Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Get Back In Shape: Upper Body

Ok. Time to construct a foundation of fitness on which to build muscle and strength -- and unveil your abs.
If you want to lose your gut, don't think of lifting weights as an option; consider it a requirement. When dieters don't pump iron, 22 percent of their weight loss comes from losing muscle, according to a Penn State study. So if you drop 20 pounds without lifting, almost five of those pounds will be muscle.

Perform these workouts 4 days a week. Do the upper-body and lower-body workouts on consecutive days, rest a day, and repeat. For your first upper-body day, use the low-rep workout. For your first lower-body day, follow the high rep workout. Then switch for your second 2 days of training. That way, every other week you end up performing both high and low reps for your upper and lower body.

Low-Rep Workout
Complete 5 to 8 reps of each exercise resting 60 seconds between sets.
Upper body - Do 2 or 3 sets of each exercise
Lower body - Do 2 or 3 sets of each exercise

High-Rep Workout
Perform 12 to 15 reps in each set. For exercises 1 and 2, rest 60-90 seconds between sets. For 3A,3B,4A, and 4B, rest 30-45 seconds between sets.
Upper body - Do 2 or 3 sets of each exercise
Lower body - Do 2 sets of each exercise

Days 1 and 3: Upper Body

1A - Dumbbell bench press
On a flat bench, lie faceup holding a pair of dumbbells above your chest with your arms straight. Lower the dumbbells to the sides of your chest, and then push them back up to the starting position.



1B - Wide-grip pullup 
Grab the bar with an overhand grip that's about one and a half times shoulder width, and hang at arm's length. Pull yourself up until your upper chest hits the bar. Pause and slowly lower yourself to the starting position.


2A - Dumbbell push press
Stand holding a pair of dumbbells just outside your shoulders, your arms bent and palms facing each other. Bend your knees slightly to dip your body, and then push up with your legs as you press the dumbbells straight over your shoulders. Keep your torso upright throughout. Lower the dumbbells to the starting position, and repeat.


2B - Barbell Row
Grab a barbell with an overhand grip that's just beyond shoulder width, and hold it at arm's length. Lower your torso until it's almost parallel to the floor. Let the bar hang at arm's length. Pull the bar to your upper abs as you squeeze your shoulder blades together. Pause, and slowly lower the bar back to the starting position. That's one rep.

Source: Men's Health

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