Monday, 22 Oct 2018

Get a Next-Level Upper Body Using Weight

use weight

UNCOVER YOUR STAGE-READY SHOULDERS, ARMS & CORE IN JUST FOUR WEEKS WITH THIS TARGETED TRAINING PLAN AND WEIGHT

DAY 1 /BACK

SCULPTING A WELL-PROPORTIONED UPPER BODY

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takes serious work. And certain techniques help put top figure competitors like two-time Figure Olympia winner Latorya Watts (@latoryawatts) — who demonstrates the moves in this workout — over the top. Progressive overload, for example, is a key training principle in which the body is challenged with an increasing workload (more volume or weight) so your muscles get more efficient at doing the same exercise.

This workout will do just that – overloading every aspect (deltoids, biceps, triceps, lats, chest, and back) — to help visibly etch your top half in a shorter amount of time.

And it also focuses on keeping your waistline sleek and trim, says figure and bikini contest prep coach Laura Marenco (lauramarencofitness.com). “You have to focus some of your upper-body strategy on maintaining a small waist relative to a wider back,” she says, so at the top of your flex, your upper body forms an eye-catching V shape. “We will also focus on developing roundness and fullness in the deltoids and targeting the chest and arms.”

Get a Next-Level Upper Body Using Weight - photo 2Marenco designed this four-week, three-day workout split specifically for those women who want to go from scrawny to sculpted. Whether you’ve entered your first competition or just want to experiment with your physique, this calibrated workout plan will help you get there.

HOW TO DO IT /The first two weeks you’ll lift higher reps with challenging weight. The other two you’ll increase workload by adding weight as you lower reps. The volume will also increase the number of sets.

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NARROW-GRIP LAT PULLDOWN

  • Attach a long bar to a pulldown cable machine and grip the bar with hands narrower than shoulder width. Let your arms extend fully as you lower into the seat, securing thighs beneath pads (A). This is the starting position.
  • Engage your core and drive the elbows down to initiate the movement as you bring the bar toward the bottom of your chest (B).
  • Focus the contraction at the bottom of the movement in the lower lat area of your back, holding for a count of 2.
  • Slowly bring the bar back to the starting position without resting at the top of the rep.

Beginner / Weeks 1-2:

3-4 sets, 12-15 reps Weeks 3-4:5 sets, 8-12 reps Advanced / Weeks 1-2:

4 sets, 8-10 reps each Weeks 3-4:5 sets, 6-8 reps
WARM IT UP!
Always complete two or three warmup sets as needed depending on the muscle group. The larger the muscle, the more important a warmup is to prime it for the workload ahead while also helping prevent injuries. Please make sure to complete warmup sets as needed.
WIDEGRIP LAT PULLDOWNID

  • Attach a long bar to a pulldown cable machine and grip the bar with hands wider than shoulder width. Let your arms extend fully as you lower into the seat, securing thighs beneath pads. Think about “separating” the bar as you grip it to fully activate your lats before you start your lift, maintaining that throughout the exercise.
  • Engage your core, keep your chest up, and let your elbow drive initiate the movement as you bring the handle toward the bottom of your chest without bending your wrists. Focus on the contraction at the bottom of the rep, and hold it for a count of 2.
  • Slowly bring the bar back to the original position without resting at the top of the rep.

Beginner / Weeks 1-2: 3-4 sets, 12-15 reps Weeks 3-4:4-5 sets, 10-12 reps, adding a dropset in the end to failure

Advanced / Weeks 1-2:4 sets, 15/12/10/10 reps Weeks 3-4:6 sets, 15/12/10/8/8/8 dropset for 10 reps

REVERSE-GRIP

BARBELL
BENTOVERROW

  • With palms facing away from you, grip a barbell at hip width.
  • Plant your weight on your heels and keep your knees soft, hinging forward at the hips. Keeping the bar close to your body and starting with your arms straight, drive your elbows back as you pull the bar toward your belly button.
  • Hold the contraction for a count of 2, then return the bar to start, moving under control.

Beginner / Weeks 1-2: 3 sets,

15 reps Weeks 3-4:4 sets, 15/12/10/10 reps Advanced / Weeks 1-2: 4 sets, 10-12 reps Weeks 3-4:5 sets, 15/12/10/8 dropset to failure
SINGLE-ARM ROW
Stand with both feet on the floor, staggering left foot forward and hold a dumbbell in your right hand. Place left hand on a weight rack away from weights or another stable object and keep it there as an anchor for support.

