Learn How to Build Muscle

Body Building Workout For Your Upper Body

For bodybuilders, there is perhaps nothing better than a perfectly sculpted bicep, tricep or back to show off to the judges.

Having a well-proportioned upper body is the sign of someone who knows what they’re doing in the gym. So how can you get the biceps of Arnold, and the back of Jay Cutler? Read on to find out!

Symmetry, proportion and size can all be accomplished by following a routine (and diet!) customized for you.

In addition to individualizing your program, picking the most effective exercises is of the utmost importance. Your upper body is, not surprisingly, made up of the muscle in the arms, back, chest, and abdominal region. You may wish to work out your entire upper body in one routine, or conversely, split the muscle groups up in to days.

For example, Monday would be chest day, Tuesday is back and bicep day, etc. Most bodybuilders prefer this method as it allows for more time spent on the muscle group. How you construct your program is largely up to you, but consider these sample upper body workouts to give you some ideas:

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Back/Lat Routine:

10-15 minute warm up (Bike, treadmill, elliptical)
Dynamic stretching

Deadlifts - 3 sets, 8-10 reps
Chin Ups - 3 sets to failure (add weight if you can get more than 10 reps)
Cable Rows - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
Barbell Shrugs - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
Barbell Rows - 3 sets, 8-10 reps

Shoulder Routine:

Warm Up (See above)
Dynamic Stretching

Seated Military Press - 4 sets, 8-12 reps
Bent Over Lateral Raise - 4 sets, 8-12 reps
Plate Raise - 3 sets, 8-15 reps
Dumbbell Lateral Raises - 3 sets, 8-10 reps
Cable Lateral Raises - 3 sets, 8-10 reps

Bicep and Tricep Routine:

Warm Up
Dynamic Stretching

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Dumbbell Bicep Curls - 4 sets, 8-10 reps
Dips - 4 sets, 8-10 reps (add weight if you can get over 10 reps)
Preacher Curls - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
Skull Crushers - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
Hammer Curls - 2 sets, 8-10 reps
Tricep Pushdowns - 2 sets, 8-10reps

Abdominal Routine:

*Abdominals can be trained after every workout if preferred, otherwise, aim for at least 2 times per week.

Warm Up
Dynamic Stretching

Weighted Decline Sit-Ups - 4 sets, 25 reps
Hanging Knee Raises - 4 sets, 10-12 reps (once this gets fairly easy add weight)
Lying Leg Raises - 3 sets, 15 reps
Front Bridge - 3 sets, 60 seconds - 90 seconds (you can increase this time as it gets easier)
Knee-Ups - 3 sets, 10-12 reps

These routines are meant to be a sample of how to set up your upper body workouts and it is encouraged to play around with the exercises that work for you. Everyone responds differently to exercises, number of repetitions, and weight so don’t be afraid to change it up every once and a while. By modifying and adapting these routines for your upper body to match your goals, you can develop a ripped, defined upper body that everyone will be jealous of!

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