Pair this upper-body routine with the legs workout (#40) for a complete programme. You can do each workout either once or twice per week. For instance, on Mondays and Thursdays, do this workout; on Tuesdays and Fridays, perform the beginner leg workout.
  • Splitting your body over two workouts, instead of following a full-body programme, allows you to hit all your bodyparts with more energy. A full-body programme is still effective, and is perfect for those who are extremely short on time, but if you have the option, go with an upper/lower or a bodypart-driven split.
  • Your first time through this workout, use extremely light weights and concentrate on getting used to the equipment and the movements.


Start: Situate yourself on the bench so that when you grasp the handles, your elbows are in a direct line with your hands. Keep your chest forward as much as possible.
Move: To raise the weight, forcefully push the handles to full extension (just short of elbow lockout), then reverse the motion. Don’t let the weight rest at the bottom. Keep your elbows out away from your body, not pressed to your sides, to increase the action of the pecs and decrease the involvement of the triceps.


Start: Grasp a dumbbell in one hand and rest your free hand on a bench, keeping your chest slightly lifted as you bend forward from the hips, one foot just ahead of the other for balance.
Move: Keeping your torso stable throughout the movement, pull the dumbbell all the way up to touch your chest, moving your shoulder backward as your elbow comes toward the ceiling. Then lower the dumbbell straight down to the start position.


Start: “I like to begin my workout with a power motion like overhead presses to get the muscles moving and the blood going,” Bob says. “I sit on a bench with a backrest and grasp the handles with my hands just outside shoulder-width apart, or even a bit wider.”
Move: “I begin with the handles precisely at chin level and use my chin as a guide throughout the exercise. I press the weight up and over my head at a steady rate of speed — not too fast, and nothing explosive. I come to a full extension overhead without locking out, then slowly come back to the start, lowering the weight only to chin level.”


Start: Lie face down on a back-extension bench with your heels under the footpads.
Move: With your body straight, head neither flexed forward nor extended backward, and your arms crossed over your chest, lower your torso so your body forms an angle that approaches about 90 degrees. Use a smooth motion to rise back up to the starting position.


Start: Sitting in the machine so your arms rest firmly on the horizontal pad, keep your wrists, elbows and delts in straight lines.
Move: “When I curl the weight up, it’s a very controlled movement,” he says. “Try to keep it as strict and hard as possible: Fully extend all the way out to stretch your bi’s, then curl up as far as you can and squeeze. Toward the end of my workout, I’ll sometimes hold and squeeze for 2–3 seconds, then bring the weight down very slowly.”


Start: Lie on your back with your knees flexed to 90 degrees, your ankles and feet resting on a flat bench and your hands behind the base of your neck for support.
Move: Lift your shoulders off the floor and crunch your ribs and hips toward each other. Hold for a beat, then reverse the motion. Don’t allow your shoulders to touch the floor until the end of the set.
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