Make sure your back is flat, angled forward 45 degrees.

Initiate the move by driving the elbow of your right arm straight behind you, keeping it tight against your body throughout until your elbow is just at the top of your torso. Slowly return to start.

Both / 4 sets, 8-10 reps per side

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DUMBBELL PULLOVER

  • Grab a moderate-weight dumbbell and rest the top of your back perpendicular to a flat bench.
  • Place hands around one end of the DB and straighten your arms until the DB is a couple of feet above your chest and perpendicular to the floor (A).
  • Keeping arms straight but elbows soft (and pointed toward the ceiling rather than flaring out), slowly bring the DB behind your head to a complete extension; you will feel a stretch in your lats (B).
  • Pull the weight back up to the starting position without resting at the top.

Beginner / Weeks 1-2: 3 sets, 15 reps Weeks 3-4:4 sets, 15/12/10/10 reps Advanced / Weeks 1-2: 4sets,   15/12/10/10 reps Weeks 3-4: 4 sets, 8-10 reps

DAY 2 / CHEST & SHOULDERS

INCLINE BB CHESTPRESS

  • Sit faceup on an incline bench and grasp a moderately weighted bar wider than shoulder width. Think about separating the bar with your hands to activate your pecs.
  • Keeping a slight arch in your lower back and shoulder blades pressed into bench, unrack bar with straight arms (A). Perform rep with the tempo 4:0:1:0, which is 4 sec. to lower, zero sec. at bottom (B), 1 sec. to press up, zero sec. at top.

Beginner / Weeks 1-2:

3 sets, 15 reps Weeks 3-4:

4 sets, 15/12/10/10 reps

Advanced/ 4 sets, 15/12/10/10 reps Weeks 3-4: 6 sets, 8-10 reps (last set is a dropset to failure)

FLATBENCH DEPRESS

  • Grasp a moderate- to heavy-weight dumbbell in each hand.
  • Lie faceup on a flat bench with a slight arch in your lower back, feet on floor, shoulder blades pressed into bench.
  • Bring your upper arm about 45 degrees away from body and parallel to floor with the dumbbells above your chest, elbows out and hands facing direction of lower body.
  • Begin the press with an elbow drive until arms are straight and dumbbells are a couple of feet above chest.
  • Reverse along same plane to start.

Beginner/ 5 sets 15/12/8/8 reps

Advanced / Follow the same as above with higher weight

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DB SHOULDER LATERAL RAISE

  • Choose a weight you can manage, but one that’s not too light. “For a beginner I would start with something as low as five-pound dumbbells and go from there,” says Marenco.
  • Begin with dumbbells at your sides, palms facing body.

Beginner/ 5 sets of 15/10/8/8/8 reps.

Advanced / Follow the same as above with higher weight
DB SHOULDER LATERAL RAISE

  • Choose a weight you can manage, but one that’s not too light. “For a beginner I would start with something as low as five-pound dumbbells and go from there,” says Marenco.
  • Begin with dumbbells at your sides, palms facing body.
  • With elbows slightly bent, raise dumbbell out to sides simultaneously as you raise weights just above parallel to floor. Keep wrists straight and chin up. Lower under control.

Beginner / Weeks 1-2: 3-4 sets, 15-20 reps Weeks 3-4:3-4 sets, 10-15 reps

Advanced / Do 3 dropsets, decreasing weight with each set, from heavy to moderate to light. Don’t rest until all 3 sets are completed in the dropset:

3 sets of 10/15/20 reps.

MARENCO RULE 1:

IT’S ALL IN THE TIMING

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“I always suggest to my clients to pay close attention to timing during lifts. This applies to all muscle groups and within each and every workout.”

CHEST CABLE FLYE

  • Grab the high-pulley D-handles of a cable machine, arms straight, feet hip width or slightly staggered (A).
  • Keeping your chest up and arms straight but elbows soft, bring handles toward your center line. Focus on contracting your pecs at this point in each rep (B).

Beginner / Weeks 1-2: 3 sets, 15-20 reps Weeks 3-4:4 sets, 15/12/10/10 reps

Advanced / Use same sets/reps as above with higher weight

DB FRONT RAISE (BEGINNERS) & PLATE FRONT RAISE (ADVANCED)

  • Beginners may start with a comfortable weight they can handle in order to maximize this lift.
  • Either holding dumbbells (palms facing floor throughout) or a single 25-pound plate, stand with feet hip width.
  • Lift arms until they’re parallel to floor at shoulder level, then lower weight under control.

