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Dr. C.: This next workout is an endurance-based workout, that will obviously help to increase the endurance of the muscles exercised. You may wonder, "Why endurance now when I want to build a bigger upper body?"
First, an endurance workout is great to do after your first initial resistance training workout. Chances are you are sore, and an endurance workout will allow you to use a lower weight with higher reps, which is generally more tolerable when you are sore.
Second, a muscle is made up of two different types of muscle fibers, slow twitch and fast twitch. Slow twitch muscle fibers are used when lifting moderate to heavy weight slowly, as during your last workout. Your fast twitch muscle fibers are used when using light weight with a fast pace and high reps. Thus, we have to exercise both muscle fibers types to build muscle.
100 push-ups: Try to do non-modified, but if you have to throw in a few modified reps, that's cool. Do as many reps as you can in each set, and do as many sets as it takes. Take a 30 second to 1 minute rest between each set. For example, start with as many you can do, say 15. Next set you might only get 12 and so on. Keep going until you can do 100.
The gold standard of a chest exercise, and really, total upper body exercise is the Push Up. The great thing about the Push Up is that you do not need any exercise equipment. Therefore, this exercise can be performed anywhere. In addition to convenience, this exercise is efficient. A push up exercises your chest, triceps, biceps, shoulders and core muscles. Honestly, if you only had time to do one exercise for your upper body, it should be the Push Up. Did I sell you on it yet?
The Modified Push Up is a great alternative to the Push Up if you are a beginner, or have a shoulder or hand problem. It can be difficult to do a set of Push Ups, much less one, if you have never done them before. Thus, the Modified Push Up is a way to strengthen your upper body muscles so that you may one day do regular Push Ups.
Your first exercise is the Wood Chop. This exercise is great to perform as the first exercise in your set. The Wood Chop will work your lower legs, abs, shoulders, chest and biceps. Like I said, it's a good exercise.
Your next exercise of the day will focus on your chest. In general, you want to exercise the muscles that you are targeting early on in the workout. It makes sense. You want to put your early energy into the exercises that line up with your specific goals. For you, it's a larger chest and upper body, so we will throw a chest workout in early.
I want you to focus on doing 5 of these exercises during your 3 workouts this week. This will be a low weight, high rep week for you. (FYI - Never tell a trainer you are bored!)
2. Calf raises: 2 sets - but do "burnouts," or as many as you can do in a set.
3. Shoulder Press: Low weight, go until you can get 100.
4. Pilates Crunch: 100 (it's a good idea to break this up in to 4 or 5 sets of 20 or 25 crunches).
For the next four exercises, do as many reps as you can in each set, and do as many sets as it takes. Take a 30 second to 1 minute rest between each set.
5. Bicep Curls.
8. Reverse Fly.
Make sure to give your arms a break and work on your core muscles.
Your core muscles include your abdominal muscles and your back muscles. Believe it or not, you use your core muscles throughout the day when sitting, standing, and when performing other physical activities. This group of muscles is particularly important in maintaining normal healthy posture and in stability when performing other physical activities.
They should get some attention every workout, so do at least 1 or 2 sets of these.