Keeping the momentum going

By Darren Floro-Bryant

It’s April, and summer is approaching quickly. You’ve proven you are disciplined and committed to working out. 6 am workouts are now a part of your life! You are the master of your body and are willing to do whatever it takes to stay on your fitness journey.  You’re trying everything and feeling great about it. Classes after work, workouts at lunch are now your norm; you’re doing anything to fit in a workout.  

A couple of issues ago, I outlined a chest and triceps workout that followed a more traditional approach to weight training. It was meant to encourage muscle strength and growth. Today, I am going to give you a similar routine, but focusing on back and biceps.  Similar to the chest and trieps workout some super-setting will be applied, but this time in the form of core exercises. Rest will still be a big factor in this workout, but the rest periods will be a little shorter and filled with core exercises. The core workout between the sets should be just enough of a challenge for your lower back, paired with the different grips and pulls (outlined below) for a well-rounded approach for your back.

Get “Tucked”

There are just a few things I want to mention before we get into the back and biceps workout:  It is essential to keep your shoulders back and down in most back exercises.  Think of “tucking” your shoulder blades into your back pockets throughout the entire movement to avoid using momentum to move the weight.  Another way to look at it is to keep your shoulders shrugged down and away from your ears as this will help keep the move out of the upper trapezius. There are a lot of tricks or tips out there to help with this concept, so choose one that works for you. 

Also, when it comes to back exercises, your chest is very important. Think of puffing your chest up to the bar or the grip, rather than pulling the bar to your chest. With saying this, also think of your elbows being the driving force of the move (i.e., drive the elbows to the floor and think of your hands as extensions of your elbows, almost like hooks).  One last important tip is using your fingers or thumbs as measuring tools along the markings on the bar to ensure you are gripping the bar the same for each set.

There are a ton more tips out there in addition to the ones mentioned above, but if you need further assistance, this would be an opportune time to consult with a personal trainer to help you perfect your form and help prevent injury. By keeping your shoulders back and chest up, will not only help give you the appearance of a bigger chest but more importantly, it will assist in achieving good posture.

The Workout – Back and Biceps PLUS CORE

Wide Grip Lat Pull Down
4 sets superset with 30-second high plank and with 30-second rest between each set. 

Increase the weight for every set (#1 -10 Reps, #2 – 10 Reps, #3 – 8 Reps, #4 – 6 Reps)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Narrow V-Grip Seated Cable Row
4 sets superset 30-second low plank and with 30-second rest between each set. 

Increase the weight for every set (#1 -10 Reps, #2 – 10 Reps, #3 – 8 Reps, #4 – 6 Reps)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Single Arm Bent Over Dumbbell Row

JUST hand on bench Core stabilizes body (slight arc to the row –see pic for start and finish position)
4 sets – Rest 30 seconds to 45 seconds between sets. 
Increase the weight for every set (#1 -10 Reps, #2 – 10 Reps, #3 – 10 Reps, #4 – 8 Reps.)

 

 

 

 

 

30-second Plate Hold superset with Barbell Curls

4 sets – Rest 45 seconds between sets. 
Increase the weight of barbell for every set (#1 -10 Reps, #2 – 10 Reps, #3 – 8 Reps, #4 – 6 Reps)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wide Parallel Grip Cable Pulldown
4 sets superset with 30-second elbow plank (palms up with biceps flex) and with 30-second rest between each set. 

Increase the weight for every set (#1 -10 Reps, #2 – 10 Reps, #3 – 8 Reps, #4 – 6 Reps)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overhand Narrow Pulldown
(elbows stay tight to the body, elbows push down towards hips)
4 sets – Rest 45 seconds between sets.

Increase the weight for every set (#1 -10 Reps, #2 – 10 Reps, #3 – 8 Reps, #4 – 6 Reps)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curl to failure Dumbbell Hammer Curls
2 sets – Curl a heavy pair of dumbbells to failure WITH GOOD FORM, NO SWINGING
and each time decrease the weight and curl to failure only decrease the weight four times, then rest and start your second set.