Both / 4 sets, 12-15 reps. Stop set when your form starts to break.

SEATED BENTOVER REVERSE DB FLYE

  • Sit at the edge of step or bench, holding moderate weight, and lean forward 45 degrees, palms facing each other (A).
  • Drive elbows and lift weight to your sides until they’re parallel to the floor (B). Lower weight under control.

Both / 4 sets, 20-25 reps

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DAY 3 / BICEPS&THICEPS

EZ-BARCURL

  • Grasp a weighted EZ-bar with underhand grip at the “outer curl.” Stand with feet hip width and arms straight with bar resting against thighs (A).
  • Curl the bar toward your chest for a 1-sec. count (B). Use this tempo: 1:2:3:0. Lift in 1 sec., squeeze the biceps for a count of 2 sec. at the top of the rep, then slowly lower bar for 3; don’t rest at the bottom.
  • Keep elbows stationary throughout move. “If you pull the elbows up you’ll be using deltoids to assist biceps— we need to avoid that so that we can completely isolate the biceps in this movement,” says Marenco.

Beginner / Weeks 1-2: 3-4 sets, 12-15 reps Weeks 3-4:4 sets, 10-12 reps

Advanced / Weeks 1-2:4 sets, 12-15 reps Weeks 3-4:5 sets, 15/12/10/8 drop the weight for a dropset. Complete set to failure.

SEATED INCLINE BENCH DB CURL

  • Set up a bench at a 45-degree angle.
  • Grab a dumbbell in each hand and sit back, allowing your arms to hang. This is start position.
  • Keeping elbows stationary against torso, use this tempo: 1:2:3:0. Curl weight up (palms up) in 1 sec., squeeze biceps at top 2 sec., lower for 3 sec. Don’t pause at bottom.

Beginner / Weeks 1-2: 3 sets, 12-15 reps Weeks 3-4:4 sets,

10-12 reps

Advanced / Weeks 1-2: 4 sets,

10-12 reps Weeks 3-4:5 sets, 15/12/10/8 reps. Grab the original weight you used to complete the 15 reps and complete one more set to failure.

HAMMER CURL

  • Attach a rope to low-cable pulley machine or use DBs.
  • Stand facing machine and grip weight with palms facing each other.
  • Lift weight toward chest, palms still facing each other; lower under control.

Beginner / All Weeks: 3 sets, 10-15 reps

Advanced / 15/12/10/10 dropset completed to failure

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MARENCO RULE 2:
TAKE IT SLOW TO GROW

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“Always try to make that mind-muscle connection so you know better when to add or take the weight off the bar. Sometimes we get caught up on how much weight we are able to move when in reality we aren’t engaging the muscle we are trying to target. Engaging the muscle group before even starting your lift will also help you get more accomplished.”

TRICEPS DIP (BEGINNER) OR FOOT-ELEVATED TRICEPS DIP WITH PLATE

  • Place hands on edge of step (and elevate feet if desired). Keeping elbows tracking behind you rather than flaring out, lower your body until your upper arms are parallel to the floor (A).
  • Push yourself back up to start using your triceps (B).

Beginner / Weeks 1-2: You may do these at normal lifting bench, hands on edge of the bench, keeping knees slightly bent. Do 3 sets, as many reps as possible.

Advanced / Weeks 1-2: Use the same bench, but elevate your feet on a platform, step, or another bench, placing a weight on your lap. Do 4-5 sets to failure.

SKULL CRUSHER WITH EZ-BAR

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  • Grab an EZ-bar and lie down on a flat bench.
  • Bring the bar with arms extended over your body, then bend at the elbow, bringing the bar almost behind your head for a full range of motion, right above your skull.
  • Bring the bar back up to the starting position without resting at the top or locking elbows out.

Beginner / 4 sets, 12-15 reps Advanced / Perform on a decline bench;

4 sets, 10-12 reps

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CABLE MACHINE TRICEPS EXTENSION OR DB TRICEPS KICKBACK

  • Stand in front of a high-pulley cable machine with arms bent and rope attachment in each hand (A) or use dumbbells.
  • With elbows in tight against the torso, pull the weight down and toward your sides.
  • Contract triceps at bottom of rep and open rope ends slightly (B). Note: If you are unable to open the rope all the way or unable to complete a full extension, then the workload is too heavy. Drop some of the weight off the stack.

Both / Weeks 1-2:3 sets, 12-15 reps Weeks 3-4:

3 sets, 10-12 reps

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TRAINER

Laura Marenco

Carmel, IN

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