WORKOUTS

Muscle-Building 12-Week Workout: Week 1


DAY 5: STRENGTH AND FORM - PUSH EXERCISES FOR SHOULDERS AND LEGS

WARMUP
Superset Exercise Muscles Weight (Goal) Set 1 Reps (Goal) Set 1 Reps (Actual) Set 2 Reps (Goal) Set 2 Reps (Actual) Set 3 Reps (Goal) Set 3 Reps (Actual) Set 4 Reps (Goal) Set 4 Reps (Actual)
Spin Bike Legs Heavy Resistance 5 mins N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Dumbbell Up Rotators on Spin Bike Shoulders (rotator cuffs), Legs Light 15 to 20 15 to 20 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Dumbbell Lateral Raises Shoulders Light 20 20 N/A N/A N/A N/A
WORKOUT
Begin Superset
S Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Presses Shoulders (deltoids) 65 - 75% 16 12 12 10
S Dumbbell Lateral Raises Shoulders Light 10 10 10 10
S Stability Ball Push-ups Chest, Triceps, Shoulders (deltoids) N/A 15 15 15 15
Seated Arnold Presses Shoulders (front deltoids) 65 - 75% Max 15 12 12 N/A N/A
Begin Superset
S Seated Reverse Dumbbell Flys Shoulders (rear deltoids) 65 - 75% Max 15 15 15 N/A N/A
S Single-Arm Cable Reverse Pulls Shoulders (rear deltoids, traps) 65 - 75% Max 15 15 12 N/A N/A
Begin Superset
S Step-Ups Legs 65 - 75% Max 20 each leg 20 each leg 20 each leg N/A N/A
S Squats Legs, Full body N/A 15 15 12 N/A N/A
Begin Superset
S Single-Leg Knee Extensions Legs (quads) 65 - 75% 15 15 12 N/A N/A
S Dumbbell Walking Lunges Legs 65 - 75% 20 20 20 N/A N/A
Begin Superset
S Seated One-Leg Presses Legs 65 - 75% 15 15 12 12
S Seated Calf Presses with Leg Hold Legs (calves) 65 - 75% Max 12 with 8-sec hold; then 12 with 8-sec hold; and then max out 12 with 8-sec hold; then 12 with 8-sec hold; and then max out 12 with 8-sec hold; then 12 with 8-sec hold; and then max out 12 with 8-sec hold; then 12 with 8-sec hold; and then max out
CARDIO TRAINING
Exercise Time Overview
Bike 30 Minutes Do 30 minutes light biking on a spin or other indoor bike. Get your heart rate up to a moderate level.
EXERCISE DESCRIPTIONS IN BRIEF
Exercise Overview
Dumbbell Up Rotators on Spin Bike Sit on an upright indoor bike or spin bike holding dumbbells in each hand in front of you with your elbows and armpit held at a 90-degree angle. As this is a warm-up exercise, use light weights. Set the bike to heavy resistance and begin pedaling. Slowly raise the dumbbells until they are straight up and your forearms are perpendicular to the floor. Be sure to maintain the 90-degree angle of your elbow and armpit. Reverse the motion and bring the dumbbells back to starting position. Sit on an upright indoor bike or spin bike holding dumbbells in each hand in front of you with your elbows and armpit held at a 90-degree angle. As this is a warm-up exercise, use light weights. Set the bike to heavy resistance and begin pedaling.
Dumbbell Lateral Raises Stand on the floor with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding dumbbells at your sides. Your knees should be slightly bent, and your palms should face in toward your hips. Raise both dumbbells up from each side and away from the body, keeping your elbows straight. Continue raising your arms until they are horizontal with your shoulders. Slowly lower the arms back to starting position and repeat.
Standing Dumbbell Shoulder Presses Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, pointing forward. Keep your head and back straight, knees slightly bent and the core of your body tight, while relaxing your chest. Hold the dumbbells with your palms facing each other and shoulder-width part. Extend your arms by straightening your elbows directly over your head to full flexion of your shoulder muscle. Keep your elbows slightly bent at the top of the movement to avoid locking your joints. Without stopping, slowly bring the weights down until your arms are bent at nearly 90 degrees.
Stability Ball Push-ups Place both hands on a stability ball and position the rest of your body like a plank. Your abdominals should be held in so that your stomach does not dip, and your back should be flat so that your buttocks do not come up. Keep your feet hip-width apart for stability and if needed, put the ball against a wall for support. Perform a push-up, lowering your chest until it almost touches the ball. Your elbows should come out to the side as you drop down, and your shoulder blades should come together. From the bottom of the push-up, reverse direction and press yourself back up to the starting position.
Seated Arnold Presses Start in a sitting position with your back straight and head forward. Your chest should remain relaxed, and your core should remain tight to keep the focus on your shoulder muscles. Hold the dumbbells in each hand with your palms facing toward you at chest level. Do not arch your back. Next, press the dumbbells straight overhead while slowly turning them so your palms are facing away from your body when your arms are fully extended. The dumbbells should be shoulder-width apart at top of movement. Without losing momentum, reverse direction and slowly return the dumbbells to the starting position.
Seated Reverse Dumbbell Flys Holding dumbbells in each hand with your palms facing in toward you, sit on a flat bench your feet together on the floor in front of you. Lean your upper body over your thighs, allowing the dumbbells to hang down on either side of your legs. Tilt the dumbbells at a slight angle so that your pinky will lead the hand in the outward movement. Your elbows should stay soft (slightly bent) throughout the exercise. Next, simultaneously extend both arms up and out to the sides using the back of your shoulders to do work. Maintain the position of your arms as you lift and keep your traps relaxed throughout movement (do not shrug). Extend out until your arms are level to your back, and then reverse direction and slowly return to the starting position, maintaining flexion in your rear deltoids as you lower the dumbbells back down.
