Monday, February 17, 2014

Pick Your Poison: Upper Body

While I wasn't up for a walk or leg workout today, I did manage to squeeze in some upper body action this morning. I can tell my stamina is way lower than it used to be, so this workout may require a third round and heavier weights to leave you feeling fatigued, but I was feeling it pretty quickly!

Upper Body Supersets
Complete each set of exercises two or three times before moving to the next set. Aim for 10-15 reps of each exercise, keeping good form throughout.

Pregnancy modifications for me:

  • Very light weights
  • Only two rounds of each superset
  • 1-2 minute break between each set of exercises
  • Push ups on knees
To increase the intensity:
  • Use heavier weights (but remember to keep your form)
  • Eliminate or reduce breaks
  • Complete three or four rounds of each superset
  • Try decline push ups
  • Where possible, complete the exercises on one foot (challenges balance, engages core)
I thought I would also share with you a workout that I designed for Terry. He's done it twice now, and he really likes it. I will definitely add it to my routine once I'm back to my normal workouts!

Chest/Core/Back Drop Sets
Warm up first (after 5-10 minutes of moderate cardio)
  • 15 push ups
  • 15 dumbbell flys
  • 15 dumbbell bent over rows
  • 15 dumbbell reverse flys
  • 25 crunches
For the workout, complete 3 sets of each exercise back to back with minimal rest/ Then move on to the next exercise. Your 3 sets should go like this:
  • Heavy weight (exhaustion within 8-10 reps)
  • Drop set one: Medium-heavy weight (exhaustion within 6-8 reps)
  • Drop set two: Medium weight (exhaustion within 2-6 reps)
Here are the exercises*:
  • Chest press
  • Wide rows
  • Chest flys
  • Reverse flys
*You can use cables or dumbbells. Cables are a bit faster because you don't have to switch out your dumbbells or wait for someone else to finish with their workout. 

Core series (complete 2-3 times):
So there you go! Pick your poison: a comprehensive, low-intensity upper body workout or a significantly more intense workout that focuses on just a few muscle groups. If you like the look of both, be sure to take at least one day off between them; give your muscles time to rest!

Hope you had a happy Monday!