lb dumbbells day after day.

This workout is all about the upper body. Chest. Back. Shoulders. Arms. Everything.

Each drill includes a series of sets, which start with lower weight loads and a slower cadence, and progresses to heavier weight loads with a compound drill to build strength. The slower tempo or eccentric portion of each series will increase the amount of time your muscles are under tension to significantly contribute to your gains. READ LENGTHEN AND TONE.

Check this shit out.

Drill 1: Chest Press

  • Set 1: Do 15 reps with a weight you can manage, but struggle to finish the set. Focus on the eccentric motion (the way down) for four steady counts, and one count up to return to your starting position.
  • Set 2: Move to 11 reps with a weight you can manage but struggle to finish the set. Focus on a one-to-one count cadence.
  • Set 3: Finish with eight reps with the same weight from set 2 and perform 1-1/4 close grip chest press. That’s all the way down, 1/4 of the way up, all the way back down and all the way up to return to start. That’s ONE rep.

Drill 2: Bicep Curl

  • Set 1: Start with 15 reps with a weight you can manage, but struggle to finish the set. Focus on the eccentric motion (the way down) for four steady counts, and one count up to return to your starting position. Curl up with the neutral grip of a hammer curl and rotate to a standard bicep curl grip as you perform the eccentric motion.
  • Set 2: Complete 11 reps with a weight you can manage but struggle to finish the set. Focus on a one-to-one count cadence and maintain a standard bicep curl grip throughout the range of motion.
  • Set 3: Finally, do eight reps with the same weight from set 2 and perform 1-1/4 hammer curls. That’s an internally rotated grip where your palms face each other.That’s all the way down, 1/4 of the way up, all the way back down and all the way up to return to start. That’s ONE rep.

Drill 3: Tricep Overhead Extension

  • Set 1: Do 15 reps with a weight you can manage, but struggle to finish the set. Focus on the eccentric motion (the way down) for four steady counts, and one count up to return to your starting position. I would hold one dumbbell for this drill or use a single cable machine at your gym.
  • Set 2: Next, eek out 11 reps with a weight you can manage but struggle to finish the set. Focus on a one-to-one count cadence and maintain a standard extension throughout the range of motion.
  • Set 3: Finish with eight reps using your bodyweight only of a triceps dip. The first four are the full range of motion. The last four are 1-1/2 reps.That’s all the way down, 1/2 the way up, all the way back down and all the way up to return to start. That’s ONE rep. While four reps may seem like nothing, the added half ranges of motion will KICK. YOUR. ASS.

Drill 4: Front Row

  • Set 1: Start with 15 reps with a weight you can manage, but struggle to finish the set. Focus on the eccentric motion (the way down) for four steady counts, and one count up to return to your starting position. Use a straight barbell or an EZ curl barbell if available.
  • Set 2: Complete 11 reps with a weight you can manage but struggle to finish the set. Focus on a one-to-one count cadence and increase your cadence if you can with proper form.
  • Set 3: Round this drill out with a drop set for your last set*. Starting with the same weight from set 2, go to failure and fatigue. Your next and final weight should be 20-30% decrease of the previous.

*Unfamiliar with how to do a drop set or why you should be incorporating them into your workouts? Get a brief 101 here and here

Drill 5: Lateral Raise

  • Set 1: Start with 15 reps with a weight you can manage, but struggle to finish the set. Focus on the eccentric motion (the way down) for four steady counts, and one count up to return to your starting position. This weight should be pretty light compared to the previous drills.
  • Set 2: Complete 11 reps with a weight you can manage but struggle to finish the set. Focus on a one-to-one count cadence and maintain a standard bicep curl grip throughout the range of motion. Even if you have to drop your load WAY THE FUCK DOWN do it, prioritize form and the cadence. Don’t let your ego get in the way.
  • Set 3: Finally, do eight reps with the same weight from set 2 and perform 1-1/4 hammer curls. That’s all the way down, 1/4 of the way up, all the way back down and all the way up to return to start. That’s ONE rep. As I said, eight reps may sound like nothing…but this shit will BURN. Stay with it!!

Prepare to be super sore tomorrow – this one is going to hurt. In the best way.

Image via Max Sports and Fitness

 

One Comment

  1. Slowing down the tempo makes such a huge difference! Great workout!

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