Single-Arm Cable Reverse Pulls Stand perpendicular to a cable system machine approximately two feet from the machine, so that your left side is closest to the machine. Attach a single-handed grip to the cable and set to the lowest setting, just off the floor. Bend your knees slightly and bend over at your waist, making sure to keep your back flat. Hold the grip in your right hand with your right arm slightly bent, directly over your left knee and in front of your left foot. Next, pull the cable in front of your legs and then up to the right of you in one continuous arc, until the cable is fully extended up slightly past the plane of your upper back. Make sure your right elbow is slightly bent throughout the range of motion and your shoulder blades are retracted. Squeeze your rear deltoid muscles while you pull your arm out and back. When you have reached a fully extended position, reverse the movement and bring the cable back to the starting position. When you have completed a set using your right arm, turn around and repeat the exercise using your left arm.
Step-ups Stand facing a flat bench with your arms up at the sides of your head with elbows bent, your hands gently cupping the sides of your head, and your feet hip-width apart. Step your left foot up onto the flat bench. As soon as the left foot is on top of the flat bench, use the muscle of the left leg to bring the right foot powerfully up onto the bench. As soon as the right foot is on top of the flat bench, reverse motion and bring the right foot back down to the floor. Leave the left foot up on the flat bench and perform an entire set with the left leg in the top position. When you have finished a set with the left leg in the top position, reverse feet and repeat with the right leg in top position.
Squats Stand on the floor with your arms up at the sides of your head with elbows bent, your hands gently cupping the sides of your head, and your feet shoulder-width apart. Position your feet so that your toes are pointed straight ahead. Next, slowly lower down to a fully squatted position, pulling your weight down through your leg muscles as you descend. Keep your weight back on your heels as you go down. Push your chest out very slightly in front of you to counterbalance the heavy load on your heels. When you have reached the depth of the squat, reverse motion and drive up through your heels to return to the starting position.
Single-Leg Knee Extensions Sit on a leg extension machine with only one leg behind the resistance bar and the other neutrally to the side. Be sure to keep your center lifted through this exercise—no slouching. Next, lift the resistance bar until your leg is straight. Maintain the flex in your quads throughout the lift. Reverse direction and return your leg slowly to the starting position, resisting the downward pull of the weight as you do so. Be sure not to let your lower leg come further back than perpendicular to the floor, as this puts too much tension on the tendons around your knee. Do a full set with one leg, and then do another set with the other leg.
Dumbbell Walking Lunges Stand on the floor with your feet hip-width apart, holding the dumbbells in your hands at your sides with palms facing inward. Next, step your left foot forward and drop your right knee down into a lunge. Lower the right knee down until the left quadriceps (thigh) is parallel to the floor. Keep the weight of your left leg primarily on the heel and do not allow the left knee to come out in front of your toes. From the bottom of the lunge, stand up, step forward with your right leg, and drop your left knee down into a lunge on the other side. For additional challenge, perform walking lunges holding the dumbbells up at shoulder level.
Seated One-Leg Presses Sit on a sled leg press machine with one foot on the press and the other resting off to the side, your arms by your sides, and your knees bent. Use your leg and the balls of your foot to drive the weight away from you so that your leg is as extended as it can be without locking the knee. From the extended position, reverse direction and slowly return to the starting position, keeping strong resistance in the leg muscles throughout. After you have completed a full set with one leg, reverse legs and repeat.
Seated Calf Presses with Leg Hold Sit on the incline leg press with only the balls of your feet on the foot pad, your knees slightly bent, and your legs engaged. You'll be flexing your foot, so your heel should be off the foot pad and extended beyond it. Make sure that the safety handles are locked throughout this exercise. Next, use your calf muscles to push off the plate, as though trying to spring away from it. Your legs will straighten, but do not lock your knees at the top of your motion. You will end your motion with only the tips of your toes touching the plate. Hold your flexion for a moment at the top of your motion before returning to the starting position and repeating the calf press for 12 repetitions. At the end of the first 12 reps, hold your feet flat for eight seconds (so that the plates are still engaged and toes are perpendicular to the floor, and then do 12 more reps. Again hold the plate with your feet flat for eight seconds, and do a final round of calf presses. For these last reps, try to make the presses quicker, keeping them controlled and the range of motion slightly smaller. Do as many presses as you can, until you are too fatigued to maintain good form for any more repetitions.

EXERCISE IMAGES

Photo Credit: Nicolas Smith